OT--Finally a test result to explain symptoms--my gallbladder

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by CFIDSNicole, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Well, I had a HIDA scan on Monday (I had ultrasounds last week) for abdominal pain and gassiness and strange bowels, etc. My doc called me back this afternoon.

    A normal bile ejection ratio is greater than 35% and mine came back at 26%, so I do have gallbladder dysfunction. It isn't BAD, and I don't have any stones, but she says that is probably what is causing my symptoms.

    She sounded relieved (if not also a bit surprised) at my results. She did extensive testing on me back from Sept. - Nov and everything came back normal; this led her to believe that I was just depressed and anxious (she doesn't really believe in CFIDS [a different doctor dx me with that]).

    On some level, I am relieved to finally have a test that shows why I am feeling the way I am and that it can be fixed.

    She said the next step is to see a surgeon and have it removed. My symptoms ahve gotten better the past few days, so I am reluctant to have the surgery right now.

    I guess once your gallbladder starts to go bad, it doesn't get better, it just keeps getting worse. She said that when my symptoms get bad again and outweigh the pain of surgery and recovery, to call her and she would set it up with a surgeon.

    At the moment, I want to ride it out; I am not quite ready to part with my gallbladder, but I realize that I likely will have to eventually.

    Thanks for reading,
    Nicole
  2. Christinawensell

    Christinawensell New Member

    What kind of symptoms were you having. I have been having diarea for the past several months about 10 to 15 times a day and I have alot of gas and bloating etc. They have been doing several tests and still have not figured it out. I am going to a Gastrologist tomorrow because of it.
  3. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Maybe they ought to check out your gallbladder.

    My symptoms were pain behind my breastbone, between the bottom of my ribs, and under my right rib/lung. They say that eating fatty foods are supposed to set off the symptoms, but with me, that wasn't always the case. In fact, one of my very worst "attacks" was when I ate oatmeal. I was so nauseas and so gassy and bloated and afraid to eat anything else, that I thought oatmeal would be great. Totally wrong! Ouch!

    On top of the pain, I had nausea---a lot of it, and for me this is not normal. I would be just walking to the bathroom or the bedroom or anywhere and suddenly get a wave of nausea for no reason. I did get worse pain after I ate, but it was pretty much with me throughout the day.

    I was so bloated that I felt like my pants were cutting off circultion, and no amount of Gas-X or gaviscon helped; I ahd a bad attack back in April--really bad pain behind my breast bone. Doc said it was acid reflux, so I assumed that might be the problem this time. So, I took acid reducers and they did NOTHING.

    I also had some bad bouts of diahrrea of strange colors (green and gray and yellowish-orange [not food related at all]). And, I would sometimes have diarrhea after I ate (like within the hour) and sometimes I could see undigested food (sorry for being so graphic).

    That about sums it up. and, sometimes I feel like there is a hard rock or knot or something beneath my right ribcage.

    I hope this helps you, Christina,
    take care
    nicole
  4. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply! Your information is great. I was wondering, well, if I don't need a gallbladder, then why the heck do I have one to begin with?

    What your husband's surgeon said makes sense--the body adjusted to it already. Very interesting.

    Also, I really appreciate knowing what your surgeon said--it makes it less scary for me. I am really worried about cost, too because money's tight. But, I am so glad you told me about what can happen if you just leave it in there.

    I will definitely take your information into consideration as my husband and I think about this.

    Thanks so much!
    nicole
  5. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    One of my concerns is that with my CFIDS, the surgery, even though it isn't a big deal, might really knock me for a loop, you know?

    I'm still not sure what I'll do, but thanks for the thoughts,
    Nicole
  6. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    About 10 years ago I had a lot of digestive problems. Muscle testing by my chiropractor revealed an inflamed gallbladder. He said a regular doctor would have yanked it out.

    Instead, he treated it with supplements from Standard Process (including Beta Food - this helped soooo much). And I also started taking digestive enzymes with hydrochloric acid.

    I also became very knowledgable about nutrition, what was healthy, what wasn't. I learned that fats are hard to digest; when your gallbladder is weak, you have to avoid fried foods and go easy on meat. Lemon juice in water is great for cleansing the gallbladder and liver.

    But I think what really helped me the most was the digestive enzymes, with hydrochloric acid. The enzymes alone weren't enough. And many of us have low hydrochloric acid, which means trouble digesting.

    Anyways, I still have my gallbladder, it works great, I still take the digestive enzymes with hydrochloric acid, and I am eternally grateful to my chiropractor.

    I think if possible it's best to save the gallbladder - it is there for a reason. It's just most doctors know next to nothing about nutrition and diet, etc.

    I also had to do a liver detox along the way -- if the liver is weak or overloaded, it puts a burden on the gallbladder. Since your gallbladder is still working somewhat well, I would look for a naturopath or someone knowledgable about nutrition, etc. You may very well be able to keep it and get healthier too.

