Question about Gallbladder disease (please help)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tandy, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Hi guys~
    I'm still going thru painful stomach episodes and have been thru 2 rough tests. (Laproscope,and colonoscopy)
    Although I do have endometrisosis,and Diverticula,... I think something else is contributing to all this pain in my upper belly.

    When I read info on gallbladder problems,and ulcers, they both seem to fit me. My question is this:
    for those that had their gallbladder go bad,... was your belly pain NOT one sided??
    Mine is all across the upper abdomen(lower ribcage area) and right above my belly button.
    Sometimes it feel like its going straight thru to my back to. I feel bloated with attacks, afraid to eat,
    my pulse seems to go faster maybe due to the pain. ??

    If it helps,,.. I hardly ever feel nauseated with attacks, just mega pain. it can last a day,.. or up to 7 days. then subside. (only to return)

    please share your thoughts w/me~
  2. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    A simple, non invasive ultrasound will diagnose gallstones. I had them for years undiagnosed. I also went through many unnecessary tests and suffered years.

    I was loaded with gallstones. The surgeon told me is it often not diagnosed because no one has typical symptoms. I could barely eat anything and would get so nauseous I went to the ER twice.

    You really do sound like it could be gallstones. In my opinion, if you have them, get the gallbladder out asap. I believe it was making my entire body toxic.

    Once I had the laparoscopic surgery it I all those symptoms stopped but I still had to recover from the months of not eating. I actually lost over 50 lbs! Not a good way to diet.

    I was severely malnourished which caused all sorts of other problems.

    If you do a websearch on "undiagnosed gallstones" you will read many sad stories such as mine. I saw doctors for years and no one thought to check for gallstones until my regular doctor was on vacation and I saw his "stand in"

    She immediately thought it was gallstones. Obviously, she is now my regular doctor and I am healthier than ever. My fibro symptoms were severely aggravated by the poison in my system from the inflamed gallbladder.

    Good luck....
  3. ann31065

    ann31065 New Member

    I had mine removed and it was the best thing I ever done.My symptoms were: pain in upper stomach, nauseous after eating, pain felt like it was going through to my back.
    Good luck,
  4. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    I hope I can help you with this question.
    If you have been checked for ulcers then you can rule that out. I want to know if you have been checked for gallstones.
    I went 2 years having acute attacks that left me on the floor in pain: burning, radiating to back, bloating, nausea, even difficulty breathing when it got bad.
    I finally got someone to believe me and was told i had gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed. Here I am 6 years later and the attacks are starting to happen again!

    Mine is right under my ribs in the top area of my stomach. Alot of pressure and burning and back pain also. Now I dont know what is causing it but I have read that some folks who have gallbladder surgery still develp similar pain after.

    So, at LEAST go check out your gallbladder for stones! Good luck.

  5. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I have'nt been tested for either.

    see my BIG reply on my other thread. (for you, and Empower) thanks for helping me out~
  6. tig519

    tig519 Member

    In my case I did not have gallstones. I had a dysfunctional gallbladder that caused attacks that lasted 3-4 days at a time, sometimes on top of one another. When the attack was at its peak I thought I was having a heart attack. I would break into a cold sweat and my blood pressure would jump to 200/100 (it's usually 110/70) It took almost 2 years to have it diagnosed. I had ultrasound, even a CT scan. There was another test that was done, it was a nuclear gallbladder function test as well as a CCK test. The first time I had this done the throughput of the gallbladder was OK, BUT the CCK test duplicated exactly the pain I would get from an attack, cold sweat and all. The nurse put down that I experienced mild discomfort and because the throughput was OK, surgeon would not take it out. You should experience some discomfort, but not a double over kind of pain. I was so upset at this nurse, talk about ignoring the patient! My internist however was convinced it was my gallbladder. We both were in search of a surgeon that would agree to take it out (then tackle the insurance co.). I kind of became resolved that it was never going to happen. Finally almost a year later, I just could not function anymore. I went to my gastro doc (can't believe I didn't think of this before) and asked if he knew of a surgeon that specialized in gallbladders. Got the name, went back to my internist and she ordered that same nuclear with CCK test. I explained to the nurse what happened last time. She told me that the same thing happened to her mother and that if you didn't catch the throughput test at the right time, it would show OK. I asked her to please pay attention to the CCK part. Sure enough, same pain. However, this time my gallbladder only had 10% throughput. Nurse put EXTREME pain during CCK test this time as well.

