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Old 04-08-2009, 12:56 AM   #1
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Question Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Why hello there!

Having just got over the acute pain of my fourth gall attack and still being in the midst of some pretty severe abdominal discomfort, I thought I'd ask other people who've gone through the same agony whether or not they've felt the same way I do every time I have an attack. I've checked plenty of websites for symptoms of gallbladder attacks and most of my symptoms check out. I guess I'd just really like actual people to confirm they've had the same experiences I've had.

I got a confirmed diagnosis of multiple gallstones a few weeks back. Prior to the official diagnosis I had two such attacks. The first just felt like an agonizing abdominal cramp that would not go away, no matter what over-the-counter medications I took (which spanned the gamut from Pepto Bismol to Tylenol). This lasted nearly 8-9 hours and then the pain eventually dissipated. I don't remember feeling achy the next day, but I probably was.

The second attack felt like a heart attack; my chest was consumed by this horrible burning sensation and I could barely breathe. Luckily I was at my boyfriend's and his roommate had some super-extra strength (800mg) ibuprofen left over from her wisdom teeth surgery. I took one of those and the pain from the abdominal cramp went away in maybe 45 minutes (just as we made it to the ER, ironically), but I was still left with extreme abdominal discomfort for the rest of the day.

The third gall attack lasted 30-45 minutes. I again took an 800mg dose of ibuprofen, which again took care of the cramping feeling, but I was still left with this nagging, persistent discomfort in my abdomen for the rest of the day. And to add a new dimension of misery, I was horribly nauseous that WHOLE day, morning till late at night, and even vomited a couple of times.

The latest attack has some of the same patterns. Ibuprofen takes care of the unbearable cramping pain, but I'm still left with significant abdominal discomfort that lasts the full next day. *I should probably mention all these attacks, except for the last one, occurred late at night.*

So is it normal for gallbladder attacks to manifest in such different ways? I guess I'm just worried that all this pain might be due to different things, but I'm just thinking they're all due to gallstones because I have them. ALSO: for those of you who have had your gallbladders removed, how'd the surgery go? Most importantly, did you experience anything like a gall attack even after you had your gallbladder removed?

Thanks for looking at this! Hope this community can be of help

 
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

All that sounds perfectly consistent with a gallbladder attack. You obviously are continuing to eat fatty foods and that's what is causing the attacks. Even eating fat free you could still have some discomfort but the severity should lessen to where it is easily dealt with. So please, no fat - that means nothing friend, no dairy products, no eggs, no butter, no milk, nothing fried, no cheese, no oil, no mayo, nothing fatty/greasy/etc. Plain chicken, turkey, whole wheat bread, plain veggies, yogurt, fruit, etc are OK.

As for the surgery, it's a fairly simple procedure -same day. Never had an attack after the surgery - but you still HAVE to eat low fat for about a month after to allow the bile duct that remains to adjust...or you will be getting just what you are getting now.

Good luck and keep us posted.

 
Old 04-08-2009, 08:23 AM   #3
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Yes, it sounds VERY similar to what I'm experiencing and am still questioning as a gallbladder problem. Like you, I have gallstones, but my pain is manifesting as severe burning behind the sternum that spreads across my upper abdomen into excruciating indigestion-like pain. No amount of antacids begin to touch it. It ALWAYS occurs at night, and because it lasts so many hours, I get no sleep whatsoever. Far into the next day, and sometimes for 2-3 days, I still just do not feel right and hardly eat. I'm in a pain-free period now but fear every day that it will happen again. I just told my doctor yesterday that if it does I'm going to the ER because the only way they'll know for sure if there's a side problem (like pancreatitis or a liver issue) is to run bloodwork in the midst of it. He actually agreed with that logic. I'll be having a HIDA scan on the 20th to further assess my gallbladder. I'll let you know how that goes. Keep me posted as well as our symptoms seem to be very similar.

 
Old 04-08-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Thanks for both of your responses!

I'm absolutely terrified about getting my gallbladder removed, since it appears as though a lot of people have some pretty gruesome complications from the surgery (of course, my perception of this could be biased, since the vast majority of people who write on these boards are here to discuss their complications, not report they're having a fine time). My main worry is that I'll still experience things that feel exactly like gallbladder attacks despite not having a gallbladder. What am I to do in that case?

