All About Your Gallbladder

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dubnars on flickr
Why you have it, keeping it healthy, and living without it

It was my last day at a very stressful job. My coworkers were gathered at a going away party, when I had a bad attack of indigestion. For weeks I'd been having bad indigestion and had been living on antacids; I'd just chalked up my "stomach problems" to the miscarriage I'd had earlier in the month and the pain of leaving a start-up I'd helped grow but finally had to leave in frustration. I went into the women's room to take a dose of antacid.

But as soon as I downed it, suddenly pain--searing pain, pain that felt as if I were dying--bubbled up from my chest and I collapsed on the floor in agony, pain radiating from my front to my back. I thought maybe I was having a heart attack; my staff called 911. I was carried out of my party on a gurney and taken by ambulance to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed as having a panic attack, given the sedative Demerol and sent home as soon as I woke up.

Fast forward four years almost to the day and one baby later. I was three months pregnant with my second child when I thought had a stomach flu I just couldn't shake; I was in such pain that I could barely walk by the time I got to the doctor's office. Dr. Pete listened to my story, poked at my tummy a few times, asked some pointed questions and sent me for an ultrasound with the words "suspected cholecystitis" on the order slip. That, I knew, meant gallbladder disease. A little research and suddenly everything that happened four years previous made sense: I wasn't having a panic attack, I'd passed a gallstone, and classically at that.

What the gallbladder does

The gallbladder is a little smaller than your fist, shaped somewhat like a pear. It nestles under your liver, about mid-torso to the right. Its main purpose is the storage of bile, a substance produced by the liver that aids in the digestion of fat. Bile is released as needed into the digestive system when the gallbladder contracts and squeezes it out through two bile ducts into the small intestine.

The gallbladder can become irritated and cause pain when gallstones form. Gallstones are small, hard, rocklike masses made up of bile salts and cholesterol that form rather like pearls form in an oyster; over time the stones get larger as they add more layers of cholesterol and bile salts to them, and new ones can form. Between 15 and 20 percent of the US population have gallstones, but of those people, only a quarter will ever know the stones exist; the rest experience no pain or other symptoms.

Irritation of the gallbladder occurs when the gallbladder contracts to secrete bile into the small intestine and the gallstones stop or reduce the flow of the bile. The bile then builds up and concentrates, causing the irritation. This is called cholecystitis and it usually occurs after the sufferer eats a fatty meal, especially animal fats. The pain is often confused with heartburn or indigestion.

In particularly bad attacks, or when the stone actually gets into the bile duct and is passed into the small intestine, the pain is excruciating, radiating through to the back and mimicking heart problems. (When I passed my stone, I would happily have shot myself if there'd been a gun handy, just to make the pain stop.) If the stone gets stuck in the bile duct there is a chance the situation can deteriorate into pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal condition.



Risk Factors for Gallbladder Problems

  • Being female
  • Pregnancy
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • History of intestinal disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's Disease
  • Overweight
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Alcoholism
  • Increasing age (more likely over age 40)
  • Asian or African ancestry


Symptoms of Gallbladder Problems

  • A feeling of fullness or gassiness
  • Abdominal pain, from fairly uncomfortable to excruciating, in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen radiating through to the back in the worst cases
  • Recurring similar attacks
  • Occurs within minutes of eating, especially after fatty meals
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • In advanced cases, jaundice--a yellow tint to the skin
  • Heartburn
  • Waves of chills and shaking

If you have more than a couple of these symptoms and the pain is moderate to severe, get to the emergency room immediately for evaluation.


Avoiding and dealing with gallbladder problems

Once gallstones form they are very difficult to dissolve; though there are drug therapies and other procedures available for people who cannot have surgery for some reason, they're not terribly effective. Even alternative medicine practitioners admit that after a certain point there's nothing to be done but remove the entire organ.

For those of us susceptible to gallbladder problems, the best thing to do is keep the diet low in saturated fats. Limit animal fats in particular and stick to nonsaturated vegetable sources of fat, such as olive oil. It's important to eat foods high in fiber as well. Keep your weight down, but don't go on crash diets; rapid weight loss can lead to gallstone formation. If you must lose weight, avoid very low calorie diets and lose weight at a slow, sensible pace focusing on exercise instead of calorie restriction.

If you suspect or are diagnosed as having gallstones and/or chronic (recurring) cholecystitis, the most helpful thing you can do is to immediately and seriously limit the fat in your diet, especially animal fats. Basically, this means going vegan--no dairy, no meat, no eggs. Most fish is okay, in fact, alternative medicine practitioners consider fish oil and olive oil to be beneficial in mild gallbladder cases when eaten in sensible amounts.

It sounds like a difficult regimen, but in fact once you slip up, eat something fatty and end up in the emergency room in pain, it becomes surprisingly easy. Some people keep it up for years. I myself managed it for about nine months, long enough to get through my pregnancy and a couple of months postpartum after diagnosis. In that time I had only two major attacks, and they both occurred after I had my baby, at which time my fat sensitivity seemed to become much, much worse.

Gallbladder surgery, or: Yank that sucker!

At some point it becomes clear (for about 900,000 Americans a year) that the gallbladder just has to go; there are too many stones causing too many bouts of too much pain. Luckily the gallbladder is one of the few organs we humans can live without if we have to. The usual way the gallbladder is removed is via a procedure called laparascopic cholecystectomy.

Before this procedure was developed a few years ago, removing the gallbladder required a large abdominal incision, and it took at least a week of hospital time and several weeks of downtime at home to recover. Now, using a fiber optic camera inserted through a small incision at the bellybutton, surgeons can remove the gallbladder through a set of three or so much smaller cuts that heal relatively quickly. Most patients are in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours and back to most activities within a week to ten days.

Since pregnancy is a risk factor for gallstones, sometimes women face the prospect of gallbladder surgery while carrying a baby. The best time for cholecystectomy during pregnancy is in the second trimester; the uterus is still small enough to be out of the way, allowing the laparascopic approach instead of requiring the big abdominal cut.

Unmitigated gall

I chose to tough out my pregnancy, worrying that even though the rate of complications from cholecystectomy is low I'd be the unlucky statistic. I managed my disease through diet, successfully forestalling gallbladder attacks until just after my pregnancy. At that point I suddenly became hypersensitive to any fat at all, not just animal fats.

Seven weeks after a really difficult c-section I had my gallbladder removed. The pathology report later said there were 15 gallstones in there, and the largest was 1.5 centimeters--about half an inch--in diameter.

Like everyone else who has had this surgery, I can now eat pretty much whatever I want, pain-free. Stories told to me by others in the same boat say that at some point I may actually eat too much fat and have a nasty bout of diarrhea, but that's about it; the level of "too much fat" apparently varies from person to person, but most people tell me it's the equivalent of a double bacon cheeseburger AND a super-size fry AND a supersize milkshake, ALL IN THE SAME MEAL. If you eat a meal like that (and not that I haven't in this life), I figure diarrhea is the least you deserve.

And, like everyone else without a gallbladder, my bile--my gall--instead of being held back until needed dumps straight into my small intestine. That's right, I now have unmitigated gall. (OK, I admit I stole that line from my friend Theresa, who had the surgery two weeks before me.) But in this situation, unmitigated gall is okay.

Comments

Guest's picture

They seem to not see any stones at all in my gallbladder but a study has shown that my gallbladder simply does not work properly... it empties slowly. I feel bloated and FULL of gass like My stomach at top riight to middle under ribs and breastbone swells or bloats really bad and it gets to where I cannot breathe and it makes it difficult to even walk when it is like that. Any comments or anything...

Lynn's picture

I am not a doctor, so I hesitate to give any advice that might be construed as definitive. But if it were happening to me, I'd look into pancreatic enzymes for starters. It sounds to me like you're having trouble digesting your food in general. Get to a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and/or a naturopath. You're not going to get help with this from an allopath. If you don't have one in your area, there are NDs you can do long-distance consults with. And check out the Yahoo group Native Nutrition. I've gotten a lot of help there myself with digestive issues.

Lynn Siprelle, Editor

Guest's picture

I have the exact same problem. I am going to have my gallbladder taken out. Have you been given any other advice from your doctor? I have been in pain for 3 months and I am on a 20 grams of fat or less a day diet until my surgery. I am only 21 and do not want to have anything unnecessary done but it just seems that everything else has been tried. Please email me with any questions/advice!

Guest's picture

I was 16 and just had a baby. It was my birthday and I was in the car and all of a sudden I couldn't breathe. I was rushed to hospital in ambulance and put on morphine my pain was so bad. They removed my gallbladder weeks later. Now I am 22 and pregnant with my 2nd child and I'm having such problems.. except my gallbladder is gone. Idk if not having one is affecting the baby or what's going on.. anyone have any similar issues?

Guest's picture

Hi, I have had gallbladder disease for many years before I finally got it out. On that day I knew I was about to get an attack and took some enzymes as I had thought they would help in digestion as you are suggesting.NOT a good a idea.Those enzymes had a very bad reaction when you have this disease. By the time I was in the hospital the doctors said my enzymes were through the roof.They are suppose to be int he 200's and mine were at 2000s because i took those natural (from fruit) enzymes.That caused my pancreas to get inflamed and I had to be in the hospital bed without eating or drinking anything by mouth for four days till it settled down as now I had an infected liver and pancreas so on heavy anti-biotics too.
All of that was due to my disease and large gallstone that was stuck BUT those enzymes send my numbers through the roof so DO NOT TAKE enzymes when you have this disease or you will sorry!I know from experience that the only thing you can do is eat no fat and you must have some sour foods that will help with the pain cause it helps the stone pass faster.This disease does not get better it never goes away.You must get it taken out asap if you have insurance do it asap do not wait.It only get worse with time.I never had insurance so I let it go till it was so bad that the only thing I could eat was baby food and then I couldnt eat that.I could have died just cause i waited so long.Dont wait.

Guest's picture

Re- enzymes are not good.. Enzymes have helped my pain alot before gallbladder removal and after.. And as for fatty food the only time i had an attack was to do with spaghetti, avocados, bread, alcohol.. So don't just think it's all about the fat coz it's not.... Now i've had it removed i can't eat anything, cereal, meat, toast, rice milk milk shakes, nothing.... So study hard people if it's coming out as it's not always going to be easy once gone.. XX

Guest's picture

I have the exact symptoms as you I bloat like I am 6-8 months pregnant sometimes. I changed my diet which I wasnt doing that bad before considering I work at a gym. I have asthma so when I bloat it makes breathing much worse almost like a panic attack sometimes. I did get the test done and my gallbladder doesnt have stones but is also not working properly, I know your post was in 2007 what did you end up doing for your gallbladder? They want to remove my gallbladder and they said I dont really have a choice, if it isnt working then why have it? they have ruled out everything else so I dont have any other health issues just my gallbladder. If you have any suggestions or what worked best for you, if you had it removed because most post I see they all had stones so Im trying to find someone that relates to my problem. Thanks!

Guest's picture

Don't assume it's gallstones, I had the same symptoms as you and it turned out to be celiac disease so worth asking to be tested.

TKSlater's picture

Hi, I just had my gallbladder removed on Monday so I am still in the first week of recovery. I went to the Dr. in January with what seemed like indigestion that would not go away. He gave me medicine (Prilosec) to treat the indigestion and scheduled for me to come back to see him in two weeks. I went back after two weeks, only with different symptoms. I was having these sharp pains shortly after I ate and this terrible pain that had me doubled over right under my right ribcage. He said he thought it was maybe my gallbladder and sent me for an ultrasound and Barium swallow test, which both came back negative. I didn't have gallstones. Two more weeks later, I am back in his office with the same pain, only much more magnified and more often than before. He scheduled me for a HIDA Scan because of my symptoms and referred me to a surgeon. The HIDA scan results came back and my gallbladder was only functioning at 15%. I spoke with the surgeon and he told me that the attacks will only get worse and that I should have the gallbladder removed. So, just because there are no gallstones, doesn't mean that you don't have gallbladder disease. The type I had is called Biliary Dyskenesia which means that the gallbladder doesn't empty properly. I have never had any health issues until now. I didn't realize that I would be this sore. The CO2 gas that they pump into you is painful until it dissipates. I mostly have felt it in my shoulder. I have been up walking around and finally got out of the house yesterday. Have been watching what I eat, just because I am scared to test the limits. So far, glad that I had it removed. Feel free to e-mail me if you like

michelle lugo's picture

hello im 19 years old i been having a burning pain in my stomach so i went to the hospital they said that my gallbladder is open but there's no gall stones inside they given me mends for no untill i see a stomach doctor to see what i have.I been crying and worried everyday what should i do.

