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    Old 04-01-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
    jacal5
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    Gall bladder/h pylori

    Mom is 80 years old and has been diagnosed with gallstones, h pylori, and haital hernia. I posted on this board about her in the past, and was told by a poster that she should have a gall bladder scan, it's a good thing I found out because her gastro never mentioned the test, he just sent her to a surgeon.
    Mom asked the surgeon if he would give her the scan, and he said yes. The scan showed her gall bladder is 38% functioning, the stones are small, and there are no obstructions. The surgeon said that her gall bladder is just going to get worse so she might as well take it out because it MIGHT relieve her symptoms of high stomach pain, belching, vomiting on occasion, feeling full fast after eating a few bites, and acid reflux.

    The problem is Mom also has h-pylori, which has the same symptoms of gall stones. Mom has been on the round of antibiotics twice, the first time her gastro said the h-pylori should be gone, but I told Mom not to take his word, and ask for another endoscope. Sure enough, she still had h-pylori and was put on another round of medication. Sure enough, her gastro told her again it should be gone, and she has done nothing else for it except take Activia and acidolopholous sometimes, her doctor did not want to test her after the second round of antibiotics to make sure the h-pylori is gone.

    The problem is Mom and I are arguing because she wants to have her gall bladder removed on May 4, 2009, but I told her she should make sure the h-pylori is gone first before having gall bladder surgery because it could be the h-pylori causing all her symptoms and not the gall bladder. I suppose both the gall bladder and the h-pylori could be causing them, but it makes more sense to me to get rid of the h-pylori first and see if she feels better, and if not, then go for the surgery.

    In addition, Mom also has atrial fibrillation, spastic colon, high blood pressure,
    and cholesterol. I suspect all the statin drugs she has taken over the years put her cholesterol in the gall bladder instead of removing it from the body.
    Three of my friends who have been on Lipitor had their gall bladders removed last month.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

    Last edited by jacal5; 04-01-2009 at 11:34 AM.

     
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    Old 04-01-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Well, if the gb is damaged from the stones and it isn't removed, you are risking a rupture down the road. Which, at her age, could be deadly. It's a fairly simple procedure. An 80 plus gentleman at my church had his removed and was walking on the treadmill the next day! I jogged at one week but there was no way I oculd have done what he did and I'm only 63!

     
    Old 04-01-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Thanks for your response, I figured that if Mom's gall bladder is still functioning 38% at least it is still working to filter the bile or whatever it does, instead of have the bile leaking right down to her colon and possibly causing other problems. It seems some of her friends had their gall bladders out and are all fine with no side effects, that's why she wants the surgery. I guess it's easier for her to have the surgery and hope it will cure her symptoms, than fighting her doctor to test her for h-pylori again.

    Maybe I'm worrying too much about it, but I figured if her symptoms are really from h-pylori, than why should she go through a surgery for nothing, especially since the surgeon didn't say it was urgent, he just said her gall bladder will get worse over time and her symptoms MIGHT go away, no guarantee.

    Last edited by jacal5; 04-01-2009 at 01:41 PM.

     
    Old 04-01-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
    Collector167
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    For the HIDA scan 35-50 percent is sometimes quoted as the normal range; some doctors will use a higher range. So it is possible that your mom has a borderline gallbladder problem. The symptoms of abdominal pain and belching are consistent with gallbladder problems. However as you note if there is an h-pylori issue it would seem to make sense to treat it first.

    If there is a gallbladder problem, the Dr. is correct that it will generally not get better w/o treatment. There is a drug called Ursodiol or Actigall that is used in some cases to attempt to dissolve some types of stones. This is a treatment that usually lasts a year and can be rather expensive. It can be suitable for those who have other health issues or are elderly. I have had good results from taking this medication.

    Most older folks have some gallstones, women tend to have problems with stones at an earlier age than men.

     
    Old 04-01-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Thanks for your response. Mom told me the surgeon said those medications you mentioned would need to be taken the rest of her life, and in many cases don't work at all.

    If you were me, would you tell Mom to get a second opinion from another doctor regarding surgery and the medication?

     
    Old 04-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Yes, I would suggest that your mother ask for a second opinion. While Titchou points out that story of an 80yr old man went through the surgery with no problems, the risks increase with age.

     
    Old 04-02-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Collector167 View Post
    For the HIDA scan 35-50 percent is sometimes quoted as the normal range; some doctors will use a higher range. So it is possible that your mom has a borderline gallbladder problem. The symptoms of abdominal pain and belching are consistent with gallbladder problems. However as you note if there is an h-pylori issue it would seem to make sense to treat it first.

    If there is a gallbladder problem, the Dr. is correct that it will generally not get better w/o treatment. There is a drug called Ursodiol or Actigall that is used in some cases to attempt to dissolve some types of stones. This is a treatment that usually lasts a year and can be rather expensive. It can be suitable for those who have other health issues or are elderly. I have had good results from taking this medication.

    Most older folks have some gallstones, women tend to have problems with stones at an earlier age than men.

    Was your actigall dosage based on weight? I am trying to lose weight so I can dissolve the stones with this medicine. There are several pharmacies in India that sell generic actigall for alot less.

     
    Old 04-03-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    I'm not sure I know the answer to whether the dosage of Urso was based on my weight. Out of curiousity I did an internet search using the terms "Ursodiol and dosage and weight" and found a web page that does describe the dosage based on weight. (Apparently we are not supposed to mention other web sites on this board).

    As I understand it some weight doctors do prescribe Urso or Actigall to their patients as a preventive measure. As part of weight loss apparently the liver dumps a lot of cholesterol into the gallbladder when people lose weight. My gallbladder problems did come about while I was trying to lose weight.

     
    Old 04-03-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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    Re: Gall bladder/h pylori

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Collector167 View Post
    I'm not sure I know the answer to whether the dosage of Urso was based on my weight. Out of curiousity I did an internet search using the terms "Ursodiol and dosage and weight" and found a web page that does describe the dosage based on weight. (Apparently we are not supposed to mention other web sites on this board).

    As I understand it some weight doctors do prescribe Urso or Actigall to their patients as a preventive measure. As part of weight loss apparently the liver dumps a lot of cholesterol into the gallbladder when people lose weight. My gallbladder problems did come about while I was trying to lose weight.
    I was the same.....I went on a low-carb diet and lost weight very quickly...3-4 pounds weekly. Up until last year everything was ok until bang I had my 1st and only attack. Since then I have fought off more trouble eating lowfat, but the weight is coming back. Had I only known taking urso during rapid weight loss helps prevents gallstones.....

     
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