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Old 01-25-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

I've read alot of gallbladder disease on the net and it usually says that *attacks* are triggered by eating fatty foods. My GP and my GI both asked the same thing. I can't really say my pain is associated with eating though, atleast not that I've noticed. My pain comes on and last for quite a while and then eases up, but never disappears completely. When it eases, I can stay that way for 24-36 hours before it escalates again. I can't say I've had an attack, not in the sense that I couldn't catch my breath or was rolling on the floor. I've had an unmedicated labor and delivery before, and I sure can't say my g/b pain has remotely come close to that, but yet it's still bad enough to not allow me to function as I normally do. It takes alot of my energy to deal with the pain and it's quite uncomfortable to deal with and has brought me to tears once.

I'm just wondering if it's odd to not notice an association with food/meals. Anyone else?

 
Old 01-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

Once the gb gets to a certain level of disease, it will hurt in some way all the time. It's a progressive condition - not one that stats static. I had my ultrasound about 3 months before I finally had mine out....holidays and other things already on the calendar intervened. By the time I had it out, it was sore all the time...

 
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

My attacks were never associated with eating. They almost always happened a minimum of 3 hours after a meal and 90% of the time they were nighttime attacks. I had a friend that had the exact same experience.

Plus I was eating low fat as it was so there were no fatty meals.

Lori

 
Old 03-03-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

My pain is constant, and doesn't always seem to be associated with eating, except sometimes when I eat meat. My pain can definitely be associated with activity, which can make it a great deal worse.

 
Old 03-03-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yzdancer View Post
My pain is constant, and doesn't always seem to be associated with eating, except sometimes when I eat meat. My pain can definitely be associated with activity, which can make it a great deal worse.
I too notice that I have more upper abdominal pain after I have eaten. My pain is intermittent, however. I sometimes wonder if it's period/hormone related. It happens generally when I am hungry-- or at least no longer full. My pain is not worse with activity, however. I'm not sure that I even have gallbladder problems. As my doctor said it, I may have a "porcelain" gallbladder-- my ejection fraction was 7%. But both my GI doc and primary care doc don't believe my symptoms are gb related. I'm starting to wonder if they are either. I keep hearing the term, "non ulcer dyspepsia". Sigh.

 
Old 03-04-2008, 01:41 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

My husband had GB attacks without eating, and they said that happens when a stone is traveling into the bile duct, or gets stuck in it.

My attacks were always food related, but never by fatty foods. What triggered them was one thing: broccoli. For 8 years I suffered attacks and every darn time I ate broccoli , which I love, I told myself it wouldn't effect me this time. Wrong! I was even given a GB scan of some sort and they found nothing wrong - no stones. So I just avoided broccoli and went on with my life and I was fine, until I had taco salad one day. Then I had the mother of all attacks and went to the ER. When the doctor poked me under the ribs I screamed and he said it was the GB, and removed it that day. But he also told me something I wish I had known 10 years earlier -- 2 aspirin will relieve a GB attack! And he also said nothing showed up on the scans because an enzyme found in broccoli was probably causing my BG to constrict, and I had pain with no stones.

 
Old 03-05-2008, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

Mizzaj,
If you have a 7% ejection fraction, then from all I've read of been told by doctors, you DEFINITELY have a gb issue. Get a second opinion. I'd hurry if I were you. Sometimes I think doctors tell you it isn't something if that "something" is out of their range of knowledge.

Last edited by yzdancer; 03-05-2008 at 08:27 AM. Reason: attach name

 
Old 03-05-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yzdancer View Post
Mizzaj,
If you have a 7% ejection fraction, then from all I've read of been told by doctors, you DEFINITELY have a gb issue. Get a second opinion. I'd hurry if I were you. Sometimes I think doctors tell you it isn't something if that "something" is out of their range of knowledge.
Thanks for your concern, yzdancer! I'm probably going to get the test repeated. My primary doc said sometimes people get different results on different days, and because I don't exhibit any signs that are typical of gallbladder, both she and my GI doc aren't rushing to do anything.....I wonder if the fact that I eat low fat, small meals makes a difference...but I am following up.....I'll keep you posted!

 
Old 03-10-2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

AJ honey I do wish you'd get it out already! At the very least that low ejection fraction is contributing to your pain. If it's not the whole picture, it sounds like a good portion of it! Hugs.

I just met with a new GI on Friday, since my last one was awful. He ordered another HIDA with CCK. Pray I flunk it so I can have a resolution to this! He does think it sounds like gallbladder, so I'm hopeful that I'll finally have some answers.