Lynn's picture

The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath, let it out, and take another one. I know when you're in pain, that's hard to do, but do your best to calm yourself. You're very young, which means you're strong, and that gives you a better outlook from the get-go.

They're going to send you to a gastroenterologist--the stomach doctor. While I Am Not A Doctor, I think one of the things they'll check first is to see if you have an ulcer. Most ulcers are caused by a bacteria called helicobacter pylorii. There are a couple of simple tests for it. If it is helicobacter, the treatment is also simple; it's a course of oral drugs for a couple of weeks. You might not feel so hot during the treatment, but it's effective. My husband suffered for years not knowing what it was, until our doctor tested and treated him for helicobacter. It was nothing short of a miracle. It was 14 years ago and he's never had the problem again.

There are other possibilities. I don't know exactly what your symptoms are--and again, I'm not a doctor--but there are many, many things that could be going on here that can be solved easily. In the meantime, before you see the doctor, examine your diet. Keep a food log and see if the pain comes when you eat certain foods. I know, it's tedious and I myself HATED doing it, but it helped me.

Consider getting rid of gluten and dairy for a while and see if that helps. By gluten, I mean wheat, barley and rye--in essence, baked goods and cereal. Consider eating some probiotics--kombucha, kimchi, raw sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt. Those may help, too. None of those steps can hurt, that's the main thing; they're steps you can take while you wait for the doctor that may help and won't hurt.

Good luck, dear.

Guest's picture

Hi! I was wondering how it is going without your gallbladder now? I was also diagnosed with the same and have to sch an appt for a surgeon to discuss removing mine. I am just alittle hesitatant because this is not the 1st dianoises and I have been having problems for YEARS! I have such violent attacks where I am throwing up all night long and theONLY thing that takes the pain away long enough for me to rest is a trip to the ER for morphine! I am starting to feel like I am losing my mind becasue it seems like they are just making guesses! One of the 1st things they told me was it was stress. I have NO faith in our medical community and have been to see several doctors and specialists..so any suggestions or advise would be greatly appreiated!

Jamie's picture

Hello, I have posted on multiple sites the reason for the necessity ( or the false assumption by the greedy medical community ) to remove the gall bladder. High Fructose Corn Syrup in the "modern" diet is the reason for ALL digestive illness leading to the destruction of the Liver, gall bladder and eventually Pancreas ( type 2 diabetes or pancreatitis usually ensues ).

I have tried to warn the internet community of HFCS and what it does to the body but few will take heed.

Start by cleaning up your pantry. Get rid of ALL processed foods...even those disgusting croutons packed with HFCS.

Once you have ridden your family of these toxic products begin an internal cleanse of your abused organs. Go to trusted Homeopathic sites for more info.
Eat ONLY those things that the organic body was designed to ingest; Organic or naturally growing foods. Nothing processed. The Liver must read the code of everything we ingest so it might help to only eat that which it can read. Chemicals are not food and should never be misconstrued as food.

The most important thing that anyone could do for themselves is to educate themselves on the body systems and what they need to function; Organic or naturally occurring plants and herbs.

NEVER...and I mean NEVER put your personal health and well being in the hands of another human being.. especially if they profit from your lack of health. We are admonished, "Physician, heal Thyself!" Our health is our personal responsibility.

Stop trusting the FDA; They are criminally insane and corrupt.
Stop trusting Pharmaceutical companies; They are criminally insane and corrupt.
Stop trusting your "doctor"; He is owned by the Pharma companies therefore making him/her criminally insane and corrupt by association.
Stop eating that crap on the shelves at "grocery" stores and Franchises that passes as "food"; It is not.
Stop drinking anything other than water or juices made fresh from fruit or vegetables.

Anything that is genetically modified will likely cause birth defects in your unborn child. ( i.e. child born needing to wear a helmet due to cranial deformities, needing to wear glasses by the age of three, learning disabilities, mild retardation and crossed eyes are all symptoms of GMO {HFCS toxicity, MSG toxicity and Aspartame toxicity as well} destruction to the nucleus of the DNA .

Mountain Dew is known to cause a growing fetus' intestines to develop on the exterior of the body. A corrosive substance in this toxic filth, Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO, is the culprit. BVO is an ingredient used in the making of Anti-freeze.
Drink up!

I think that this will be my last time posting here in order to help my fellow man.

Guest's picture

TKSlater.....Thank you so much for your post! I have just been diagnosed with the same thing. After my HIDA scan last Friday, my doctor called on Saturday morning to tell me that my gall bladder was functioning at 15%. I will have it removed once I schedule the surgery with the surgeon. I have been trying to find research online regarding my issue, but it is VERY hard to find anything. I call myself the "research queen" because I can usually find anything online. But not this. When I read your post I felt like I was reading my story. When I went to my regular doctor, he ordered an ultrasound and xray at first. I was really embarrassed when his secretary called back to tell me that the only results were CONSTIPATION!! I told her that I have always had that issue, and I was completely cleaned out (from laxatives) before the pain even started. So I just didn't understand that diagnosis. Frustrated....I went to my digestive specialist and he ordered a colonoscopy and a HIDA scan. He was pretty sure it was my gall bladder, but wanted to rule out issues with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was so relieved to get his call and know that it wasn't just constipation. Made me feel validated. Thanks for sharing and also ~ thanks to the person who wrote this blog. I found it by doing a search for "gall bladder functioning at 15%". :) This was very educational and more info than I've gotten in weeks!

Lynn's picture

And I'm glad you finally found out what was going on!

Mom25kidzz's picture

I know this is an old post and I am hoping you respond. A month ago I was diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia also. Because the test was borderline the surgeon said we could watch and wait. No stones were noted. Fast forward 30 days. Pain in right shoulder constant, no relief, elevated lipase, itching. Waiting for MRI. How are you doing now with you gallbladder out and was it worth it?

Guest's picture

I am not a Dr, but have been well versed in natural medicine since I was 15. I was just diagnosed with a sluggish gall bladder. Pain since Sept. I was afraid to do a flush because I did not want to lodge a stone in my duct. My mother had that happen and they had to reconstruct her common bile duct and reattach it. Since they did not find any stones, I have started a liver and gallbladder cleanse to thin the bile and get things working again. My pain is gone. This page has the diet from a book I used to have. I lent it to someone and never got it back. http://www.liverdoctor.com/index.php?page=liver-problems&subpage=gall-bl...

Hope it helps!

Guest's picture

Thanks for posting your experiences here. Everyone I've talked to says there's relief in sight after the surgery - I'm just nervous about eating afterwards. (And I'm already on a vegetarian & fish diet, LOL.) It's good to hear as many positive results as possible! I was afraid for awhile that I'd never be able to eat a cookie again.

Guest's picture

I have had severe upper abdominal pain for a year that radiates to my back and a very sore spot to the upper left as well i have gas all the time and my upper abdomen feels so full i cant stand it cant get in any of my clothes and days my whole back hurts so bad i can barely stand up. I have at times had pain so bad in upper ab that nauseates me and goes to my back any suggestions the dr since i dont have ins i think passes it off as irritable bowel. i have had a colonoscopy and i was totally clean

mac's picture

just had the surgery two weeks ago found out that digestive enzymes help alot you can get them at a GNC or any supplement store

Guest's picture

Iam currently recovering from my gallbladder removal surgery and saw your post. Screw your doctor get a new one. You can be tested via ultrasound for gall stones. I had a cat scan not by choice because it comes with a hefty price. But from your explanation you have the exact same symptoms as I did. Please go get yourself checked and save time money and pain that I know drops you to your knees.

Guest's picture

Any updates??? I got my gall bladder taken out 3 years ago and now I can't wear a bra because it will cause pain. 3 times a day I am screaming in pain worse than I did when I gave birth. What the heck is wrong with me?? I have lived off nothing but crackers and water for 2 years now still the pain comes. I will be standing somewhere and my stomach will be flat as can be and 30 seconds later I look like I am 9 months pregnant and about to deliver. Why is this happening to me. I have been to 3 GI and they say there is nothing wrong with me it has to be IBS. Hello I don't have diarrhea I never have. Also, I took the IBS medicine it almost killed me. A note to all people getting ready to have their gallbladder removed a little advice do EVERYTHING You can to keep it. I never had this kind of pain before. Now I do not even leave my home because I don't want to have an attack walking or driving.

Guest's picture

have you tried going grain-free? cut out all flours/oats/any grains for a few weeks and see what type of effect that has on the bloating.

Lynn's picture

Going grain-free or nearly grain-free has helped my own health.

Emily's picture

hey my name is emily im only 17 years old and
when i was only 13 my gallbladder had to be removed and
it has taken some time to get use to it and i will
admit that it is really hard to be able to eat wat i want when i want
and i get a huge range of pain it is horrieble i need some help on
keeping my diet good so i can not get so many pains.

Laura Patrick's picture

My daughter had her gallbladder taken out at 17 years old she has stomach problems all of the time every day is a struggle, I wish I had something positive to say but I don't know what to do either she is 20 now and today is a bad day, she tried taking probiotics last night recommended from a friend and it was not good, so I don't know what to do. She does say that drinking a glass of milk before she eats helps, I don't know if it really works or if she just thinks it does............good luck sweetie, I'm sorry you girls were too young for this to happen in the first place. :)

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed two and a half years ago. i continue to have pain and I wake up in the middle of the night with "gallbladder atacks" The first doctor I saw thought it was GERD. The other doctors I have visited suspect sphincter of oddi dysfunction. To diagnose this condition they need to perform a manometry to measure the pressure of ths sphincter. in the last couple of months my pain has started to subside. i decided not to have the test...because there is a huge possibility of pancreantitis. You may want to see a doctor that specializes in this test to determine if it's for you. Hope you feel better.

Dschnepel's picture

I am so relieved to hear you talk about the pain in your ribcage. I too have been thinking possibly my gallbladder. I had reflux surgery (Nissen) done a few years ago and have had these pains since. They too told me esophogeal spasms and that I had dumping symdrome. This is apparenlty because they changed the size and position of my stomach by making it wrap around the lower sphincter valve to stop severe reflux. Now my stomach empties too fast. I don't want to have my gallbladder removed if that is not what it is. Have you ever received any other diagnosis since 2009 as to what the pain is/was?

Sorry you have had to go through this too!

Guest's picture

You may have a stone in your bile ducts. Removing a gall bladder does not help you if there are still stones in your ducts. These can be removed during an ERCP. I am having one in a few days.

Experienced twice's picture

I had to go back twice the second time the dr. S found out that a gallstone had fallen out into the tube and so they inserted a camera through my mouth (I was asleep) so they used a laser to break the stone ;)

Guest's picture

I had my Gallbladder removed several years ago during pregnancy as well. My pain in my last trimester resembled having the wind knocked out of you. It definitely brought me to my knees, but I too endured (by soaking in warm baths during episodes) until the birth of my first child. The post side effects…I have been plagued with the "dumping syndrome” or chronic diarrhea for years. This has always occurred post morning meal. The longer I fast in the morning the worst the diarrhea and don’t dine out for the first meal, because I will have to excuse myself. I have also gained a considerable amount of weight which surrounds my mid section and have heard this may be a post effect of water, gas and bile in my intestines. The last side effect is the frequent presence of mucus in my stool (no biggie). Moreover, I wouldn’t recommend the removal unless it’s absolutely necessary. Try diet changes and alternatives first, since you will definitely make your liver work harder. Do your homework… I didn’t.

porkchopdown's picture

I have been doing alot of research

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed about 30 years ago.There was no medical need to have it removed ,but as I went to see a surgeon instead of a gastro-enterologist I ended up without a gall bladder. I had no stones. Actually the same surgeon said, after taking the x-rays, that there wan nothing wrong with it but gave me some donnatal for spasms.
After a few days he called me saying that he had given a second look to the x-rays and found that there was a stricture (bull !!!) and recommended the removal after assuring me that I didn't need any gallbladder because I would still have the bile going down from the liver.
He didn't say the rest though!!!
Well, what I want to say is ,
Just don't remove any gallbladder if you don't have stones or infection. Don't touch your gallbladder. Leave it there no matter what the doctors tell you. They want to make money doing the operation.
As for the diet, avoid coffee, spice food and fats as much as you can. Eat small meals and use enzyme like Creon or Lapase to help digest the food, and have a happy attitude.
Don't hang around with aggravating people. You need peace. Chew the food good as the digestion starts in the mouth with the saliva.
Just don't eat too much.
Remember that even after the Gallbladder is removed, the portion left still may give you pain and spasms . Pain because of the operation (cutting nerves) and spasms because it still wants to squeeze bile which is no longer there. You may take with your Doctor's advice some Levsin and any good pain medication with food.
Otherwise you should be fine.

