Normal Tests but bad Gallbladder?

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marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/9/2008 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi.  I am a 37 year old very healthy, active, and generally physically fit woman. 
 
Starting approximately July 10, 2008 I started experiencing some sharp stabbing pains mainly in the center to right side of the upper abdomen.  Nothing I took really made it go away. It would only be for a minute or two but keep recurring.
 
July 24th while I was in Ukraine it got more than I could bear.  It hurt more after I ate.  I had started feeling a little nauseus the few days before.  Antacids did not help at all, tylenol & ibuprophen only helped dull the pain. It hurt mainly on the right side.  After I had eaten dinner I felt nauseus, dizzy, and had sharp stabbing pains under my right breast under my rib cage.  I was taken to the ER.  The doctor, through a translater said that I'd had a gallbladder attack.  I was put on the bland diet.  It helped, but still hurt after I ate.
 
Aug.4th I came back to the states and I started the journey with the american doctors.  I had an abdominal ultrasound-- no gallstones, the HIDA Scan which came back with a 77% ejection fraction, but it hurt quite a bit when the administered the CCK.  Apparently the CT scan they did also came back normal.  I had a endoscopy done which showed I have a hiatal hernia & some mild esophgitis.  I have been taking Nexium.  No more hearburn but the stabbing pain after I eat still occurs.  I have been given anti-spasmodics, and pain pills.  They help dull the pain temporarily. 
 
I have cut out virtually all fat, and I've lost 11 pounds-- I only weighed 116 to begin with.  I had another attack two weeks ago that ended me up in the ER.  The doc said it was bilary colic but didn't do another ultrasound at the time.  Blood test showed that I had low potassium.
 
I've varied between constipation, regular, and loose stools.  I feel nauseus often, and it only takes a little bit of food to feel full.  It mostly happens at night.  I also have been finding myself itching at night also.
 
Oh, my father had is GB removed 10 years ago with no stones, just sludge, but HIDA scan showed low functioning.
 
Can all of the tests come back normal, but there still be a problem with the GB.  I am feeling very desperate.  I take Darvocet, at least 100 mg. everyday for the pain.
 
Help me please!
 
Thank you,

pr glo
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 9/9/2008 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have an answer for you but I have been feeling the same symptoms pain only right side abdomen under rib cage, itchy at night, nausea and I'm even having trouble swallo and I started eating very healthy and exercising about a month now the pain is excruciating at times and it comes and goes I have an upper endoscopy on the 19th of September my GI said it could be my gall bladder or something else I have acid reflux but I alos have psoratic arthritis I am a 36 year old Hispanic Female who has never been sickly but the last 5 years have been horrible I had Carpel Tunnel Surgery for both hands in 2005,  a full Hysteerctomy  in 2007 and diagnosed with Psoratic Arthritis in Jan 2008 under lots of Meds, and Pain. I totally feel for you being sick alone is difficult but not knowing whats going on is worst keep your head up I hope and Pray someone will be able to find out a diagnosis and what to do to fix it. Keep me Posted as I don't know what's going on either and I have very similar symptoms. PR Glo

marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/9/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   

I am sorry to hear you have similar symptoms, but it is nice to know that I am not alone.  There are some days/times that I don't feel very bad at all.  Other times it's a brief sharp pinch... like someone is taking pointed tweezers and pinching the skin over my ribs.  Other times it makes me catch my breath for a minute.  I've also had nausea, but haven't really thrown up.  Sometimes it hurts in exactly the same place on the left side, but very seldomly.  I have an appointment with a surgeon on Monday, the one that that did an inquinal hernia repair on the same side last November.  I've never had any other problems that don't just heal themselves regarding the digestive system.  Most of the time it feels like I have a stich in my side, the kind you get when you run really hard.  In fact I went running this afternoon & I feel like someone lodged an apple under the right side of my rib cage.  Waiting for that darvocet to kick in... God Bless Pharmaceuticals! 

 

Oh, In the past 5 years I have had surgery on both of my feet, my right elbow, and an inquinal hernia.  Seriously,  I can run 1/2 marathons, but this is kicking me in the butt!!

The endoscopy really wasn't very bad at all, I was just really sleepy aftewards until about 7 p.m. that night. 

Good luck!! Update me also.

 

 


eihcet
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 9/11/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
The ultrasound will (probably) show if there are stones blocking a duct.  HIDA Scan seems to be the best test, but, if your GB is working intermittently than it may not show up on the day of the test as a problem.  So, yes, your tests could be fine and still could have a gallbladder problem.  On the other hand, you could have something else wrong too. 
 
