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Old 07-21-2011, 05:42 AM   #1
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Gail73 HB User
Pancreatitis and gallstones

I have had stomach problems for over 3 years. The doctor has always told me it's IBS but he never ruled out anything else in order to reach that diagnosis.

On Friday night I went to the A&E department in excruciating pain, in my upper abdomen and radiating through to my back. I was sent home with tablets to treat gastrointestinal problems and indigestion. The pain did subside but it was still niggling. On Sunday morning I woke up in the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. I knew something wasn't right and told my husband this. He took me back up to A&E. The doctor I saw this time said almost immediately that she thought it was gallstones so took a full blood count and did some x-rays. Within an hour the doctor was back to me telling me I had acute pancreatitis and suspected gallstones, they would need to do an abdo scan to make sure. Apparently I have lots and lots of gallstones which has caused the pancreatitis.

I was kept in hospital until yesterday, when my bloods had returned to normal and I was in no more pain.

I will have to go back into hospital to have my gallbladder removed 4-6 weeks.

Today I feel terrible, woke up heavily sweating, diarrhea, pain in my back, slight tummy ache but I can feel it's building up again. I also feel incredibly tired, like I could fall asleep on the spot. Do I call the doctor or is this just part of the illness?

 
Old 07-21-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Both conditions require a special diet. NO FAT to keep from getting a gallbladder attack. No alcohol and a bunch of other stuff I forget for the pancreas. Talk with your doctor and get a list.

 
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Both conditions require a special diet. NO FAT to keep from getting a gallbladder attack. No alcohol and a bunch of other stuff I forget for the pancreas. Talk with your doctor and get a list.
Thank you, today I have woke up feeling much better. Maybe due to a very low fat diet for the last few days. I will look into the diet for pancreatitis. I drink alcohol maybe once or twice a year at the most.

 
Old 08-13-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Just a quick update on my situation.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been very active and followed a relatively low fat diet, due to this I've lost quite a bit of weight. I feel nauseous at times, I think this is the gallstones, usually after something fatty like a sandwich with mayo.

The hospital has contacted me offering me 2 dates for my gallbladder removal but both dates were inconvenient. Now I am wondering if having my gallbladder removed is the answer. I have looked into it, there are people who still suffer even after removal.

What I would like to know is this. Is having my gallbladder removed the only option? Are there alternatives? Will continuing to lose weight remove them naturally or will they always be there? Obviously the worry is pancreatitis, because I've already had this due to the gallstones.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail73 View Post
Just a quick update on my situation.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been very active and followed a relatively low fat diet, due to this I've lost quite a bit of weight. I feel nauseous at times, I think this is the gallstones, usually after something fatty like a sandwich with mayo.

The hospital has contacted me offering me 2 dates for my gallbladder removal but both dates were inconvenient. Now I am wondering if having my gallbladder removed is the answer. I have looked into it, there are people who still suffer even after removal.

What I would like to know is this. Is having my gallbladder removed the only option? Are there alternatives? Will continuing to lose weight remove them naturally or will they always be there? Obviously the worry is pancreatitis, because I've already had this due to the gallstones.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Continuing on a low fat diet and losing weight, whilst obviously healthy, will not remove your gallstones, to do that requires surgery. You will always read about people on these kind of sites that have had problems after surgery, very few people ever post anything positive unfortunately so all you ever read about are the horror stories. I am sure in the grand scheme of things these unfortunate experiences are rare and that the vast majority of people recover and go on to live normal pain free lives. So anyway, here is a positive story for you! I had masses of gallstones and was unlucky enough to get one escape from my gallbladder and get stuck in my bile duct. I needed an ERCP to remove it. I read loads of horror stories, as you do, about the procedure but I can hand on heart say I don't remember a single thing about it, it was that straightforward. I then needed my gallbladder surgically removed as it was still full of stones. It was the best thing I have could ever have done. No more biliary colic and pain, I can eat whatever I want and I have no side effects from the surgery whatsoever. I had keyhole surgery and within two weeks I was more or less completely recovered and able to do anything I wanted to do. I actually went mountain walking after three weeks! So my advice is to go for it, I am sure it will the best thing you could do. If you want any more info. on what it is like straight after the operation etc. don't hesitate to ask. Good luck and try not to read the horror stories. Remember for every horror story there are probably loads more positive ones, it's just that no one posts any!

