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    Old 05-23-2003, 03:46 PM   #1
    lckwp
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    Post gallbladder -the most popular subject!

    I haven't posted here in a few weeks.

    But to try & make a long story short...

    I started getting episodic right side pain & bowel issues almost 2 years ago.
    They became closer together & worse in January/February.
    At which time my primary care physician diagnosed me with the flu.
    Yeah, acute right side pain is the flu. Uh-huh.

    She did send me for blood work.
    Because of low blood sugar, I was told to go on a hypoglycemic diet of 6 small meals a day. High protein, low simple sugars.
    That's when my right side pain became a debilitating constant thing!

    She sent me for a cat scan - which I now know that was the wrong choice for her to send me for.
    Not to mention the fact that the pain increased from the contrast drink to UNBELIEVABLY INTOLERABLE levels.

    But the cat scan showed just a small kidney stone on my LEFT side, and a spine abnormality.
    She ordered a bone scan and COMPLETELY ignored my digestion & bowel issues, and my SEVERE right side pain!

    She was completely rude about the whole thing. Seemed to act as if I had the flu and was just being a big baby. Told me I was making more out of it than it is.
    And when I demanded more help, she begrudgingly referred me to a gastroenterologist, and I truly believe sabotaged my attempts at getting a timely appointment. (Like I'd talk to a specialist's office & they'd said "well, we can get you in next week if your PCP calls" - then she'd call, then suddenly they didn't have any appointments for 5 weeks!)

    At this point, I got to a gastroenterologist - through a social connection, bypassing her sayso.
    And this gastroenterologist immediately ordered a gallbladder sonogram ultrasound.
    As soon as he saw the results he said i had an abnormality in my gallbladder, a "polyp", and said I should get a pipida scan, and might need surgery.

    The very next day, he got the paperwork from my Primary care physician, and suddenly he didn't believe I was in pain! He said I had sore ribs from the flu!

    He sent me for a CCK HIDA scan only because I INSISTED that my pain was severe, and I wasn't going to take no for an answer. I had to MAKE him say he believed I was in pain!

    (This seems so unbelievable to me.)

    I went for the CCK HIDA scan, and an upper gi & lower bowel series.
    The doctor during the GI test said he saw a constricting during the end of the test, but mysteriously that was mentioned NOWHERE.

    Then the gastroenterologist told me my CCK HIDA scan was NORMAL.

    I had switched primary care physicians, and the new one said I had "nerve pain" and prescribed me a bunch of narcotics, which I was scared to take because I had heard that narcotics have a way of exacerbating bowel problems.

    I got an appointment with another gastroenterologist several weeks in the future.

    I had switched primary care physicians AGAIN.

    In the meantime, I got a hold of my test result reports MYSELF.
    I saw the result of my CCK HIDA scan. It said "35% ejection fraction" and "within normal range".
    I did some research on-line, and with the help of a friend's aunt who is a medical librarian. And EVERYTHING we found was 35% is, at best, marginal, but DEFINITELY *ABNORMAL* - NOT 'within normal range' AT ALL!

    Well, I finally saw the new gastroenterologist last week, and he said "This is a no brainer, you have a low ejection fraction, you have all the symptoms, you have a polyp, you need to get your gallbladder out."
    Yes, he said "this is a no brainer"!!!!

    Then, this past Monday I went to yet a NEW primary care physician. And this guy said he could tell just by my symptoms that I have a gallbladder problem!!!
    He immediately referred me to a surgeon.

    Yesterday I saw the surgeon. And he said the polyp alone warrants surgery because a polyp is NOT normal, and signifies a problem!
    AND this surgeon said that in his experience, 1 out of 5 people who have a "polyp" shown on their gallbladder sonogram ultrasound - it turns out that the polyp is actually a gallstone!
    Not only that, but he took one look at my CCK HIDA scan report, and circled something on it. He said "You have a 35% ejection fraction, that's low. It says 'within normal range' here, but that's low, that's not normal."
    I asked him "Well, why does it say 'within normal range' when it's generally accepted that 35% is abnormal?"
    He said, "Because whoever wrote this report doesn't know what they're talking about."

    And this guy, this surgeon. He's going to do lysis of adhesions for me too! He acted as if it was NO BIG DEAL - and very common for people to have problems with gallbladder AND adhesions.
    And interestingly, I spoke to a woman in the waiting room, and she'd already had her gallbladder out, and adhesions fixed too at the same time.

    Why were these things completely unbelievable and mysterious to all these other doctors?
    I don't know, I'm starting to believe a lot of doctors either have crap for brains - or maybe just that first one I was going to - and she poisoned the minds of all the rest, until I saw someone fresh, who wasn't going to be influenced.
    Of course, how could they be influenced. This has been going on 3+ months. There's NO WAY a doctor could still claim all my pain & sickness was due to the flu!!! No flu lasts this long!