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed about 2 years ago after going to the ER 10+ times with the most horrendous pain in my life. Each time I was given some pain meds and sent home. Finally a ER doctor gave me an ultrasound and rushed me into surgery. She said my gallbladder was so diseased, the worst she has seen, and should have been removed the 1st time I was seen. I felt so great after surgery I could have run a marathon!! But recently have been experiencing very intense burning in my stomach and lower back almost to the point of making me pass out, then I break out into a sweat, and usually have severe bouts of diarreah with mucus. Then the weirdest feeling after is like a starving hunger pain/ burning sensation. Hard to explain but has anyone else experienced any of these symptoms??

aprilrain's picture

I got my gallbladder removed almost a year ago (July 2008) I've been having acid/bile reflux ever since. I did not even know i was having it until i kept going to my ENT & he said it was not a bacteria infection in my throat & finally figured it was acid. Shortly after that i was having burning & pain in my stomach. I'm having a sour taste in my mouth alot. I've never had acid reflux except when i was pregnant & this does not feel the same. So i seen a gastro. doctor a couple weeks ago to see if i have a ulcer because why would i suddenly develop acid reflux after 36 yrs. Anyways i did not have a ulcer. I have been trying to figure out what is going on because antacids don't really help & i get acid reflux with anything i eat or drink including bottled water. I've discovered in alot forums & medical articles that people are getting acid relfux after there gallbladders are removed but actually it really is more likely bile relfux. Its alot harder to control. I am still trying to see how i can stop this bile reflux without antacids drugs. Antacids drugs stop the acid in your stomach that protects your stomach from bad bacteria also antacids don't let you absorb nutrients & mineral you need like calcium, vitamin K, D,& A. If anyone has had this problem please contact me especially if you know of something that helps it get better.

Guest's picture

I am on the other end of stuff. I am trying to get a surgeon to take out my gallbladder. But my surgeon is a great surgeon that is trying to avoid removing my gallbladder. She has put me through all sorts of testing to make sure that it is indeed my gallbladder causing my pain RIGHT NOW! She already knows from Ultra sound that I have stones in my gallbladder. Your comment on this site made me think of one of the test that was run on me. I was tested for a bacteria that can live in your gut and sometimes causes problems while other times lies dormant. It is called H. Pylori or Helicobacter Pylori. 90-95% of people have it in thier guts It causes Ulcers, Heartburn, Irritation, and Abdominal pain. I would ask your doctor about this and see if this is what is causing you issues.

kristakay1's picture

I too had my gallbladder removed 4 years ago. I had absolutely no symptoms and then woke up in the middle of the night not being able to breathe. I have fibromaygia and they said that maybe that pain was greater than the gallbladder pain which is why I didn't feel anything. TRUST ME, this was worse than the fibro pain. They said that it was gangreen (sp)and super infected and it would have burst in less than a day. Anyways, my doctor prescribed a prescription for my bile reflux. I had it ALL the time after my gallbladder was removed. The prescription doesn't take it away completely but certainly does help. You should ask your doctor again. New medicines come out every day.

Guest's picture

Well damn... your whole article on getting out my gallbladder had me encouraged... until I read all of the comments. I've been suffering from INTENSE nausea for going on 7 months now and the doctors are just finally getting down to all the testing (I've finally found a good proactive doctor). I'm having my 2nd ultrasound tomorrow since this has started happening and we're going to go from there. I've had a CT scan and an endoscopy that both came back completely clean. My doctor is completely baffled, but he's trying to figure it out. He's convinced that it's my gallbladder and that if it is it needs to go. This has me really worried. I don't go around eating loads of fatty foods all the time, but I won't lie, I do enjoy fast food on the occasion. I also am in college and I'm hard pressed to find anything that tastes good and is healthy. And I don't want to have to worry about having diarrhea every morning after breakfast. Any recommendations as to what I should do if it comes to getting the gallbladder out? Thanks!

Candace metcalf's picture

ive had mine removed and i have to say i really really wish i had looked into other options first....there is not one thing i can eat that does not effect me...3-5 minutes after eating my stomach gets bad cramps to the point where i will cry or just sit there holding my stomach hoping itll go away..then it starts bubbling and rumbling and i HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW...like you gotta go immediatly.. and you wont have a solid bm again im sorry to say...i love food..sorry loved, and now i find myself holding on as long as i can without eating because how much pain its goin to cause! all those fatty foods..even the littlest bit of fat, any dairy,caffine drinks and spicy food...you dont realize what you cannot eat until you cant eat it....even when you dont eat those things your still gonna hurt just not sooo bad..

Lynn's picture

...and I'm very sad it's been yours. I can eat all those things with no difficulty; it takes a great deal of fat to make me sick, and my bowel movements have been, on the whole, normal. We all have different experiences with this. I strongly, strongly suggest you find an alternative medical practitioner, especially a naturopath. You *can* get help for this. Good luck.

Guest's picture

I've started taking calcium carbonate (1/2 caltrate tablet works for me) with every meal & it has worked miracles for my bathroom runs (pun intended) ;o)

M,G's picture

Hello there my names is Marta,had a question for you so this ""CALCIUM CARBONATE,1/2 CALTRATE TABLET....NOW DOSE THIS HELP YOU HAVE A REGULAR (B,M),,,,,I HAD MY GALLBLADDER TAKEN OUT THERES DAYS THAT I'M GOOD...BUT SOMETIMES WHEN I EAT AND I DRINK A LOT OF FLUIDS BEFORE EATING MY FOOD I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM AND IT MAKES GO,THEN AGAIN """I'M ALWAYS CONSTIPATED, I HAVE TO TAKE STOOL SOFTENERS,AFTER EATING I TEND TO SWELL UP REALLY BAD IN MY STOMACH AREA. IF I DID KNOW ME I WOULD SAY I WAS LIKE 4MO.S PREGNANT,,,, I THINK I NEED TO GO SEE A (G,I) DOCTOR, CAUSE TO ME THATS NOT NORMAL,SOMETIMES I EAT TO FAST DO YOU THINK MAYBE THAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH IT, BESIDES WAT DAIRY THAT WE SHOULD WAT CAUSE I'M LACTOSE INTOLERANT, WHAT DO YOU THINK???? THANKS FOR YOUR ADVISE!!! M,G.. :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

KellyH's picture

For constipation, I take two tablespoons of ground flax seed and put in fresh apple juice. I usually have one glass in the morning and one glass at night. It works wonders! It doesn't make me rush to the bathroom but produces healthy bm.

DS's picture

I was very worried after reading this site but I am here to tell you I had not one "conclusive" test come back saying it was my gallbladder other than one test showing "sludge" which is the beginning of gall stones. I had severe constipation, achiness on my right side and off and on nausea. I went through this for 2 years! I made the decision to have my gallbladder removed this past October and I will tell you it was the best decision I ever could have made! Most of the posts on this site are negative because obviously those who are in the 1% of "things that go wrong" are searching sites to find out if others have experienced the same issues. I think most of them are looking beacuse it wasn't necessarily their gallbladder to begin with. I will tell you I had a little diarehia for the first few weeks following meals but that was so my liver could learn to empty bile on its own without the help of my gallbladder. I am now back to exercising full time, have lost another 5 pounds because of eating good and exercising, back in college (at 40) and ALL of my bloating, horrible gas, achiness on my side, etc... is ALL gone! If you feel in your heart that this is what it is, get it out! You will not necessarily have diarehia the rest of your life! The chances of that happening to you long-term are very low. So, there now you have some positive feedback! Take care and nothing but the best wishes to you!

Porkchopdown's picture

Hey I've been having problems almost 2 years I've been from doctor to doctor & they stuck me on diets and none of them have thought it is my gallbladder so if they want to take out my gallbladder might be the best things doctors have agreed on just hoping the surgeon I want will take it out

K Donald 's picture

Hi There
I know this is an old thread from last year but Ds if you are still out there I would love to ask you about your gallbladder removal. I have been going through hell for the last 3 years with gastro problems primarily nausea after eating anything, burning/knawing hunger type pains, light stools, sour/bitter taste In mouth, pain under right rib and right shoulder. Ulcers have been found in my small bowel and a hida scan shows my gb functions at 32%. I have tried every natural remedy out there including a 2 week water fast but I am worse than ever. Doctors say I have a 50/50 chance of the nausea going after surgery. I would live to hear how you are getting on as I'm struggling to find any positive feedback for those hsbjng gb removed due to dysfunction rather than stones. Like you said in your original post, those who have had success don't normally write so i was very encouraged to read your story!! Many thanks, Kate

MzRedd 34's picture

Hi my name is Sharron. For the last 4 yrs i've been getting this pain that starts in my stomache and radiates to my back. It is so severe it literally knocks the wind out of me and i drop to my knees. Sometimes it lasts for a few seconds other times it last for hours. I've repeatedly gone to the ER and everytime they can't figure ou what it is. Once they did tell me my gallbladder was enlarged but it was ok. Now within the last 2 months i've been getting this bubbly gurgly type feeling under my right breast but very little pain with that. I am scared to know what it is but very curious to know. If anyone has had any of these symptoms please let me know what you think this may be because my doctors are not helping at all.

jessie's picture

Hello my name is jessica and my younger sister nicole had gallstones when she was jus 4 years old.She is the youngest in ireland to have gallstones She didnt get her gall blader removed but they washed it and put it back in and now at 13 is having really bad problems with her stomach they tink that the galbladder is leekin some mineral causing bad pain but as she is too young and is not fully developed yet they cant really deside if they should take it out or not as there is no gal stones anymore ,even though they will come back and she will have to get it out sooner or later she will know soon. But last year my mam was out and came home with a nearly dying pain and had to go the hospital she had gall stones and had to get her gall bladder out in emergency surgery . the pain was trigerd by a few peanuts. Meanwhile at 15 a few months after i started get bad pains myself i knew myself i had gallstones but as im afraid i didnt say anything but the pain got too much n had to go the hospital i had got them. i got my gal bladder out. now nine months later my body is really only after gettin back to normal i dont really get much pain but my only problem that im having is iv put on over a stone since the operation and im a very halthy person i go the gym 5 days a week have dancin 3 times a week and play sports and dont eat much fatty foods such as bacon, pudding any animal fat etc. and yet still put on weight. Have you any tips i will try anyting as it has knocked my confidence very much so and its depressing
thanks jessie

Guest's picture

Last night I started to feel a bad attack coming on. I made some rosemary tea (steep some rosemary in boiling water and add honey) and it worked! I started to feel better so fast! I'm researching home remedy type stuff because i'm too high risk for surgery. Staring monday I'm going on special "healthy eating plan" to help with this and other health probs.

AvoidingSurgery's picture

I have been seen by my chiropractor and although he can't tell me if I have stones or not, I have been having issues with my gallbladder for about 6 months now. It started several month postpartum with my 3rd baby. I was under a lot of stress and plus with having a baby I'm sure it didn't help.

I have been having off and on nausea for 6 months and have been having bad headaches, and occasional gallbladder discomfort. I am so sick of feeling lousy. I do not want to be seen by a medical doctor because I do not want surgery. I was wondering if anyone on here had any success with acupressure? I am going to be going to an acupressurist this week. I am really praying it works.

Thanks!

Lynn's picture

even a naturopath will tell you you have to have the surgery. If your problems are bad enough, you run the risk of pancreatitis, and that's a lot more urgent and extensive surgery than a gallbladder removal.

