- Women's Health»
My sore and severe sharp upper right rib pain experienced during second trimester of pregnancy was actually gallstones
Today I had my regular monthly pre-natal check up with my obstetrician. Things were going smoothly until I began telling him about this sharp pain I had in my right upper ribs. (I wrote a hub on this previously.) The pain had subsided for about a week, but had come back yesterday morning with a vengeance. It was hurting so bad that my husband had to pull me out of bed, as it hurt too much to do it on my own.
I wasn't going to mention this to my doctor since my last doctor (I recently switched) told me that it was probably normal, the baby may be exerting pressure on my liver, pushing it into my ribcage and thereby hitting a nerve, that it would go away in time. When I mentioned this to my doctor today however, his jaw dropped and immediately began examining me, poking and prodding around where the pain was. I honestly wanted to punch him.
After examination and an emergency ultrasound, I have now discovered that I have gallstones, that most likely formed due to my pregnancy. Apparently pregnant women and those on hormone therapy, or birth control are susceptible because of the excess estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen can cause the cholesterol levels in the bile (a secretion produced in the liver) to rise. You've probably seen bile salts if you're pregnant... it's that stuff you started vomiting when you had nothing in your stomach, but still felt the urge to wrench your guts out. It was probably a yellow-ish or orange color.
For now the only treatment I can have is going on a low fat, high fiber diet. Sometimes (and hopefully in my case), gallstones will go away on their own after pregnancy.
Whether you are pregnant or not...If you experience sharp, or increasing pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen (especially after you eat a meal with a high fat content), pain between your shoulder blades, fever/chills, yellowing of your skin (also known as jaundice), or if your poo (pardon my french) seems to have a clay/grayish color, call your doctor immediately.