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What could be the cause for experiencing severe cramps under sore ribs and belly?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5762 Questions
Hi I'm a 37 year old female who has been experiencing sore ribs for the past few weeks. I have been to my doctor and had my abdomen checked and blood work which checked out fine. Early this morning while cleaning I experienced a brief severe cramp like spasm in the area under my rib and belly. The pain was intense but lasted maybe 5 seconds. It has not yet returned. I have also been very gassy. I have a physical in a weeks time. Is it ok to wait and have it checked then or should I see my doctor sooner.
Posted Wed, 8 Jan 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 18 minutes later
Brief Answer: Gallstones or peptic ulcer. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. Most common reason of upper abdominal/lower rib pain are gallstones. The pain usually radiates to the back. Nausea and vomiting can appear. Symptoms can be triggered by fatty foods or alcohol. Gallstones are usually visible in the ultrasound. If your pain is in the upper middle abdomen and does not radiate to the back, stomach issues like peptic ulcer can be the reason. It is quite characteristic for stomach problem that all regular tests are negative. If you do not have gas and stool obstruction, no fever, vomiting, you can wait few days. Otherwise you should see your doctor as soon as possible. It is advisable for you to have abdominal ultrasound and if nothing wrong will be found, gastroscopy should be next. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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