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    Old 05-31-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
    Red Voodoo
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    Unhappy Gallbladder issues?

    Hello... First time poster.

    I have been living with digestive issues the past few years that seem to continue to worsen as I age. As a kid and young adult, I had very few issues with my stomach and bowels. Instances of heartburn, diarreaha and vomiting were few and far between. I had no known health problems, and my blood work was always in top shape when checked. Then I turned 28...

    The first indication that something was going on was an abnormal liver count detected during a routine examination for a life insurance policy. I followed up with an appointment with my physican and had the results confirmed. My ALT was in the low 50s, which was slightly elevated. I went in about another month later and retested, which came back at around the same level. A couple ultrasounds were done over a couple years, with the first confirming gallstones, and the second not finding stones but a fatty liver. It was explained to me that both issues could result in elevated ALT levels, but it wasn't anything to be really concerned about. A change of diet and lifestyle was prescribed, along with a daily dose of Prilosec that was to help with acid reflux I was experiencing off and on for a while.

    Fast forward to the last couple years. I have been fighting with intermittant bouts of feeling under the weather and fatigue. Every meal seems to result in some sort of discomfort under either the left or right ribcage (never both sides at once), belching and sulfur-smelling flatulance. This discomfort can last for days without relief, then disappear for several days before returning. During my episodes, it feels like my entire abdomen is "electrified". I seem to get winded easier, and I will break into a sweat and my pulse is heavy. I like to blame the latter to anxiety, but the several doctors I have mentioned this to do not believe that this is a serious problem.

    I had some recent blood work done in April, and all my readings were within normal range with the exception of my ALT, which was in the lower 80s, and my cholestoral, which was noted as being high as well. Still, no concern expressed by my physician. This last visit I was in regards to high blood pressure readings I had been getting, and I was given BP medicine to control the issue.

    Other problems that may be completely unrelated to my main issues mentioned above include bouts of lightheadedness that can last for weeks, occasional numbness and tingling of the extremities, and sinus and ear issues. I mention these in case they might help.

    I also need to mention that my last doctor recommended the removal of the gallbladder, but this decision was based on no recent lab work or imagery confirming that the gallbladder was to blame. In fact, the doctor that gave me my surgery consultation didn't believe that my problems had anything to do with the gallbladder, but he would remove it if I wanted it done. Talk about being confused...

    Sorry that this is so long, but I've been having to live with this without any real help from the group of doctors that I have seen. I'm confused and a bit angry, as my condition has affected my life drastically the past several years. What I'm trying to feel out here is if what I deal with almost on a daily basis is the result of my gallbladder, or should I be concerned with something else.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

    Sean

     
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    Old 06-01-2009, 05:52 AM   #2
    Titchou
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    Considering the elevated ALT and cholesterol, I might ask for an ultrasound. If that doesn't show anything, the other gallbladder test is the HIDA scan which shows at what level your gb is functioning. Anything below 35% is considered non-functioning and cna be removed. How was your billirubin?

     
    Old 06-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #3
    Red Voodoo
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
    Considering the elevated ALT and cholesterol, I might ask for an ultrasound. If that doesn't show anything, the other gallbladder test is the HIDA scan which shows at what level your gb is functioning. Anything below 35% is considered non-functioning and cna be removed. How was your billirubin?
    Thank you for the response. My bilirubin was within normal range at 0.8. I'm guessing another ultrasound is due, and I will inquire about an HIDA scan. After further researching things, I am beginning to think my GERD is probably the main culprit here, but I would not think that GERD would cause the high enzymes and cholesterol?

     
    Old 06-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    me, too. So I was thinking separate issues. What's your diet like? Are the attacks usually after a faty meal?

     
    Old 06-01-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
    Red Voodoo
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    I would say that my diet is relatively healthy. I eat a good share of whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and I also try to limit my intake of sweets. I avoid fatty foods as often as possible, but when consumed, they don't seem to trigger any abnormal reaction.

    It's difficult to describe the feeling when it happens. Like I mentioned, it feels like my insides are "electrified". My heart beats heavy, pulse rate increases to between 90 and 100 bpm, and I occasionally break out in a sweat. Belching offers some relief, but I can't help but think that this compounds the problem. I also get some chest discomfort, but passing gas or applying pressure to the left side of my ribcage will relieve this temporarily. In fact, this may seem odd, but applying pressure produces a "popping" noise like I'm bursting a bubble, then immediate relief. I can do this exercise every minute or so and get the same result. The left side below the rib cage also feels "full" during these events.

    Is it caused by diet? I'm not sure. I have done my own experiments by altering my diet to see if I can locate the problemic food, but have yet to find the cause.

     
    Old 07-19-2009, 02:55 AM   #6
    ltuke
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    Smile Re: Gallbladder issues?