Note that Nexium and other PPI's have been found to decrease the efficiency of the gallbladder, so, if you are still taking them you may want to investigate other options like H2 Blockers (PepcidAC) or natural items like Ginger, DGL Licorice, etc. 
 
Same study, different host/link... http://www.springerlink.com/content/p4qt7lx3j53g2813/
 
In addition to the low-fat, healthy food diet, you can try eating some of the foods that thin the bile and keep it flowing, like Beets and (small amounts of) healthy oils like EVOO, etc.  You might want to avoid wheat / bread / sugar / yeast for a bit and see if it helps. 
 
 

Post Edited (eihcet) : 9/16/2008 8:54:22 AM (GMT-6)


marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/11/2008 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the input.  I appreciate it.  Interesting about the Nexium.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/11/2008 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   

I had three HIDA scans over a 5 year period.  The first was inconclusive or borderline.  The second was normal.  The third showed my gall bladder was barely functioning. 

Mind you, in all those 5 years, I pretty much had continual symptoms and almost all of my problems--and namely the pain--went away when it came out.  So I am 100% convinced that the first two HIDA scans were not accurate.

By year five, I was ready to take out a loan to pay to have it removed, positive test or no positive test.  I knew that was what my problem was because dang near everyone in my family has had a bad gall bladder and they all said that was my problem.
 
BTW, bad gall bladders are genetic.  You are also at increased risk for developing a bad gall bladder if you are: fair-skinned, of Native American descent, female, pregnant or have been pregnant, over 40, or overweight. 
 
Caffeine was my #1 trigger.  When I stopped that, I quit having attacks for a little while (they eventually came back, though).  My mother said her worse trigger was pizza.

marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/11/2008 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   

I am so happy I found this forum, it's the only one that people have actually posted responses. 

Thank you for taking the time to respond, because I'm honestly starting to think that maybe it's all in my head.  I really did not have a problem one until about July 10th.  I have seriously only eaten 1 hamburger in the past two months, no pizza, no steak, virtually NO red meat at all. I didn't have any caffeine for a month.  I've pretty much cut out all fat from my diet. 

I found out that my father had his gallbaldder removed almost 10 years ago, and he never had stones.  It was just sludge.  All of the symptoms I have told him about he had the exact same symptoms.  There is just no way that I could possibly go through this for 5 years.  The twinging pains brought me to tears this afternoon.

Btw, I am fair skinned, female, have had two kids, and I'm closing in on 40... not overweight, or Native Amer. 

My number one trigger seems to be red meat of any kind.  I'm really not itching to go under the knife, but I'm just about desperate enough to do anything to make it stop hurting. 

Oh, and I notice that it generally hurts more the later in the day that it gets, and if I'm stressed it hurts even more.


Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/13/2008 3:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. I usually post over on the GERD board. I had a Nissen back in April and thought all my problems would go away. I have had upper right quadrant pain for about 3 years which I thought was reflux. I have been waiting for it to go away since the op but it hasn't. I have now started to get pain under my right ribs. Sometimes it last for several hours and sometimes just an hour. I also get pain right through to my shoulder blade. The pain in my chest is pretty constant.
 
I also have pain right across my chest that feels like an infection. Anyone else get this? I also have burning in my throat. Can anyone advise me on this? Is this related to my gall bladder? I sometimes have burning stools, but as I eat totally bland foods that is not too often.
 
Another symptom I have is palpitations and my body constantly feels like it is plugged in to an electric socket! Can anyone tell me if this is related?
 
I went to see my GP on Thursday and she felt my gall bladder and said that I seemed to have a problem with it but that she didn't want to look into it yet! She said that the chest/shoulder pain was a trapped nerve and not related at all! I thought they were related or am I dreaming?
 
It took me almost 4 years to get my reflux sorted so I am loathe to start another haul trying to get someone to diagnose me with gall bladder problems.
 
Any comments/advise appreciated! Sorry to be such a whinger! rolleyes
Elaine


marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/13/2008 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   

Elaine,

Re:  the "trapped nerve" shoulder pain, etc.  Everything that I have read is that they are totally related.  Personally, I don't think you are crazy at all. One of the ER docs told me that you can have a gb attack...normal tests; gb attack... normal tests;  gb attack... ABnormal attack.  The nurse on that visit told me to keep searching until I found someone that would be willing to believe me at take my GB out!