    I had an appt the next day with the surgeon and he said I needed it out asap. I was in the hospital the next day. THANK GOD! So much relief (even though I had pain from the surgery, I still felt the difference). My GERD even improved.

    When I saw my surgeon a week later, he said that I had a dysfunctional gallbladder and that due to the attacks, I also had alot of lesions. He said, although rare, my gallbladder could have burst if I didn't have it out when I did.

    Now, for the symptoms. Middle to lower back pain. I attributed this to other things, but it improved immediately after the operation. I had pain right in the middle, just below my ribcage. Felt like someone punched me really hard. It would radiate to my left shoulder (which made me think heart attack when I had the first major attack). I could not associate any particular food with the attacks, which is not typical. Usually, fatty foods will bring an attack. I also didn't have extreme nausea, just more from the pain. I didn't have an appetite at all during the days the attack lasted.

    One last thing, if you have it out via Lapro (this is the default unless there are other factors), my surgeon told me that his patients feel like themselves at exactly 2 weeks. He was right, exactly 2 weeks. Now, you won't feel that way when you come out of surgery, expect to be sore (and not where your gall bladder was). I was sore on my lower right side where the instruments were inserted. Expect that insurance will want you in and out of the hospital. Typical time from pre-op to discharge is 6hrs. My surgeon kept me for 23hrs (said its his way around the insurance companies). So if there are conditions that warrant an overnight stay make sure you tell your surgeon.

    Hope this helps.
  7. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Another thought...if you do have gallstones, some people will suggest you try to dissolve stones, etc. After the improvement in my health from having the gallbladder removed, I would seriously consider surgery.

    If you wait and one of the stones starts moving and blocks the common bile duct, then you cannot have the simple laparascopy surgery, it is a major surgery. It can also be life threatening.

    Also, you have a risk of damage to your common bile duct which can wind up permanently damaging your liver. There are many people on the liver transplant list from damage to their bile duct during surgery.

    The surgeon explained this to me and I then read it on the net. You may not have the same symptoms as anyone else and it is kind of surprising no one tested you - but why should I be surprised after my experience??

  8. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    That is exactly what I felt. Because the pain radiated to my back all the Drs thought it was my Pancreas, but the pancreas test always came back fine.

    After SEVERAL years of suffering, my Dr finally had an ultrasound done. Not because he thought I had gallstones but for something else. Guess what... it was all due to Gallstones!

    I had many symptoms that were not typical of gallstones and some that were typical. I did not have nausea until a couple of months before my ultrasound. Mostly just a pain that radiated from my abdomen, in front above my belly button but below my ribcage, to my back and also into my shoulder and neck. It was not caused by any particular food but I got to the point where I only ate oatmeal, toast or bread, potatoes and a few other bland foods.

    Please have an ultrasound done and an upper GI to rule out ulcers as well.
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I had the same awful experience as many posters. Even two HIDA scans came back normal. The surgeon was refusing to operate, and I was losing so much weight so fast that my hair was falling out.

    Luckily, my GI doc was convinced it was my gallbladder, so he ordered an EGD with biliary microscopy to prove it to the surgeon. This test, for which you get general anesthesia, proved I had tons of very tiny stones that had not shown up on other tests. Small stones cause the most trouble. My gallbladder was removed two days later.

    I improved dramatically after they removed my gallbladder, regaining energy I had not had in years, only to permanently relapse five months later, after eating just one very high fat meal on a special occasion.

    Subsequent symptoms confirmed by testing showed my pancreas had been more than 90% destroyed during all those years I was told in the ER that I had gastroenteritis instead, or it probably got worse during the many months when they refused to operate.

    Small stones were backing up into the pancreatic duct and preventing the enzymes from getting out, which is why I had needed supplemental OTC enzymes for so many years. When the enzymes can't get out, they eat/dissolve the pancreas instead of your food.

    Many of us take supps. of digestive enzymes to help our IBS, and they are a good idea, but if you really can't digest your food without them, please get your pancreas checked, esp. if you have symptoms of fat malabsorption.

