Gallbladder issues?

Discussion in 'Coping and Compassion' started by ldymcbth, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. ldymcbth

    ldymcbth DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2009
    I have been dealing with intermittent upper and upper right abdominal pain as well as intermittent nausea since mid-Dec. I chalked it up to our household having a stomach virus twice in December, but it's continued and honestly gotten a tad worse and now I can feel the pain in my back and between my shoulder blades, as well. I feel the worst about 2 hours after I've eaten - doesn't seem to matter what I've eaten.

    My PCP has ordered an upper rt abdominal ultrasound for tomorrow morning, and said that if that doesn't show anything, we will schedule a HIDA (?) scan. I have a liver MRI every year b/c of a benign tumor there and my last one was in October 2010, which showed a clear gallbladder and a normal pancreas. So she feels like we probably will NOT see any stones on the u/s but that if not, the HIDA scan may show that my gallbladder is not working and/or is sluggish. She is also doing some blood tests to check for liver function and pancreas function. She's also running a test for H.Pylori to see if maybe it's an ulcer issue?

    On one hand I am glad to have seen someone and be moving forward, on the other hand I am always worried they are going to find out I have some horrible illness. That's how my mind works!

    So anyway, tell me about your gallbladder! What were your symptoms, how were you diagnosed, did any of you NOT have stones but still have a gallbladder issue? Thanks for any input. It will give me something to read while I sit in pain after dinner!
  2. MomRN

    MomRN DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2010
    My gallbladder problems started 6 weeks after my son was born. I was in extreme pain. Went to ER and admitted for surgery the next day. My gallbladder was necrotic... it was almost an open surgery but the surgeon was able to do lappy. Had a drain placed to drain excess fluids and spent the night again. Really wasn't as bad as it sounds. A week later the pain returned, more intense than before. My husband actually called an ambulance for that one because I was curled up in the fetal position and was not getting up. I think I told him I was just going to lay there and die, make sure the baby got fed. That was a stone in my bile duct, and they did an ERCP. After that, all was well.

    My step-daughter is now having gallbladder issues. She had a HIDA scan and it shows her gallbladder function at 25%. She has an appt to see a surgeon in the next couple of days.

    Typical gallbladder surgeries are easy in and out procedures. Mine was an exception and still wasn't all that bad.
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. quasar4legs

    quasar4legs DIS Veteran

    Oct 9, 2008
    My 40 year old cousin and my 94 year old aunt have both had their gallbladders out in the last few months.

    My cousin had pain on and off for 6 months, only in hospital for 1 night and was in less pain after the surgery than she had been in previously. She was off work for about 3 weeks but felt well and spent the time at home scrapbooking.

    My aunt had one severe attack and she was in hospital 3 days due to her age but she has made a quick recovery.

    Hope they can sort out your problems quickly :hug:

  5. Holly324

    Holly324 Mouseketeer

    Aug 12, 2010
    I started experiencing pain a little over a year ago. I think maybe before that, as well, but it was very minor, just a funny pain across my back, so I didn't think anything of it. My pain was always after I ate something high in fat (didn't even have to be that high in fat). It would happen overnight and sometimes into the morning. The worst attack I had was after KFC one night - 15 hours of terrible tight pain across my upper back and upper abdominal. I finally went to get it looked at. I did indeed have gallstones. My surgery was done laproscopically (did I spell that right? :) ) and I was out the same day. It only took about a week to recover, and I have had NO problems since! :cool1: It just took me a little time to realize what foods caused a need to be near a bathroom when I ate them. :sick: My only problem was that I ended up being allergic to the prep that covered my stomach - the stuff with iodine in it. I was pretty itchy for awhile!

