Gallstones

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Pinky, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

    I just returned from my gastrologist after having an ultrasound of the gallbladder. I Have multiple gallstones and it has been recommended to me to have my gallbladder removed. I have been seeing this gastrologist for over 2 years for GERD/ chronic esophagitis and abdominal pain.I am on Prevacid. He just now ordered the ultrasound which showed the gallstones. I don't understand what took him so long to discover this if I do, as he said, have multiple gallstones. Has anyone has had this problem or had their gallbladder removed? Don't we need our gallbladder?
    Debbie
  2. Hippen

    Hippen New Member

    I copied this information for you.......the gallbladder is used by our bodies to store excess bile that is made by our liver....from what I can tell from my research....we should be okay without our gallbladders. Maybe you should get a second opinion? I know that my Mother had gallstones removed back in the 70's through surgery...I don't know if this is still done. Love Hippen

    What is the purpose of the gallbladder? Does everyone with gallstones need surgery?

    One of the many important jobs that the liver performs each day is to make bile. Bile is secreted into the bile ducts (or tubes) that empty into your small intestine, just downstream from the stomach sac. Bile mixes with fat that is eaten, in order to prepare it to be absorbed. When you are between meals and when you are sleeping, your liver continues to produce bile. To prevent it from being wasted, your body stores bile in a natural reservoir - the gallbladder. A gallbladder is about the size of a small pear and lies attached to the liver.


    Only an abnormal gallbladder forms stones. These stones are usually made of cholesterol and may be of various sizes. Size does not correlate with symptoms. Gallbladder disease is more common in women, age in the thirties and forties, during pregnancy, when weight is rapidly lost, and in the obese. Just because you have stones in your gallbladder does not mean that you need surgery to remove them.



    Approximately 20 million people in the US have gallstones at any given time but do not know it. This is because they do not have symptoms or do not realize them as symptoms. About one million people in the US annually will develop symptoms. Symptoms are classically described as upper right-sided abdominal pain or discomfort that lasts more than 15 -30 minutes, and more often than not, follows the consumption of a fatty food meal. Additional symptoms are nausea, bloating, and intolerance to fatty foods. If you have or have had these symptoms, tell your physician. When initial symptoms are ignored, they usually recur, sometimes with increasing frequency. The effects of diabetes on nerves that would otherwise elicit pain can mask gallbladder symptoms. Steroid use has this same effect.



    Though a few attempts short of surgery have been tried within the last twenty years, all but surgery have had short term solutions or have had much higher costs and higher recurrence rates. Surgical removal of the gallbladder and its contents (cholecystectomy) is the worldwide standard of care and is the best long-term solution for symptomatic gallstones. Cholecystectomy is the most common operation in the United States. Ninety-six to 97 percent of gallbladders can be removed with a laparoscopic technique - the minimally invasive method utilizing small incisions and most patients go home the same day




  3. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    My son had his gallbladder removed when he was 20 years old due to problems with ulcerative colitis. He's fine now and doesn't miss it at all.

    Annette2
  4. kooky

    kooky New Member

    Don't worry.
    I was told that I had gallstones last year. However, nothing showed up during a scan. At times, the pain was excruciating to the point on being unable to stand up.
    It is best to avoid spicy foods, oil and fatty foods and meats. Drink plenty of water.
    I did not want to have surgery regardless of the scan's results. I felt just too ill. Unless it became serious such as causing inflammation of the gallbladder and this become an emergency, I opted not to have the surgery.
    But I did find out that it is possible to have this problems dealt with laser surgery. I am not sure out how effective it is.
    I spoke with those who have had their gallbladder removed, apparently they feel fine. However, I did read, that having the gallbaldder removed may not be the solution to this problem. The patient could then develop kidney stones for instance etc...
    Some people have said that they got rid of their gallstones by drinking lost of water. I think this could cause further problems as it could get stuck on the way down.
    There are lots of site on the net if you type gallstones. It might help you make your mind up.
    Personally, I feel lucky, because the stones came out by themselves. I have not felt any pains since.
    However, please do find out as much as you can and weight the consequences of your decision carefully. It really depends on the advice your GP gives to you are only your physician knows your clinical history.
    As I explained, I could not have surgery at the time unless it was an emergency. I was just very lucky that it came out spontaneously!
    Good luck and take care. Kooky.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    She said that once you have pain and gallstones, it will just get worse and it's time to have the gallbladder removed. It's done with a laporoscope now and recovery is pretty fast.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    She had to go to ER recently for abdominal pain. She has gallstones, enlarged liver and an ovarian cyst.

    She will probably need surgery to have her gallbladder removed, though on the day I saw her she wasn't in pain.

    She is a little obese and smokes, but otherwise seems very healthy and energetic. she was not thrilled to find out the diagnosis!

