I've been battling gastric issues for the last 3 months. Started with me just feeling bad, went for a check up, found out I was diabetic (6.6 A1C). Changed diet, started a few meds that made me feel worse. Changed doctors, new doc said I shouldn't have even have had diabetic symptoms at a 6.6, took me off meds and just diet & exercise for now.
A couple weeks later went to the ER in September with chest pains, thought I was having a heart attack. Heart tests all came out fine.
Assumed I was actually having indigestion. Though didn't feel like typical heart burn, more of a chest tightness. I also had a lot of burping, bloating just below ribs in the center, stomach growling, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety and just plain feeling bad.
I was first given Dexilant and Nexium for acid reflux, made me feel worse, quit after taking for 20 days and felt better. Don't think I had acid reflux at all.
Saw a gastro dr. next, put me on a couple antibiotics in case there was something bacterial. Ordered a ultrasound and hida scan to rule out gall bladder first. Sent me for a CBC which was good. Ultrasound was completely normal, no stones, thickening or inflammation. Hida scan came back at 14% ejection. I wasn't told at the time to pay attention to how it felt when they injected the stuff, I wasn't asked if I felt pain with that until a month after the fact. I know I didn't have extreme pain I've read other people have, I would have remembered that. Seems like the tech said something like you might feel cramping, what ever he said, I felt. But nothing severe. Gastro sent me for a surgical consult.
Just as I feared, the hida scan number is my ONLY indication of gallbladder problem. I HOPED I had stones or something else that made it clear. Surgeon recommended removing it, said if I was his sister he would advise it. He said I could wait until my upcoming endoscopy and colonoscopy are done, just to rule anything else out (scheduled in 2 and 3 weeks from now). He labeled me with biliary dyskinesia, which is a fancy term for gallbladder disfunction as far as I can tell. I have tried eating greasy fatty foods, just to get a reaction. Nothing happens. No pain in the gall bladder area.
In the mean time, over the last couple weeks I've been feeling much better, almost normal. Still have occasional stomach discomfort (never had actual pain the whole time, and not RUQ pain). My discomfort/cramping has either been top center or lower left or right. Appetite is much better (ended up losing 50 pounds the last 3 months) Worst thing I have now is occasional burning/gnawing feeling in my lower stomach. Growling & burping occasionally, but much less. Never had any issues with diarhea or vomiting at all. No episodes that i would call a gall bladder attack, though I wonder about the chest pain episode in September since reading of others likening a gallbladder attack to a heart attack.
Just had new bloodwork, waiting for A1c result, hoping the weight loss has helped lower my 6.6.
Has what ever I had healed itself? Though I'm not claiming to be healed, much better but still not 100%. How accurate is the Hida Scan? Can other factors cause a low result? At the time I was barely eating and what I was eating was pretty bland. Could my GB have been low functioning then because I wasn't giving it anything to function for? Assuming my endoscope and colonospy are OK would they order a 2nd hida scan? Will insurance allow that? Or if I'm not having symptoms just not worry about it until i do? I'm afraid to remove it when a percentage of people don't have their symptoms relieved or even get worse in the case of removing without stones. I'm not comfortable trusting one number on one test alone.
But you are having symptoms. It's just not the usual ones most people complain of. A friend had nothing but nausea. They thought for the longest it was a stomach bug of some sort. Went on for about 6 months. Finally did tests for gb and it turned out hers was at 10%. Had it out and all the nausea went away. And yes, the chest pain is a gb symptom along with back shoulder pain, cramping, bloating, etc. I'd have it out. One can live perfectly well without it.
I agree with Titchou on this. While you may not have the perfect classic symptoms, everybody is different, you have had many of the same symptoms as many of the rest of us. I recently had a ultrasound that reconfirmed the presence of gallstones.
You mention: bloating just below ribs in the center, stomach growling, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety and just plain feeling bad as symptoms. I had all of those except for insomnia--though I did have episodes of tachycardia that woke me up. I also have blood pressure readings that were very erratic. Over time I developed more classic symptoms as the disease progressed.
I went to the emergency room several times with symptoms similar to a heart attack. Apparently this was the result of the gallbladder sending signals via the vagus nerve.
While nausea can lead to less eating and weight loss, sudden weight loss can contribute to gallbladder problems as the liver releases large amounts of cholesterol and bile which wind up in the gallbladder.
Once you have gallbladder disease there does not appear to be a cure, other than removal. There are drugs that can stall the need for surgery, such as Actigall, but they are expensive.
It sounds like that with the ultrasound being negative that you have "sludge" which are small microcrystals that go on to form stones. Sludge is hard to detect on an ultrasound as opposed to fully formed stones. This is the beauty of the HIDA scan it is the gold standard of gallbladder function. Opiates can lead to false HIDA scan readings, other than that it is a pretty good test.
You can of course wait for further symptoms to develop before having surgery--it is not necessarily an emergency at this point, however if you ever encounter the pain of passing stones you will readily volunteer for surgery. Passing stones can lead to emergency surgery if they get stuck in the bile ducts or block ducts leading to the pancreas.
Thanks for the replies. Good to hear my symptoms can be gallbladder related though they aren't classic. I went into the surgical consult hoping for some other indication like stones, just to be sure. Seems like removal is much more successful when stones are present. Surgeon and GP both agreed I could wait until after my other tests, unless I get worse or get some more classic symptoms before then. Assuming I stay they same I can wait 3 more weeks when the endoscopy and colonoscopy are done, just to rule anything else out.