    I hope that the cause of your pain is discovered quickly, and that they can make it go away easily!
  6. tkitty

    tkitty DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2006
    My Gallbladder story- A few years back I gradually would get nauseous And couldn't figure out why. Over a couple months, I was taking all sorts of Mylanta, tums, etc. over-the-counter meds for it. I then went to the doctor, ended up seeing a nurse practitioner, who took blood, did basic tests, and said I was most likely worrying too much. Tests came back and I was told that I didn't have an ulcer, my liver function was elivated, and I needed to quit drinking!:confused: I DON'T DRINK!:rolleyes: Like, ever! (1-2 a year!) Anyway, I don't think she beleived me, and told me, "Don't drink for the next 6 weeks, and we'll check your liver again"
    At this point I was sick to my stomach alot, couldn't throw up, and felt sort of constipated often. Oh, and we were on our way to our first Disney cruise! We went on our cruise and the first night our dinner was very rich food. I had a chicken with a creamy sauce, creme brulee for desert. I spent most of the night sitting on the bathroom floor in pain. The next day I was not bad, but the rest of the trip, we only ate at the buffet. A roll with turkey was my food of choice! I was jealous of those tropical drinks my hubby was trying, though!
    Right after I got home, I was at work and had a horrible attack of pain. I ask for someone to drive me to urgent care, but I was starting to black out from the pain, and my boss called an ambulance. (My first ambulance trip!) At the hostpital, they did a sonigram, and said they couldn't find anything!
    Within a couple days, I went to my doctor, no appointment, told them I wasn't leaving without seeing the real doctor! I sat for almost 3 hours (guess they figured I was serious) Saw the doctor, and told him what I'd been going through, and he asked it I'd had a ultrasound of my gallbladder. "No" I said, and he wrote up a scrip for one!
    OK long, long story short- over 6 months of pain, all of the above, and that one test showed that my gallbladder was fully impacted(?) with stones and needed to come out. Had lapriscopic surgery shorly after, and all is well!
    Good luck to you.


    May 17, 2004
    What you are discribing could have been my story. One day I just woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I had just started taking 2 new meds at the same time. So, I asumed that's what was making me feel so ill. Changed the meds around at the advice of my PCP. The nausea never went away. I never had pain. Was nausious 24/7. Some days I just prayed to be able to vomit. I was looking for any relief. After the 2nd visit to my PCP he suggested my gallbladder. Did all the usual testing, ct scan, ultra sound. Nothing. Finally after 6 months of being picked and poked I had a HISTA?? scan they determained that I only had 17% use of my gallbladder. As strange as it may seem, I was glad. They finally found something. I was begining to think I was crazy. Two weeks later I had it removed and the day after that I was released from the hospital and went tag saling with my Dsis and had a cheeseburger with fried onions on it. Looking back I had issues for several years, but, just keep thinking it was a virus or something I ate.
    They say you tend to heal faster when the gallbladder is sluggish rather than stones.
    Good luck to you!
  8. Sugar Jones

    Sugar Jones DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2010
    While I was pregnant with my daughter I started experiencing terrible heartburn. It was chalked up to being pregnant. After I had her it went away for about 2 weeks, then it started coming back. I was always
    uncomfortable after eating. Mainly in my mid back, between my shoulders. Then one night after eating meatballs I had a full out attack. I was rocking on my hands an knee's I was in so much pain. My husband drove me to the hospital and I told them I was either having a heart attack or a gallbladder attack. I was given some numbing thing to drink which helped a lot, then some pain killers. I had an ultrasound the next day and they found stones. I was sent to see a surgeon and 4 months later had my gallbladder out.

    It was day surgery and I was home by 2:00pm in the afternoon. I had help for two days since I had a baby to look after, but within 4 days I was back to normal and looking after all 3 kids :)
  9. WDWBarb

    WDWBarb I need a vacation.

    Mar 24, 2007
    I've been dealing with upper-right abdominal pain (just under my rib cage) for about 2 years now. It seemed to get worse when I ate french fries (I'm a vegetarian and that's the only fried food I ever eat, and only rarely). It would come and go (it would disappear sometimes 6 months at a time). Recently I had been having more "flare ups" (it felt like someone stabbed me) so I mentioned it to my PA during my physical a few weeks ago. I pointed to the pain and she said "that is exactly where your gallbladder is." She guessed gallstones, since the pain would come and go.