Guest's picture

I had acupuncture hoping it would help too. For me, of course it wouldn't be that easy. I've been going through this for about a year now. Doctor to doctor, none were really listening to me. This morning, or yesterday (I'm wide awake at 1 in the morning can't go back to sleep.) morning that is, around 3am is when today started as "the worse day of my life for my poor body". After episode following another and then another, my body was exasperated, done. I threw in the towel and said enough is enough, let's go to the ER. They gave me a shot of some pain med that didnt phase me, then finally morphine. ( explains why im up at 1am itching.. I think my pain may be trying to come back, maybe the drug is wearing off. Anyway, Thank God I did go bc now I have pain meds that will last me until I see the surgeon the day after tomorrow. I already had an appt to see a surgeon in 2 weeks, but I just needed releif. My muscles were saying "stick a fork in me, I'm done"! from squirming and straining from the pain all day long for about 16 straight hours of pain. 4 long and horrible episodes. I hope this is my ticket. I hope this will all be over soon. It's been a long year for me. Good luck to everyone and I hope you find answers too.

Kay T.'s picture

I had my gallbladder removed about 9 years ago. And for 9 nine years, I have been treated for IBS. I have fought diarrhea, literally living my life around a bathroom. It didn't matter what I ate, it was gone within 30 minutes. And it really puzzled me as to why I was gaining weight when i could not hold anything in long enough to digest. I have been on Belladonna, antacids, protonics, Immodium...you name it, I took it. Nothing worked.
Then I switched doctors. My new doc worked with me for about a year, and bless him!!! He figured out my problem. Apparently, since I do not have a gallbladder, there is bile leaking into my intestines and keeping it inflamed. He put me on "Cholestyramine for Oral Suspension" It's a powder, I mix with water, (I use sugarfree grape flavoring to cover taste) It says I can take up to 3 scoops a day, but I only use 2 (then I would be constipated!!HA!!). Yeah, it's like drinking sludge, but you know, I no longer live my life around a toilet!!! I get my 2 scoops over with first thing in the morning, and believe it or not, I can eat Mexican now whenever I want, and I can shop where ever I want afterward and don't have to scope out the quickest route to the restrooms anymore!!!
Anyone suffering as I have, please ask your doctor about this medicine, it will change your life.

Guest's picture

I too have the UH OH about two minutes after eating. Gaining weight even though I couldn't hold anything in. After several doctors I finally found one who prescribed the powder. I had a hard time taking it and searched for a pill alternative. I found it and told my doctor, she refused to prescribe it citing it didn't or no longer existed. I swore that it was the same type of drug (anion exchange inhibitor for binding with bile) and that it did exist, according to the Mayo Clinic (I tend to believe them!). She had her nurse call me back within a half hour and ask where I wanted it filled. The pill is called Colistid and you take two twice daily, they are large, but have no flavor at all!! Yay!!! I'm still a little upset that my Dr refused to believe me, so to all of you out there, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Ruby Bennett's picture

I had gall bladder attacks for over 20 yrs. Four years ago, I was rushed to the ER and it was 'removed'???? I was in horrible screaming pain for 13 months until I finally was found a dr who would give me pain meds.. I take Endocet now and I can tolerate the 24/7 pain. It never goes away. I was sent to the chief gastroenterologist who found a mass on the head of my pancrease (MRI), three masses on my left other mass type things, three on my kidney and an adrenal mass. He ordered an MRI every three months until Aug. last year when they found a tumor
( 3.5 x2 x 2.5) which my dr told me would turn to cancer. He said he would not do surgery until it starts to grow. I was told to get another MRI in 2 months. I waited until last week because I have had 9 MRI's in 2 yrs. It is now 3.8 x 2.1x2 and to me that is growing. The report also said I have a collapsed gall bladder. They took it out !!!!!
This is only twice I have seen the report and these two says they have found my gall bladder since it was removed. I have been taking 2 5/325 Endocets every 3-4 hrs. for over a year because the pain is so bad I can't bear it. I scream and swell so badly. Please tell me something!!! I feel like someone is covering for the dr who removed it. No one tells me anything, nor do they address the other problems because the masses and tumor are the only things they have addressed. The gastro dr was going to do the whipple proceedure as soon as he found the masses, but decided to wait, now I have a tumor that will turn to cancer.
WHAT DI I DO?

Lynn's picture

You find a new doctor, stat. You should not have to suffer like this. Your gallbladder CANNOT grow back. Either you are misunderstanding what's going on, or you've got some serious malpractice going on. Even if you have to leave town to do it, find a new doctor.

Ashley's picture

My gall bladder actually did grow back. It was the first one that any of the doctors had seen and apparently only the second documented case. It is very rare but it may happen. Also check out Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.

RedRdgHood40's picture

and I have to say I feel soooo much better I can't believe it. I didn't realize how sick I was until it was gone. Yes, I'm still learning to adjust to what foods affect me one way or the other but I suspect with time, I will be able to eat most anything. On the other hand, I an less hungry , feel full faster, and eat much less. I don't know if that will change over time, although I kind of hope not. I have lost 10 lbs this month, 6 since surgery. Before, no matter how much I dieted or went to the gym, the scales hardly moved.

I feel great!

HollyBrasseaux's picture

I saw a general surgeon tuesday after doing an ultrasound which shows me having multiple gallstones. he saw no reason to remove it as my pain comes but seldom. he said once it becomes too horrible to bear and it lasts longer and daily then he will remove it. he prescribed me bentyl 'only to be taken when having an attack' which will calm the gall bladder down. i feel for each and every one of you who have or still is suffering with this issue. may God bless each and every one of you that he may ease your pain and/or discomfort.

redrdghood40's picture

Had my followup with the surgeon yesterday. Turns out my gall bladder was inflamed and had blocked off ducts and he used a word I didn't quite catch, but I think it meant either that it had stopped functioning or was dying even. I'm not sure. No cancer involved (Yeah).

Anyway, again, I feel soooo much better it is such a relief to be able to eat and not have indigestion. All the pain and pressure in my chest, shoulder and back are gone.

To the lady who's surgeon suggested you wait, I say get a second opinion. I almost waited too long.

blvilla's picture

I have been having pain right in the middle below by ribs for years. It started as a pressure and over the years it has become pretty bad pain which radiates to my back and lower right of my back. Finally went to a doctor who did an ultra sound but they found nothing wrong with gall bladder. She then order a hydascan which is an imaging test with contract. The results of this test was that my gall bladder has 0% functionality. She referred me to a doctor to have my gall bladder removed. I haven't scheduled that consult yet. Here's my problem....the pain is so bad I would be so upset that after having removed the gall bladder the pain doesn't go away. From the experience of those on the board are there other tests I should have to ensure the gall bladder is the only culprit. What about the pancreas and spleen which are also located in those areas. The pain feels like something wants to burst in that area and the pain is not on the right side where the gall bladder reside. Also, what kind of specializt should I consult with on the surgery. I am at the mercy of my primary care physician and would much prefer a personal referral from someone that's been there done that. I am in the chicago area. Thanks for your comments in advance.

Lizard's picture

:O

Well Stated pain in stomache 11-16-09 and no matter what I do its there sometimes it grows goes gassy. CT ultrasound SLUDGE and Hydroscan 28 Well what else can it be but that?

So I'm on 2nd surgical consult
I'm phase reactant so I cant take pain meds and the proton pump inhibitors only work about a third
I'm severe asthmatic so GREAT surgical risk. I nearly croaked for hysterectomy and only med I could take was benadryl!

So I may be stuck for life convincing them (the medical profession) to up the prilosec or they might yank out that troublemaker.

Prob is my sister had hers out and 5 years later her irritation due to bile ended up as colon cancer.

So I figure that either I early retire or find a pack of bullets to bite or find some MD that knows what to do instead of guessing!

Lizard's picture

We were talking re symptoms and medical profession. I am sure out there somewhere are good caring MDs who just want to help. God Bless them and the patients hunting for them!

So Far: The doctor who left me in agony 3 weeks to see if it would just 'go away" then when meds didnt work gave me a 6 week followup and no help
The surgeon who freaked over my pain meds profile telling me hed only do surgury if I came feet first screaming into ER then dismissed me 'No followup needed"
The Urologist who decided (it was a nice day) to go golf and start his patients at 430...who had been sitting there since 1230!
The new GP who is helpless with severe asthma and second set partly working meds.
So Current score is 2 gastric 2 gall bladder

This reminds me of first OBGYNs who decided I was dying of ovarian cancer tried to Force me into Hospice to die, or send me to the Psych because I couldnt accept my diagnosis.
My GI and I said 'Horsefeathers!" I ended up at Ovarian Cancer Center UK. I said "Let's start by assuming I just escaped the worst OBGYNS in Ashland, got picked UP by a tornado and landed in your office. What I need is a DX a treatment protocol and if needed a surgical plan. Turned out I had PCS NOT terminal cancer so we either figured one HECK of a bad DX or a remarkable miracle.If the anesthesiologist had played doctor Id have been OK.

Then I had two local orthos tell me my knee was sprained it would be better in a month. I went To UK Sports Medicine. Three residents and two Orthopedists ringed the table. "Heck of a sprain" said the senior MD. "The @3! things completely disconnected!" I spent 16 months in a full Knee brace.

So cuurent since 11-16-09 Stage 1-2 pain under ribs meds run out due to phase problem in 1/3 time

Maybe Doctor #5 will be best of the bunch...if not its get thee to UK!!!

Lizard's picture

:grin: A cautionary tale Folks!

Doctor #5 went over everything
While HIDA is 28 it did not mimic my syptoms nor make me sick
All Symptoms gastric, sio HIDA could be a false positive
So Now on new Reflux meds and meds for Stomache ulcers and set up to have upper GI, consult with GI

So If you have gall bladder syptoms make sure even to #5 thats what YOU Truly HAVE

Hard to say Id be happy at stomache ulcers....but it beats surgury by a mile!

kahla's picture

:jawdrop: :P :grin: Ok so OMG! Last year i had this pain on my right side and back hurt and all that that everyone knows, well at the time i was out on the road (truck driving) and i went to lay down in he bunk because my ribs and back were killing me. T he only this that ever helped to where i could say aahahhhhhhh and feel better was heat. Anywho...... i laid down and i felt this huge bubble rise up in my chest and it felt like it shot over to my right side and blew up! Holy cow was i scared to death he said call 911 and i said no i hate hospitals (really its the needles) and im 26 LOL So i got light headed couldn't breath and my heart rate went wayyyyyyyyyyy down, talk about feeling like i was gonna die. so he took me home and i coldn't do anything for 2 weeks. Heat made it feel better when i slept. Anyways after 2 weeks i was able to get up and do what i wanted, oh yea in thos 2 weeks i went tothe hospital and the did the ultrasound thingy. Told me i had gull stones. So ive been ok for about a year now. I just got out of the hospital a week ago. I went in on the 5th the did surgery and yanked my gallbladder, got home on the 10th becusae they had to do the old surgery. Now i got staples they are takeing out tomorrow morning the 18th. So glad its over BUT....... I had broccoli,tomatoes,and carrots yesterday and i had the worst stomack pain in the world. So i ended up eating 8 saltless saltine crackers and peppermint tea for dinner and the pain went away. Im so scared to try all these foods again because i dont wanna get sick when my body doesnt agree with the food. It hurts to much. Everyone says not to eat fatty foods, and spicey foods and last i checked fresh vegie's arent fat or spicy? Anyways if you have advise on how to eat with out feeling like i have to barf everywhere or be on the pooper every 5 min of the day, e-mail me at pinkish182000yahoo.com thanx to all......kahla

Kiddagn's picture

:( I had my gall bladder removed about 2 years ago after suffering for almost 6 months not knowing what was happening. The pain felt was severe chest pains at first I thought it was my heart and then realized it was not. It was determined I had gall stones and needed to have the gall bladder removed. After surgery I felt much better for about 6 months and then the fun began. I have not eaten any fried foods since surgery and but have not been totally fat free in my eating. Although I try I just can't resist. Butters and margarines are another thing I avoid along with any added oils except olive oil that seems to be ok. I go a couple of weeks of feeling good and then it's like nothing I do makes me feel good. I get diarrhea which is the easy part. I still get the chest pains and most recently cold chills and the shakes as if I am cold inside and can't stop the shaking. I have been so cold at times I can't even get warm if I sit under an electric blanket. Nothing seems to work except time and eventually it passes. Has anyone else experienced the cold and the shaking chills like this?

Matt's picture

You may want to consider getting an X-Ray or CT Scan. I had my gall bladder out about 18 months ago and recently began experiencing a feeling of fullness or bloating right after eating. It was uncomfortable but bearable until this past week when I began experiencing intense abdominal pain which resulted in vomiting multiple times. After a day of this I went to the ER where a CT Scan revealed that I have a gall stone blocking the duct that feeds into the stomach. Apparently it's possible for gallstones to develop in the liver or for gall stones to exist in ducts after the gall bladder is removed and then build up. The lack of bile getting into the stomach can result in bad digestion and the build up gases, which results in the feeling of fullness. I'm currently in a hospital room waiting for an endoscopy to get rid of the stone.

