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Old 01-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Question hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Hi

Since about june 2008 I have been having "attacks".. there is a lot of pressure in the top of my stomach/bottom of my chest. Sometimes it causes so much pain that I can't breathe.. I've had about 10 or 11 of these, spread out. They last anywhere from 20 minutes to to worst which was 8 hours.

The pain subsides a little depending on what position I am in; usually I need to be in a seated, slightly leaned forward position for it to ease off. If I change positions or try to lay down, it almost feels like I'm spreading poison through my body and I end up being dizzy with the need to vomit. (This dizzyness has only happened the last two times, but the positon part holds true for every time.) I have found that once I do vomit, the pain usually goes away. If it doesn't happen then (as I sometimes have a hard time making myself do this) it happens when I just move a certain way. Once I stood up straight, another time I twisted my abdomen to get out of bed.. it is very random. Most of the time there is a shooting pain through my right shoulder blade.. and last night I experienced the pain move to my back for the first time (same area, just on the opposite side of my body)

I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia when I was 12 (in 2000).. I don't remember having problems like this, thoguh. It was mainly nausea, and I was prescribed prevacid.. I didn't take it long. I never had problems again until june of 2008. I finally went to the doctor in august 2009 (I know, I know) and mentioned the hiatal hernia. The doctor said it very well may be it, and asked if id gained weight recently.. then it hit me that I had. My mother died at the end of 2007 and over the next 6 months I gained 50lbs due to depression.

I hadn't had an attack since August.. I started taking prevacid again, watched what I ate (and how much) and lost about 30lbs. Then last noght it happened again and I feel like I'm back at square one, after I thought it was under control

I have been reading posts related to both hiatal hernias and gall bladder issues and seem to have symptoms of both. When I bring it up to friends they say it sounds like my gall bladder (which I have a family history of having bad ones) but my dad is fairly convinced it is my hiatal hernia coming out of hibernation. I just know that this scares me. I didn't get an upper GI the last time I went to the doctor, he said he wanted to try the prevacid and see what happens, then if I have more problems to come back and we would do further testing.

I am terrified to find out what it is (my mom had very many health problems and I'm scared of ending up like that) but I also just want to get it fixed. I'll probably go back to him on Monday but I just wanted opinions.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading, and any advice you may have

Last edited by kelliwk; 01-09-2010 at 02:37 PM.

 
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

I forgot to add that the last 3 times this has happened, stress was a big factor. I also haven't been eating that great lately so I'm sure that's partly what triggered last night's attack (big greasy burger = bad idea)

Last edited by kelliwk; 01-09-2010 at 02:31 PM.

 
Old 01-09-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

I'd see a DR. and get a diagnosis. I was having upset stomach and random nausea for a couple of months before these "attacks" started. They would last anywhere from 5 minutes for the first to a couple of hours. I had 6 in total and remember what set off the last few. A turkey burger, choc chip cookie dough, and nuts, each time fatty food. My gallbladder acts up almost exactly 2 hours after I eat anything solid now. I am waiting for surgery now and have gotten bad enough that I can't tolerate much at all. I had broth and juice today. Pancreatitis is a risk with gallstones if that is your issue. Whatever it is, get yourself checked out so you can feel better.

 
Old 01-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

the test for gall stones is a simple ultrasound. completely non invasive and it will show up if u have gall stones. btw the symptoms u describe do sound like gall bladder. is there any way u can get the ultrasound done then you'd know for sure if stones r the culprit.

 
Old 01-28-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

So I ended up in the ER last Friday night. Turns out I have gallstones and pancreatitis, but no hiatal hernia. My lipase levels were 853 (normal range is 80-190). I am having surgery in the morning to remove my gallbladder. I am scared but at least my problem will be solved. I just hope my pancreas isn't too damaged.

 
Old 01-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

I had surgery on the 13th of this month. Make sure you have help for a few days after you get home. No heavy lifting. Eat LOW fat diet after surgery. Beware of gassy veggies for a while. Come back and let us know how everything goes and how you are feeling.