I started off thinking I had pain all the time, in relation to normal foods and fatty foods. Turns out I was wrong. It is in relation to food. But what I consider fatty and what causes pain may not seem fattening to other people. I'm not talking Big Macs here. I ended up in the ER once after eating a low-fat muffin from the grocery store. I bought it because it had 2.5 grams of fat and I figured that would be just fine as a tasty snack. Just because it says low fat, did not mean it was lowfat enough. My doctor lectured me and said even though it seemed okay, I need to be very careful. So, in the beginning I didn't notice it relative to a particular kind of meal, because it seemed like it hurt all the damn time. What I later learned was the reason that it hurt all the time was because I was eating pretty constantly, and my food choices were poor choices for me.

I know this sounds terrible, but go on a really strict diet for a week and see what happens. When I finally made the resolve to find out what I could eat and how I felt absent any fatty foods, it was tough. I started off eating nothing but rice and oatmeal for a week. It was bland and terribly boring. I was so sick of oatmeal and rice. But that week, I felt better. So I was able to say that yes, it IS food related, because when I eat just these 2 things I do well pain-wise.

From there, I started to add in some additional foods, introducing them one per day so I could pinpoint if something bothered me.

Some people with GB problems can handle low fat meals, as in under 10 grams of fat or so. I cannot. I can't tolerate anything above about 3.

In terms of it being totally unrelated to fat...I seem to be heading in that direction. One of my favorite snacks now since snacking is hard on such a lowfat diet, is to eat a bowl of cereal with skim milk. I'll get kids cereal that's sweetened so it helps me with those junk food/sugar cravings. A bowl of froot loops is 1 gram of fat. Last Sunday afternoon I started to feel terrible. I hadn't eaten anything "bad" though so I thought it came on out of nowhere and I couldn't figure it out. Yesterday it happened again. The only correlation between the two events was the Froot Loops. So, even though its low fat for some reason it hurts me now. I've heard many people say that as you get worse, you end up in pain much more freuquently and chronically.

Also, I have chronic discomfort every day when I am on Protonix. Nothing I do makes it go away. But on Nexium, I don't. So, maybe if you're taking meds, the one(s) you take may not be the best fit for you.

I wish you luck.

 
Old 03-10-2008, 10:56 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

You're sweet, April7! Believe me, if anyone that I've conferred with (other than you guys on these boards) had said, "You need your gallbladder out, stat!" I'd do it. But it's a more complicated picture than just the ejection fraction alone, unfortunately. I will have the HIDA repeated, and I will talk to a surgeon, but for today, I'm not doing any worse (nor do I even have much pain) than before the HIDA was done, so I want to make sure that I'm looking into every possibility before I get surgery that may or may not be necessary.

That said, I'm so sorry that you are having pain from eating such little amounts of fat. There is definitely truth to what you said-- the symptoms can come on from food, not just food with fat in it. I'm glad your new doc wants you to repeat the HIDA. If you had my results, I'm sure they'd be telling you to get your gb out. But I don't have the kind of pain or discomfort that a lot of people with gb problems have. If I did, I'd probably be pushing more for surgery. But right now, I'm just pushing for good, consistent care and reasonable explanations for everything that is being done or suggested.

Thanks to all for caring and I'll keep you posted!

 
Old 03-10-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

My opinion is that if it's not functioning, rip that sucker out of there! But, I hear what you're saying. Why have surgery if you're not sure? It's the best choice for you. I do think you might be a little crazy though, lol. I hope that you continue to have good care. Seems like your doctors are doing well by you FINALLY!

My doc is great. I like him a lot. He did say he doesn't know and it might be tricky to figure it out, but he's going to try. He says GB makes the most sense. If the HIDA is still normal than I'm officially dropping it and moving onto whatever theories he has next. I can't help but think GB though. It makes the most sense.

I hope you all feel well soon.

 
Old 03-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone else have gallbladder symptoms not associated with eating?

Sorry you're all having problems. I just wanted to share my history. I started having terrible pain about 4 yrs. ago. It always starts in center to right upper abdomin and goes up my neck on right side to my jaw. Its not constant. I never know when I'll have an 'attack'. Almost always occurs late in the day, doesn't seem food related, no nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Had stress test which was good. Had ultrasound showed nothing. Had upper endoscopy showed esophageal stricture which dr. stretched. Have GERD but don't have heartburn anymore since taking medication. I thought thank goodness thats over. No luck! Pain was back within a wk. Suffered for over 3 more yrs. finally had to go to ER 8/07. Had ultrasound again showed stones, sludge, diseased GB. Had GB removed 9/07 and thought finally thats it!! No luck again! Less than 2 wks later had same thing. Have had several of these episodes in just this month. I haven't returned to the dr. yet. I'm a person who hates going to the dr. mainly because its hard to keep one in the room long enough to tell them all this! Sorry this is so long. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

 
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