    Hi
    I have a similar thing it started with severe chest pain then the dizziness and then panic also tingly hands etc.
    I went to the doctor and was told it was panic attakcs...had ecgs etc they never checked for gallstones.
    I had all normal blood work 8 months ago and when i got the chest pain and lower right abdomen pain at the same time.It does not go and is there when i walk its a dull ache then I get a stabbing pain sometimes.
    Recently had more blood work and my ALT is high the doctor said but refuses to tell me how high. One doctor said i could drink another said not too(have you been asked to avoid alcohol?) i dont drink loads anyway, i have also been told I am not allowed to go to the gym as it can raise ALT levels i used to go every day and walk a few miles at the weekend and go to the gym I am healthy and have a good BMI. I am due for a scan next week and more liver blood tests hepaptitis etc.
    Not sure how it has jumped up so quickly in 8 months?? will know if i have stones next week or fatty liver even not sure what they are looking for....I will let you know how i go i have seen various doctors the first one said gallstones won t effect the liver really except to cause pressure and refused to even do a test...it was the next doctor who when i had a rash on my arms (little red dots that dont go on pressure do you get these?)that the doctor ran out the surgury to get urgent tests which showed high ALT and now my scan has been moved forward three weeks to next week!.Will keep you updated I hate the not knowing and the worry after a year I just want to be well.
    Hope you feel better try stay positive although I know its difficult not to worry but at least your trying to find an answer which is better than ignoring it and there are loads of people walking around with raised ALT etc which probably don't even know it! so at least your getting treated and going to get it sorted

     
    Old 07-19-2009, 03:11 AM   #7
    ltuke
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    Hi
    I have a similar thing it started with severe chest pain then the dizziness/lightheadiness and then panic.I went to the doctor and was told it was panic attacks...had ecgs etc they never checked for gallstones....
    I had all normal blood work 8 months ago and then i got the chest pain and lower right abdomen pain at the same time.It does not go and is there when i walk its a dull ache then i get a stabbing pain sometimes and still the chest .
    Recently had more blood work and my ALT is high the doctor said but refuses to tell me how high. One doctor said i could drink another said not too(have you been asked to avoid alcohol) i dont drink loads anyway, i have also been told I am not allowed to go to the gym as it can raise ALT levels i used to go every day and wald a few miles at the weekend and go to the gym I am healthy and have a good BMI. I am due for a scan next week and more liver blood tests .No sure how it has jumped up so quickly in 8 months?? will know if i have stones next week or fatty liver even not sure what they are looking for....I will let you know how i go i have seen various doctors the first one said gallstones won t effect the liver really except to cause pressure and refused to even do a test...it was the next doctor who when i had a rash on my arms (little red dots that dont go on pressure do you get these?)that the doctor ran out the surgury to get urgent tests which showed high ALT and now my scan has been moved forward three weeks to next week!.Will keep you updated I hate the not knowing and the worry after a year I just want to be well.
    Hope you feel better try stay positive although I know its difficult not to worry reply if you get chance and keep me updated : )

     
    Old 07-20-2009, 05:44 AM   #8
    starling80
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    Re: Gallbladder issues?

    Sounds remarkably similar to what I experienced over the past few years, with the exception of elevated liver enzymes. My ALT has generally been in the mid to upper 30's.

    Mine started with what I just chalked up to the side effects of a bad diet: more gas, bloating, belching, indigestion and heart burn/reflux. I "treated" it with Prilosec OTC once a day for 2+ years. I also had developed high triglycerides and moderately high cholesterol. One day, I woke up feeling generally unwell and developed a nagging pain in my lower right abdomen. As it didn't get worse, I waited 2 weeks to get it checked out and, despite CT scan, barium swallow and a colonoscopy, they couldn't find a darn thing wrong with me and wrote it off as a musculo-skeletal issue.

    June 5th of this year, I developed an ache/discomfort below my right ribs after playing 18 holes of golf and drinking 3-4 beers in the process. At the same time, the lower right quadrant ache/pain came back. Over the next 10 days, the upper discomfort got slowly worse, spreading lower towards my navel and I couldn't really correlate it with eating or eating fatty foods...it was just there most days, most of the time. I finally went and saw my doctor.

    An ultrasound showed what they thought were a couple of small stones in my GallBladder and some "fatty incursion" on the liver. They recommended removal of my gallbladder, which I grudgingly went along with. In the weeks between the diagnosis and the surgery, my symptoms finally began to get worse. I don't know that I could still ever call it "PAIN", but it was uncomfortable and noticable...pressure, "pulling", or achiness below my ribs, occasionally discomfort below my sternum. Worst of all, was the the general fatigue and tiredness that seemed to go along with it some of the time.

    My GallBladder is now removed and I'm in the process of recovering from the surgery (which was very easy, by the way. Operation started at 8am and I was getting into my car to be driven home at 10:30am same day). Gone are all of the symptoms and food restrictions (self-imposed). In retrospect, I wish I would've thought to have them check my GallBladder 3 years ago. My doctor is curious to see if my cholesterol numbers improve as a result, too (not holding my breath).

    My diet leading up to the final onset of symptoms was very healthy and I had been exercising 40 minutes every day for nearly 6 months.

     
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