It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Gallbladder Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-16-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
lucycantdance HB User
Mmmm ... gallbladder sludge

Hi everyone.

I apologize if this post is repetitive. I'm just intensely frustrated and kind of afraid, and I needed a place to vent/ask questions. I've read through many previous gallbladder question posts, but of course, each case is different.

My problem is a chronic pain under the right side of my rib cage. It's mostly a dull pain with occasional sharp pains. Sometimes it radiates around my side and to my back. It also feels as if someone stuck a deflated balloon up there and then blew it up. It's tender to the touch. I tend toward nausea and vomiting more than anyone else I know. Sometimes I have heartburn/acid reflux, sometimes I don't. I've had this problem for three years now. My symptoms do not seem to be contingent on my eating habits.

When it initially came on (February of 2007) my doctor ran an entire plethora of tests. I had x-rays, CT scans, barium studies, blood panels. Everything came back completely normal. It got to the point where the doctor said he didn't know what else to do. At the time I thought he was pretty thorough, although now that I've read up on it I realize he did not do the gallbladder functioning test (I forget the true name). He did say that no stones were found on the x-rays/CT scans.

Three years later and the problem has only worsened. I recently switched doctors and this doctor isn't satisfied with the lack of diagnosis, so it looks like I may be jumping into testing again. She did say that sometimes the gallbladder collects "sludge," which doesn't show up on image scans. She is going to review my previous medical records once they are transferred. Then she will call me back to discuss the problem further.

I forgot to mention this to my new doctor, but I'm also wondering if I've already had gall bladder attacks. Twice in the past year I've had odd bouts of nausea. I'm often nauseated, but these were an intense burning/bloating sensation right under my breastbone. Bad enough that I felt like I couldn't breathe and could only lie doubled up. This led to vomiting a couple of times before the pain went away.

Also, this may not be related, but the last couple of times I've been in for check-ups, my pulse and/or blood pressure has been slightly elevated. I am 25-years-old, I eat healthy, and I am a triathlete. I feel that I am an unlikely candidate for high blood pressure.

Frankly, I'm terrified. I have a phobia of medical problems/procedures and the idea of having my gallbladder out makes me literally tear up and struggle to catch my breath. Of course, I have exacerbated this by reading all of the post-surgical horror stories on the internet.

Thank you for listening.

Lucy

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-16-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
Facilitator
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 14,819
Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Mmmm ... gallbladder sludge

It does certainly sound like a gallbladder issue. An ultrasound would be he best test to determine if there are any stones. The HIDA Scan for function would be next if no stones were found.

That being said, if it was found to be just sludge, I don't know that I would have mine out. I'd have to thnk about it for a while. Now, I had stones and had mine out 5 years ago and don't regret it a bit. It was very damaged and diseased from the stones so it was a good thing I had it out as infection could have set in, etc.

However, with just sludge and if it is functioning at a borderline level (35% is considered non-functioning), that would really take some thought. Have you tried a fat free diet?

Just my thoughts...

 
Old 01-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
lucycantdance HB User
Re: Mmmm ... gallbladder sludge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
It does certainly sound like a gallbladder issue. An ultrasound would be he best test to determine if there are any stones. The HIDA Scan for function would be next if no stones were found.

That being said, if it was found to be just sludge, I don't know that I would have mine out. I'd have to thnk about it for a while. Now, I had stones and had mine out 5 years ago and don't regret it a bit. It was very damaged and diseased from the stones so it was a good thing I had it out as infection could have set in, etc.

However, with just sludge and if it is functioning at a borderline level (35% is considered non-functioning), that would really take some thought. Have you tried a fat free diet?

Just my thoughts...
Oh, I definitely wouldn't have it out if it was still functioning properly. The day-to-day pain/discomfort/heartburn is markedly annoying and sometimes quiet painful, but it doesn't interfere with daily function. And I've only had the "attacks" twice now. I'm just worried that there won't be any evident stones but the HIDA will be really low - putting me into no-man's land. I imagine if the gallbladder isn't functioning at all it has to come out? And I've seen too many posts about people with that same outcome that had bad luck with the surgical results anyway.

 
Old 01-16-2010, 05:23 PM   #4
Facilitator
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 14,819
Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Mmmm ... gallbladder sludge

Even allowing for the fact that the majority of folks who post here are ones who have a less than positive outcome, it does seem that those who have theirs removed for low functioning or borderline have more problems than those who have stones or non-functioning ones. If the HIDA scan is not definitive, it may be a time to trying a gb flush...since no stones would mean nothing would get loadged in the duct.

However, just because there are no stones now doesn't mean there haven't been some in the past which you passed on your own but caused damage to the gb which is now causing you issues. It's a really tough call. Wish I had something more definitive for you.

 
Old 01-16-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northwest
Posts: 263
Collector167 HB UserCollector167 HB UserCollector167 HB UserCollector167 HB UserCollector167 HB UserCollector167 HB User
Re: Mmmm ... gallbladder sludge

It sounds like you've finally found the right doctor; she is correct about the difficulty of detecting sludge. I went through all the tests that you mention + an endoscopy and a colonoscopy before I found the right doctor and was sent for the ultrasound and then the HIDA scan which showed I was at 23%.

The elevated blood pressure and pulse are probably related to the gallbladder problems. I and several others on this board have reported the same symptoms. Some of the doctors I dealt with were dismissive about the connection. Since my gallbladder disease has been treated my pulse and blood pressure have returned to normal.

Whether they recommend surgery or other treatment the key is to try and find the root of the problem. If you have stones or sludge it can be treated, if the gallbladder is diseased or inflamed surgery may be the only option.

I have been treated with ursodiol for about two years now and am doing fine. Ursodiol/actigall can dissolve some stones and sludge. Many doctors are reluctant to go this route due to the cost and that for many people it requires that they continue the treatment long term--two tables a day. However, for the elderly or those for whom surgery risky it can be a viable route.

You should eat low fat and cut out spices to control the attacks, but understand that this will not cure the problem, but give you and your doctor time to make a decision.

If you wind up going the surgery route, remember what you have learned so far--not all doctors are of equal quality, demand one who has lots of experience in this type of surgery.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Pain after Gallbladder Removal megss Gallbladder 38 02-27-2012 07:34 PM
Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain? idkwia Gallbladder 12 03-27-2010 05:54 PM
Gallbladder sludge...again??? proton8d Gallbladder 6 05-05-2009 11:08 PM
Dilemma: Gallbladder removal or not?! AlanPi Gallbladder 39 01-20-2009 10:18 AM
Is it really my gallbladder making me so sick? Please, I need help! Alliecatt Gallbladder 38 09-22-2008 11:02 AM

Tags
gallbladder



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Titchou (167), Collector167 (19), miniguy (11), cabin921 (10), roxybell (9), janewhite1 (8), vachilly (5), ladybud (5), rainbowsrock (5), mightmouse (4)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1162), MSJayhawk (992), Apollo123 (891), Titchou (827), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (745), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:06 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!