    I know a woman [in 40's] who had the latest type of surgery [keyhole surgery] for gallbladder removal about 4 yrs ago. She took a week off work, but wanted to come back after 3 days cause was bored and felt fine.

    I wouldn't want the surgery because I am phobic, would freak me out, but if you can normally handle procedures it's supposed to be not bad at all.
  7. shazz

    shazz New Member

    I had mine done on a Friday and was back to work on Wednesday. I actually could have gone back on Monday, but gave myself a couple of extra days to rest.
    This was before I had full blown FM though, so I can't say that you will recover just as easily.
    Complications are rare.
    Gallbladder attacks are terrible, the most painful thing ever, makes childbirth seem easy actually.
    I am not trying to scare you with this story but want you to know there is a condition called bile dumping syndrome that occurs with some people afterwards. My surgeon told me it is very rare, but the more people I talk to the more I think it isn't quite as rare as they say. For a year I suffered with terrible diarrhea EVERY time I ate anything after my surgery. It is now fixed by taking a drug called colestid every day, so the cure is easy enough, and some people are even taking cholyestramine (same thing only a powder)for their FM symptoms and saying it helps.
    I can tell you this much, I certainly don't miss the "attacks" that sent me to the ER about every three months.
  8. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Are yo having many symptoms? Do they know
    if they are coming from acid reflux or gallbladder.
    I have had chronic gerd for over ten years and then
    a few years ago had gallbladder problems. They
    weren't sure if my symptoms were coming from
    the gallbladder or the reflux. It is difficult to
    tell. I had a hida scan which showed tht my
    gallbladder was nonfunctioning. I did have
    it removed and I believe that started a big
    decline in my health. The surgery took a huge
    toll on me physically. I had the laproscopic
    surgery. I have had surgery in the past that
    didn't bother me but I didn't have FMS>
    I had the gb surgery five years into my FMS
    diagnosis and it really did a number on my
    system. I am telling you this just to let you
    know, not to scare you. Everyone reacts
    differently. There are many people who have
    said they were able to rid themselves of
    gallstones by alternative methods such
    as drinking various concoctions, etc. I had
    no stones but the GB was nonfunctioning so I
    did n't have a choice.

    Good luck
    Lynn
  9. clueless

    clueless New Member

    My husband had such horrendous pain + violent vomiting and his idiot specialist kept blaming it on his upper hiatal (sp) hernia. By the time he had an x-ray and other tests his gall bladder was totally destroyed, no sign of it in pictures. His common bile duct was so impacted with stones that he had a very difficult surgery. His was a bad case but if stones keep pilling up it can be a serious problem.It left him with a stone problem that his new specialist solved by giving him actigal.My mind is especially fuzzy tonite-can`t think or spell . It`s a good idea to keep close watch of stones so they don`t multiply + give you big problems. Nite Clueless
  10. jadibeler

    jadibeler New Member

    Once you have a full blown gallbladder attack, the only question you will ask is "How soon can you take it out?"!! Yes, it makes childbirth look like a head cold!

    I was in my mid-30's when I had mine removed (cholecystectomy), the old way, and I was laid up for a long time, but the pain was gone. I did have the diahrrea but blamed it on eggs & milk. No one told me to expect it. But my husband's doctor did, so he was prepared. My daughter, also with FM, had it done in her 20's. We have all felt much better since. Frankly, I wouldn't fool around with it. Gallbladders can rupture if they get too full of stones and/or diseased. My husband went in for the new, outpatient procedure but his but his gallbladder was found to be so diseased that he had to have the full, old fashioned surgery, with a long recovery. They don't really know how bad it is until they get in there.

    JoAnn
  11. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    because I was in such Pain. Worse than having a Baby, and they had to do Surgery. Now a day's, they can do this without leaving the Huge Scar that I now sport on my Tummy, (the msm lotion did help to reduce the size of it tho).

    I'd get it removed, because if you have an attack, it's horrible to go through so much pain.

    I had IBS before the surgery, but I suppect that the "Leaky Gut Syndrome that I have, came after the GB Surgery.

    GoodLuck ,
    sharon
  12. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I had my first gallbladder attack in my early thirties. It made childbirth feel like a walk in the park. I thought it was a heart attack. I had two more attacks subsequently and then had the procedure to remove it. They did it through the laparascope so they take it out through your navel; there is minimal scarring. It was the easiest surgery I've ever had and I've been through a few. I am now 47. I don't miss my gallbladder one bit. So I say, go for it. The only thing I would add is, you have to watch your fats afterward because your digestion will be a little bit different. I wish I had been given some nutritional counseling about what I could and could not eat, because I learned a lot by trial and error. You will get horrible diarrhea if you don't eat right. You will find out very quickly what sets you off. For me it is nuts, too much salad with oily dressing, pastry of any kind particularly if it's made with shortening, any type of fast food, etc. Things we should not be eating anyway. Good luck with it and take care, no one should have to suffer with gallstones. libra55
  13. nktigger99

    nktigger99 New Member

    That you should have it out while you are young and somewhat healthy.

