gallbladder pain versus ulcer pain?

Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 6/22/09 1:11 am - OH
Anyone know how to tell the difference between pain from an ulcer and pain from a testy gallbladder?

I already know that I have gallstones, and have an appt with my surgeon tomorrow... but I am in SO much pain right now (and trying not to leave work)... it's so bad that I'm thinking of going to ER if this does not ease up.  BUt one of teh things I wanted to ask her is how we know it's teh gallbladder and not an ulcer (since someone at work described ulcer symptoms as similar).

I would hate to go to the ER and jhave them decide to take the gallbladder out right away (would they even do that if not a medical emergency?!?) and then later discover it was an ulcer...

(who would kill for some decent pain meds right about now.... Tylenol is WORTHLESS!)

10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

Betty S.
on 6/22/09 1:57 am - Mesa, AZ
I hate to say it, but they were  pretty similar to me.   My problems were long ago, before surgery.  My gallbladder was a very intense dull (does that make sense) pain in my mid-section, a pressure.  I was sweaty and had to keep leaning back to get my breath in. 
My ulcer pain would radiate to my neck and back (mimics heart attack in a lot of people) and be very sharp. 
I guess on thinking about it, the gallbladder pain went down on my body, my ulcer pain went up.

Don't fool around with this.  go to the ER. 

(deactivated member)
on 6/22/09 1:58 am
I had my gallbladder taken out several years ago, but from what I rememeber, the pain felt like a tight constricting band just above my waist.  To this day I'm not sure if the pain from that was as bad or worse than the pain I felt when my epidural wore off during labor and I felt every contraction for 4 hours until they could give me another dose.

Unfortunately, unless things have changed, about the only way to treat it is surgery.  But I would go to ER or to your family MD.  They will run the tests necessary to determine if it is your gallbladder or an ulcer.  I went undiagnosed for 5 months, don't let it get that bad for you.

Hailey D.
on 6/22/09 9:35 am - Longmont, CO
I have never had an ulcer(that I know of) But I did have my gallbladder out after only a couple of weeks of very serious attacks. To me, it was the worst pain I could even imagine. I was in the ER EVERY time I had an attack because NOTHING would help the pain except morphine. It started out almost feeling like my bra was too tight and constricting around my ribs and then it just got to a point where it was a horrible burning sensation radiating all through my left side under my rib cage. I threw up a lot and all I could do was curl up in a ball and wait for it to pass.I don't know how to tell the difference between gall. and ulcer, but I do remember the pain was intolerable and would last for hours than suddenly it would go away like nothing happened. I know it feels different for everybody though. I don't even like thinking about it! I hope whatever it is is not serious, and I would suggest going to the Doctor. They should be able to tell pretty quickly what it is if you describe what's going on.

ps. I tried every kind of pain medicine I could find around my house and it did absolutely nothing. Get morphine!