Don't listen the people where who say doctors are only doing this for the money, tell you to look for home-remedies, try gall bladder cleansing, or whatever. If you're experiencing severe pain after eating then get to a trustworthy Gastroenterologist as soon as possible. If you wait too long you can end up with Pancreatitis or some other life-threatening complications. Good luck.

al's picture

Hi,

I was wondering how you.made out with your sick gallbladder. Your symptoms were as if you were describing my symptoms. I'm schedule for surgery but still hesitating for surgery. Any of your feedback will be highly appreciate it.

Thanks much

Al

AmyM's picture

I didn't have surgery. I had another Hida scan test and my gallbladder was working at like 90%. I gave up the Dr. appts at that point, and just changed my diet. I didn't change my diet completely, I just eat less of those bad things, like fast food and desserts. I still have symptoms when I eat too much or anytime I'm stressed. I eat alot less when I'm stressed. I think my intestines are strongly affected by my emotions. Wish I could unhook that connection. Best of luck to you.

searching's picture

i was wondering if you had surgurey yet. i am due to have it tomorrow and tempted not too. my enfaction is 6% working what do you suggest

Guest's picture

Eight years ago I had three severe gallbladder attacks. I went to my doctor who referred me to a surgeon. He said, "I'm ready but I can see that you are not." And I did not want to have surgery. So I started to do research.

I ended up doing a gallbladder flush, which completely cured the problem. I did a total of three flushes in six months. Since then, I do one annual maintenance flush every year. I have not had any recurrences of the attacks. Most people do not need to have to have surgery, if they only knew that they can do these flushes safely at home and get their good digestion back. All you need do is google "gallbladder flush" and they will find many recipes on how to do it.

Guest's picture

:( Had my gallbladder removed in 2004, at age 70. Since then I have gone through constipation, and then diarrhia, taking meds for both problems, going to doctors, having ultrasounds, scopes down my throat. Drs. say, "everything came out find", "TAKE YOUR MED". Two yrs ago, I started vomiting, up pure bile, for four hrs, went to the dr, he said I had a stomach bug, took more meds, and still experienced some belching up bile. (To make a long story short) I read where antacids would cause indigestion, so I cut my antiacids out, still hurting in my throat. I found an OTC, Multi-Enzyme Probiotic Formula, digestive support, which contains 1 billion Active cultures per serving. I take 1 pill morning and night, it works! Also eat yogart, it takes a while,two or three days, feel soooo much better. Wish I had tried something like this before having my gallbladder removed! I eat what I want!

kgfit's picture

Can someone please give me some advice...I am having Drs' pass off my gallbladder disease while I am having almost daily attacks. I get fevers and nausea. My liver is also enlarged. I have been having attacks since January. How the heck do I get these stupid Drs to heed my cry. I know my own body....I know enough about gallbladder attacks from reading. None of you mentioned anything about weightloss. I have lost a drastic amount of weight over the past year. I worry about gallbladder cancer. I had colorectal cancer 6 years ago. Also, I find that the Drs dont want to dispense any pain medication when I have an attack. Am I in the wrong hospital? This is Cleveland clinic Florida!!!! They are supposed to be top notch! Please help...what should I do???

Lynn's picture

and I mean, asap.

kgfit's picture

I have found another hospital very close by. They perform laparoscopic gallbladder surgery so I am going to go there. there is no use messing around with incompetent Drs!!!

Guest's picture

I have just read all of these postings and I feel worse now. I have had, for the last year, heartburn all of the time, pain under my right rib radiating to my back and terrible stomach/intestinal sounds. Medication for heartburn does not help. I don't eat much at all - never meat or milk products and I still burnnnnnnn. So uncomfortable. I believe stress exacerbates this angry little organ (as the Chinese call it). Today I began thinking maybe I should have it out but it sounds like nothing gets much better and probably gets worse after having it out. Does anyone think getting out the gallbladder was a good decision for them?

Lynn's picture

Not for all, but for most. For me, it was a godsend. I have had very few troubles since having it out, and when I have, I've just gotten too much fat at once--a LOT of fat. Each person must find his or her new tolerance level for all-at-once fat intake. I know many people who've had their gallbladders out, and none of them have had serious trouble. Anecdotes are not data, but don't take a few people's negative experiences as representative. Reading in the literature is inexact; as few as one in 100 or as many as one in three have troubles after surgery with diarrhea, but that last number sounds extremely high to me (I've only seen it once).

If you're still having trouble and you're not eating meat or milk, you need to be evaluated, right away. If a stone gets stuck in your bile duct, you can develop pancreatitis and have to have the gallbladder removed in emergency surgery. Don't wait. Find out now.

Good luck!

BadDadWhy's picture

Well thank you all.
I just had mine out a few days ago and was wondering if I made the right decision.
The ER checked it two ways, CT and Ultrasound. My surgeon explained it well the next day. I will watch what I eat, but I am used to that.
As for flushing, that is a neat way to make soap balls. I am a chemical engineer.
I thought I could have done it with fasting for a week, now I do not. I could have held off attacks for a while, but apparently at a high price.
Life sucks, sometimes they cut parts of you out.

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed 4 days ago because every time I ate I thought I would throw up and kept diarrhea. I've made the HUGE mistake of reading all these message boards about everyone's horror stories after surgery. I have been so tense and nervous the past few days wondering when all these miserable things are going to happen to me. I just realized though that out of all the hundreds of thousands of people that have the surgery, very few have problems, and I believe all of those find a message board to post on and warn everyone about the horrors of gallbladder removal. Yes, you can get diarrhea and indigestion, but if you have a good doctor, you can have that taken care of. This is my final board, I'm not reading anymore of this bunk and for those that do have problems, quit posting warnings to everyone. You're in the minority on this one.

Lynn's picture

I have had NO problems with my gallbladder removal, nor have the vast majority of people I know who've had it removed. Rarely I have trouble, but it's because I've eaten a great deal of concentrated fat at once.

I have zero regrets, and I hope you don't consider my original article to be alarmist.

Guest's picture

Wow now you guys sound like the doctors! Tell us because there are not very many of us that experience MAJOR PAIN for the rest of our lives not to post warnings or our horror stories!! Do you know what it is like to want to kill yourself because your in pain ever day for the rest of your life. You can't play with your kids or pick them up because it might upset your stomach and send you into a really bad stomach cramps where you can barely breathe. Never to go into public again because your afraid and you can't put a bra on because it causes the pain to come on faster. To go to bed every night praying to GOD you find someone that will listen to you and cure you. To take the pain away and let you go back to normal. But please tell us to be quiet to deal with it. If you spent one day in our shoes you would want help too! We are posting these comments in HOPE for a CURE so we can be NORMAL again!!! We don't post to scare people we post looking for answer's!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP US!!!

Dschnepel's picture

Ok, this is going on a year now that I have had all this indigestion going on. From the time I eat, I hear loud gurgling, have constipation (to the point that I no longer go unless I have had an evening of several drinks or milk of magnesia) I feel like a puff fish after I eat as I bloat and swell horribly which makes me have lots of pain in my stomach area. I have horrible gas and now for the last four months, I have had this ache on my right side and at times it wraps around into my back. Sometimes it is up my shoulder but not typically. Depending on what I eat or drink, I have severe nausea but because of reflux surgery, I cannot vomit but rather I just dry heave. I have previously been diagnosed with dumping syndrome because of reflux surgery being done a few years back. I don't believe this is dumping syndrome because it would have started after my reflux surgery and this didn't start until a year ago. Surgery was five years ago? I am so confused and don't know what to believe or think? Any suggestions or thoughts?

Lynn's picture

...but I would ask for an ultrasound asap because that sounds like gallstones to me.

Vanna's picture

Lynn,
I am truely happy for you that your surgery was a success. It seems as though you are the only one on this message board that has not had any problems.
The rest of us have not been so lucky. I am sitting here right now in a lot of pain 6 years post gallbaldder surgery and wondering why. I have been told rib cartalidge that keeps popping out due to the surgery. Who the heck knows, we are not doctors and the doctors don't know either. We wouldn't be on here if we weren't despirate for relief. Just sayin!

Guest's picture

I do regret removing the gallbladder because of trips to bathroom, bloating n all the other side effects.
I had two major attacks after my baby was born.
Decided to go to ER and did the surgery.
Immediately after surgery I started losing weight as I could not keep the food down.
its been almost 2 yrs and I do still suffer from diarhea mostly after caffein(tea), and fatty food like cookies, fries, and mostly after I overeat.
For last two weeks I started having green tea(hot) with kellogs mini wheat which are fibre filled.I am feeling the difference.
I drink two three glasses of hot water a day and it works.
I do get some prickly needle pain and I am still confused about that.
I learned that Spinach cleanses liver from dr.Oz show ;I started eating spinach and it works, too.
when I follow the above routine , I cam easily manage having a fajita dinner at mexican and no gas after eating all those beans.
I hope it makes a difference. I just cannot live without mini wheats though , it makes my day go easier diarrhea.

In the end I do regret having the surgery ; I could have waited and followed the diet I am doing now and I think there would have been no need to go for surgery.

Thanks for great posts.

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed on Sept. 3, and it was the worse mistake I made in my life. No stones, just didn't work, or so they said. I've lost close to 25 lbs and can't eat anything without feeling like I will throw up or have diarrhea. I have mucus poops too. It's been horrible. When I don't eat, I'm sick, and if I eat I'm sick. My diet now consists of rice, certain types of white bread, potatoes, applesause, green beans, turkey and some fish. That's it...oh and fat-free saltines. I take a probiotic, I take enzymes, I take Colestid. No one has an answer for why I feel this way, but it's hell on earth and I can't stand it much longer.

Guest's picture

;) Creon .. Creon .. Creon (10,000)... I can eat foods, i'm not in the toilet as much... Incredible how i felt SO SO bad and now i'm getting better.. I ate cornflakes and rice milk for the first time since my op in September (now Jan).. I'm having normal bowel movements now, i have had " that feeling " in my tummy twice since the tablets but the result wasn't as bad as i have been used to (it u know what i mean). Keep searching these kind's of sites as we can't expect doctors to know everything, all this experience does add up to something.. Good Luck.. XXXX

Jamie's picture

High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the many toxins that cause gall bladder disease and High Cholesterol...leading to gall stones. The Liver cannot metabolize HFCS so stores it as "fat" leading to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. The Liver must make cholesterol with whatever it has on hand and this "fat" from HFCS ends up in the Gall Bladder....but you will not get a "doctor" to tell you this. HFCS is linked to obesity, Diabetes and basically cirrhosis of the Liver.
I was born in the pre-HFCS days and can say, unequivocally, that there were no epidemics of gall bladder disease, diabetes or obesity. Very few people were "Obese" or even "fat", yet, nearly 70% of Americans are overweight today. nearly 97% of processed products and those found in fast food franchises are laced with this unnatural toxin which the body has no idea how to process it since the body is 'Organic'.....but, you won't get a doctor to tell you to stay away from this toxin.

All animal and other natural fats ( found in dairy, meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts ) are soluble ( meaning that the body can process them, some meat fats are harder to digest than others ), yet, hydrogenated fats ( which are ubiquitos in the processed diet ) are insoluble therefore being stored in the body. This is a disaster of epic proportions...yet you will not get one doctor to tell you to stay away from a highly processed diet. They will just tell you to stay away from fatty diets.

I destroyed my gall bladder, Liver and Pancrease with this highly processed diet. The body is an organic system so can only process natural foods. Processed foods are laced with chemicals and artificial toxins.

I now suffer with SOD III with absolutely no cure or relief.

Please do your own research on how your body works and the toxins that the "FDA" has approved for your consumption. The FDA is not our friend.

