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What causes vomiting, pain, burning sensation in abdominal area and sternum?

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Posted on Tue, 24 May 2016
Question: Hello,
I'm a 45 year old male in good physical condition with type 2 diabetes. Roughly 5 days ago I got sick with vomiting and abdominal pain where my liver is and below my sternum. I had a fever of 94 that day and basically felt horrible and couldn't keep anything down for most of the day. The next day I felt much better but here it is almost a week later and I still don't fell 100%. My stomach continues to gurgle with gas and I have a slight burning sensation in my right upper abdominal area but close to the center near the sternum. I have no problem eating and drinking water now. The day after I was sick my stool was light in color but went back to a darker brown. Today about 5 days later it's back to a light color. I'm concerned of a gallbladder or liver infection. Please advise and thank you
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Probable viral gastroenteritis

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Most likely this is a viral gastroenteritis (aka stomach flu) that is going around in your community, and is lasting longer than you expected.

However, given the light colored stool, it may be a good idea to go in to your doctor or an urgent care clinic and have a CBC and a liver function panel blood draw done. The doctor can also feel over your liver and tell if it is enlarged or tender.

I don't think you have anything serious happening in the gallbladder or liver, such as an infection based in those organs. But clay colored stool means the bile salts from the liver are not getting into the small intestine and this can be from inflammation happening anywhere along that route. If your intestines are still a bit upset, there might be inflammation in the opening where the gall bladder drains into the intestines.

This can happen and resolve on it's own in a few more days. But it would not hurt (other than a poke in the arm for a blood draw) to see how your liver is doing with the liver enzyme/liver function panel. If the enzymes are elevated (which would not be surprising), don't get too worried as they can go back down to normal a few weeks after this is all over. But your doctor will be able to follow and watch them.

The CBC can be helpful in sometimes showing if an infection is bacterial (higher neutrophils) or viral (change in lymphocyte count). But not always. And most likely, in the United States, this would be viral in nature.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (49 minutes later)
Thank you doctor. Your information was appreciated.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Your welcome!

Detailed Answer:
If you have any further questions, please let me know.

In the future, if you would like specifically for me to respond to a new question, just put my name in the first line of the question and it will be routed to me.

Best regards and I hope you are fully better soon,
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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What causes vomiting, pain, burning sensation in abdominal area and sternum?

Brief Answer: Probable viral gastroenteritis Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, Most likely this is a viral gastroenteritis (aka stomach flu) that is going around in your community, and is lasting longer than you expected. However, given the light colored stool, it may be a good idea to go in to your doctor or an urgent care clinic and have a CBC and a liver function panel blood draw done. The doctor can also feel over your liver and tell if it is enlarged or tender. I don't think you have anything serious happening in the gallbladder or liver, such as an infection based in those organs. But clay colored stool means the bile salts from the liver are not getting into the small intestine and this can be from inflammation happening anywhere along that route. If your intestines are still a bit upset, there might be inflammation in the opening where the gall bladder drains into the intestines. This can happen and resolve on it's own in a few more days. But it would not hurt (other than a poke in the arm for a blood draw) to see how your liver is doing with the liver enzyme/liver function panel. If the enzymes are elevated (which would not be surprising), don't get too worried as they can go back down to normal a few weeks after this is all over. But your doctor will be able to follow and watch them. The CBC can be helpful in sometimes showing if an infection is bacterial (higher neutrophils) or viral (change in lymphocyte count). But not always. And most likely, in the United States, this would be viral in nature. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.