    Well, I'm scheduled for surgery on June 11th.
    I really hope I'm like so many other people I've talked to. So many people who've had their gallbladder out have told me that they were out of pain right after the surgery, and many have even said they haven't felt this good in years!!!

    Even so, I've lost my job because that stupid doctor told my employer that I jsut had the flu - and that I should've been recovered by then!!!
    I was a graphic designer in advertising, and REALLY LIKED my job too! I'm very upset about that!

    Well, as for foods...
    I've never been a huge fan of fried foods. It's always been more or less a once in awhile thing - mainly if I ordered out for lunch at work. And I do remember one time getting the pain in an episode in February after eating fish & fries. But I remember other times eating fried foods and NOT getting the pain.

    Nowadays EVERYTHING causes the pain.

    But the really really bad pain seems to be caused by chicken, cheese, or even fish. I avoid almost everything with protein... though I try to eat it a couple of times a week, just because I know lack of protein is why I feel so weak all the time. (Well, that and the right side pain nagging at me, giving me no peace.)

    My "safe" diet (ie: what causes less pain) is cooked vegetables, rice, rice noodles, granola bars (the healthy kind), yogurt smoothie (in small amounts), italian ice, and freezie pops. (I can eat freezie pops til I get a bad sugar rush and not get increased pain... it's so tempting to overeat them because I CAN eat them safely! - ie: with little or no pain)
    I still get the pain with all these things, but it's not nearly as bad as when I eat chicken (even baked chicken).
    Wheat products (bread, pasta, etc) seem to cause worse problems than even chicken or cheese.
    And one thing I've found is that curry actually HELPS. I've since been pointed to some information claiming that cunin is a digestive aid, so that might explain that.
    But I should mention that I've never suffered from acid reflux. I've only ever had heart burn on rare occasions, from tomato sauce (which I'm not a big fan of). And I've NEVER had a problem with spicy foods. I LOVE them. And spicy or not spicy doesn't seem to make a difference for me now. I can eat bland plain chicken and get nasty nasty pain, or eat very spicy vegetables, and get minimal pain.
    So I imagine spicy has nothing to do with gallbladder - that's a seperate issue I suppose.

    And yeah, I'm very very nervous about having surgery. But EVERYONE I've talked to who's had their gallbladder removed insists it was definitely worth it!

     
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    Old 05-23-2003, 06:39 PM   #2
    HRATL
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    Hey what a great story, I really enjoyed it!!!
    I believe every bit of it completely!
    You actually have some things in your posts that may help others figure out if they have a Gallbladder problem too!
    You should have been a writer..LOL
    Really great job..Thanks

     
    Old 05-27-2003, 09:36 AM   #3
    Katie G
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    Hi lckwp - thank the Lord you finally got the RIGHT answer. Just like you - it didn't matter how bland or spicy the food was, by the end of my sufffering, I was in pain from everything - even water!!!

    I'm sure you'll feel much better once it's out. I can honestly say that once I was awake from surgery, and out of anesthesia, I could even feel a difference! The right side pain and pressure was GONE! I had post-op pain sure, but the GB pain was immediately gone. Although I suffered from bile salt diarrhea from surgery, I would have my GB removed again in a heartbeat because of how awful I felt before it came out. People who saw me, and saw how much weight I had lost before the GB was out kept telling me how sick I looked. What a tough way to lose 25 lbs! Needless to say, I gained it all back and then some afterwards, but it's because eating was such a pleasure again.

    I wish you well in your surgery; please post and let us know how you come out.

    Katie G

     
    Old 05-27-2003, 11:11 AM   #4
    lckwp
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    KatieG:
    I've lost 30 pounds recently, because of being sick with this.
    A lot of people have commented on it, but a few have said I look good. haha!!
    The thing is, I was about 50-60 pounds overweight before, and I'm still about 20 pounds overweight. I could stand to lose weight - though NOT this way!
    Although I will say there are times when people say I'll "suddenly look sick & pale". That's when I suddenly get a wave of sickness &/or increase in pain. I guess it shows.

    Last week I was dreaming about eating buttermilk biscuits. I haven't had them since last year, and wouldn't touch them now! A) bread products are my worst enemy, and B) I'm sure they're loaded with fat, which I'm told is a big offender to gallbladder.
    In the dream they were so light, warm, soft... I woke up, and immediately my hand went to my right torso!

