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Old 04-17-2010, 06:58 AM   #1
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Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Im a 33 year old male living in London. Ive been suffering from a pain on the right side of my abdomen for as long as twelve years. I also get an occasional pain in my right shoulder blade which I now believe is related. More recently its become worse and is now a constant discomfort/pain in my abdomen.
I went to the doctors a few months ago worried it may be my liver as Im quite a heavy drinker and had blood tests for my liver which all came back ok.
About a month later I decided to go back as I wasnt happy and was sent for an ultrasound scan.
At the smae time I asked for a cholesterol test just because theres a family history of heart problems.

The results of the scan showed my liver ok, but my gall bladder was inflamed/hardened (cant remember his exact words) but also that I had a gall bladder polyp. My doctor seemed very not bothered about all this which im very annoyed about and will be seeking a second opionion.

After doing research myself it appears I should probably be considering getting my gall bladder removed???

My blood tests showed....
Total cholesterol 5.4 mmol/L (slightly high)
HDL cholesterol 1.0 mmol/L (slightly low)
Serum triglycerides 4.6 mmol/L (VERY VERY high)

Could my bad cholseterol levels be a factor for my gall bladder pains? Im in good shape but have previously had quite a bad diet. Could my diet and drinking have caused these problem?

Im now worried that it could be cancerous and the pain is a constant discomfort.

Is it normal to have pains for such a long time?

Finally would having my gall bladder removed effect my lifestyle afterwards? Would I have to restrict fatty foods and alcohol?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

It does sound like your gallbladder is acting up. Common symptoms include: pain under the ribs, upper right quadrant pain, ie, over the gallbladder, pain in the right shoulders, pain in the back, diarrhea, pale stools, nausea, etc.

The first test usually is the ultrasound. It can see polyps and stones, frequently they cannot see "sludge", microcrystals that will form stones. Polyps on growths on the inside wall of the gallbladder.

In my case they thought they detected several polyps on the ultrasound, but hedged their opinion as sometimes it is simply stones that are being pressed against the walls of the gallbladder by the sludge. They only worry if the "polyps" are over a certain size. Polys over a certain size, (check the internet for the exact size), can increase the risk of gallbladder cancer and would warrant removal of the gallbladder. The chances of gallbladder cancer are fairly small.

If the gallbladder is inflamed then it makes sense that you are having upper right quadrant pain, I have had it periodically. The gallbladder may become inflamed when it squeezes down on stones and sludge. There can be other causes.

In the US, usually they will do a HIDA scan with CCK to test your gallbladder function before recommending surgery.

Cholesterol is a precursor to most gallstones, so indirectly it may lead to gallstones. Rapid weight loss, pregnancy, etc can trigger formation of gallstones; if people live to an old--most will have some gallstones.

Surgery is the primary option to address gallbladder problems. There are also drugs like Ursodiol/Actigall than can help to dissolve sludge and stones, however these treatments can be expensive and are not permanent fixes. Some folks have great results and only minimal side effects from surgery, others have to take bile sequestrants, and a few have continuing lifelong issues.

 
Old 04-17-2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

ooSTEVEoo, to address your last sentence of will having your gall bladder removed affect your lifestyle? and will you have to restrict fatty foods and alcohol.
Yes to all. It isn't as ominous as it sounds, if the result is a good quality of life for your remaining years and from your post, you most likely have many years ahead of you.
Fatty meals do aggrevate gall bladder symptoms, before and unfortunately after. With the gall bladder gone, the liver has to work harder to assist in digesting the fats in meals. Not all fats are bad and it will be helpful to educate yourself on that as well. Alcohol is not necessarily an 'dont' do ever', but should you develop pancreatitis, which is associated with gall stones and alcohol - consuming alcohol should be on your - 'only if you are prepared to suffer list' - or the 'it is definitely worth the risk' just for this time.
I will say though, that many people have no symptoms whatsoever once their gallbladder is gone - they go on to have normal lives in everyway as they did before - sans the pain. I hope that you are one of those.
I wanted to answer your questions from my prespective - and from the others that I know, who have had completely positive experiences as well.
Keep us posted - I imagine a few more will chime in with their experiences - hope you find something useful or good nuggats in all of this.
Rose

 
Old 04-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

I had mine out about 5 years ago and have had no side effects. I eat and drnk what I want. I did have to lay off the fat for t he first few weeks after but that was it.

 
Old 04-19-2010, 04:47 AM   #5
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Thanks for the replies,

Im now on day 5 of no alcohol and a 90%+ reduction in saturated fat diet. Ive cut out all red meat, chocolate, processed foods and anything high in saturated fats.

Im still waiting for my doctor to contact me regarding a further consultation.

Im not sure how useful the above changes are as its all from my own research and with no thanks to my useless doctor. Long term im happy to adjust my diet and cut out the fats but I will really struggle on the alcohol front. My job involves socialising with colleagues about 3-4 nights per week, and then all my social life at home involves meeting friends for dinner and drinks etc.

