What would you do next? could it be gall bladder?

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Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/13/2007 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Like many of you on this board, I am trying to find some answers and possible treatment to feel better, but so far (5 months) have not been that successful. Just
wanted to hear what you think and whether you faced similar situation and how you dealt with it.
 
To make the story short, I started having chest pains/discomfort about 6 months ago which scared me to death since I never experienced anything like that before. I also
often felt lightheadedness during the course of last 6 months.
 
After two months of various tests, finally had an endoscopy end of January which showed:
a) an inflamed esophagus (luckily biopsy results showed no Barrett's) damaged by stomach acid
b) hiatal hernia
c) light stomach gastritis
 
My GI doctor put me on Prevacid right away and I have been using this medication in last 4 months (I thought it was helping originally, but I was never able to
get rid of chest pains and this dull pressure/discomfort in the middle of my chest). So, I am now on Protonix trial to see if that would help.
 
Just few days ago, I had an abdominal ultrasound which showed two problems with my gall bladder: 1. stones 2. polyp
 
My GI doc says that in absence of any improvement on different medications, my case may require considering gallstone disease as a potential cause of chest pains and may need surgery ... " I am going to see surgeon who will make a recommendation on whether I should do a gall bladder removal or not.
 
Did anyone here have a problem with gall bladder and if so what have you done? I am trying to find out whether gall bladder removal would possibly help me or make my GERD even worse.
 
Would some other test help find the culprit - I heard of PH monitoring, motility study, HIDA ...
 
Thanks all!
 
 
 
 

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/16/2007 12:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe a HIDA scan is the definitive test, but not being a doctor I don't know. I had a sonogram that showed "sludge", and then a HIDA scan that came back saying my gallbladder was bad. The surgeon said I had a tumor in my gallbladder that they couldn't see on the ultrasound. It's biopsy came back negative.

After having it removed, I had not only GERD but also bile reflux for a while. Your incisions and all of that will heal quickly after surgery, but my experience, at least, tells me that real recovery actually takes longer. BUT every case is different. Discuss these things thoroughly with your GI, mainly, and also your surgeon.

If I were you I'd request the HIDA scan because it measures how the gallbladder is actually performing. If you have stones and a polyp in it but it manages to function normally, ask the doctors if it's really necessary to have it out.

Anyway, you and I sound similar except that I had no stones. My endoscopy showed the same things. I never experienced the pain normally associated with gallbladder problems and it doesn't sound like you have, either.

But in the end, I still had GERD after the surgery. Again, I'm not a doctor, but since we have hiatal hernias I would expect we'll always suffer with GERD to one extent or another.

Also remember that it never hurts to have a second opinion (from a gastroenterologist) before they yank an organ out of you.

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/16/2007 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks. Good point on the HIDA scan and checking if gallbladder works fine do I need to remove it even if I have
both gallstones and polyp.

By the way, what are your GERD symptoms? Do you, at tiems, get this almost unbereable chest pain and if so
how do you cope with it - do any medicines work alleviating that pain?

And by the way what is the typical pain associated with gallbaldder?

Also, I heard about surgical repair of hiatal hernia - don't know if that would help us. I am sill pretty new in this
"GERD world" and am trying to figure what can help me feel better since I am not getting much better from PPIs
I have been using so far (Prevacid, Protonix). Don't know if Nexium would help ...


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/16/2007 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm also an anxiety sufferer, and before I was treated for that it was very difficult at times to tell which was making me miserable: GERD or the "atypical" panic attacks in my stomach. Once treated for anxiety my GERD got a LOT better. No it presents itself just with a little bloating and belching. Occasional regurgitation.

Before, I'd get a LOT of the above symptoms, but again, it was hard to tell which was causing them. I suspect that the anxiety was simply aggravating the GERD. Recently I've had a bit of GERD rebound and have gone back on Prevacid with the consent of my doctor. I'm doing pretty well with it, all in all. I'll use a couple of Rolaids or Maalox when necessary, as well.

Only rarely did I experience all the chest pain. That was more common, however, before I developed the anxitey crap. about four years ago I was experiencing pretty bad pains in the chest on a fairly regular basis.

I've been on both Prevacid and Nexium, and as far as I can remember they were about the same to me. However, different people respond differently to different things.

I think surgery on hiatal hernia is limited to only the most severe cases. It seems like there was a conversation about that on here recently. I do know the sugery doesn't always work, though.

Typical gall bladder pain is on the right side around the bottom of the ribcage, I believe. I experienced some of this in the week prior to my surgery, but they weren't all that bad. Then again, I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. It wasn't knee buckling but it was enough to notice, that's for sure.

