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Recurring Abdominal Pain

Your pain is experienced during times of active digestion, and your pain is particularly strong on your right side. These features are very suggestive of gallstones.

Gallstones cause pain within several hours of a meal, particularly if the meal is high in fat. Sometimes symptoms are only noticeable after large, rich evening meals. After meals, the gallbladder squeezes to release bile that can aid your digestion. If the gallbladder contains a stone, its squeezing is painful.

One of the first tests in your evaluation should probably be an ultrasound of the abdomen. This test can show whether you have gallstones. If gallstones are present, it is very likely that they are the cause of your symptoms.

Blood tests to evaluate your liver and check for infection may also be obtained early in your evaluation. If your gallbladder is not found to contain stones, your doctor might also consider the following diagnoses:

  • acute pancreatitis

  • chronic pancreatitis

  • Crohn's disease

  • gastroparesis (a stomach complication from diabetes)

  • indigestion (dyspepsia)

  • peptic ulcer disease.


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