Also, I feel as though I'm a little too young to be having gallstones (I'm 20), but then again I am a girl and I am on birth control, both of which are risk factors. Am I too young? All the doctors/nurses I've talked to said it's not abnormal for someone my age to have gallstones, but I know a lot of people my age and they don't frequently (if at all) complain about gallbladder attacks.

My whole thing with eating fatty foods is that I try to stay away from carbs as much as possible. I do my own bizarre version of low-carb dieting that has a LOT of leeway for sweets , but in general I eat fatty foods so that I can feel satiated for a longer period of time without risking spikes in insulin levels and eventual weight gain. Though at this point I'd rather gain a bit of weight than suffer through these awful attacks and subsequent feelings of grossness that last a few days.

I'm very, very bummed about having gallstones and needing to get surgery. The thought of having me cut open is absolutely horrifying, and it makes me sad to think that I'll be incapacitated for a while afterward. If anyone can offer me any iota of reassurance that it's not always as bad as people here make it out to be, that would be appreciated!

Also, is it true that people GAIN weight after this surgery? That seems so counter-intuitive! I would think having no appetite + eating barely anything substantive would translate into marked weight LOSS. Hm. Anyone have anything to say about this? And how big of an issue is the chronic diarrhea thing? Ugh

 
Old 04-08-2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

OMG! You have so much misinformation! First of all, many younger people have these issues. The youngest person I know of personally who had their gb removed was 16 at the time. So that;s no big deal. A little unusual but not so much.

Second, they don't cut you open! They poke 3 or 4 holes in you and pull it out laparoscpically. I jogged 2 miles a week after having mine out so I would not say that I was incapacitated for any length of time( and I was 59 years old at the time). I was off work 2-1/2 days. End of story.

Third, low carb has nothing to do with fat. You can maintain your insulin levels with a low fat diet. I have low blood sugar and had no problem laying off the fat. Eat protein (fish, chicken, turkey ) and plain carbs - whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, yogurt and veggies and fruit. You won't gain weight. In fact, you'll probably lose.
No fried food, no cheese, no milk, no oils, etc. And you'll have to eat that way for a MONTH after the surgery or you will ruin the whole thing and will have chronic diarrhea.

So, go get it out and be on your way. No big deal.

 
Old 04-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puggleton View Post
Thanks for both of your responses!

I'm absolutely terrified about getting my gallbladder removed, since it appears as though a lot of people have some pretty gruesome complications from the surgery (of course, my perception of this could be biased, since the vast majority of people who write on these boards are here to discuss their complications, not report they're having a fine time). My main worry is that I'll still experience things that feel exactly like gallbladder attacks despite not having a gallbladder. What am I to do in that case?

Also, I feel as though I'm a little too young to be having gallstones (I'm 20), but then again I am a girl and I am on birth control, both of which are risk factors. Am I too young? All the doctors/nurses I've talked to said it's not abnormal for someone my age to have gallstones, but I know a lot of people my age and they don't frequently (if at all) complain about gallbladder attacks.

My whole thing with eating fatty foods is that I try to stay away from carbs as much as possible. I do my own bizarre version of low-carb dieting that has a LOT of leeway for sweets , but in general I eat fatty foods so that I can feel satiated for a longer period of time without risking spikes in insulin levels and eventual weight gain. Though at this point I'd rather gain a bit of weight than suffer through these awful attacks and subsequent feelings of grossness that last a few days.

I'm very, very bummed about having gallstones and needing to get surgery. The thought of having me cut open is absolutely horrifying, and it makes me sad to think that I'll be incapacitated for a while afterward. If anyone can offer me any iota of reassurance that it's not always as bad as people here make it out to be, that would be appreciated!

Also, is it true that people GAIN weight after this surgery? That seems so counter-intuitive! I would think having no appetite + eating barely anything substantive would translate into marked weight LOSS. Hm. Anyone have anything to say about this? And how big of an issue is the chronic diarrhea thing? Ugh

There are several medicines that dissolve gallstones and many use it with great results. I would ask your doctor if you qualify for the treatment. For now eat VERY low fat. Apple juice is excellent for the gallbladder as is pear nectar.

 
Old 04-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

I just had my gallbladder out last Friday, one week ago, and I feel so much better. I am a 23 yr old female - no stones, just functioning less than 1% for some unknown reason. Yes, the first few days were rough (very sore, a lot of pain at my incision in my belly button, and tired) however today I feel like I did BEFORE my gallbladder attacks began 6 months ago.