Good luck

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/17/2007 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Woww - I see similarities in our cases. I have had terrible anxiety attacks when I first experienced GERD problems. I got them under control a little bit after starting using Trazodone and Clonazepam in the evening before going to bed. How is your anxiety treated? Do you take medications during the day or just in the evening as me. I sometime worry so much about not being able to feel better as before - it is probably making me depressed which in turn made GERD probably even worse.
 
Will do HIDA scan this week and we'll see the results. Both GI and surgeon suggested surgery of gall bladder - will consult with another GI and another surgeon and we'll see what they say. Probably will try to switch to Nexium next week since Prevacid and Protonix did not really help.
 
Thanks and good luck to you too!
 
 

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/18/2007 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Abos said...
Woww - I see similarities in our cases. I have had terrible anxiety attacks when I first experienced GERD problems. I got them under control a little bit after starting using Trazodone and Clonazepam in the evening before going to bed. How is your anxiety treated? Do you take medications during the day or just in the evening as me. I sometime worry so much about not being able to feel better as before - it is probably making me depressed which in turn made GERD probably even worse.


Will do HIDA scan this week and we'll see the results. Both GI and surgeon suggested surgery of gall bladder - will consult with another GI and another surgeon and we'll see what they say. Probably will try to switch to Nexium next week since Prevacid and Protonix did not really help.



Thanks and good luck to you too!


I'm doing pretty well, but thanks for the 'good luck' wish because you never know.

I'm treated with 30mg Prevacid once per day, and .5 mg Clonazepam two times a day. I still have some rough episodes now and then, but I'm far and away better than I was just a couple moths ago.

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/18/2007 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Great to hear you are doing well. I was like that maybe in February when I used Colanezepam twice + Prevacid once a day. I don't know if I got too relax too quickly (went to eat indian food few times when I started feeling much better or Prevacid stopped working for some reason).
 
I am certain that Clonazepam helps my GERD, but I am not sure whether it can be a root of the problem when mixed with depression (if it is what I am experiencing). I am definitely noticing that this situation is making me depressed and exteremely worried. My wife is telling me that she had a very hard time convincing me to see a doctor in the past and these days I am knockin gon their doors almost on a daily basis (GI, Cardiologist, Pulmonoligists, Surgeons ...
 
So, I don't know if GERD is caused by depresion and anxiety or it is something else that causes gerd which makes me anxious and possibly depressed. Go figure ...
 
Take care.
 
 

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/19/2007 2:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, there's definitely a relationship between the two for me. There's absolutely no doubt about that.

As for anxiety causing GERD, I doubt it. Anxiety could cause some GERD-like symptoms and can probably aggrevate GERD, but GERD itself seems to be a physical problem. A hiatal hernia, for example. But what do I know? I'm not a doctor. I guess it's possible anxiety could cause the stomach to produce so much acid that it would reflux.

In my opinion, if you have Anxiety it's going to make any problem you have worse, and it will even create problems out of nowhere. The mind can be a powerful enemy. Gotta trick it into being your friend again. Sometimes that involves meds for a jumpstart and then working on yourself while you have clarity, changing the way you think.

But in your case right now with the gallstones and everything, you need answers with that. It's good you're getting the second opinion, I think. Don't worry about going to the doctors too much right now. You DO have a problem in there and need to decide what, if anything, to do about it. And it's hard, but you have to try to get that brain under control in the meantime. Don't let it make you feel worse than you have to!

Good luck,
D

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/19/2007 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Good point about getting brain under control. I need to find a recipe for that - often feel like this will never end! In short, depressed. Thanks a lot - "tricking our minds can do a trick", at least not making the GERD even worse!

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/20/2007 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Did HIDA test results and ejection fraction is 30% (normal is greater than 35%). With stones and polyp already shown I imagine recommendation will be to remove gallbladder. I wonder if it will help my GERD though ...

Debaser, do you take clonazepam at regular intervals or when you need it during the day.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/21/2007 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I take it 2 times a day, 1 mg total.

They'll probably want to remove it. I've read that once a person gets stones, they're prone to get more. Might as well get it over with. I don't know if it will help your GERD or not. Again, I experienced GERD after the surgery, as well as bile reflux for a while.

But now with the anxiety under control and almost two years post- op, my GERD's doing really well. I just has frozen lasagna and feel great, for example, but I still need Prevacid. And I still feel it at times and take a rolaids or whatever to help out. It's probably never going to go away until I quit smoking.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/21/2007 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
PS -- I can't remember my ejection fraction. It was either 12 or 18 percent. Can't remember which.
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