Keep with it.  I sure it doesn't take either one of us 4 years!

 


Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/13/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   

I hope you are right marathongirl!

BTW I am 44, have 2 kids and am female. I am not fair, I'm skinny and Welsh! smilewinkgrin

Anyone have the burning throat and painful chest issues?


Elaine


marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/13/2008 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Elaine,
 
Are you taking anything for the GERD?  I had a lot of that burning type feeling with the heartburn, and the hiatal hernia.  I am taking Nexiun now, but I've taken Pepcid AC, or Pepcid Complete a time or two a week for years.  It was especially bad when I was pregnant with my twins.
 
Sherry

kandc88
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 9/13/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I know sometimes it helps to have someone have the same issues. I'm also mid 30's, 3 kids. Healthy except for history of crohn's disease. Have been taking Nexium for years and first thought that this pain was heartburn, next thought that it was related to my period and went on Lybrel. But it's still there and so far the only trigger food (I think) is eggs, which is half of my diet with the crohn's. I have no interest in getting my gallbladder out (I have enough digestive issues due to the crohn's and don't need more) You might want to try a liver support formula containing dandelion, beets, silymarin etc. I'm trying one out from Now foods, but couldn't say whether it's helping. I've been taking advil as needed and going about my business so far. Good luck

marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/14/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the input.  I'm not really aching to have a body part removed... but something has to change!

Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/15/2008 5:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Well since I had the nissen 360 I shouldn't need any meds, but I mentioned my phlegm issues to my surgeon and he said sometimes taking a ppi helps so I am back on rabeprozole.

I thought maybe the burning throat could be bile as opposed to acid. What do you think?

Now I have found out (from you lovely people and elsewhere) that a ppi can make your gall bladder symptoms worse so I think I will come off it and try something else! Trouble is I think the Beconase (which he also suggested) makes my palpitations worse. sad

I just can't seem to find a good combination!


Elaine


eihcet
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 9/16/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
For the heart palpitations, look into Magnesium (dietary intake and/or supplements).   Since many folks have malabsorption problems (as a result of other issues), it seems that they (over time) may develop a magnesium deficiency (making symptoms worse).   Complicating the issue is that it's hard to test for (based on what I've read). 
 
I was keeping a food journal and it looked like I wasn't getting enough, so I started a supplement.  Honestly, I  can't really say it helped me but it didn't hurt either.  I'm still experimenting.  Well, it's cheap enough to try. 
 
Here's one link to a Holistic site that discusses further, http://www.mbschachter.com/importance_of_magnesium_to_human.htm
 
also from a more scientific site (doesn't claim as many symptoms from defficiency):
 
 

Post Edited (eihcet) : 9/16/2008 8:46:55 AM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Bo Peep, tell your doctor to go refer back to her medical books on gall bladder symptoms. She will see that aches in the shoulder ARE a sign of gall bladder problems. I used to get terrible aches in my shoulder and down into my right elbow. My doctors all looked at me like I was crazy, but my mother said, "That's your gall bladder." She's a nurse and one day I got one of her nursing school books and looked up gall bladders and sure enough aches into the right chest, shoulder and arm are symptoms of a bad gall bladder. I swear on a stack of bibles, it was right there in a medical book. Can't miss it.

Burning in the throat can be related. While you can technically blame that on acid reflux, it's like my GI's NP said: sometimes the bile goes up, and sometimes the bile goes down. So when your GB is acting up, it can send excess bile up into your stomach, causing an acid reflux problem. I never got heartburn with my GB, but I'd get a sensation like I was stuffed. Thanksgiving stuffed. You know, where you feel like you might bring it all back up? I'd get this just a few bites into a meal. It is a VERY classic symptom of GB problems, but doctors kept putting me on acid reflux medicines which didn't stop the feeling, the other random bouts of nausea or any of my pain.

Burning stools, btw, is usually caused by bile acid. If they're also yellow or green, that's certain that's bile in them. When I eat something I shouldn't, even now, I get burning, yellow stools (more yellow on the TP than in the bowl).

Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone.

eihcet - I have been taking magnesium for quite a while as I had heard about it somehwere else. It didn't seem to be helping. I have however started taking B12 and selenium and I don't want to jump the gun but I have started to feel a little better in the last couple of days, so fingers crossed.

Keriamon - Sorry to be dense but what is TP?

