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  • Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

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    Old 03-12-2010, 01:32 PM   #1
    idk99
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    Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    I have had a HIDA scan which showed my ejection fraction as being 38% which basically means that my gallbladder is not emptying properly. However, I understand that many doctors say it should be below 35% before they will consider removal. In my case I have had conflicting opinions from various doctors ranging from "leave it where it is" and " let's take it out".
    I also understand that gallbladder disease is normally indicated by pain under the rib cage, normally on the right side which often will radiate into the right shoulder blade plus nausea and also vomiting.
    My symptoms are almost constant nausea and stomach discomfort which I have had for 18 months. I would not describe my stomach discomfort as pain, it is more of an ache which is not from any specific area. It is the sort of stomach discomfort you would get if you had a stomach bug. The worst symptom is nausea.
    I should point out that I have had 3 ultrasounds all of which were normal. In addition I have had numerous other tests, all of which were normal.

    My question is to ask if anyone here has had similar symptoms that have been relieved by the removal of their gallbladder or if anyone here is considering the removal of their gallbladder with similar symptoms to mine?

    Last edited by Administrator; 03-28-2010 at 04:10 PM.

     
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    Old 03-12-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    I had mine removed and I have nausea. I was a healthy person before I had mine removed and then my gallbladder gave me problems and they found stones. I don't know if your problem will be solved if you do remove it. I have been to five different doctors and they don't have any information about gallbladder problems. They never tell you what might happen afterwards. There are no books to read in the book store on what to eat after your gallbladder is removed. My suggestion would be to see or search out specialist who deal with this frequently and really research for more information. I know how the nausea feels because I deal with it everyday. No doctor can help me so I just go day to day with the pain.

     
    Old 03-12-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    People usually experience pain with gallstones, not low ejection rate so it isn't surprising you don't have pain. With an ejection rate of 38%, I doubt I'd have mine out, even with some nausea issues as they can usually be handled with meds...natural or otherwise. It appears from the posters here that those removed from ejection rate issues don't seem to fare as well as those with stones. And since yours is not below the threshold, I'd have a hard time removing it at this point. But that's just my opinion. I had stones and was in a lot of pain in addition to the nausea, etc so it was a no brainer for me. Maybe get a second opinion????

     
    Old 03-12-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Nausea, stomach noise and occasional diarrhea were my first symptoms, it took several years for the symptoms to increase to the point where a new Dr. sent me for an ultrasound and they found something.

    The ultrasound will frequently not show if you have "sludge", microcrystals that will eventually form stones. The sludge can create symptoms similar to stones. The fact that you passed the HIDA scan means they are unlikely to recommend surgery until things get worse. Also understand that surgery does not always solve the problem, about 10% of those who have the surgery continue to have issues.

    One possibility is to see if your GI doc is willing to prescribe Ursodiol. This is a somewhat expensive treatment--depending on your insurance coverage, that can dissolve sludge and small stones. I have been treated with it for almost two years now and am pain and nausea free, except of an occasional flare up. So far I have avoided surgery.

     
    Old 03-13-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gigi11 View Post
    I had mine removed and I have nausea. I was a healthy person before I had mine removed and then my gallbladder gave me problems and they found stones. I don't know if your problem will be solved if you do remove it. I have been to five different doctors and they don't have any information about gallbladder problems. They never tell you what might happen afterwards. There are no books to read in the book store on what to eat after your gallbladder is removed. My suggestion would be to see or search out specialist who deal with this frequently and really research for more information. I know how the nausea feels because I deal with it everyday. No doctor can help me so I just go day to day with the pain.
    Thank you for your answer. I have done a certian amount of research and I am wondering if you have tried Colestid or Questran which basically take care of the bile that drips into the system and this indeed may be causing your nausea. I know that many people have found relief from using one of these two.