    You know the surgeon asked me if the list of these things bothered me:
    turkey, bananas, pork, and fried foods.
    I haven't eaten bananas since I ate plantanes in October in Mexico - and I was FINE when I was in Mexico (I was the only one in our party who did NOT get any type of bowel issues while we were there!).
    I never eat pork.
    And I honestly can't say that turkey is that much worse than chicken for me. And I've actually tested this in the past week!
    And as for fried foods - I think it's FAR more significant what foods are fried! Chinese sesame chicken started giving me a problem in February before I got the constant pain. And I used to be able to eat it once a week with no problem at all, previously.
    And I stupidly ate french fries last month, and had far less pain than I get after eating baked chicken!
    I've eaten a lot of potatoes (baked or roasted) in the past few months, because they're one of the few foods I love that don't cause the really severe pain. (Most vegetables are relatively safe for me, except for corn.)

    Although I got sick from a cup of hot chocolate a couple of weeks ago. I mean, I don't know that it caused worse pain, because I'm not sure it ever got far enough to cause any pain. And one person said it was because hot cocoa is loaded with fat.
    Well, I bought some diet hot cocoa mix (fat free, sugar free) - and boy, it's not as good as regular - tastes more like chocolate flavoured water. haha!! But it doesn't make me sick or cause the pain... and it's been damp & chilly lately in my area.

    I don't know, I guess my issue with the foods thing is... I'm starting to wonder if there really is any hard rule about what bothers a gallbladder - or if it completely depends upon the gallbladder in question.

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 06:32 AM   #5
    B-Jean
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    Hi!
    I was so happy to see your story-not for your pain but to know I am not alone. I was diagnosed with Gall Bladder Polyps last August(multiple). Since then I have had numerous tests in which they also found a hemangioma on my liver. Last Feb. I had a hysterectomy for endometriosis-earlier this year they diagnosed me with residual endo! Was I ever mad! So I decided to take my health into my own hands. I have been in contact with a specialist for endometriosis in Atlanta, Georgia. I am having surgery on July 2nd for the endo and to remove my gall bladder-there will be 2 surgeons doing my surgery. I am really nervous!
    Good Luck with your surgery and let us know how it went!
    B-Jean
    Going to be a long trip to Georgia and even longer on the way home(we are driving there)!

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 06:54 AM   #6
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    Another quack story for you. History: Mild stroke 2.5 years ago put on Aspirin a day. My Primary care was same for last 5 years. Last november I went to him complaining of a numbness & tingling in my right ear that was bothering me. He looked in ear and said "No Ear infection, No problem, It's your imagination, take your Prozac and relax." I went home. Saw him two more times over the winter with same complaint. It kept getting worse. I got the same answer every time. Finally changed Primary care on March 1st. New dr. Female, immediately orders CT Scan and MRI. Discovers I had a 2nd stroke which I was unaware of. Puts me on blood thinner Plavix and nerve Pain medicine, and referes me to neurologist.
    ____
    Now I have to ask the ? , had the other dr done the right thing and discovered the stroke earlier, and put me on blood thinner 6 months earlier, would I have less damage and pain and feel better now?
    ___
    I filed two complaints against him with the HMO and nothing was done on either of them.
    ___
    Now I am left with facial pain and numbness forever. 3 Neurologists say there is nothing they can do.
    ___
    Is this malpractice?
    __________________
    High Blood Pressure, Acid Reflux,
    L3-L4 Spondololytheses Grade 2, Neuropathy

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 09:52 AM   #7
    Harry
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    I don't think it's mal practice!! It could have been worse???

    I was put on Plavix and I think it's an anti- colting drug just like asprin --- not a blood thinner. I had diverticular that had bleed in the past and about 6 months later -- I started bleeding and lost half my blood in about 4 hours, pasted out in the ER. Later had surgery to remove 2 1/2 feet of colon on March 4,2002.

    Plavix literature compares it to that of asprin not a blood thinner like Cumanin.

    I wish you well---Harry

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 11:49 AM   #8
    lckwp
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    B-Jean: I want to refer you to a site that is ALL about endometreosis and adhesions (which are common after gynocological surgery). I've found a lot of information, support, and links to information there : bombobeach.com

    farscape66: Your story makes me feel a bit better about my own. But even makes my anger at the OBVIOUS incompetance of a lot of the medical profession.
    I don't know if it qualifies as malpractice. If it doesn't, it should! I can't even believe this kind of thing happens! If I made such mistakes at my job as a graphic designer, I would've been fired for it!!! Indeed, I was fired for just being sick because the first doctor I went to told my employer I just had the flu!

