Posted 5/4/2009 6:21 AM (GMT -6)
I've posted in other threads here and have similar issues. I started with the main symptoms in Oct '07. When I finally got my HIDA scan, it came back inconclusive because not enough dye made it in to do the emptying test. That could be a sign of a bad Gallbladder but I've read it can also be becuase I was fasting too long (instead of 12hrs, was more like 18hrs due to a test problem). In any event, after that test my GI doc prescribed a Gastric Emptying Study to rule out gastroparesis before he'd have me speak to a surgeon. Well, the GES came back as slow stomach emptying. It was a borderline result, half emptied in 90minutes but based on the curve I guess it was slow enough to call a motility problem. Without the stones in the gallbladder the doctors can't really say if removal will improve your life. If you are having pain, it's very likey to help, but, the other symptoms (nausea, pressure, appetite, etc) may not change or could get worse depending on the cause. So, it's a big question of what to do?
We talked about it, I still felt it was the gallbladder. He advised that the gallbladder and stomach are part of the same smooth muscle system and if one is operating slowly due to a virus, or whatever cause, the other may as well. He recommended we take a wait and see approach and if it didn't improve over time he'd work with me to do what was right. So, I didn't and still don't know what really is the cause, but, I read and learned that diet and nutrition play a pretty strong role in treatment for either one. Gastroparesis can improve and while I've not heard of any any gallbladder recoveries, you can ease symptoms with diet.
I'm pleased to report that over the last year my condition has improved. By keeping a food journal, and being very careful with my meals, I've learned what foods I can eat and can't eat. Interestingly, most of the foods on the gallbladder diet lists are what work/don't work. Beets, for example, do have a very positive effect on me. Eggs on the other hand, give me problems. I can tolerate a fair amount of healthy fats, and even some saturated fats from cheese and meets, but I do try and moderate it. I don't drink any coffee, soda, etc. I might have a little chocolate in a granola bar but otherwise no candy. I eat a fair amount of nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc). For a long time I was using DGL Licorice before meals to calm my stomach, but I've since stopped needing that. My challenge is eating enough food to maintain my weight without eating anything that gives me nausea or IBS problems, and I've been doing that for the last year.
So, back to then... When I was at the worst of my symptoms (pressure, nasea, no appetite), I didn't do any clenses, but I did eliminate those unnecessary foods / drinks from my diet. I was doing that for a while (2 months) before I got the courage to try the beets (I've always had an aversion to them). The first time after I had some (about 5 slices), about 20minutes later I was feeling crappy but wrapping some holiday gifts. I was in the middle of stretching while cutting the paper to size and felt a squirt inside my chest area, followed by a relief of pressure from that area. It was amazing. I felt like a stone passed (but none ever were on my ultrasound so I don't know what it was). All I know is I felt releif. about 10minutes later I got some heartburn type feelings, which I assume is from the bile, or maybe from irritation in the ducts, whatever it was I felt better.
Since then I've continued to moderate my diet and I try and eat beets a few times a week. Again, I'm really not 100% sure what my problem is, but neither are the doctors. It could also be a faulty Sphincter of Odi, or someting else in that system. I might have both GB and motility problems. I do know that when I'm feeling off, certain movements do help... For example, the gift wrapping motion, was leaning over a bed and stretching to cut the paper. I'll do that motion sometimes and wait a while, might feel better. Vacuuming is another that helps, the constant back/forth in the upper body seems to help move things around. I found that when I had/have bad days I could take in more fluids, beets, and move around a bit and help relieve some of the discomfort.
So, no cures here, but, hopefully my experiences will help someone else feel a little better.