Gall Bladder removal and Crohn's..are they related?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 1/4/2010 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I had my Gall Bladder removed 6 years ago and still have alot of problems with my stomach,bile etc..Is Crohn's related to this or something entirely different?
Happy New Year all!!!

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Date Joined Aug 2007
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   Posted 1/4/2010 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if it's that they are related or that they normally take out your gallbladder when they can't figure out what is wrong with you.  They removed mine before my Crohn's diagnosis because it was their "best guess as to what is wrong."

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

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   Posted 1/4/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't have problem with my gallbladder but I know lots of people who have gallbladder problems that end up with intestinal problems also. Seems to me like there is a correlation.
This heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
H.W. Longfellow
Thyroid cancer removed 1988
Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
Tried every drug without much success
Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 1/4/2010 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I've always wondered about a correlation between gb's and digestive orders. I had mine out July 08 and was told that afterwards diarrhea was normal, so when I started having symptoms of IBD it was passed off. However my mom had hers out and hasn't had a problem
Diagnosed with UC in February 2009.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Colitis December 2009.
Flaring since October 2008

Medication: tapering off Prednisone (5mg), Pentasa 6x daily, Imuran 100 mg, hydrocortisone enema nightly, multivitamin. Probiotics through yogurt.

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Date Joined Dec 2009
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   Posted 1/4/2010 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had crohn's for most of my life . I've just recently had my gall bladder out due to gall stones(Nov.). I've noticed a concisiderable improvement in pain levels.
Male with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003.Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on 5-asa Salofalk ,Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. Entecort, Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

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Date Joined Dec 2005
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   Posted 1/4/2010 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I had mine removed in april last year, stones, ALOT of horrible nausea.

The nausea improved.

I think they are related, I read about alot of people on this forum who have had it done, but I dunno.

Alot of people I meet in their 30's have had it done. My sister had her's removed last year too, she is a few years younger than me, and has no intestinal trouble. It is one of the most common operations performed.
Humira 2 x month, Lialda 2 x day, Imuran 100mg x day, Remeron 30mg x day, Pain Meds, Zantac 300mg 2 x day, Prednisone 2.5mg x Every third day(01_02_10), Vitamins = B12 Injection(Once x Week), Magnesium, Calcium, Multi-Vitamin, Potassium, Folic Acid. (Phenergen 25mg Per Request Needed). -- FaceBook

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 1/4/2010 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Dr thought my gallbladder was acting up recently, but turns out I have gastroparesis. LOTS of nausea with vomiting and pain, pain, pain. I think when one has crohn's or any sort of digestive issues, the entire digestive tract is at risk for problems.
23/female/NJ/diagnosed at 16
pentasa/reglan/folic acid
resection surgery in '05

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/6/2010 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I have never been the same since my gallbladder was removed... I always wondered about any correlation between CD and Gallbladder probs.

Veteran Member

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   Posted 1/6/2010 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
There are higher rates of gall bladder disease in Crohns patients, but I dn't know of any reverse causality -- that gall bladder disease leads to Crohns. It is pretty common, I believe, for people who have their gall bladders rmeoved to experience some months of D from the bile being dumped directly into the bowel (it used to be pumped out by the gall bladder when needed) but that usually resolves after time, or with meds. Bottom line seems to be that having Crohns can make you more susceptible to gall bladder problems, probably from the inflammatory process, but that gall bladder issues don't lead to Crohns. Lots of people have their gall bladders removed with no accompanying GI problems. The primary risk factors for gall bladder disease are still the 5 Fs medical students learn -- female, fat (overweight), fertile (having had children), fair (caucasian) and forty (age).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 1/6/2010 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, When i had a scan last year they picked up that i had gallstones the surgeon said he will take them out after i have got over my current adventure!!!! i think crohns plays a big part in this Bev x
Diagnosed at 13 now 42
Reversal of temp stoma scheduled 27th Jan 10 :-)
Meds: Iron syrup,Loperimide,Folic acid & Citalopram 60mg (for Anxiety.)