 
Old 08-13-2011, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

No, the diet will not get rid of the gallstones. And as long as they are there you are facing some VERY serious complications. Infection can set in and the gb can rupture, which can be fatal. A friend's father died from this. So, I would have it out. It's a really simply procedure. I jogged 2 miles a week after having mine out and I was 59 years old at the time. Get it out and be done with it.

 
Old 08-13-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaine12 View Post
Continuing on a low fat diet and losing weight, whilst obviously healthy, will not remove your gallstones, to do that requires surgery. You will always read about people on these kind of sites that have had problems after surgery, very few people ever post anything positive unfortunately so all you ever read about are the horror stories. I am sure in the grand scheme of things these unfortunate experiences are rare and that the vast majority of people recover and go on to live normal pain free lives. So anyway, here is a positive story for you! I had masses of gallstones and was unlucky enough to get one escape from my gallbladder and get stuck in my bile duct. I needed an ERCP to remove it. I read loads of horror stories, as you do, about the procedure but I can hand on heart say I don't remember a single thing about it, it was that straightforward. I then needed my gallbladder surgically removed as it was still full of stones. It was the best thing I have could ever have done. No more biliary colic and pain, I can eat whatever I want and I have no side effects from the surgery whatsoever. I had keyhole surgery and within two weeks I was more or less completely recovered and able to do anything I wanted to do. I actually went mountain walking after three weeks! So my advice is to go for it, I am sure it will the best thing you could do. If you want any more info. on what it is like straight after the operation etc. don't hesitate to ask. Good luck and try not to read the horror stories. Remember for every horror story there are probably loads more positive ones, it's just that no one posts any!

Thank you for that, much appreciated as are the other answers given.

I had to have an enlarged tonsil removed last year so they could do a biopsy on it. I remember reading horror stories then and it did terrify me. All was well, other than the horrendous pain after the op for a couple of weeks, but that was normal.

One of my biggest fears is having to undergo an MRI scan next week. I suffer really badly from claustrophobia, I really don't think I can go through with it. I need to discuss this with the hospital and explain my situation, maybe there is an alternative.

My mother in law had her gallbladder removed, she says she still suffers today from pain, but I think this is down to her diet. I suppose if you continue to eat unhealthily it will continue to have an effect on your health.

 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

I suffer from claustrophobia too and was terrified at the prospect of an MRI. It's not that bad though. What I did was shut my eyes the entire time, did deep regular breathing and concentrated on the instructions. Worst part about it is it's really noisy, other than that it's okay I promise. Discuss it with the staff though, they may be able to sedate you or something.

 
Old 08-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

Wow, I hope that by now you've had your surgery, since your post was back in July. I was about 5 months pregnant when my gallbladder attacks started, and they were so severe that at first my doctors said that the baby was placing a strain on my heart and THAT was causing the pain. After the baby was born and the pain was still recurring regularly, they began changing their tune. After many months of trying to get to the ER while in the throes of an attack, I finally made it in and an ultrasound showed that my gallbladder was 95% full (this was on a Friday night). They scheduled me for surgery the following Monday morning. Unfortunately, Sunday afternoon my gallbladder ruptured, causing severe acute pancreatitis and landing me in the hospital for over 6 weeks. To this day I have "gallbladder" attacks on occasion (although much more infrequently than before surgery and not nearly as severe) because they made me wait too long and I ended up rupturing. If you have gallstones, do NOT put off the surgery. My delay ended up causing me to be in the hospital for 10 days BEFORE I was even stable enough for them to operate. Delay can be deadly. I'd much rather get on with it while you're relatively stable and the procedure will be a minor one rather than a life-threatening month-and-a-half long episode. Good luck!

 
Old 01-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #10
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Re: Pancreatitis and gallstones

A quick update. Had my op on Friday after several cancellations due to different reasons. All went well but I'm feeling quite ill still, feeling sick, lightheaded and constipated.......hopefully these are symptoms of the removal of my gallbladder. I'm glad it's all over now and I can get on with life. I will continue to follow a low fat diet, I've lost 3 stone so far and feeling much better for it.

 
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