Guest's picture

I've been going from doctor to doctor and I've told them where it was hurting in my right side so one doctor sent me to a surgeon and the surgeon did explortore surgery and didn't think my gallbladder was bad. I been doing alot of research on gallbladder problems and I have most of the syamptoms,but some doctors don't think it could be my gallbladder that is acting up. So know I finally went to a collage to see a doctor and I told him where it was hurting he doesn't think it could be a gallbladder problem he thinks its something else. I been having stomach problems for almost a year and they haven't figured out what causing my stomach problems and I lost up to 15 pounds and I can't eat nothing that has grease in it or I get big time sick so I hope somebody can tell me what the problem is. :) :)

BadDadWhy's picture

2-7-2011
Have you had radioactive dyes put in by either eating them with a fatty meal or having them injected?
I had a CT and ultrasound done before the doctor decided mine needed to go. If those two tests are negative and exploratory surgery said no, you probably don't have a bad gall bladder. Do not have it removed unless you have to. It would not fix the problem and your quality of life will diminish ( for me I would say about 5% down after 7 months [7-18-10] )
Obviously you will keep trying to fix this. Have you changed your diet, that is a quick easy fix.

Guest's picture

They have set me up for high tec CT Scans,but I did have exploretore surgery and they said it was fine, but when they romved my appendix and they got it underneath a micro scope it was so bad.I have another gallbladder test done along time ago and it took them 3 1/2 hours to find my gallbladder so I've been praying to God that he get show doctors that it is my gallbladder because my family has alot of gallbladder problems

jamie's picture

Excellent advice. Please change the diet. All processed foods/fast foods are toxic and CAUSE 99% of the digestive problems we have. You do not see people in poorer countries going to doctors in the numbers that we do here in a "first world" country because they eat natural/organic foods which, by the way, are the only kind of foods the body can digest.

High Fructose Corn Syrup ( Aka "Corn Sugar" now, thanks to the duplicity and complicity of the FDA )causes "Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver" disease, Dibetes, High blood pressure, obesity, Pancreatitis, Gallbladder Disease and more. High Frictose Corn Syrup is in the hamburger bun you get served at your fav fast "food" chain, in your jams and jellies, ketchup, bbq sauce, some cereals, breads, cookies, cakes, soft drinks, teas, frostings, fake maple syrups, instant oatmeals, pop tarts, granola or breakfast bars, juices, yogurts, salad dressings, candies, puddings, little debbie cakes, other brand snack cakes, canned fruits, fruit fillings, pickles, relishes, ice cream ( almost all brands except Haagan Daas ), frozen desserts and frozen dough, baby foods, chocolate milk, juice box "juices", popsicles, and more.

It is very difficult to avoid this toxin if you have a highly processed and convenient diet. I cook everything from scratch and use only fresh fruits and vegetables and chicken from a local meat market that does not use antibiotics, steroids or hormones in raising their hens. I only use organic eggs, butter, milk or get them locally from farmers. I make my own tomato paste, fruit syrup and get local maple syrup occassionally. I can a lot of things for convenience. I make most of my own breads. There really is no reason to eat a poor diet because the longterm ramifications of consuming one will have disasterous effects on our health. I suffer from Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction from having my gallbladder removed back in 2004 so I am slowly autodigesting my Pancrease due to the bile and enzymes NOT being able to make it to the Duodenum. These bile salts and enzymes back up into the Pancrease. It is horrifically painful, debilitating and exhausting to live like this, but, the upside is that I probably will not live a long life due to this medical malpractice.

The Gallbladder CAN and SHOULD be cleaned out before making the drastic decision to yank it. It is necessary to have a gallbladder.

For those of us that have already had it yanked I recommend seeing a Naturopath to help with managing longterm health care with natural, herbal supplements. I have been on them for 7 years and credit them with keeping me alive.

Some of you will not develop SOD/Pancreatitis so count your blessings. Those of us who do will need a large support system because it is a long and stressful journey without the support of family, doctors, friends and employers.

MSG is also another toxin that leads to hypertension, diabetes and obesity and should be eliminated from the diet altogether. No TOXIN is okay in "moderation".

I hope that you do change your diet to see if that improves your health any.
I wish everyone here a lot of support and wellness.

Guest's picture

i had my gallbladder removed back in july 2010, an to this day i still have problems, as soon as i eat i better be next to the restroom, or im in trouble. An i just dont know what to do anymore.

jamie's picture

Please read my post to Dr to Dr. Changing your diet might help with this symptom. This is called "Dumping Syndrome". http://www.answers.com/topic/dumping-syndrome

I would recommend seeing a Naturopath. I wish you good health.

porkchopdown's picture

It hurts on my right side underneath my rib cage so could that be a gallbladder problem or something else :)

Rehan's picture

Hi!
Hi!
i am 31 years old from India.Last year(2010)in april i had a severe attack of diarrohea.Since that night until now i am having mild pain on the right side,below the ribcage.The pain radiates sometimes to other parts, back and chest.there were diarrhoeas too.Also since that night my hands and feet grow hot when i take meals or if i go for a brisk walk...two months back i had severe burning sensation in the chest and stomach and i was taken to emergency care..But in a few hours the sensation had come down..I have done ultrasound and so many other tests.Recently i did colonoscopy,endoscopy and CT Scan of the abdomen.They showed no problem.Then i did the Hydroscan;the doctor told me that the gall bladder was not functioning.He said that there were no stones but it was not functioning.He then recommended a surgery.I am yet to fix a date with the surgeon.Any advice on this..
Since i stopped taking oil and milk there has been improvement.The bowel movement is almost normal.My color had turned dark but when i stopped taking oil the color came back to normal.

Rehan

BadDadWhy's picture

Rehan,
I asked the surgeon about the nerve that makes the gall bladder contract, she informed me that it has no nerve but is instead controlled by a hormone signal. Hormone blood workups are difficult and expensive here in USA, probably worse in India, you could try a teaching hospital. It seems that your condition could reverse and you could gain the use of your gall bladder again. I would hold off on removal till you have become clear on what is happening.
Next time you find yourself in a situation were you are eating a fatty meal try holding the food in your mouth for a while, swallow a little, then hold off for a half hour. Also try different spices.

Heide's picture

I had my gallbladder removed 5 or 6 years ago, ever since my surgery, i get severe pains in my chest and right where my rib cage meets. I have been to the ER, and the doctor for it and they tell me its nothing. i know its not just nothing cuz it hurts so bad sometimes i cry. I cant find anything to help it. If anyone has had the same sypmtoms as me and knows what to take to help it, please let me know. I cant handle this anymore!!

So annoyed's picture

:jawdrop:

Two months straight of increasing and consistant pain, nausea, vomiting, can't eat because it hurts, mystery stabbing pain in the back, TWO ER visits and the @#$# ER did nothing--no scans, zilch. So much for Northwestern Memorial being the best (I even drove myself to the ER the first time). You know what four doctors and 3 residents said? "Oh you definately have ulcers. Get an endoscope." Well I did and it's 100% normal/clear for ulcers.

Stupid ER first time did a blood test and gave me licodaine and malox and sent me home. Second time in the ER with such severe back pain that killed every time I breathed in, I was dizzy, disoriented, blood felt like it was rushing to my hands. Horrible feeling. They pulled the blood work from 6 days ago and that was it. Another lidocaine/malox shake and sent home. No scans. They said "it's ulcers".

After talking with my gastro doc who did the endoscope she said "um back pain like that is performation, not ulcers." So now I"m wondering if I have a gallbladder perforated, sitting around like this because none of the mofo docs are taking me seriously. I KNOW when something is wrong. I know how to read peer reviewed journals, etc. and every single one of them say gallstones and/or perforation.

Ultrasound tomorrow morning. Let's hope it finds something. Otherwise I have to wait until APRIL to see a gastro doc or die until then.

Docs should stop looking at "only upper right quadrant pain = gallstones" because if you have every single one of the symptoms minus that and jaundice (a sign of very serious) take the patient seriously and do a FRIGGEN SCAN upon entry of the ER. NW's policy must be unless you're bleeding or needing jumper cables to start your heart, they won't do squat.

Now who is going to pay for my useless ER bills beyond insurance?

Guest's picture

:? yea I have been have pain in my lower back and then sometimes I get pain bewteen my right shoulder blade, but the doc's have done every test there is. I changed my diet but that didn't help at all and I haven't seen a doc for almost three months know so I have throwing up but I didn't go to the ER I'm just going to wait instill I go back to the doctor and then tell him see what he says and sometimes if I still eat something that has alot of grease or fat I can so much pain its sends me alomst to the ground

Lynn's picture

Have they done an ultrasound?

Guest's picture

they have not done an ultrasound yet because doctor's don't think its the gallbladder

Lynn's picture

...from a doctor not in that practice. I'm not a doctor but those are definite gallstone symptoms and an ultrasound should have been called for long ago. They're not that expensive and they're non-invasive; I don't understand the hesitation.

Guest's picture

they never think to run a ultrasound but they ran one test on my gallbladder and it took them almost three 1/2 hours to find it and they had to go through my side to find it so this doctor better come up with something or I might have to ask to go to somebody else and I might have to ask him about an ultrasound ehn I go back on Tuesday

SaraMR's picture

I had my gall bladder removed about 5 weeks ago. I still get pain when i eat, doesnt matter what either. I feel sick most of the time, have had some good days. I feel pukey after eating and very full even if it was a small meal. not eating fatty or greesy foods at all. I am constipated, I take more laxitives and stool softners than a person should. I burp all the time too, never before. dr's did a ct scan everything was fine. he put me on ulcer meds, which made me even more sick. anyone else have issues like this???? Is it just to soon after surgery, is my body still recovering or adjusting? everyone else is running to the bathroom, I almost wish that was me, instead of being constipated. what to do now???

debrajean's picture

I have the worst bring you to your knees pain a week after having gallbladder removed. I spent a few days in hospital being treated for pain. MRCP showed dilated bile duct but no stone. Sent home with percoset and told to follow up. Nothing and I mean nothing takes away this pain. I can not live like this.

Porkchopdown's picture

Well I finally went back to the doctor and they told me the next step that they are going to do is remove my gallbladder because I'm so tender right there and I get sick after I eat grease food so its know up to the Gastroentologist to send me to the doctor and know we found out I have a low white blood count so that could be caused by my gallbladder as well

Guest's picture

Before you decide to have your gallbladder removed, consider doing a flush first. You could save your sanity and health. The best one I have found is at sensiblehealth.com which provides a tincture called Gold Coin Grass which helps to break up and soften the stones before and during the flush which minimizes the chances of a stone getting stuck in the bile duct. For the flush, grapefruit juice is reported to taste better and even work better than lemon juice. Also, if you're on this site, you probably have a bad enough problem that you are going to need to do multiple flushes over several months before the problem is resolved.

The reported success rate of people who followed through the whole program is 100%. You will succeed! And for the what-if-ers, worse case scenario is that you just end up heading back to the operating room for the same procedure you were trying to avoid.

toninalder's picture

my doctor told me that flushes do get rid of the stones but they will come back so surgery is the only option. also getting gallstones can aggreviate your gallbladder and cause it to thicken, like mine has so no amount of flushing would help.all you would be doing is aggrevating your gallbladder more and more everytime new gallstones form and my doctor said if i didnt have it removed there would be complications in the future. flushes might not be the best way forward

Porkchopdown's picture

I haven't been to the doctor that has to send me to the surgeon yet & all the doctor told me to do is just eat small amounts of food instill we can figure things out

tonialder's picture

also whatever you do stay away from fatty foods!

sue1235's picture

I am scheduled to see a gen surgeon the 13th. My gallbladder syptoms was not the norm. After almost two years I have an answer. After eating certain foods my stomach would bloat. NO PAIN. Id look like im pregnant. I have always had loose bowel movements. After all kinds of tests; ultrasound of my gall bladder negative. Scopes ok and not wheat intolerant. On my own discover I was lactose intolerant and if I ate wheat it bloated. After losing 40+ lbs from eating differently....the last 3 wks were awful. diahrea; nausea,vomiting, chills, achey no appetite ended up in er for dehdration....went for a hida scan of my gallbladder per suggestion of a friend. It is only functioning at 7% should be no lower than 35%. Will have it out.

Porkchopdown's picture

Hey its me again I still think I'm having gallbladdder problems because I'm still having pain under my rib cage & I went on a trip & for three days I threw up 7 times, but I got back & called my main doctor & they set up another scan that I already have & it came back fine, but I still having pain under the rib cage & I had another doctor telling me that my gallbladder should come out & a person that worked at the hospital that I had my test done at so what should I do next

Porkchopdown's picture

:(

Lynn's picture

Get a second opinion--which it seems you've done. His/her opinion apparently is that it IS your gallbladder and it needs to come out. If the main doctor says it's not your gallbladder but doesn't seem interested in discovering what it is otherwise, I'd change doctors. I can't tell you what to do otherwise; I'm not a doctor. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

Porkchopdown's picture

well before I left on my trip my main doctor said it didn't need to come out, but I went on the trip & I was sick for three days & the doctor that was on the trip started coming up with some ideas & told me there is a chance for my gallbladder will have to come out

Lynn's picture

Find another doctor, get examined, and get a second opinion. If they continue to insist it's not your gallbladder, you must continue to insist that they figure out what it is otherwise.