    I had an ultrasound last Tuesday and later that night I had the worst attack I had ever had. The results came the next day - negative for gallstones. So they scheduled a HIDA test which I completed today. I was surprisingly uncomfortable during the latter part (when they inject whatever it is that makes your gallbladder contract - OUCH).

    But, results are ... NORMAL.


    I was sure I'd be joining the millions of gallbladder-free Americans, but I guess I'm not going to qualify for entry. I've been referred to a specialist and we'll see from there...

    FWIW, I also suffer from bloating in my upper-abdomen, pain that radiates from my right side to my back, some nausea and now I'm even having pain that spreads to my mid-right side.

    Oh, and liver function tests were also normal. :rolleyes:
  10. LWatson

    LWatson I Still Do!!!!

    Apr 23, 2009
    The HIDA is the only way they found that my gallbladder wasnt functioning right about 2yrs ago. When I had it taken out I felt soooooo much btter. GOOD LUCK!!!
  11. mickmom728

    mickmom728 Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2010
    Not to scare anyone reading but to caution you: I had had attacks on and off for some twenty years. In 2008 I started having pains all the way across my stomach and thought it was an ulcer but didn't get checked. I let it go for about 6 weeks, pain was worse, diarrhea was involved and I got to the point that I couldn't stand the smell of food. Finally went to the doctor and he diagnosed IBS, told me to drink Gator-ade and gave me a prescription. Tried to follow that a few days and finally had to call doctor on weekend--he told me that I should probably go to the hospital since I had vomited that morning and the day before.
    In the emergency room they took my blood pressure and it was something like 90 over 60 which is extremely low and they couldn't believe I wasn't in shock! Tests showed pancreatitis which was caused by gallstones. I had to be in ICU for six days while the pancreas healed and the gallbladder "cooled off"--I almost missed my daughter's college graduation but they released me(swollen and full of fluids) the day before.
    Had to wait about 6 weeks before laparoscopic surgery. Supposed to be there overnight but there were stones blocking the ducts so I had to have another procedure the next day to "blast" those out!!
    Long story but the moral of it is IF YOU ARE IN PAIN, DON'T WAIT TO GET CHECKED OUT!! There are so many complications that could happen--I have thyroid and kidney disease so that was affected and I had to be checked out by all kinds of doctors, including heart, before they would release me from the ICU. Actual surgery for gallbladder was a walk in the park after all that!!
  12. KristinAnne

    KristinAnne DIS Veteran

    Jan 27, 2008
    I started having gallbladder issues when I was 17 weeks pregnant. During my 3rd attack, I finally had DH take me to the local hospital. I was in the ER for 13 hours, transferred to main hospital, and hospitalized overnight. Then a month later, I started having horrible problems, and at 34 weeks pregnant was hospitalized with pancreatitis and had an ERCP to remove 5 stones. I had my gallbladder removed 8 weeks post partum...just enough time to recover from my c/section. I will say I have never experienced pain as bad as the gallbladder attacks. Horrible! GL!
  13. zalansky

    zalansky <img src="

    Sep 17, 2003
    OP - any updates?

    I have had gallbladder issues for a while. When I was about 20 I had an attack that got me admitted for a few days but they determined no stones, so it did not get taken out. No problems for many, many years. I was on a medication that irritated the gallbladder so it started acting up again and was causing some stabbing pains. Had a HIDA scan and its functioning at 10%, that was 2 years ago. They suggested I have it out...but I got on the computer and read too many stories about pain still being an issue after surgery so I didn't want to risk it. To me, having a gallbladder functioning at 10% was better than no gallbladder, therefore 0%. I have to mention I have never had stones. In the meantime, I noticed if I have any pain and take a gas pill, it goes away. Additionally, my doctor gave me some pills that help with sludge if that ever cropped up. I also started taking omega 3,6,9 and many vitamins and, knock on wood - I have been really good for a while now. My mom had her GB out at a very young age and continued to have attacks her whole life, which was another reason i was hesitant.

    As with anything, you need to assess the situation and decide what you think is best for YOU. Hopefully, you are doing great!

Share This Page