Re: Just my exerpeince...
HI---just thought I would relate my experience about your post. I first had a problem in 2003 with a very strange pain in my gallbladder area, nausea, pain. I went to my GP and had an ultrasound of the gallbladder that was "absolutely normal"---no stones, no sludge or gravel, not thickened, normal size. I also had liver tests, all normal at the time and they have been normal for the last 5 years as well! I then had a HIDA scan, read by a radiologist as a "normal study"---ejection fraction of my GB was 78%. Still, 5 years later I have fairly frequent episodes as you describe. Yes, I still have the back pain, through the right side, which is known as "biliary colic" and swelling of my GB area if I eat too much.
I was given a diagnosis by two doctors as "ACALCULUS cholecystitis"--which means gallbladder malfunction without any stones. This means my gallbladdder contracts at the wrong times. I choose NOT to have my GB out because that in itself can cause terrible problems--I know many people who thought it would end their problems, but now they have constant diarrhea and can't eat much! Some people do fine, but many more than you know do not! Having a GB out can also lead to higher cholesterol in the body and the diarrhea leads to other imbalances, setting off a very vicious cycle, even including suspicion of future colon cancer, as with the GB gone, the bile drips out constantly onto the delicate intestinal surface. Besides all gallstones are made in the LIVER not in the GB and you can't live without a liver!
I have cut out ALL fatty meats, eat lean dry-ish chicken, turkey and some fish. Onions give me problems as do spices. Once or twice a week, I put a castor oil pack(high grade only, first cold pressed, from a health food store only--no grocery store types--they do not work the same)----slather it on the GB area, put a heating pad wrapped in a pillowcase on the area for one hour, then go wash the area with baking soda and water---and take taurine each morning -it is said gallstones usually can't form if you take taurine. It has been 5 years, and I have minimal pain if I watch my diet. Better than lifelong diarrhea! PS I have read that a HIDA scan with a GB ejection fraction of less than 28% is reason to have your GB out. Thankfully mine was 71%) Best of luck to you--sometimes surgery cannot be avoided, don't wait too long if you must have it, it can become life-threatening and rupture!