    Mary
  7. lilbird

    lilbird New Member

    and the Dr. not being able to find out what was causing it I had a HIDA Scan done. My gallbladder was functioning at 15%. I had it removed in May. After the first couple of days of post surgery pain I felt really good. I no longer have any pain in the gall bladder area. I am really glad I had the surger.

    Cathy
  8. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    hi Nicole. You might want to get it look after sooner than later. When my husbands finally went he was in severe agony. just a note that when you get it removed your bowel movements become very loose and you have to go with greater urgency. Something else with fibro and pain. You want to make sure that after surgery they have you hooked up to a morphine pump to manage pain. We feel the effects of surgery much greater than the normal folks. My doctor told me this and made sure they had me properly medicated . I had thryoid cancer a 2 years ago and had to have my thyroid removed. The pain pump worked very well. I think I used it for 3 days. So keep that in mind .
    hugs, poodlemum
  9. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    You all have been great! At first, I was thinking I would like to try to save my gallbladder, but after reading what can happen if your gallbladder just keeps getting worse, i would rather not risk it. Afterall, CFIDS is plenty for me to deal with. I don't want to do further damage to my body. And, the cost of all those supplements is so much to be taking for the rest of my life.

    I already eat a good diet--fruits, veggies, whole grains and complex carbs, protein and good fats.

    I appreciate the stories of those of you who have had this done. And, one thing I hadn't thought of is that if I wait until it gets worse, recovery may be worse because I was in so much pain and misery beforehand. Or, I might get complications.

    My husband and I talked, and we are going to try to get the surgery scheduled for September sometime. We will likely have to pay the max out of pocket from the insurance, so Tim said that I might as well have my sleep study after that since we will have met the deductible and everything. Just get it all done.

    So, I think that's where we are at the moment.

    Thanks again for all your insights,
    Nicole
  10. MommyB

    MommyB New Member

    I had mine out three summers ago. I had nausea, strange bowel movements, pain, the whole nine yards. I did great with the surgery, and I too was worried that my fibro would get worse. I managed to do okay. I haven't had any problems since it has been removed. Good luck with your decision.
  11. Diagoras

    Diagoras New Member

    I had mine out ten years ago. It's not entirely useless. It apparently does aid in fat digestion so if you have it taken out, it's best to keep fat grams to under 30 a day. Of course, that's a good idea anyway even with a gall bladder. But without one, you can get painful diarrhea after say, eating a Big Mac (60 fat grams).

    On the other hand, taking it out might be worth it if you think you might develop gall stones. They are really painful (worse than childbirth, worse than kidney stones). One stone I had caused my pancreas to get inflamed, which caused even more pain. At the E.R. I didn't just want pain meds, I wanted to be knocked out. (And I was, thanks to Demerol, LOL!)
  12. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    cfidsnicole,

    Your attn. to detail is remarkable, and very very helpful. I've wondered if I may have specific gallbladder problems, but I doubt it, except for the usual FM everything, every organ problems we all share. It is a soft tissue disease after all, so it's bound to affect our organs too, they are mostly smooth muscle.

    It's good they have such a specific test, I wonder if that's new? I totally don't think you should have it out. Gallbladder exicision is one of the top unnecessary surgeries, unless it's terribly diseased and in danger of bursting, then it's too far gone. But your's doesn't sound like it is. Low bile output is so common w/ us, and anyone w/ IBS.

    Please read on a site called sensiblehealth.com. The articles are remarkable and detailed, layman's terms too. The lady tells her story of child arthritis and later endometriosis taht made her faint from pain. She healed herself w/ a combo of chinese herbalism and western influence and healed it all. No drugs, no surgery and her gallbladder was full of stones too, which she didn't think it was.

    You may also want to start a poll on who had their gallbladders out and the aftermath. I've seen some, and while some got relief, the majority seemed to regret it. I think you are wise to wait, and see if there is a better way.



    Jeanne
  13. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    I am really confused now. How am I supposed to know what my gallbladder will decide to do in the future? Even though I don't have much pain right now, I have a feeling of a rock or a knot under my right ribcage, especially when I take a breath in. I dont' know what this means.

    I will do some reading about alternatives . . . I just don't want to do the wrong thing, you know?

    Thanks for your honest thoughts,
    Nicole
  14. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    I looked at that website and several others, and they talk about gallstones and gallbladder surgery due to gallstones. I don't have any gallstones or anything weird in my gallbladder, so really, we dont' know why my gallbladder is failing. It just isn't working like it should and it makes me feel really yucky sometimes.

    I'll keep looking, but I am not finding much that is applicable to my situation.

    Nicole
  15. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Thanks so much. One thing about my gallbladder is that there are no stones, that's why I am a bit confused.