Id certainly rather not have my gall bladder out so am wondering what the chances of keeping the healthy alcohol free diet going might help my gall baldder without drugs or surgery. Can polyps or sludge diminish with the lack of fat and alcohol intake?? Ive also drastically increased my fitness levels going from inactive back to running half marathonn distances in the past few weeks. I think that combined with reducing my salt intake is the reason ive also seen my blood pressure drop from high to normal over the last few weeks too (i bought a home BP monitor).

Im doing everything I can for now but any other thoughts greatly appreciated.

 
Old 04-19-2010, 05:34 AM   #6
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

I'm not sure why you are cutting out all alcohol other than for an overall more healthy diet. Gallbladder issues have nothing to do with alcohol - the mixers might have an impact if they are high fat like coconut milk in tropical drinks or something like that. But one or two beers a night should not have an impact.

 
Old 04-19-2010, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Titchou, thanks for your reply.
The reason for stopping drinking is mainly due to my very high serum triglyceride level from my blood tests. This high level is apparently due to my bad diet (high fat/saturated fat) and very high alcohol intake. My worry about this being high is that it can lead to Diabetes but also came to the conclusion (probably completely wrongly) that, the high triglyceride level may also be damaging my gall bladder.

From wikipedia (my bold)..
The main types of polypoid growths of the gallbladder include cholesterol polyp/cholesterosis, cholesterosis with fibrous dysplasia of gallbladder, adenomyomatosis, hyperplastic cholecystosis, and adenocarcinoma.

So basically as well as my constant abdominal discomfort im trying to get my serum triglyceride level down and I assume drinking was the main reason.

Last edited by ooSTEVEoo; 04-19-2010 at 06:02 AM. Reason: gramatical/spelling

 
Old 04-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #8
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Well, alcohol can impact your triglycerides as it is a carbohydrate and carbs relate to it. But I doubt that it would have much to do with the gb. Oddly enough, too much fat and too little fat in one's diet can increase the chances for gallstones! My sister was stunned when I ended up with them as I eat very heathly. Oh well...runs in the family anyway.

As for your cholesterol levels, we don't use that measuring system here in the US so I have no idea what your numbers mean! For example, my total cholesterol is scored at 167.

 
Old 04-19-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Here's my conversion to American units (I think ive done it right)

Serum triglycerides - 407 mg/dl
Serum Cholesterol - 209 mg/dl
Serum HDL cholesterol - 39
Total cholesterol - 209 mg/dl

 
Old 04-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

I think the triglyceride number may be off if the rest are correct but it obviously is high. But the 209 is not way out of kilter, maybe need to drop it 20 points. So, I would certainly lower your alcohol consumption but I wouldn't freak out over a beer every now and then...or sipping one scotch and water all evening...but definitely lay off the mixers as they are deadly sweet!

 
Old 08-25-2010, 02:26 PM   #11
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Exclamation Re: Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results

Quote:
Originally Posted by ooSTEVEoo View Post
Im a 33 year old male living in London. Ive been suffering from a pain on the right side of my abdomen for as long as twelve years. I also get an occasional pain in my right shoulder blade which I now believe is related. More recently its become worse and is now a constant discomfort/pain in my abdomen.
I went to the doctors a few months ago worried it may be my liver as Im quite a heavy drinker and had blood tests for my liver which all came back ok.
About a month later I decided to go back as I wasnt happy and was sent for an ultrasound scan.
At the smae time I asked for a cholesterol test just because theres a family history of heart problems.

The results of the scan showed my liver ok, but my gall bladder was inflamed/hardened (cant remember his exact words) but also that I had a gall bladder polyp. My doctor seemed very not bothered about all this which im very annoyed about and will be seeking a second opionion.

After doing research myself it appears I should probably be considering getting my gall bladder removed???

My blood tests showed....
Total cholesterol 5.4 mmol/L (slightly high)
HDL cholesterol 1.0 mmol/L (slightly low)
Serum triglycerides 4.6 mmol/L (VERY VERY high)

Could my bad cholseterol levels be a factor for my gall bladder pains? Im in good shape but have previously had quite a bad diet. Could my diet and drinking have caused these problem?

Im now worried that it could be cancerous and the pain is a constant discomfort.

Is it normal to have pains for such a long time?

Finally would having my gall bladder removed effect my lifestyle afterwards? Would I have to restrict fatty foods and alcohol?

Any advice greatly appreciated.
Hello, and i'm very sorry for your ordeal. It sounds to me like its your pancreas also. you could have stones blocking your bile ducts "they connect you gall blatter and the pancreas" if you stop drinking the pain mwill go away, but when you eat fatty foods the pain will come back. Your gall blatter digests your fat, and for you that's not happening so yes, you do need to remove your gall blatter but also get everything else i mentioned checked out. Good luck, let me know what turns out k.?

 
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