home
RSS
October 20th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Are my symptoms from gallbladder problems, or something else?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesday, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, a chief medical officer.

Last week, Dr. Brawley answered a question about whether Jessie from North Carolina has symptoms that could indicate gallbladder problems. This week, he offers another theory for what could be causing her pain.

Question asked by Jessie, North Carolina

My mom, grandma and older sister have all had their gallbladders removed. For the past month, I have been getting nauseated and/or experiencing pain in my upper belly after many meals. It seems as though I can tolerate little of any type of fat. The only thing that makes my discomfort manageable is Mylanta and Zantac. Are my symptoms and family history indicative of gallbladder problems? My doctor didn't immediately think so.

Expert answer:

The symptoms you describe could be due to stones in the gallbladder and they could be due to peptic ulcer disease. However, your symptoms are classic for gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD.

GERD is a very common condition in which stomach contents including the acidic fluid secreted by the stomach and necessary for digestion are moving back up into the esophagus. In very bad cases people can actually have acidic stomach contents come back up into their mouth.

More commonly the acidic fluid goes to the lower to mid esophagus. It can cause a chemical burn and discomfort. Patients usually describe their symptoms as chest pain, heartburn, nausea, sour stomach, or indigestion. Some will describe the pain as in the mid-upper stomach.

Long-term reflux can result in esophagitis (an inflamed esophagus). This increases sensitivity to acidic stomach contents and foods. It can also cause scarring of the esophagus and increase risk of esophageal dysfunction and esophageal cancer.

GERD sufferers often report increased reflux and the pain after large fatty or spicy meals. Indeed, high fat foods are a real problem especially when eaten quickly.

Other foods that stimulate reflux are chocolates, alcohol, coffee, teas, and carbonated drinks, especially colas. The pain can often be relieved by eating bland low-fat food or by taking an antacid, particularly one that coats the raw burned areas of the esophagus.

Abdominal obesity is a major risk factor for GERD as the stomach is compressed by abdominal fat forcing acidic fluid up the esophagus.

Couch potatoes are at special risk for GERD and walking after eating a meal may prevent reflux by stimulating digestion.

Strategies to decrease reflux include avoiding foods that cause it. One can reduce the volume or size of meals and spread food intake out over several meals. It is also best to avoid food and drink for at least three hours before bed.

By lying down, the stomach is tipped sideways and the fluid can go up the esophagus. You might envision lying down as if one were pouring fluids from the base of a bottle (the stomach) up a long neck bottle (the esophagus). Some find comfort in propping the head of their bed on six-inch blocks.

Extra pillows do not help prevent reflux. Indeed, it may worsen GERD as it puts a bend in the torso which can squeeze the stomach, pushing its contents up the esophagus.

Physicians will sometimes suggest use of liquid and tablet antacid medications. People with more severe forms of reflux may benefit from oral medications such as the H2 blockers. Examples are cimetidine, ranitidine or the proton pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole and omeprazole.

Please note that many worry that the long-term effects of H2 inhibitors and proton pump inhibitors are not well defined.


soundoff (826 Responses)
  1. RV Repairs Near My Location

    https://www.vasabladet.fi/ViewSwitcher/SwitchView?mobile=False&returnUrl=https://www.rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com

    June 29, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    http://5cfxm.hxrs6.servertrust.com/v/affiliate/setCookie.asp?catId=1180&return=https://www.ocrv.today/

    June 29, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    https://www.weblogskin.com/adsx.php?url=https://www.ocrvmotorsports.us

    June 29, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Chevy Venture Van Repair

    https://familieadvokaten.dk/index.asp?f=http://ocrv.mobi/

    June 29, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    http://bd.jinti.com/Return/go.asp?mail_id=20170911jd&url=https://ocrv.vip

    June 29, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Near My Location

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks!

    http://dfbannouncer.deluxeforbusiness.com/5887/cgi-bin/online/announcer5/linker.php?st=50878&link=https://www.www.ocrv.biz

    June 29, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    http://cleopatraschoice.practicaldatacore.com/mod_email/services/pdClickTracking.php?messageId=00056x001fdaad&redirect=http://www.ocrv.mobi

    June 29, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Santa Ana

    https://glazev.ru/redirect?url=http://ocrv.life/

    June 29, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 08 Sprinter Intake PRT Repair

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    https://www.rondomusic.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?page=https://ocrvmotorsports.com

    June 29, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repairs Near My Location

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this issue here on your web site.

    http://bb3x.ru/go.php?https://www.ocrv.vip

    June 29, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sprinter Heater Contol Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!

    http://register.scotland.org/Subscribe/WidgetSignup?url=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com

    June 29, 2021 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Great blog you have here.. Itís hard to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://anonymz.com/?https://ocrvcenter.co

    June 29, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Around Me

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.

    http://alborz.arsheet.ir/Redirect.php?url=https://ocrv.xyz/

    June 30, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Van Mechanic

    Your style is unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this blog.

    https://www.scanverify.com/siteverify.php?site=www.sprintervanrepairshop.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Itís hard to find experienced people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    https://www.ahspares.co.uk/redirect.aspx?guid=&url=https://www.ocrv.us/

    June 30, 2021 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I really thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    https://minglian8.com/preview.html?url=http://ocrvmotorcoaches.com

    June 30, 2021 at 03:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Van Dent Repair

    https://dispatch.lite.adlesse.com/go/728×90/quotes/?https://commercialrepairshop.com

    June 30, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Diesel Sprinter Repair Service

    http://www.ia.omron.com/view/log/redirect/index.cgi?url=https://fleetservicesocrv.com

    June 30, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    http://www.ccedip.com/about/redirect.asp?url=http://ocrvmotorsports.net

    June 30, 2021 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Near Me

    https://www1.dramacool.vc/scripts/goto.php?url=https://ocrvandtrucks.com

    June 30, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Camper Repair Shops Near Me

    http://tessa.linksmt.it/fr/web/sea-conditions/news/-/asset_publisher/T4fjRYgeC90y/content/innovation-and-forecast-a-transatlantic-collaboration-at-35th-america-s-cup?redirect=https://www.ocrvmotorsports.life/

    June 30, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your information. Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

    http://level-one.ru/phpinfo.php?a%5B%5D=<a+href=https://www.ocrvmotorsports.com

    June 30, 2021 at 07:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Around Me

    http://centroarts.com/go.php?https://ocrvempire.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Suspension Repair Sprinter Van

    https://domaindirectory.com/policypage/privacypolicy?domain=Www.fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Minda

    Great post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

    https://diigo.com/0lg6by

    August 11, 2021 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.