    My grandfather started haveing problems last year with his Gallbladder. He was 85 at the time. The surgery almost killed him. He had a minor stroke during the surgery. He should have had it out a few years back but decided to wait. I say have the surgery now when you can get through it easily.

    Also I had mine out last August. I am so glad I did. I had horriable pain. I had it for about 4 months and my dr kept telling me I was to young for it to happen to me...I was 20 at the time. Well...he was wrong. I had two stones both over an inch wide. My gallbladder was ganerous(SP) when he took it out. Thank god I found out about it.

    Well, I hope I didn't scare you...but please think about what I said.

    Nichole
  14. amberortiz

    amberortiz New Member

    I had my gallbladder removed in Dec. 2002 and the pain, nausea and vomiting stopped. However it knocked me on my butt. I had been doing somewhat better with my CFS, I've been feeling horrible ever since. I recently read surgery could cause flare ups & relapses in CFS/FM patients. I hope everything works out for you.

    Amber
  15. DizzyBlonde

    DizzyBlonde New Member

    ...in 1996 (I was 34 then). The attacks were horrendous! My scan showed several stones, but the biggest culprit was one the size of a 9mm bullet that kept getting stuck in the bile duct.

    My doctor gave me the option of having the stones 'blasted' with a laser, but said the gallbladder was diseased and would eventually make more stones...so I said "Take it out!"

    The removed it laparscopically (3 tiny incisions), and the recovery wasn't too bad. But, all of my digestive problems began on the heels of that operation. I became lactose intolerant, bouts of diarreah/constipation, acid reflux, bloating, etc. And many people I've met since that have had theirs removed also have these same problems. There must be a connection.

    Then 2 years later I had to have a hysterectomy due to fibroids in my uterus. Following that my health really went downhill. Surgery is so invasive and traumatic to our bodies. If only there were a better way to deal with some of these problems.

    Anyway, it wasn't my intention to scare you & I wish you the best through all of this.

    God bless, Sandy
  16. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    I had my gall bladder removed in 1984. I have not had the diarrhea, vomiting etc that some have experienced.

    The interesting part is I had to wait for a month to have surgery because another employee was out with the same surgery. During that month I doubled up on my multi vitamin & mineral supplement and took Lecithin. During this month I experienced alot of double you over pain. Just before I went for surgery my "mind" kept nagging me to have another ultrasound to see if there were still over a dozen stones. I was too chicken! After surgery I found out there were only 3 stones left that looked like popped popcorn. This was why there was so much pain; the peices were exiting through the duct (they were being broken up by the lecithin). I told the doc what I had been doing, which obviously had broken up the stones, he said "well your gall bladder was diseased anyway" - who knows?

    Morals: get yourself built up with vitamins etc before you have surgery / listen to your head / and search the internet for ways to break up these stones (apple cider vinegar and lemons are one way).
  17. Drea

    Drea New Member

    I had my gallbladder removed when i was 19. It was diseased, swelled, and covered in lesions. However, no gall stones. I now have problems digesting fat and have to take digestive enzymes to properly digest food.
  18. ckball

    ckball New Member

    I was at the hospital today for my momthers dr appt and went by medical records to see if my test was read and in the system, so i got a copy before my Dr did. I guess she will call me in a day or 2 siince my next appt is sept. 2nd. I am not having the pain everyone talks about. I do get uncomfortable and burpy, is that a word, I get a lot of upper gi gas and take prilosec for that. The crap our bodies go thru. Did your Dr test for ammonia? Mine was elevated and have to take lactulose so I can go to the bathroom 2-3 time a day. Good luck, keep me informed. CK
  19. nct

    nct New Member


    about a year and a half ago(just 6 months after my "mono" appeared). One Sunday night, the pain just started and got worse. It felt like a rubber band being tighted around me, just under my breasts.

    Gods was that awful.

    I was in so much pain, that when they suggested holding off on the surgery until Wednesday, I laughed and said only if they gave me enough drugs to keep me sleeping until then. (the first pain killer they gave me did nothing, and I had to threaten to go postal before they gave me something to make me sleep). I had the gb out Monday morning at 11:30am.

    I had never had a single gb problem before that. I have also been told that one of the symptoms of full-blown candida infection is gallstones.

    So yeah, you can be fine without it.

    NAncy in Ohio

  20. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

    Thank-you all for your suggestions and support- my surgery is scheduled for next thursday at 10:45a.m. the surgeon said it will be a one night stay at the hospital and suggested a week off work- i work with children at an Early Learning Center. Do you think i will need a whole week to recover?
    Debbie