Never be afraid to try something new;
remember amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 1/6/2010 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree 100% with MikeB. I do not believe it causes Crohns, but it definetly goes bad for alot of people with Crohns. Mine was removed not because of stones, but because I developed a filmy like substance that separated my GB into two parts and was giving me grief.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 1/7/2010 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI told me that people with Crohn's, especially in their small intestines, are at higher risk to have issues with their gallbladder. We thought I might've had stones, but fortunately I don't.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/11/2010 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Valerie3 is right! Crohn's can cause gallstones to develop in your gallbladder, leading to gallbladder removal. This is one of the lovely extra-intestinal manifestations of the disease. I had mine taken out due to gallstones only a few months after I was diagnosed with Crohn's. Unfortunately, those of us without a gallbladder tend to send the bile directly into our digestive tract, which also causes diarrhea. So, sometimes, it's hard to tell whether you're having a Crohn's flare, or if it's just the lack of a gallbladder. Although, usually, this is food related. I have IBS on top of it, so I really have 3 things causing these symptoms. Hope you feel better!
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams. . .
Diagnosed at age 26 with small bowel Crohn's disease; also have enteropathic arthritis, fibromyalgia/myofascial pain syndrome, gallstones and gallbladder removal, kidney stones,erythema nodosum, eye inflammation, hiatal hernia, GERD, lactose intolerant, migraines, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency, Iron deficiency anemia
Abnormal MRI containing 9 lesions-recently discovered this was due to inflammation from Crohn's, sore and swollen ankles, experiencing constant headaches, blurred vision-dizziness, nausea, numbness/tingling, vibration sensation while resting, muscle weakness & stiffness, abnormal liver enzymes and high inflammatory marker blood work, current high WBC
Current Medications: Nexium 40mg-2X, Entocort 9mg, Pentasa 500mg-8X, Vitamin D and Calcium, Iron supplements, Vitamin B-12 monthly injection

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 1/11/2010 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told that the small intestines reabsorbs bile acids and with Crohns this is hindered, if not impossible, due to scar tissue, surgery. Without being able to recycle the bile acids the bile then becomes like sludge, and stones develop. Removing the gallbladder won't change that, as the ducts can still become clogged, so I've decided to wait until it's absolutely necessary before I undergo the surgery. Just my two cents worth.
diagnosed 13 days following an MMR vaccination at the age of 44
tried Colazal, Pentasa, Immuran, Remicade, Prednisone, Cipro, Flagyl, LDN, Osiris clinical study,  accupuncture, began Cimzia 5/2009

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/25/2010 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
My GI doc said there is a link between cd and gallbladder problems. I had my gallbladder removed when I was 21 (fistful of stones). I was diagnosed with CD in March 2009 after a 5-day stay in hospital for intestinal blockage. Other problems are rapidly showing up since then, but I think I'm supposed to post about those elsewhere. Just thought I'd throw this info out there for all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 3/25/2010 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
scoolCool name, good taste!tongue
Male, 54 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk, Entecort, Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
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   Posted 3/26/2010 3:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks :) But, I was inspired by you ;) I seem to always have trouble picking out an appropriate name. Unless my children choose to have more babies, I'm sticking with this one. Again, thanks :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 452
   Posted 3/26/2010 4:46 AM (GMT -7)   
     When I had my gallbladder out about 4 years ago, I was told that people with CD have a higher chance of their gallbladder going bad and have to have them removed.  I had to fight with my doc about mine though.  I went to the ER with a lot of pain, nausea and a lot of vomiting.  I was seen right away and given meds.  The dr on duty though kept thinking it might be the CD and because he didn't have my records he was unsure of everything.  I had a number of test done.  Sonagram showed a lot of stones and another test showed a blockage at the gallbladder.  After them the dr still wasn't convinced.  I kept telling him that I know my CD and this is definetely not the CD.  I really wish dr's would listen to their patients.  I spent the whole weekend in pain because g-d forbid a dr would work on the weekend.  On Monday, he finally decided to remove the gallbladder.  After he removed it, he told me it was the worst looking gallbladder he had ever seen.  What a moron...maybe if he would have listen to me and the test results, it wouldn't have been so bad.
Long story short, Gall bladder removal, IMHO, doesn't cause problems but are a symptom.  You might not have known about the intestinal problems but the removal will probably make it worse from the trauma of the surgery.
36 yr old Male with Crohn's Disease since '88 - No Surgery yet
Been on almost every type of drug with bad results
Remicade since Nov 2009
Prilosec 20.6mg - 2x a day
Multivitamin daily

