I have CONSTANT nausea, belching, lightheaded feeling and of course, no appetite. I also have fatty stools and a dull pain from time to time under my right rib and breast and under my sternum. My stomach rumbles and growls.
My nausea is so bad at times it wakes me in the night.
I have an appt with a specialist (GI) in two weeks but this is miserable.
I also cannot tolerate any fatty food.
Anyone else ever had these symptoms? I'm scared.
I had an abdominal Ultrasound in Sept that did not show any gallstones and my liver profile then showed mildly elevated ast,alt and alkaline phosphatase. The Ultrasound also indicated fatty liver.
I had an earlier bout of constant nausea over the summer and into early fall but it went away. It was not as bad as this.
By the way, I'm perimenopausal and also have a hiatal hernia.
Thanks for reading this.
Last edited by Chantal231; 12-04-2008 at 05:16 AM.
Hi Chantal - It could be your hormone imbalance from perimenopause. I am in the same boat. GI troubles have been my worst symptom of peri. I've been feeling pretty awful for about 16 months - had all sorts of GI tests only to turn up acid reflux (which I take Zegerid for). I went on Hormone Replacement for a month and began to feel better, but stopped taking it because of the risks down the road. If you trouble IS perimenopause, everyone says it will get better someday. Waiting it out is the hard part.
Your symptoms line up exactly with what I have -- biliary dyskinesia. Basically it's a low functioning gallbladder... no gallstones or anything... just a gallbladder that doesn't work. I've had this for 3 years and they just recently FINALLY diagnosed me a few months ago. Have your doctor run a CCK Ultrasound or a HIDA Scan to check for gallbladder function! You're welcome to read my other posts for more info, or ask me questions... it's terrible to live with nausea ALL the time, along with the other symptoms you mentioned... it's definitely taken its toll on my lifestyle :-/ Hope you feel better soon. And if you do, please let me know how you did it!
What do you eat that agrees with you best? I'm having a hard time making food choices.
Have you ever had the nausea so bad that you started sweating and felt faint?
By any chance are you on the birth control pill? The reason I'm asking is that I was and went off it and my stomach was better, still some issues, but liveable. Then I started having problems with my periods and my Dr put me back on it and the nausea and other symptoms related to it came back full force. My periods improved BUT I can't handle the severe nausea. I stopped the pill this past weekend so I'll see if my symptoms subside once the hormones are out of my system. I definitely think there is a connection. It warns about gallbladder disease on the patient packaging.
If it turns out my GB is low functioning I don't know what I will do. I've read of many cases where there has been no improvement after surgery and in some cases things have been made worse! I don't have much pain now, hardly any, but what if I ended up in pain post-op, never to improve?
My husband keeps talking about when I feel better. I don't think he realizes I may never feel "better". I'd like to go back to work but can't even consider it because of this illness.
When you wake up in the night nauseous does your heart beat fast like you're scared? Mine does but calms right down once I'm fully awake and realize it's just my stomach.
One last question. What was the HIDA scan like for you? I was scheduled for one and chickened out fearing I'd be sick afterwards from the radioactive stuff they put in your IV. Also I read that some people said they thought the scan worsened their condition.
Please keep in touch and thanks for your support.
It's been very difficult to find foods that I can eat with minimal effects (I always feel nauseous so eating is never 100% enjoyable!), but I do seem to have some staples that work for me... here are a few (maybe this will give you some ideas):
Spaghetti with Barilla Tomato & Basil sauce, topped with cubed zucchini and a little onion (sauteed in water -- sometimes with fresh garlic too), fresh tomatos, jarred artichoke hearts (good for the gallbladder), fresh basil leaves, a little avocado, and a little low-fat parmesan cheese. I seem to be able to eat more of this meal than anything else, and I love Italian food, so I eat it quite often. Sometimes I have it with some french bread.
Veggie sandwich -- made on toasted whole grain bread, spread with hummus, seasoned with herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, that kind of thing) and black pepper, with lettuce, tomato, carrot slices, cucumber slices, and green bell pepper slices. I have this with low-fat baked corn tortilla chips, and sometimes an apple or other fruit. Fresh dates for dessert.
Vegetable soup -- homemade from potatos, carrots, onion, fresh garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, celery, peas, corn, vegetable boillion (from Whole Foods), herbs, salt and pepper. I have this with toast with apple jelly (no butter), or another type of bread... sometimes with saltines.