    Back in April I had a horrible experience with extreme, sharp, excruciating pain behind my breastbone. It was so bad that when it hit, if I was standing, I literally crumbled to my knees. It was not a burning pain--it was sharp and shooting and went straight through my back and up and under my left shoulderblade. I also was having some digestive problems and feeling nauseas and yucky. My doc then said it was just reflux--I never believed it, adn the meds she gave me for that resulted in allergic reactions. Eventually it went away.

    This round of yuckiness didn't have the horrible pain, just a lot more yuckiness in my upper GI area.

    The only thing for me to do I guess is call the doc and have her set up a meeting with the surgeon, right?

    I was reading a lot last night and apparently, my gallbladder disease is acalculous gallbladder disease and it is rare. I haven't come across anything (supplements, etc) that are supposed to help it out. It has a higher rate of mortality because it can become perforated and gangrenous or something. It usuallyonly happens to critically ill people with immune dysfunction . . . so what does a 26 yr old have it for? I wonder if this is related to my CFIDS?

    Thanks for reading if you got this far! :)
    Nicole
  16. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Thank you so much. I was kind of feeling guilty about not trying supplements and herbs first---you know, like I should be fighting against "big bad medicine," you know?

    You have helped me feel a little better about talking to the surgeon and deciding what is best for me. I certainly don't want complications--things are tough enough as is, as you know.

    I called the clinic and they are supposed to call me to set up an appointment to talk to the surgeon.

    Thanks again,
    Nicole
  17. tandy

    tandy New Member

    just evesdropping on the conversation of Gallbladder :)

    I suspect I'm having some trouble myself.
    Matter of fact right before I saw this post today I was looking up gallbladder disease in a medical book.

    I really think this could be my problem.
    I have alot of the symptoms mentioned thruout this post/replys. But my pain also goes right thru into my back too??? not so much as aimed at the right shoulder blade. just around into my back,...kinda mid back.
    and lots of painful gas that needs to expell.
    yet most of the time passing it only releives for a moment.

    I have'nt noticed it happeneing with certain foods either.
    The attacks just kinda hit me out of nowhere.???
    oh well,..
    A day in the life with FM.
    gettin funner by the minute!!

    Thanks for alot of good info.
    Hugs,and hope your all better now~
    Tandy
  18. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I don't think you should experiment on yourself if your gallbladder issue is as serious as the research you did on it. It's possible though, you don't have that exact condition. You need a specialist to tell you what your exact condition is.

    If you prefer integrative medicine, then you'd be best to see that kind of doctor. You will get a much fuller picture that way. If your own doc doesn't believe in CFS chances are any natural route you may want to try will be immediately discarded.

    I'm all for integrative medicine, that is the best that modern and alternative medicine has to offer. I'm wary of any medical practioner that excludes everything about the over side outright, that's narrowmindedness and the baby gets thrown out w/ the bathwater.

    So if you doc has given you the option of waiting a bit, and you can afford it, see a Naturopath, ND stands for Naturopathic Doctor, so they are indeed a doctor. A Master Herbalist can be great too, even a Chinese Herbalist. Whatever alternative practioner you may choose to see, they will have no problem admitting if they are out of their element in attempting to treat you. They have alot to lose, if they experiment and fail, like their licenses.


    Jeanne
  19. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    Around Ottawa, both types of medicine have a fair bit of respect for the other. Many times, Ive been told by specialists that an environmental doctor, or chiro, or perhaps acupunturist might be able to address my symtoms and they had no answers for me, esp. given my extensive sensitivities.

    I'm quite proud of Ottawa for that. Similiarly, I've been sent back to MD's for things the alternative guys knew they shouldn't tamper w/.

    I'm extremely impressed w/ a Master Herbalist I once saw. They mix Chinese herbalism plus other forms of ancient and even western influence. the title, Master Herbalist, sounded pretty hokey to me at first, but the guy quickly assessed I had estrogen dominance from my long list of PMS, period symtoms, and chronic swollen painful breasts for mths straight.

    I tried some homeopathic tinctures he recommended, very dubious, but by golly did they ever work. Do you know how many MD's and specialists I've seen that had no answers or bad answers that made me worse? I called that same Herbalist and will be seeing him soon (in Pembroke) for live blood analysis and better direction on using herbs. I'm dabbling but made a few mistakes. I was happy to tell him that the remedy he perscribed has been written down by a Surgeon, Gynecologist, and several MDs (they even wanted an exact spelling) so they could tell other patients.


    Jeanne
  20. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Tandy--when I had my first round of attacks, I did have that pain that kind of wraps around your back, maybe you should get it checked out. I also had painful gas.

    I have an consultation with the surgeon next tuesday at 2:40 to see what he thinks about my case, I will know more then.

    Jeanne, we dont' have any NDs or integrative doctors in my area, probably not any in my state. We are very rural.

    Take care everyone,
    Nicole