I was out of work for a week (I return on Monday) however I could have gone in today as I feel pretty good. The surgery itself was very quick and easy. I have spent the week eating grilled chicken, pasta in fat free chicken broth, and fat free sherbert. A baked potato was brought in towards the end of the week too. Knock on wood, I have not had any stomach pain like I did before.

What is bizarre is my Doctor told me NOT to avoid ANY foods. Fatty foods he said may cause cramping however he told me to eat whatever I would like. I am a bit nervous that I am reading on here not to eat fat for a month as I have started to eat back to "normal" these past two days.

I can say that I think everyone is different - some people have HORRIBLE stories about their gallbladder removal while others bounce right back. Be patient with your body and listen to it - don't push yourself too hard!

Last edited by nancymosemen; 04-10-2009 at 08:11 PM.

 
Old 05-09-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

So here I am. Another sufferer. I have had on and off pains for three weeks. Determined by sonogram I have a big stone ...2 cm. Surgery is scheduled for a few weeks but I don't know how I'm going to get through. Last night I was up the entire night with terrible pain and nausea and it's now mid afternoon and I still have the nausea. Is there anything that takes away this awful disgusting feeling? Weird thing is I have not been eating any fats or things we shouldn't eat. The pain just keeps coming.
Did any of you have tingling sensations on your back and arms along with the pain. Just curious if I'm the odd ball? Well, it's going to be a long weekend. I almost did go to the er but actually I'm terrified. I have to get my mind set about this. I'm terribly upset.

 
Old 05-09-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

When I had my attack the only think that helped was lots of organic apple juice. You would try that and see if it helps. Oil of peppermint is good for nausea. There are many websites that have tips, but the apple juice worked for me.

 
Old 02-03-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looly View Post
So here I am. Another sufferer. I have had on and off pains for three weeks. Determined by sonogram I have a big stone ...2 cm. Surgery is scheduled for a few weeks but I don't know how I'm going to get through. Last night I was up the entire night with terrible pain and nausea and it's now mid afternoon and I still have the nausea. Is there anything that takes away this awful disgusting feeling? Weird thing is I have not been eating any fats or things we shouldn't eat. The pain just keeps coming.
Did any of you have tingling sensations on your back and arms along with the pain. Just curious if I'm the odd ball? Well, it's going to be a long weekend. I almost did go to the er but actually I'm terrified. I have to get my mind set about this. I'm terribly upset.
Hi, not sure if you're still on this board, but I read you post and I am in the exact same position as you. I have a 3 cm gallstone and am scheduled for surgery in 1 week. The only thing I seem to be able to eat without feeling pain and nausea is fruit. I've actually bought some baby food too and have been eating that ok. I also get really itchy on my arms and legs (not sure if being itchy is the same as your tingling sensations). I keep losing weight like crazy because I'm just not eating much. By the day of my surgery, I'll be lucky if I weigh 100 lbs.

Just curious...were you able to find anything to eat to help with your nausea and how did you make out after your surgery? Any lingering digestive problems?

Thanks!

 
Old 02-03-2010, 06:15 PM   #11
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Re: Do you have these gallbladder attack symptoms too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsroo View Post
Hi, not sure if you're still on this board, but I read you post and I am in the exact same position as you. I have a 3 cm gallstone and am scheduled for surgery in 1 week. The only thing I seem to be able to eat without feeling pain and nausea is fruit. I've actually bought some baby food too and have been eating that ok. I also get really itchy on my arms and legs (not sure if being itchy is the same as your tingling sensations). I keep losing weight like crazy because I'm just not eating much. By the day of my surgery, I'll be lucky if I weigh 100 lbs.

Just curious...were you able to find anything to eat to help with your nausea and how did you make out after your surgery? Any lingering digestive problems?

Thanks!
Have you tried cereal with fat free milk or lipton cup of soups in chicken noodle? The box kind. I also had fat free tortilla's with fat free cheese ( I could only eat the shredded mild cheddar, not sliced) and very low fat turkey sliced meat. I heated them up and folded it in half and ate them.

I ate a lot of cereal until I became too sick to eat that, then it was apple juice and lipton cup of soups. I lost 30 pounds waiting for my surgery date.

 
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