For breakfast I stick to fruit and one of three things: toast, homemade oatmeal (topped with cinnamon, lecithan granules, and pure maple syrup), or frozen waffles (Vans 97% fat free) with pure maple syrup.
I am also drinking as many fresh vegetable/fruit juices as possible... lots of carrot juice, with apple, beet, celery, cucumber. I also drink apple cider and apple juice because I have heard that it's good for the gallbladder and digestion.
I can't seem to handle anything citrus (oranges, grapefruit), anything with much caffeine, or of course anything high in fat.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas... for the most part, if you have gallbladder trouble, it's good to stick to very low fat (the most I will have in a meal is about 5 grams) to reduce symptoms. It's helped me a little, but definitely not cured me, so that's why I'm doing the vegetable juices as well as taking vitamins and doing a liver/gallbladder detox to try to fix my gallbladder (something that doctors say is impossible to do).
Like you, I don't want to end up worse off (or the same!) after surgery, and realistically not having a gallbladder DOES impare digestion regardless of whether you feel it or not, so I'm trying alternatives rather than jumping right to surgery.
I do get nausea so bad that I sweat and feel faint... that happens often. I actually blacked out once, and have come close to fainting/blacking out many times since. I am dizzy almost constantly, sometimes to the point where the room seems to spin and all I can do is lie down. Sometimes I will get heart arrythemias (heart skips a beat or beats irradically) that my doctor attributed to being due to my abdomen and gallbladder spasming. I have woken up in the middle of the night with my heart hammering away, like I was running a marathon... one doctor thought that might be due to adrenal problems. I probably do have more going on than just an abnormal gallbladder. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome many years ago, and with exercise and fresh vegetable juices it went away completely, but I wouldn't be surprised if many of my current symptoms are related to CFS coming back since I haven't been able to stick to my active, healthy lifestyle since I've been suffering with these awful digestive issues.
I was actually on the pill. This spring. Before that, I was actually starting to feel a little better and my digestion was improving, my symptoms lessening, and then I got married, got on the pill (good old YAZ), and within a MONTH my health completely spiriled down and I have felt absolutely awful ever since. I stopped taking the pill after being on it just 2 months. I have heard that it can impact gallbladder function, and apparently for me, it did! I won't be taking that stuff again! It was nice to have lighter periods, less cramps, less moodswings, less worry about pregnancy, all of that on the pill... but seriously not worth it given how it impacted my gallbladder and digestion!
I had my doctor order a CCK Ultrasound rather than the HIDA scan. All they did was inject CCK liquid (not radioactive) into my arm through an IV, and then measured through an ultrasound to see if my gallbladder contracted properly. When they did it, all of my worse symptoms flared up real quick (I almost fainted even though I was lying down), but that was over in a matter of like 5 minutes and then I felt back to how I normally feel (which isn't great, haha). My body's reaction to the CCK (essentially the equivalent to eating a huge steak or a fatty hamburger all at once) helped the doctors confirm that my gallbladder wasn't working... also my ejection fraction was only 18% (40% and above is normal). It really wasn't a bad experience and I was just so relieved to finally figure out what was wrong with me! So anyway you could always ask your doctor to order a CCK ultrasound rather than the HIDA scan if you want to avoid the radioactive stuff.
Are you taking anything for the nausea? I take ginger capsules and softgels often whenever I start to feel it coming on really bad, and then if it gets to the point where I just can't stand it, I take a Dramamine... it wipes me out (makes me SO sleepy) for nearly an entire day but it's well worth it sometimes just to get the relief. Nausea is so miserable to live with. I feel like I've been pregnant for 3 years, haha.
These are classic gallbladder symptoms! The scariest for me were the heart palpitations that woke me from a dead sleep.
The HIDA scan w CCK can cause discomfort for some patients. It is the CCK a hormone that your digestive system naturally produces to tell the gallbladder when to squeeze out bile, that can cause the discomfort. You will need the HIDA scan to get a diagnosis and treatment.
Some gallbladder patients can be treated with Ursodiol or Actigall instead of surgery. It is a long and expensive course of treatment, however it does work for some people--I continue to be a success story.
While it is true that 10% of gallbladder surgery patients have some side effects, those that have permanent long term problems are a smaller number. If you are in continuous distress the surgery may be worth the risk. It seems to me that if you can get diagnosed, treated/surgery now instead of suddenly winding up in the emergency room you are way ahead of the game.