In the meantime, consider cutting out gluten for a couple of weeks to see what happens. Grains containing gluten are wheat, rye, barley, spelt and kamut. I know it sounds hard/impossible, but I live very well without them. :)

Porkchopdown's picture

well I have tried a gulten free diet but it didn't work so I haven't tried any other diets yet

Porkchopdown's picture

& I'm going to snother doctor to see what he says

sara22's picture

I have been having pain in RUQ for quite awhile along with feeling sick after eating. It is much worse when I have greasy/fatty foods or coffee, which I love! My dr. sent me for an u/s and it did not show any stones and my hydascan came back with an ejection rate of 99%. I do have elevated liver enzymes as well and my dr. as referred me to a surgeon. Has anyone else had their gallbladder removed due to being over active? Or would it be possible for me to control by changing my diet? Thanks!

Porkchopdown's picture

you might want to try to change your diet because thats what they surgeon will tell you to do if you gety ou gallbladder taking out & I have not have mine taking out yet

Porkchopdown's picture

you might want to change your diet to see if that doesn't work because if you do have your gallbladder taking out you will have to change your diet.

Guest's picture

Sara: Im similar. Had a HIDA scan of 71%. Had naseau, fevers, fatigue, RUQ pain, digestive/appetite issues, lost weight. My gastro right away said that GB was abnormal. Had my GB removed two weeks ago. Feeling better and dont have the problems a lot on here are talking about. My surgeon stated that it normally takes 8 weeks to get to the new you. No post op pain and starting to work out again. Was Vit D deficient over winter which caused all kind of problems (weakness, fatigue, bone and muscle pain, tingling etc.) Vit D is a neuro hormone so when you are low on it it can affect your whole nervous system. Surgeon stated that bad GB can defintiely affect fat soluable vitamins like D.

susant's picture

My daughter had her gallbladder out at 12 she is now 14 experiencing severe pain everday in ribs and sternum. Also, she is experiencing all symptoms of fibromyalgia. She's getting checked for lyme disease also. I feel I wish I knew more, because it was the severe attacks everyday for about 6 months and the hiada scan showed her gb was working right why i had her gallblsdder out. I wish I didn't ,because it can cause serious issues down the road that we don't know about.

Angela Dealtry's picture

:( I had my gallbladder out last year. I was in hospital a week because they went through a hole in my stomach and it felt like a lit cigar was being crushed out where they went in. i also never ate afterwards because even the thought of food made me feel nauseous. The pain from the scars lasted months and now i rarely feel hungry or full when I eat. BUT other times I get days where I have to stop eating for a few days as it feels like the food doesnt digest and just sits in my stomach feeling like a heavy stone, and I also still get the "poke in the ribs" pain I used to get before the surgery. Ive been back to the dr cos I think Ive still got a stone there but he says not and just gave me some Ranitidin. No one has even mentioned about a change of diet or any symtoms I may suffer from after the surgery. I am a vegetarien but i mainly live on dairy so for now Im trying to moderate my diet. By the way gallbladder problems can be hereditary in case you were not aware (Ive thanked my mother for sharing lol)

Guest's picture

Sara. My HIDA scan was 71. My gastro stated that it was abnormal and I had it out two weeks ago. Feeling better. I was Vit D deficient which affects your whole nervous system since Vit D is a neuro hormone. Surgeon stated that bad GB can defintiely affect your fat soluable vitamins like D. I was weak fatigue dizzy digestive issues, RUQ pain etc. No stones. Surgeon stated that gallbladder was chronically inflamed and diseased. Glad I had it out. Ive eaten pizzas, fried chicken etc with no problems.

Angela Dealtry's picture

When they took my gallbladder out the surgeon told me it was a good job as it was bad ( I asked if it was cancer but she would'nt say) and it might have been the end of me if I had waited any longer (I went in on 999) but I have finally found something thats sorted out the "stone" in my stomach and now have no problems with what I eat. Im taking aloe vera juice it doesn't taste very nice but it can be mixed with juice. 25ml twice a day and even the "poke in the ribs" went after a week. I feel much better but its a permanent thing I think because a missed a few days because I ran out and it came back.

Guest's picture

I am putting off having my gallbladder removed til after Christmas. The ultrasound showed a fixed medium sized mass - either a stone that has fused to the wall of the gallbladder or a cyst of some sort is causing massive pain!! However I also wanted to state that after my grandmother had hers removed - a HUGE stone formed inside the common bile duct. Caused her immense pain - she had to have another surgery to remove the stone. So - just because you have your gallbladder removed doesn't mean you will never have another stone !! Hope this helps :)

HeatherST's picture

I had my gallbladder taken out 2.5 years ago. I had an ejection rate of 1.5%.
They said it needed to come out.
Since then, I've had problems. Acid reflux really bad... pain in ribs, no one seems to know the problem.
Some night/mornings the pain in my ribs wakes me up from my sleep. For the past 2 years I would sit up and within a few minutes it would subside.
I have altered my diet. No beef, no fatty foods, fried or the like, no wheat products. Lots of water.
Last night I had the most intense pain yet. It woke me up (after months of not having it) and I sat up for a bit. laid back down, came back. Took advil, nothing. Took acid reducer, nothing.Pain radiates around to my back. (i already take nexium, btw.) I am 34 years old, and eat well, I think. No junk.
The only thing I can think of is we ate fajitas last night. perhaps the spices did it??
At any rate, I keep scaring myself - I fear the worst, of course. I just wish a Dr. would a)find out what this is, and b) take me seriously for once.
Thanks for the rant..
Heather

Cassandrav's picture

Im 17 and I have problems with my gall bladder as well I have stones and one very big one.The pain has gotten so bad that now only eat soup. The docoor that will be operating is going to do the same surgery to me unless the gallbladder is inflamed. The infromation you haalsove given is eally helpf ul. Also for a perons my age its rare for a young one to have problems with their gallbladder but sadly problems with a persons gullbladder runs in my family. Thanks again for your information.

Pixie's picture

I've been experiencing what I can only conclude is a gall bladder attack about once every couple of months. It's pain that radiates directly under my right breast and sends a burning type of pain through my back and upward. I saw a doctor about 2 years ago where they did a sonogram to check and found nothing and sent my back on my way. The attacks used to only happen once every 4 or 5 months but have steadily gotten worse. The last 2 that I have had were only 20 days apart. I don't know what to do. I don't want to spend money on another doctor appointment where they're just gonna pat me on the head and say everything is fine when it isn't fine. I just had an attack tonight and now feel completely drained. Broke down into tears during tonights attack and just laid on the bed unable to move for about 20 minutes. What do I do? I've tried dieting, but I don't eat very many vegetables. There's only so many green beans, corn, peas, and carrots before one attempts to gnaw off their arm in hunger.

marie zimmerman's picture

Hi i am new to all this i have been reading all these posts but i can not seem to find one that matches to my problems. every few weeks i find that after eating i start to get chest pains then i begin to bloat this then causes alot of pain what causes me to be sick a few times once i am sick the pain eases off but due to the bloating it feels like i have bruised my ribcage and chest so for around 5-7 day after the attack i am in alot of pain it comes and goes. I have problems sleeping with it as if i lay down on my back,sides or stomach i really hurts as where if i sit up right i seem to get some comfort for me to fall to sleep i have to be drained out and i have to literally just pass out where ever i am sat. i did go to the doctor and she just told me to take digestive pills (prilosec) and she gave me flexarol. once the flexarol had run out and i was just taken the digestive pills i an straight back and i have a chest attack once again. Any ideas?

Guest's picture

I had my gallbladder removed 2 days ago ... I can't believe that I put it off for so long ... it is so much better to have this as an elective surgery than to go into the ER in the middle of the night!

I don't know yet what my digestive system will be like once things settle down .. but any diet lower in fat has to be an improvement! I don't want to ever have to feel that kind of pain again!

p3's picture

Well i have been so confused what to do? You all have interesting outlooks. I had the scan done a week ago and was told i had an inflamed gall bladder , with gall stones. I was in so much pain with a burst cyst my gallbladder was secondary at the time.Now that the ovary has calmed down i cannot stop holding my stomach.I have been holding off on going back in even after surgeon told me a couple of days, scared is my stupidity.But after reading the pros and cons on here have made me decide i will go in tomorrow! Because what you describe with the gas,diarehea,reflux problem , I have these problems already.cannot leave my house for too long without needing a bathroom close ! So thanks for your info..........good place to get info........P3

Guest's picture

me & my family think that my gallbladder is acting up but a surgeon doesn't want to take it, but I also don't want it to go bad and have to have emergency surgery if I can change the surgeon mind & I wish I could

linda logan's picture

Hi, my husband had a really bad attack four years ago. He went to a clinic for a scan the next day and they diagnosed cholysistitis -a thickening of the gallbladder wall, with small stones and sludge. They gave him oral medication, antibiotics, etc., and recommended removal of his gallbladder. He went home and carried on eating fatty rubbish as usual. However, all this summer, he´s had recurring stomach pain and then just before Christmas, another really bad gallstone attack. He went back to the clinic a week later, they gave him medication again and told him not to eat any more fat and to schedule the operation to remove the gallbladder. He feels shivery now and then, is burping a lot and has a very rumbly stomach. I think he´s putting off going to hospital because he´s a heavy smoker and has convinced himself he´s got pancreatic cancer. He´s naturally slim, but hasn´t lost any weight and isn´t yellow. Would cholysistitis cause persistent stomach ache ? Thanks.

Guest's picture

Hi,

34 years old, on and off pain started in rib area radiating to back after my second daughter was born in Feb 2010. BUT as of Dec last year, I have had bad episodes of pain, with diarrhea, nausea, feeling dizzy, pins and needles in hands and feet, panic attacks at night etc etc BLAH! Had Ultrasound showing GB thickening and no stones, and CT.Given antibiotics and painkillers but other than that not much. Booked to see both a Gastroenterologist (first) and a Surgeon. Reading all of this comments makes me feel

A) incredible empathy for GB disorder sufferers

B) incredible empathy and compassion for those whose pain and other symptoms lingers after having their GB removed

C) confusion about what my next steps might be

I am compulsively reading Healthy digestion the natural way and I am going to embrace a very healthy diet (but that baffles me - I have always eaten really well- I think I may have got "digestive" (won't say if it is cholecystitis for sure yet) problems because of emotional reasons and possibly due to iron deficiency in my pregnancy)

Anyway wishing you all the best for your health in the future.

lisak's picture

It' been 2 weeks today that I had mine removed and I feel great.
My gallbladder was only functioning at 14% no stones just that uncomfortable pain under my right rib cage.
My surgeon took picture from the camera and showed my husband after the op how my body was trying to compensate for the gallbladder not working and skin had grown around it so yes I am happy I had it out - was nervous at first.
I have not changed my diet although I am not a big fatty eater. My stomach has started to work by itself after 10 days - I took a laxative after 5 days.
I feel lighter I do not have that heavy feeling under my ribcage anymore.
The pain from the surgery was nominal the gas in the right shoulder is uncomfortable but that goes after about 4 days.
Everyone's system is different but one big thing - make sure you have a good surgeon - I believe this makes all the difference.
Here's to a quick recovery for all that are thinking of having it done!

jules vickers's picture

im so pleased for you that your gall bladder op went well. i cant wait to have mine out the pain is horrendous. ive said i will take a cancellation so im just hoping that phone rings ive got my bag packed ready cheers for you information take care jules

Guest's picture

I would want to get my gallbladder taking out but I'm about to start back working but I won't have to work every week just certain weeks so I was wondering if I should try to get my GB taking out or not

Lynn's picture

Some people think I'm not sympathetic because the surgery worked for me. Nothing could be further from the truth. As someone who suffers chronic pain from other issues, I sympathize utterly.

I suffered from digestive difficulties before I had the surgery and I had them afterwards--but I didn't have the horrible gallbladder attacks, and that made the surgery a success for me.