    Harry: That's awful too!
    One thing I've definitely noticed - pharmacists know a LOT more about drugs than doctors do. And anymore, when I'm prescribed anything, I talk about my problems, symptoms, diagnosis, and the drugs I've been prescribed with the pharmacist. And on 2 occasions recently, I was pretty much told that I was right in thinking that what I was prescribed wasn't going to help me and could actually worsen my problem.

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 04:44 AM   #9
    B-Jean
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    To lckwp,
    I know all about endometriosis-I have been suffering with it since I was in high school-I am now 44. The problem is I never had a surgeon who knew what they were doing! Plus if a person has it they should never go on the depo lupron shots becuz it just delays the inevitable and it makes it so the surgeon can not see all of it during surgery. I was on it before my hysterectomy but I had such bad pain I ended up in the ER twice. I could be the poster woman for endo!
    Anyways this is the digestive board-I have done alot of research on gall bladder polyps and almost always it comes up gall bladder cancer(which they say is rare). It says big or multiple polyps have the potential to be cancerous so why all the hesitation to remove my gall bladder? Just hoping I have no reason for a malpractice suit!
    B-Jean

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 10:48 AM   #10
    lckwp
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    I've had endometreosis too since puberty. It was removed during my gynocological surgery, and I know it came back about 2 years ago... because I was menstrual cramp free for 2 years after the surgery, and then they came back.
    In addition to getting my gallbladder out, the surgeon is going to do lysis of adhesions for me.
    Adhesions are very similar to endometreosis.
    And from what I've learned it's the single most common but misunderstood problem!
    Anyway, the web site I mentioned is by people who've gotten together & are trying to push for more awareness in diagnosis of adhesions & endometreosis.

    The surgeon DID tell me that a polyp is enough to warrant gallbladder surgery because a polyp is a problem no matter what. He didn't mention cancer, but he did say that 1 out of 5 people whose sonogram shows a polyp - the polyp turns out to be a gallstone because the ultrasound is not as accurate in showing detail... And heck, I was watching the ultrasound screen when they were doing my standing up part -and I don't know how they can see anything on that! haha. So I'm not surprised.

    Anyway, I hope I don't have cancer. But man, just the possibility of that makes me mad that they weren't quicker to get on this. I mean, I had trouble getting doctors to even believe that I have pain!
    But apparently that's very common - and particularly with women - not being believed or doctors believing that the pain's not as bad as the female patient describes. Outrageous!

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 01:53 PM   #11
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    lckwp, you were talking about foods that bother the gallbladder. I had asked my GI dr about this a while ago. I started getting attacks from eating ANYTHING. Fatty foods will almost always cause an attack in people who have gallbladder problems because the gallbladder stores bile which is needed for digestion, but particularly for digestion of fats. So when we eat fatty foods, the gallbladder has to work harded than normal. But regardless of what we eat, the minute that food passes our mouths, the gallbladder has to start working. It just works harder when we eat fatty foods because it has to eject more bile. But the gallbladder has to work no matter what we eat, so technically, anything can cause an attack.

    And to add a note on the pain thing - I never had a problem getting my dr to believe me. He has always been great. It was the ER nurse who didn't believe me and was reluctant to give me any pain meds. I was kinda relaxed when I was in the ER because I knew that I was in good hands. The orderlies (we call them "transporters") were joking around with me and I was actually laughing a little bit. But I was still in a lot of pain. They wanted to send me for an ultrasound. They were about to wheel me out of the ER and I said "whoa, hold it. where is my pain medicine? If you think I am going for an ultrasound in the middle of a gallbladder attack and letting them press hard on that area, and you're not going to give me anything for pain you must be out of your mind. I'm not going anywhere until you give me something for pain." So the nurse very reluctantly went and told the dr that I wanted pain meds, and he immediately ordered Morphine. Under a new law in NY state, the patient has a right to as much pain medicine as needed, and the hospital staff is not legally allowed to question the reasoning for wanting the pain meds. (they used to accuse everyone of being addicts.) The nurse came back with the morphine and really didn't want to give it to me. She had the nerve to say "well you really don't look like you're in too much pain." She actually didn't believe me! I'm in the ER, but no, I'm not in pain. So I said "well I mask it well. so please give me the pain medicine!" What I really felt like saying was "look lady, you aren't the damn dr and nobody asked you what you think. So give me the freakin Morphine!" It just really irks me that people think they know how much pain your are in by looking at you. Another example is my own father. I was told by my dr not to do any bending, lifting, or other strenuous activity for 6-8 weeks. Yesterday my mom came home with packages from food shopping. Now mind you, I only had surgery on May 20th. Not even 2 weeks ago. But I am getting around OK, so my dad just assumed that I was fine to help carry packages into the house and up the large flight of stairs, and had the nerve to get mad at me when I said no!! I may look fine, but I am still in pain! And I still have open surgical wounds! People will never learn until they go through it themselves. It's the same with my eye problems. My eyes aren't red, so hardly anybody believes that they hurt or that I have any sort of serious problem. Fortunately my dr believes me.