    I now have to take prescription enzymes for life to be able to digest fats at all, plus a PPI to boost their effectiveness, and eat small, low fat meals 4 times daily. I feel like I'm having a mild gallbladder attack all the time now, and having to take the PPI has already caused moderate bone loss, in only one year.

    A dirty little medical secret is that this happens to about 40% of people within the first few years after it's removed. So, if you get it removed, please take the low fat diet seriously. I wish I had.

  10. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Its so helpful having your guidance.
    Drs. DON'T listen. (most times)
    that is why instead of doing the needed tests he gave me nexium. Lets see if this works.
    Well,... initially I thought MAYBE the nexium is helping a little bit,...??? the pain lessened alot. Then BAM.
    Its right back,strong as ever.

    I'm gonna ask/demand that I get some testing done on my upper stomach organs.
    I know something is causing all this stomach pain.

    gonna research old posts now and compare symptoms~
    I aprecaite all your help :)
    thanks again,
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I don't get her as much, only when I use the library's wi-fi. GB pain needn't be localized. There are a lot of nerves in that area and pain can spread. Before I had mine removed, I had pain all over my midriff area.

    Ask the doc to do the nuclear medicine test. It uses dye and a computer scanner and it can tell if the GB is even working. Mine wasn't. This was the last test they did. All the others were normal except my liver panel was off a bit.

    Good luck to you.

    Love, Mike
  12. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    I had my GB removed via Laproscopic surgery in late May of this year. I have not had any issues since. I was left with 4 very small incisions on my tummy and in my belly button, can barely see them now.

    I was able to begin to add foods to my diet with in a week and was eating normally within 2-3 weeks without the discomfort I had felt for years. It also ended many of my headaches caused by food. I had been having headaches after eating sausage, certain meats, cheese, some packaged foods. Those headaches haven't occured since the surgery AND I am eating things I haven't eaten in years.

    It is true that my stomach does get a little irritated now and then but I think that is mainly due to my body trying to figure out a new way to deal with stomach acid/bile.

    Since you are suffering now I would suggest getting some Aloe Vera juice. It helped my stomach during the GB attacks, not sure how but it did. I also would take Tagamet, which isn't supposed to help GB problems but it worked with me for some reason. I don't question how since it worked!!! I just used OTC Tagamet.

    Good luck and don't let this continue, ask for the ultrasound and Upper GI now. They are easy tests and the Dr should have enough reason based on your symptoms to warrant the tests. Don't take No for an answer. I have seen you post about your stomach issues for a long time, please do not allow yourself to suffer any more

  13. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Seems like alot of us here have had issues of some sort with the GB. I did search old posts~
    Mine does sound alot like I could be having gallbladder attacks. I'm calling my primary and asking for tests tomorrow. this has been going on LONG enough~ I can't take anymore.

    I acually was hospitalized overnight once with this same pain and being dehyrated,... all I was told was that it was probably gasterentitis. (sp?)
    no scans or nothing was done.(maybe on my kidneys because I had blood in my urine) so they also were thinking I was passing a kidney stone.

    but this pain is high up on the tummy.???
    thanks again :)
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That it was my GB but they didn't believe me. They had to put me through all those other tests before they would order the scan. I have found that one has to be very pro-active with docs or they are content to ignore our problems. That's sad!

    Love, Mikie
  15. gongee

    gongee New Member

    My symptoms were pain right side under ribs radiating to back and shoulder with nausea. This continued for 5 years.
    I had 3 ultrasounds and all were perfect with no gallstones. My gastro doctor at the time blamed eveything on fibromyalgia. Finally after losing 40 lbs., my PCP ordered a HIDA Scan to see how the gallbladder was working. It was only working at 2%. Had the surgery and probably would have done great if the surgeon haven't sutured a muscle that cause me 2 ER visits afterwards and he ended up having to go back in and undo.

    I still have stomach problems due to IBS, Gastritis etc. but the pain under my ribs is gone.
  16. tandy

    tandy New Member

    hope anyone reads this week old post.

    Did any of you happen to notice more gas??
    both ends :)
    I sware,... living in a home with 3 men who LOVE to pass gas,... and me,.. who hardly acknowledges that I ever pass gas :)
    I have alot of gas lately.

    just something I noticed and wondered if it meant something.

    thanks for letting me 'open up'
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And passing wind like a frat boy at a kegger.

    Love, Mikie
  18. tandy

    tandy New Member

    you crack me up!!