 


Elaine


eihcet
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
TP = Toilet Paper. 
 
If I'm having GB type symptoms (the kind Keriamon has written about) I usually feel better within 20-30minutes after I eat beets.  I'm not sure if it's a placebo effect or not, but, they definitely help me.  Everyone is different though.  Maybe try 'em for a few days and see if you notice any changes? 
 
If they're working for me, I suspect it's because they help the GB empty and therefore reduce the inflamation.  Supposedly they work because they thin the bile making it move a little easier.
 
 
 
 

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
TP = Toilet Paper

BM = Bowel Movement

SO = Significant Other

MOL = Mother In Law

NP = Nurse Practitioner

GP = General Practitioner

GB = Gall Bladder

GI - GastroIntestinal

Let us know if there are any others that are unclear. Sometimes we forget that not everyone knows these.
Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
Please donate to help HW continue to help us... http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 


Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/18/2008 3:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone!

 I will try the beetroot!


Elaine


marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/21/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Update on what's going on with my suspected gallbladder issue.  The doctor started me on Flagyl for possible giardia infection.  I have to take it for 14 days and then I go back on the 29th.  She wants to know if it is making me feel better or not.

Well, last Wednesday night I was at church for Wed. night dinner.  I was hungry & decided to eat what I wanted & see if there was any trigger.  I ate chicken fajitas & put sour cream & salsa on it.  I also ate beans.

Less than an hour later I was in choir practice & thought I was almost going to pass out from the sharp stabbing pains in the upper right abdominal area.  I was in tears when I left early & drove home... very carefully.  If I had not already had darvocet at home to relieve the pain I would have most certainly made my 3rd trip to the ER that night.  The next day my upper rib cage hurt like I had gotten kicked!

So, anyone want to tell me "there's nothing wrong" like the GI guy who did all the tests & said there was nothing wrong with any of my major organs.  And then asked me, "Are you sure you haven't pulled a muscle or injured your ribs lately?"; "Have you been depressed or anxious lately?"; "Do you ever feel better after you pass gas or have a BM?" .... sorry still a little bit upset about that one. 

I'm about ready to hijack & OR and do the surgery myself.  I don't care if the organ is really kaput or not... I just want it out & get some pain relief!!

Oh, and it doesn't ever really hurt in the morning.  In fact I ran a 7 mi. leg of a marathon relay this morning.  Right now I can't quite sit up straight because I've eaten dinner & it hurts. 

Ugghhh!


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/24/2008 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
<<Oh, and it doesn't ever really hurt in the morning. In fact I ran a 7 mi. leg of a marathon relay this morning. Right now I can't quite sit up straight because I've eaten dinner & it hurts. >>

I was most likely to have an attack in the middle of the night, although sometimes I would get sick (but not usually an attack) after lunch or supper. But some of that may be that I have never been one to want to eat as soon as I get up. Eating seems to turn the GI tract on for the day, and that's when you start having problems.

marathongirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/2/2008 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Update on what's happening with me: 

I went back to the surgeon on Monday.  I had taken the Flagyl for 2 weeks with no difference being noted.  She said let's go ahead with surgery.  I had my gallbaldder removed on Tuesday morning.  Man, am I sore.  Feel like I've done 1000 sit-ups.  It was done laproscopically.  I've been taking constant pain meds.  I feel much better today than I did yesterday, but it still hurts. 

I've been eating anything when I'm hungry.  Nothing I've eaten has made me feel bad, but I am on pain meds.

My question is how soon after surgery can you tell if that was the problem & you won't have any other problems?  I haven't actually had a BM yet, so I wonder at what point is that concerning?

I do feel better just knowing we've tried to do something to make me feel better.

Thanks.


Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 10/3/2008 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi marathongirl! I can't answer your question but just wanted to say I hope you are feeling more comfortable soon. You beat me to it by a long way. I can't believe you had the surgery that fast! Hope it works! smilewinkgrin
Elaine


bballmom
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/8/2008 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
marathongirl I totally understand everything you have been going through. I am 38 and have been suffering for awhile but didn't realize what it was til recently. I have had 3 US been to the ER 2 and normal HIDA scan. I am so depressed! I know something is wrong. I'm not sure what my triggers are but I know I don't want to eat. I constantly feel full and uncomfortable. No matter what I eat I have pain in the right under my ribs. All the drs say it sounds like your GB but all the tests are normal. I'm so frustrated! I have an appt with my GI dr on Friday. Hopefully he will give me some help!
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