    How can anybody presume to know how somebody else feels?

    [This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 05-31-2003).]

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 02:42 PM   #12
    lckwp
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    Yeah, I've done a lot of reading on gallbladders lately. haha. And yeah, all food gives me pain - just some gives me more - and I avoid those things as much as possible.

    My gallbladder sonogram ultrasound was EXTREMELY painful.

    And my friend is a psychiatrist, and she said that sometimes they don't believe a person is in pain because they think the person is drug seeking - which I KNOW is a real thing that happens, unfortunately, a lot of people are left to suffer because of this suspicion - and doctors not being able to tell the difference!

    But, the interesting thing is - I have REFUSED all narcotic pain medicine... and I still had trouble getting people to believe me!

    I've been prescribed vicadin, donnetal, and lorpam, and I've not gotten any of those filled because
    A) I have bowel issues that narcotics are KNOWN to exacerbate
    B) Narcotics make me VERY sick
    C) I don't want to fool around with that kind of drug if my pain can be stopped at the source

    So I have no idea why I have had such trouble getting people to believe me!

    I'm not afraid of the pain. I actually have a pretty high tolerance for pain... My issues with this pain are:
    A) I can't function with this pain
    B) If I'm having this kind of horrible pain - something MUst be TERRIBLY WRONG and NEEDS to be fixed!

     
    Old 06-04-2003, 08:03 PM   #13
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    Exactly! They probably thought I was drug seeking! In fact, my own surgeon (who is a good friend of my mother!) didn't want to give me anything at home to take for pain, because he was afraid I'd become addicted! I had to beg! Normally I don't like to take pain medicine if I can help it, but for the first 48 hours after surgery, I could not move!! I was extremely sore, and I have to admit, I did take the pain medicine! I am by far not addicted, but if I need something for pain, I am going to take it!!!

     
    Old 06-28-2003, 06:45 PM   #14
    beregrac
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    lckwp's story sounds very familiar to me...
    Two weeks ago, I ate a really spicy meal, and was very shortly thereafter doubled over in pain. I went to a walk-in clinic, and the FNP diagnosed a urinary tract infection and sent me home with antibiotics. I didn't eat anything fatty or spicy that weekend, and then on Monday, the pain returned, much worse, accompanied by vomitting and a low-grade fever. I went back to the clinic and the FNP ordered an ultrasound of my gallbladder. I got a call later on that afternoon saying that I had two polyps in my gallbladder, both 7mm in size. I was then sent to the hosptial to have a CT scan. Nothing showed up on that.
    Meanwhile, I was in pain and I felt like the polyps were being overlooked, so I sought a second opinion with a general practicioner. She was very concerned about the polyps and ordered a HIDA scan for the following Wed. Can you guess the results? Normal. I called her office and asked what I should do about the pain, and they said "Your problem sure sounds like a gallbladder thing. If you pain gets worse, try taking Pepcid AC."
    Meanwhile, I have discomfort in my right side every day (not excruciating pain, but just feeling queasy and uneasy), so I haven't wanted to eat anything. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Any suggestions?

     
    Old 06-29-2003, 07:08 PM   #15
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    Your discomfort sounds very familiar. I had a constant ache in my right side until I had my gallbladder removed on May 20th. However, my dr did not just tell me to take a Pepcid AC! Pepcid AC is not going to help with the gallbladder pain, because that's not what it is for. It's for indigestion and reflux. It may help you if the gallbladder is causing any reflux or indigestion, but that's about it. I take two medicines for reflux, and neither one offered a single bit of relief when I had my gallbladder problems.

    The only thing that will help you when you are having a gallbladder attack, or when you have that constant aching pain is a medicine for PAIN. I was prescribed Perocette, and let me tell you, I never would have made it through some of those nights without it. But you can try just plain Tylenol for the ache in your side.

    I also recommend strongly that you find a good GI doctor. Gallbladder is a Gastro-Intestinal problem. They should also do blood tests to check your liver functions. The gallbladder is nothing to fool around with. If you have got Polyps, that indicates a problem. Did they say if you have stones? Did they ever do an ultrasound?

    And I'll tell you what you probably already know... stay away from fatty foods, don't eat anything too spicy because it may upset your digestive tract, and when you do have a bad attack, stay on clear liquids (jello, juice, fat free broth, etc...) for a few days just until you feel better.

     
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