Is right sided discomfort PBC or gallstones?

I'm currently having tests to determine if the discomfort in the upper right quadrant under the ribs which moves around the upper chest, hurts my ribs and sometimes settles between the ribs, accompanied by bouts of nausea is caused by the gallstones or PBC. Does anyone else have these symptoms or have you had them diagnosed? The Consultant I saw recently for gallstones wants to rule everything else out before settling on the gallstones as the culprit. I had to explain PBC to him though which was a bit worrying.

15 Replies

  • I know where your coming from I have gallstones diagnosed firstly by ultrasound and then ct scan. My consultant wanted ct scan and endoscopy has he is not happy to operate with me having PBC this causes pain on my right side. I also have chronic heartburn and have discoverd through the ct scan I have a hernia. But I have also discoverd through searches on the internet the pain and discomfort could be PBC.

    I am awaiting a follow up appointment and intend to raise the same question I will update you once I have the answer !

    My consultant did know what PBC was that's why he is being cautious.

  • I too have had an endoscopy and now await a CT scan, chest Xray and ultrasound. Follow up in Jan 2012. I Keep in touch and good luck with your follow up.

  • I suffered all the symptoms you have described and had my gallbladder removed... then to the surprise of several confused dr's, consultants and specialists continued with all the symtoms and continued to be admitted to hospital on and off for a further 18mts until, to my relief, was diagnosed with pbc... both pbc and gallstones can cause these symptons, you may have both or one or the other... I can totally empathise with you when you say you were worrying because you had to explain pbc, i thought i was going mad when the symptons continued after the removal of my gallbladder. you are one step ahead with your knowledge of pbc, be strong, there is light at the end of the tunnel and be persistant. Good luck..

  • How awful to go through the surgery and still have the pain. I can see how your diagnosis of PBC came as a relief. It makes us more cautious though with our mixed bag of confusing symptoms. Thanks for replying and I'll bear in mind your comments.

  • Interesting...I also had pain in my right side under my ribs and had my gallbladder removed then ended up back in emergency with extreme pain. Unable to diagnose the problem I finally was admitted and saw a gastrointestinal specialist. He figured that my common bile duct wasn't working so they cut the muscle and inserted a stint. Solved the problem but that was also when he diagnosed me with PBC. I don't have severe pain like I was having before but I still have the odd sharp pain in the same area. I saw my gastro specialist yesterday and asked him about it and he isn't sure what would be causing that pain. He did say that the problem with my common bile duct was not a result of the PBC. Are you still having pain?

  • I have gallstones but have no pain there.

  • Hi, my name is Lucretia, was diagnosed 2004 with p.b.c. with overlap A.i.h. i have terrible liver pain from time to to..time.. when on a high dose of steroids it calms it all down.. then when weened off them all comes back again:( the trouble with this illness is you can feel great one day... and very low the next! i am currently on a trial for my eyes at bristol which is called imura..and have been on a very high dose of prednisalone since june.. have now come off them last week.. and hey ho. its like someone as pulled the plug... so so tired no energy.. and the dreaded itich is back!!! just hate all this and sometimes feel what is the point:( 22 pills a day and still it kicks you from time to time!!! my eye trial is because of pan.. uvietits.. so no steroids for me for 12 months now.. as not allowed from this point.. my eyes have improved considerably which is great.. but now hit with all the symtoms of the pbc/aih. good luck with it all. xx

  • I had my gall bladder out in 1987 and I can remember still getting pain on my right hand side. I had to have mine out by the old way of cutting. i was told then that it is to do with the nerves knitting back.

    My Mum has just had hers out and she is 76 and hers was by keyhole and she gets pain in her right side still, they said because she was pulled about during the op she will still have bruising and could take up to a year to settle down. If you are at all worried then you should see your doctor, as everyone is different.

  • like Jane, I had my gall bladder removed roughly about the same time. I do remember the pain but feel it was different to the pain I now get in the liver and spleen area. eg. last night I awoke only able to shallow breathe as it was v painful to take a full breath, I have had this before and it usually disappears after about 20 mins or so. xx

  • I have recently been diagnosed with AIH with crssover PBC and I have the right sided discomfort most of the time and my consultant said that I should not have any pain with these conditions and that it might all be in my head! It almost feels like my liver is pressing against my rib cage or that my bra wire is digging into me but when I take my bra off the pain is still there! I thought I was going daft and I am so glad I am not imagining this and others have the pain as well. I am currently on Budenofalk steroid and Azathioprine and have indigestion and lethargy. No gallstones though.

  • I am also on Ursodeoxycholic Acid.

  • Jtxx,hello, i have the right side pain in the same place as you do but also in my right upper arm. Also i was getting terrible indigestion and after gastroscopy(yuck)was told i had an ulcer on my osopheagus and now take omeprazole,what a difference,i dont have any acid indigestion now,i am also on Urso along with loads more tablets, none of which seem to make any difference.Take care and keep in touch.x

  • Hi,

    Thank you for all replies, it's interesting how we all seem to have varying takes on this pain/discomfort. I always have to undo my bra after an evening meal to try and relieve the pressure up under my right ribcage. I've had another set of tests including Xray, CT scan, ultrasound and bloods so will see what the surgeon thinks in January, but I'm reluctant to have surgery on the gallstones if there's even the slightest chance the symptoms will still be there afterwards.

    Happy Christmas and wishing you all a Healthy 2012!

  • My pain is more of a discomfort with the AIH/PBC but my husband had gallstones and his pain, at times, was terrible. They can get blocked and stuck so you should listen to the specialist. These are two separate conditions you have although the pain is in the same area. Hope all goes well. X

  • I had gallstone problems where I had to call an ambulance, eventually having my gallbladder removed. The pain from these was in between my shoulder blades and was like being stabbed with a knife and then it being moved around inside you- horrendous. It also radiated to my left shoulder (a common thing, I have been told since). This are the usual places you get gallstone pain and is commonly described as so. However, humans are all different and there can be exceptions to the rule! The upper right pain/cramp-like pain and discomfort going to the chest is, in my opinion, the liver/pbc pain. I can honestly say this, because I have had both.

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