I was so glad, the Anesth ordered something to relax and the nurse gave it to me via IV in the pre- op and I never remember leaving that room and I was back in there waking up.

I hope everything goes great for you and you feel better soon!

 
Old 01-30-2010, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

I am successfully gallbladder-less. They did the regular laparoscopic deal with an IOC to see if there was a blockage, and if there had been one, I would've had another procedure today (or been cut wide open). Luckily neither of those happened and it went smoothly. Once they gave me the Versed in pre-op I was good to go. All I remember hearing in OR is "this is going to sting a little.." and then I was waking up.

So far the top three incisions are barely sore anymore; the bellybutton one is another story. also the back/shoulder pain from the gas is putting a damper on my mood. how long did it take for your back pain to go away?

I think the worst part is the fact that I am still scared to eat. I haven't gotten out of that mindset yet. After 2 years its gonna take some getting used to.

 
Old 01-30-2010, 10:30 PM   #8
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelliwk View Post
I am successfully gallbladder-less. They did the regular laparoscopic deal with an IOC to see if there was a blockage, and if there had been one, I would've had another procedure today (or been cut wide open). Luckily neither of those happened and it went smoothly. Once they gave me the Versed in pre-op I was good to go. All I remember hearing in OR is "this is going to sting a little.." and then I was waking up.

So far the top three incisions are barely sore anymore; the bellybutton one is another story. also the back/shoulder pain from the gas is putting a damper on my mood. how long did it take for your back pain to go away?

I think the worst part is the fact that I am still scared to eat. I haven't gotten out of that mindset yet. After 2 years its gonna take some getting used to.

I never had any backpain from the gas. I am however still having pain under the ribs especially under the incision sites, all but the bellybutton which is doing ok. I have a hard time getting comfy at night to sleep and driving is still painful on the r-side but I do it.

Eating is finally getting a little better for me now at almost 3 weeks post. I still don't have a lot of energy though.

Glad to hear you got through everything ok!! Now I hope healing comes swiftly

 
Old 02-01-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Is it normal to have a gassy or full feeling right underneath your breastbone? Its the same place the pain was in when I had attacks. It almost feels like my food gets "stuck" there. Its really uncomfortable

 
Old 02-01-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

All I know is I still have the fullness and slight pain under my rib which is where I had it before. Really uncomfortable.

Did they tell you to eat low fat?

 
Old 02-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #11
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

The surgeon basically said I could eat whatever I want, short of a greasy burger and fries. I'm still scared to eat, though!

 
Old 02-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #12
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelliwk View Post
The surgeon basically said I could eat whatever I want, short of a greasy burger and fries. I'm still scared to eat, though!
Oh man I hear you. I've been having problems with fatty foods or gassy veggies and I did a scary thing. I ate half an avo just a few minutes ago and THEN looked up the fat content am and freaking out. Last night I spent quite a time up and uncomfortable because I was bloated. I'm scared to death here that this is going to mess up my middle.

 
Old 02-02-2010, 06:22 PM   #13
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Right there with you.. I've been checking everything for fat content and not eating over 1 or 2 grams per serving! I got into the habit of being scared after the next to last attack, then once I got on the clear liquid diet I got used to that.. now I'm honestly terrified of food. It's not good I bit the bullet and ate a baked potato with lowfat butter and cheese.. and boy am I nauseous. I think I'll stick to cereal and skim milk.

 
Old 02-02-2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Ps - get some gas ex. Even if its not actually helping that bloated feeling, its helps me psychologically, lol.

 
Old 02-03-2010, 08:32 AM   #15
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Re: hiatal hernia or gall bladder?

Potatoes are one thing I have a hard time with because they bloat me up bad. I lived through that avo last night! I did bloat for a while a little but it went down by bedtime. Thank God because I have really been missing some foods. I had cooked a turkey the toher day so last night we had turkey taco type food. I had soft corn tortillas with fat free cheddar, turkey meat, green sauce, FF sour cream and avo. For desert I had SF strawberry jello with FF whipped topping.

Yeah I've been thinking about getting something for gas to see if it helped. I used to have problems and took more thna a bit of mylanta anti gas.

 
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