What finally cleared up almost all my digestive problems:

  • Eating fermented foods--kombucha, saurkraut, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, anything with live cultures. If you can't bring yourself to do that, take probiotics. Get live cultures into your system.
  • Cutting out gluten entirely and most other grain as well. I eat a little popcorn, the (very) occasional gluten-free cookie, and a bit of rice when I go out to sushi a couple times a year. I pay for it when I do.

I Am Not a Doctor, but the gallbladder can be only the tip of your problems. Regular doctors are NOT versed in nutrition or eliminating digestive problems with foods; they spend very little time on it in med school and depending on the doctor no time on it afterwards. They have only a certain set of hammers, and everything to them looks like nails. Do your research, try an elimination diet, and good luck.

Ange 's picture

Hi Lyn it was good to read your post, I've had my Gallbladder out & had alot of trouble keeping food in after some meals.. I was on enzymes but now i'm on Ibogast drop's, which work..I'm having alot of trouble eliminating foods that give me trouble.. I'm not able to tolerate wheat,dairy,sulfur, so I don't eat these..
Some mornings I react to my breakfast (rice porridge or Egg on grain toast) other mornings I don't, I have a feeling that if I eat the same thing too many days in a row I can react? I think I react badly to the grain bread.. Bla bla bla...
In your opinion What foods don't work well after GB removal & in relation to bile flushing. Atm I am not able to go to my naturopath for treatment as i would of in the past to learn & understand about what is happening, it would be wonderful if you cloud give me some more insight into how and what changes after GB removal or point me to another resource that i could study/read to learn more.. I also know that everyone reacts different..
Thankyou for your time, you do a great job here.. Xx

Guest's picture

I'm going back to the doctor again to see if he can decided to take out my gallbladder because I have changed my diet that didn't work & the last time I went to him he gave me med's for gallstones that didn't help I tried to cut back on anything that has had grease in it so I hope I can change the doctor mind this time

jules vickers's picture

hi just read your comment that you are going back to the doctor well i think you must. i started with gall stones 2 years sometimes it calms down then other times the pain is horrendous im on a list to have mine out. in fact this week i rang the hospital to say i will take a cancellation at short notice i cant wait to have it done it makes me feel miserable and i sleep to forget the pain. good luck. julie

Guest's picture

well I went back to the doctor he still thinks it could be my gallbladder so he is thinking on doing another scope down my throat to see if the muscle of my gallbladder is acting up & if it is then they will probably take it out

Guest's picture

:jawdrop:
That's right - two years ago I had a horrible gallbladder attack. I knew I had gallstones, but I was trying to eat right & avoid the surgery for as long as I could...just too busy to take the time off + had two friends die from the surgery in the early days of laprascopic gallbladder removal so was a bit spooked. I was admitted to the hospital while on vacation out of town & away from my doctor. The gallbladder was badly infected and, according to the post-op report from the surgeon, almost impossible to remove. It took 4 days of IV antibiotics to get me healthy enough for the surgery.

Fast forward two years & here I am having the same attacks. Had an MRCP last month & found my gallbladder is pretty much still there and I have gallstones again!! I am now fighting with my insurance company (they don't want to pay for the the same surgery twice) and as before I simply do not have the time in my schedule for surgery. To make matters worse, my doc sez this will be full-incision-eight-weeks of recovery surgery!!!!

I even looked into filing a lawsuit against the doctor who did the surgery, but Texas has such horrifying anti-patient malpractice law it is almost impossible to win a case against a doctor here and you are limited to a very small settlement if you do happen to win...great. I have to fight the insurance company (maybe even pay the $60,000 myself) go under the knife again for very dangerous surgery and lose two or three precious months of my life just because the doctor couldn't be bothered to do it right the first time. BTW - the doc that did my surgery is a world-class surgeon wtih a resume a mile long. Just goes to prove that even the "best" make mistakes.

Just wanted to pass along my experience as a warning to others that just because you have gallbladder surgery, your troubles are not necessarily over.

Guest's picture

That is a horrible story! Will the insurance company that you had for the original gallbladder surgery go after the doctor/hospital for filing an illegitimate claim? If you can't get anywhere that way, go to your state's insurance commissioner and tell them your story. Somebody has to be held responsible for paying for a surgery that was never actually occurred. Good luck!

Keva1022's picture

Hi everyone,
I have a question that I hope someone can answer for me.
I had an appointment for a stomache ultrasound this morning, I was supposed to get the results before they left for the day but now have to wait until Monday so I am wondering if anyone knows the answer.
While she was doing the ultrasound she said the walls of my Gallbladder were thick. I did fast for about 10 hours but on the way there I had a small ice coffee with cream and sugar.... She was not sure if that could cause what she was seeing.... She said that if the walls were that thick that my Gallbladder is a diseased Gallbladder.. She said that she could not let me know about the coffee if that would throw off the results or not. and I cannot seem to find the answer online anywhere. Hopefully someone can help me to know if having a little ice coffee matters at all or if it does not make a difference either way.
Ive been suffereing for many years with every stomach issue in the book, but the only thing that ever comes back off in my bloodwork is a few of the white blood cells numbers. Wouldnt a bunch of levels be way off if someone had a diseased gallbladder also?
Thanks so much for any replies !! :)

Guest's picture

well I had a second ultrsound done on my gallbladder it came back fine, but my weight dropped a pound but my doctor still doesn't think its my gallbladder, but then he stuck me on meds for my gallbladder that didn't work but I'm still having pain don't know what to do

Guest's picture

@Keva1022 - I just finished up with a gallbladder ultrasound and meeting with my surgeon on Friday. My blood results were all normal and I have a diseased gallbladder. The surgeon said that many of us can live with a diseased gallbladder and/or it full of gallstones and sludge and never have problems with it. Each person is different and their bodies act and respond differently. A diseased gallbladder is something to discuss with your doctor and see what their thoughts are on it. It may be the reason you are having stomach issues.

PS - I seriously doubt that coffee with cream before your U/S would erroneously show you had a diseased bladder though.

Good luck!

Guest's picture

yea everything that they done on my gallbladder has shown up fin, but I still think my gallbladder is acting up but some doctors want to take it out some don't

Guest's picture

Hey,

I am 20 and i'm prone to getting peptic ulcers so i take lots of antacids daily to stop that. My stomach lately has been burning alot, when empty and when full even on max antacids, which causes reflux and burning in my throat. I also have been suffering from overwhelming nausea for about 6 months. I don't have stomach pain or anything but my mum had her gallbladder taken out about 8 years ago. Do you know whether my gall bladder could be causing these problems? I've been poked and prodded by every needle and test possible (even the h.pylori or whatever the stomach bacteria one is that causes ulcers and gastritis) but i'm still suffering so i'm asking from your personal experience, or anyone else whether this could be my problem? Would love some feedback before asking my doctor for a HIDAscan which i dread feeling this ill! Thanks!

Guest's picture

Ok. So 8 months later.....

Basically I thought I would write about my experiences because it may help someone going through the same thing.

After I last wrote I contracted colitis from the prescribed antibiotics which lead to leaky gut syndrome. After this I went through an endoscopy, colonscopy and HIDA scan (26%) - basically I have a low functioning GB but no stones.

I would like to say I have always been in good health apart from this and eaten fairly well - not much junk, but I am a stress head. Anyway, I have sought out various professionals to help me with GB pain (a sort of burning pain I get when I eat various foods - milk or most dairy, citrus, wheat, eggs)and radiated mid-back pain and various other complaints due to GB (insomnia, sore joints, digestive complaints, some menstral irregularities). I should point out that though I want to keep my GB, but I understand that sometimes it is not possible for others particularly if your GB is in a bad way.

In terms of helpfulness I have rated the professionals I have seen (I am grateful to have been able to access them all):

Accupuncturist: 4/5 - Kind and understanding, moxabustion was very helpful

Physiotherapist: 2/5 -Seen for mid-back pain, some relief at sessions but not long lasting

Oesteopath: 3/5 - Seen because I had a feeling that some structural damage may have cause the GB problems, relief lasted for a couple of weeks and then tailed off.

Pyschologist: 4/5 - Very helpful and relieving to express feelings

Naturopath: 3/5 - Quite helpful, though some of the herbal mixtures provided caused digestive disturbance

GP: 1/5 - Though sympathetic, basically thought I was a whinger until the HIDA scan did verify that I had a problem.

Gastroenterologist: 1/5 - V. unhelpful and bascially told me though he didn't want to take out my GB, he could do anything and made me feel hopeless cause I was living with daily pain

Dietitian: 1/5 - Basically unhelpful and told me not to eat any fat whatsoever, which I know is wrong - it is the type of fat. I can tolerate small amount of olive oil, avocado and coconut oil just fine. My diet is v. good - I eat lots of fish, veg.,fruit, gluten free products (brown rice bread), brown rice, beetroot juices, dandelion tea, green tea, some goat milk yoghurt. Sounds boring, but you get used to it after a while.

So I basically think my problem stems from an emotional disturance (I was v.stressed around the time it started dysfunctioning) / structural (ie. from thoracic spine misalignment) cause and ,though I am feeling alot better, I will keep going until I find an answer to my problems. Good luck to you all on your journey.

Guest 's picture

Hello again,

I went to the chiro and had an xray taken - bad misalignment of neck (from MVA 10 years ago) and my right pelvis is tilted, which means that these two areas are putting massive pressure on the nerves on my right side midback area (which you guessed it the leads to my gallbladder). So I am having weekly adjustments and feeling alot better. For anyone with a low functioning gallbladder without stones, I would recommend seeing a chiropractor because you may have an underlying structural problem.

Best of luck (and health) to you all.

Guest's picture

Hello again,

Well the chiropractor was not that helpful after all. Went to another Gastroenterologist, this one was very helpful and thinks that I might have some kind of allergic reaction to different foods that has occurred when I was pregnant with my second child, and has been latent until a period of stress in my life. Okay, it is a hypothesis but I am clinging to anything at the moment. My pain has greatly reduced due to the dietary changes that I have incorporated so it is a reasonable assumption. For anyone out there with a low functioning gallbladder, eliminate foods that cause you grief - your body will let you know. I will tell you how I get on.

lsk71's picture

In March, I had an "attack" of some sort. Came on suddenly, felt like horrible poo cramps, had diarrhea & vomiting. No pain in upper right quad. Went to ER bc my sis is a Dr. & was concerned abt appendicitis. Blood work & ultrasound of kidneys, GB, appendix, liver normal. Diagnosed w/gastritis & sent home w/pain pills & anti nausea pills. No more prob's til fast forward a month ago, came home after a dinner out (steak & salad- I've been eating low carb diet for 4 months- down 25 lbs, love diet). I digress. After that meal, extreme bloating, very uncomfortable, diarrhea. No "pain" (just uncomfortable). Since then, it's been almost 4 weeks, still bouts of upper ab bloating, belching, sometimes a clenched feeling right under sternum, feeling miserably full after not eating much on occasion (like tonight)! I can't link particular foods bringing this on. Was tested for celiac & H Pylori & both negative. Being seen by Dr. (Internist). Ab X-ray & bloodwork normal. HIDA scan in 2 days. Has anyone had similar, "uncommon" symptoms & it was their GB? Dr also said take probiotic in the meantime which I am (Culturelle).

PS: 8 yrs ago I had my first "attack" that sent me to my first ER visit. Felt like someone was cinching a belt tight around my waist & pain centered in stomach. Diagnosed with Gastritis!! Upper GI & ultrasound normal. HIDA was 3% then. Met w/surgeon & he wasn't convinced it was GB & told me to change diet. I didn't really but fast forward to now, 8 yrs later, issues!!!

Thx for the feedback!!

Guest's picture

Hey I have had the something for 3 years know doctors have done anything
& doctors sent me for every test there is and they all came
back fine but I found out from the surgeon that did my sister if you are big time skinny the test will come back fine but as to see a surgeon and beg him to remove your gallbladder

Helen Bingley 's picture

Has anyone been told thet have ibs but have found out that they actually have gallbladder disease? My doctor wants me to get a hida scan. I also have gastritis and diverticular disease

M.'s picture

Hi,

thank you for sharing your experience. I too am pregnant and have just discovered that i have gallstones.
having already had a severe gallbladder attack, i am managing everything through diet.
however, i just had a quick question for you... were you allowed to continue/ start omega-3 supplements at all during pregnancy?

Do let me know,
thanks,
M.

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