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/18/2011 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all!
I am new to the board and have had Crohn's Disease since 1994.  I am 36 years old, married with 3 kids.  I have been on assorted meds but for the last 7 years I have been on azathioprine (imuran).  I am currently in remission and for the most part feel really well as far as Crohn's. 
For the past several years I occasionally feel a terrible pain and bloating in my stomach area just below my sternum.  My GI gave me an ultrasound about 6 years ago for this but said he didn't see anything and told me it was IBS.  I was literally embarrassed and thought I was wasting his time.  I continued to have that issue very occasionally for the next several years and just dealt with it.  This past 6 months I have noticed an increase in frequency of these symptoms.  I have taken 3 Tums nightly for at least a year or I wake up with terrible heartburn and reflux.  Last month the pain woke me out of a dead sleep.  I thought I was having a heart attack!  I took more tums and belched it out after a good 45 minutes of hell.  The past several weeks I have lost my appetite and only desire bland food like rice cereal, cream of wheat, pot pies at the most.  This week I have had 3 "attacks" in 3 days.  I had 1/2 a burger a few days ago and got instantly bloated, pain in my abdomen and a terrible upper back ache.  Last night I had cream of wheat for dinner and had all of those symptoms plus the tightness in my chest.  After lunch today I had all of those symptoms.  I am sure dinner will just add to my misery so I will likely avoid it altogether.
Does this sound like a gallbladder issue to you?  My gut instinct says yes.  I have a feeling it has been colicky for a few years and now it is finally to the point where I need to do something.

My worst fear is having another ultrasound and being told it is nothing again.  It is embarrassing and hurtful to feel like your doctor thinks it is all in your head.  I know my Crohn's and what that feels like.  This is definitely not that and feels much more than just like reflux disease.   How did you bring up your issues to your doctor to get them to realllly listen to you?
I am also worried because I just started a new job less than 2 months ago.  I am already scheduled for some female surgery early January.  Hey, I wonder if they can just take of it all at once!
Thanks for your reply.  It is nice to meet you all.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 11/18/2011 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Could it be a stricture?

It's lovely to meet you, too!
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 11/18/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
ps. If the symptoms are still present after six years, and are not intensifying, then I think they definitely need to be checked out! It's not all in your head, and if your doctor tries to put you off with the results of a scan done in 2005, then it might be time to find a new doctor.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 11/18/2011 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
If it is just acid reflux there are plenty of more effective remedies like omeprazole that you can buy over the counter without needing a prescription (well can in UK and think it availlable in US as well). You could try this and see if it improves and then talk to your GP about what symptoms you have and what you have tried, don't think things like tums are that effective really. Whatever it is it needs to be looked into as it is getting worse for you and stopping you eat. Go and see your GP and explain what has been happening and you're concerned as it is getting much worse. Even if they do a scan and gallbladder is fine, it is not a waste of time and you shouldn't feel like you are being a nuisance.
Crohn's, antiphospholipid syndrome, Crohn's arthritis, very low blood pressure, low kidney function, ezcema, asthma, ileostomy, numerous surgeries for abscessses & strictures. Humira - very bad permanent side effects incl joint pain, hair loss, fatigue & nreve damage. Azathioprine, immodium, simethicone, fludrocortisone, oxycodone, gabapentin, tramadol, amitriptyline, Folic acid, vit d & calcium.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 11/18/2011 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
After I had my GB removed is when all heck broke lose. I've had 'bathroom' issues my whole life but after I had my GB removed is when all my Crohn's symptoms came(deffinately not the same as my past bowel problems but still)and a year later I got my diagnosis. Crohn's and other autoimmune issues run in my family but maybe the GB removal was the straw that broke (my) camel's back? I think it can deffinately be a trigger.

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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 11/18/2011 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I think most gallbladder problems give you a sharp pain on the right side linked directly to high-fat meals. What you're describing sounds more to me like gastritis, probably due to your Crohn's but who knows! I agree it's time to call your GI.

And please start a new post and tell us about yourself. Welcome to the forum Misslaurie.
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day)Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 11/19/2011 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I had my gallbladder removed in 1995 and was promised that I would then feel wonderful. But I felt worse--and wound up being diagnosed with CD in 1999 (and needing immediate, emergency surgery). My current doctor has implied that removing my gallbladder was a stupid medical decision. I now suffer with never-ending diarrhea (mostly composed of sludge and bright-green bile), attributable to both the gallbladder surgery and my resection. Sucks.
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