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"Is this pain caused by a problem with my gall bladder?"

ZocdocAnswersIs this pain caused by a problem with my gall bladder?


I am having this pain in the right side of my torso that is worse when I take a really deep breath. It is kind of near my rib cage. Is this a symptom of a gall bladder problem or issue?


Pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen can be due to many things. The gallbladder is located in the right upper abdomen and is attached to the liver. If patients experience problems with the gallbladder such as symptomatic stone blockage or inflammation of the gallbladder (called "cholecystitis"), a characteristic pain is felt in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. This pain is frequently associated with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and in severe cases fevers and chills. The pain with deep inspiration that you are describing is sometimes described as "Murphy's sign" and is commonly associated with cholecystitis. Other possible causes for pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen or lower right chest would be pneumonia, liver problems, costochondritis (bruising of the ribs) and acid reflux. Less likely problems also include heart problems, stomach ulcers, etc. The best thing to do about this would be to see your primary care doctor and have them order some basic blood work that would look at liver function tests and a CBC which can detect an elevated WBC. Included in the workup is a right upper quadrant abdominal ultrasound which is the most sensitive test for cholecystitis. It is relatively cheap, non-invasive and quick. In rarer cases, if all of this testing is normal, a HIDA scan can look at gallbladder ejection fraction which may help diagnose a condition called "biliary diskinesia," in which the gallbladder does not empty as much as it should. Speak to your primary care doctor about getting a workup of gallstones/gallbladder inflammation. The above mentioned tests would help detect a problem.

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