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Old 02-14-2008, 05:45 AM   #1
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gallbladder sludge

Is finding sludge and evidence of gallbladder disease on an ultrasound enough reason to have the gallbladder removed? Thats all my family dr mentioned when she referrred me to the surgeon.I have almost constant achy pain and nausea, and eating anything usually makes me miserable with the over-full feeling. I have had a couple cases of intense wake-you-in-the-night pain that lasted for a day and soreness and tenderness after that for 3-4 days. My most major pain is actually in the lower right quadrant and lower right back. If they do take the gall bladder will they look into that area as well? I see the surgeon later today and am trying to get my questions in order in my head. I tend to get lost when he's talking.lol

Last edited by peacefrog; 02-14-2008 at 05:46 AM.

 
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: gallbladder sludge

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Originally Posted by peacefrog View Post
Is finding sludge and evidence of gallbladder disease on an ultrasound enough reason to have the gallbladder removed?

There really isn't much research in the way of healing a gallbladder but there are many diet changes you can do to help with the sludge problem. I've read claims that folks can live for many years with a dysfunctional GB, but eventually / ultimately / supposedly they get worse. Really, it's the other symptoms that drive the surgery (the nausea, pain, etc). To guage just how bad the the GB is, they'd normally do a HIDA scan and see what % function it has. However, that test isn't always accurate (if you are feeling well it may not show a problem).

In the interim, you can try changing your diet to see if you can thin out the bile and/or eat foods that help the gallbladder contract. In fact, once the GB is out you will probably find certain foods still cause problems, so, may as well do what you can now (at least that's what I'm doing). Search online for Gallbladder diet, there are a few pages with excellent food suggestions.

Personally, I've been cutting out all bad fats (trans and saturated) and substituting Olive Oil or other Mono/Poly fats. It's tough at first, but, I was ready to do anything to stop the nausea. Eating only healthy foods like fruits (Apples & Grapes were good for me), veggies (Broccoli was good but gives some folks problems). Also, beets do indeed help me (even though I dislike them) and I believe what I read that they are like paint thinner for bile... really helps move things through the GB. Artichoke supposedly triggers the GB to contract, so may want to avoid until you are feeling better and then eat some now and then to keep things moving.

For carbs I cut out wheat/bread & pasta for a while and had mostly just potato (baked or sweet) and brown rice.

There are supplements you can take to help as well. (Soy Lecithin, Milk Thistle, Certain Vitamins, etc). For the Nausea, if the stomach is irritated (gastritis) you can take antacids but I've found that DGL Licorice pills worked fairly well, as did Ginger capsules.

 
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: gallbladder sludge

Do you feel better w/the diet change? my score was 39....

I agree w/the Hida scan as being needed.....

 
Old 02-14-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: gallbladder sludge

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Do you feel better w/the diet change? my score was 39....
After I modified my diet (and drinking lots of water and started exercising too), it took about a week, but I started to feel better. I had some up & down days since then but nothing as long / bad as the first time. It's pretty easy to try the diet (not fun, but easy). If you have gallstones be careful what you try because you could possibly trigger the gallbladder to move one into the bile duct where it could get stuck and cause worse symptoms.

The first time I tried beets (ate about 5-6 slices from a jar), I was wrapping some gifts about 1hr later and I swear I felt something move down my chest into my stomach, (I think the movement during wrapping helped). When it happened I actually felt pressure let up, followed by a slight (heart)burning afterward. I don't know if it was a stone (was before my ultrasound) and I don't know if it was all in my head but that day seemed to be a turning point for me. After that I didn't have any more days of the chest pressure. I did have occasional nausea and burning but less and less as the days went on.

 
Old 02-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
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Re: gallbladder sludge

I'm not sure that finding sludge in the gallbladder is a reason to have surgery; many people live many years with gallstones, sludge, etc. However, the test should be pain; if you are in a lot of pain certainly surgery should be an option. If stones eventually form and you start passing them, the pain will increase.

If they take out your gallbladder, they will not usually do exploratory surgery in the lower right quadrant. I have had lower right quadrant pain, it is caused by the the gallbladder. Strange how such a little organ can cause pain all over the place.

As I have previously mentioned there is a drug Ursodiol that is given to some gallbladder patients to help dissolve sludge and stones. I am being treated with it and have had pretty good results. However, the caveats are that it takes one year of treatment, is expensive and many folks wind up with gallbladder problems again w/in 5 years.

 
Old 02-14-2008, 11:17 PM   #6
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Re: gallbladder sludge

Thanks for the advice. I actually LOVE beets and can eat a jar at night as a snack. I haven't had any in awhile and am now so hungry for them! I saw the surgeon today and he felt surgery wasn't necessary. YEA! He felt the cause of my LRQ pain was the dilated tube from the right kidney to the bladder that showed in the ultrasound. He has order BUN and creatin(?) and a cat scan with contrast. I'm so lost and confused by all this. The lower right pain is almost constant now and my back does hurt when i bend over or lift, but I assumed it was back pain. I'm so tired of tests. I mean how many can there be? They each seem to point a different way. No surgery tho is a definite positive!

 
Old 02-15-2008, 03:29 AM   #7
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Re: gallbladder sludge

eihcet Can you give me some websites etc that you found the nutritional/dietary info to help w/this problem?

I'd like to avoid surgery if at all possible.

BTW My grandmother was told when my mother was born (in 1925) that if she didn't have her gallbaldder removed she'd die.....she never had it removed and died when she was 85 yrs old w/it in tact. Granted things change and who knows whether the diagnosis was correct or not---but it is a bit interesting. My mother on the other hand had hers removed when I was a kid and it was litterally black and shriveled when they removed it.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 04:43 AM   #8
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Re: gallbladder sludge

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Originally Posted by MaryG1959 View Post
eihcet Can you give me some websites etc that you found the nutritional/dietary info to help w/this problem?
I'd link to it, but the one I like also sells products and most forums have policies against that (I didn't buy any nor am I affiliated, but, that's how it goes). If you search major sites for 'gallbladder diet' the first few links usually contain good resources. I skipped over the stuff on how to do flushes, but, I did increase my intake of apples, olive oil, and water (nothing drastic, just consumed more than I was) to see if it made any difference.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: gallbladder sludge

I guess I'm learning about things to avoid. Today I had three of those tiny reeces peanut butter cups---I've been having "TWANGS" every since.

Guess if I live long enough I'll learn to listen to my body.

Mary

 
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