     
    Old 03-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
    People usually experience pain with gallstones, not low ejection rate so it isn't surprising you don't have pain. With an ejection rate of 38%, I doubt I'd have mine out, even with some nausea issues as they can usually be handled with meds...natural or otherwise. It appears from the posters here that those removed from ejection rate issues don't seem to fare as well as those with stones. And since yours is not below the threshold, I'd have a hard time removing it at this point. But that's just my opinion. I had stones and was in a lot of pain in addition to the nausea, etc so it was a no brainer for me. Maybe get a second opinion????
    Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately none of the medications I have taken have taken care of the nausea and nothing has dealt with the stomach discomfort either. I am unwell all day every day and life is very difficult. I am desperately searching for a solution but of course I don't want to jump into having the GB removed if it isn't going to help or indeed may make matters worse, hence my question here. I will be getting other opinions from doctors but unfortunately I have discovered on my 'journey' that doctors' opinions vary greatly.
    May I ask if the removal of your GB solved all of your issues?

     
    Old 03-13-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Collector167 View Post
    Nausea, stomach noise and occasional diarrhea were my first symptoms, it took several years for the symptoms to increase to the point where a new Dr. sent me for an ultrasound and they found something.

    The ultrasound will frequently not show if you have "sludge", microcrystals that will eventually form stones. The sludge can create symptoms similar to stones. The fact that you passed the HIDA scan means they are unlikely to recommend surgery until things get worse. Also understand that surgery does not always solve the problem, about 10% of those who have the surgery continue to have issues.

    One possibility is to see if your GI doc is willing to prescribe Ursodiol. This is a somewhat expensive treatment--depending on your insurance coverage, that can dissolve sludge and small stones. I have been treated with it for almost two years now and am pain and nausea free, except of an occasional flare up. So far I have avoided surgery.
    Thank you for your reply. What did they find when they sent you for an unltrasound? My GI doctor has already prescibed Ursodiol (or at least the same thing made by another company) and I am due to pick it up on Monday. I understand that it only deals with sludge or stones made of cholesterol but I am at least encouraged to hear your story. May I ask how much do you take a day and how long did you have to take it before it gave you relief please?

    Last edited by idk99; 03-14-2010 at 12:12 PM.

     
    Old 03-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #8
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    On my ultrasound they mentioned a couple of possible polyps, they were most likely small stones pushed up against the wall the of the gallbladder by the accumulated sludge--which they were unable to see.

    From what I read, most sludge and stones are cholesterol based, but about 20% of stones are pigment stones that are more difficult to dissolve. Of course it is easier to dissolve small stones and sludge versus a gallbladder packed with large stones.

    I started out taking four 250mg tablets of Urso a day, within several months I noticed much less pain and discomfort, but you have to be patient. Most Dr's will continue the treatment for one year. The downside of the Urso/Actigall treatment is that most patients will have symptoms return within five years once they stop taking the medicine. Once you have gallbladder issues, it seems like you will always have them, this can even be true when the gallbladder is removed.

    At this point I have been taking Urso for close to two years, my doctor has me on a maintenance dose of two 250mg tablets a day. If I start to feel discomfort or the bowel movements start turning pale, I adjust the dose upward for a few days. At this point I eat whatever I want and feel great 95+% of the time.

    This treatment is especially helpful for the elderly and those who have medical conditions that make surgery risky.

     
    Old 03-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Yes, removing my gb cured all my symptoms. Every now and then I have "phantom pain" but it fleeting (seconds only) and not often at all. That was 5 years ago. Am so glad I had mine out...it was very damaged...path report scared the you-know-what out of me! Sounded gross....

     
    Old 03-14-2010, 12:31 PM   #10
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Collector167 View Post
    On my ultrasound they mentioned a couple of possible polyps, they were most likely small stones pushed up against the wall the of the gallbladder by the accumulated sludge--which they were unable to see.

    From what I read, most sludge and stones are cholesterol based, but about 20% of stones are pigment stones that are more difficult to dissolve. Of course it is easier to dissolve small stones and sludge versus a gallbladder packed with large stones.

    I started out taking four 250mg tablets of Urso a day, within several months I noticed much less pain and discomfort, but you have to be patient. Most Dr's will continue the treatment for one year. The downside of the Urso/Actigall treatment is that most patients will have symptoms return within five years once they stop taking the medicine. Once you have gallbladder issues, it seems like you will always have them, this can even be true when the gallbladder is removed.

    At this point I have been taking Urso for close to two years, my doctor has me on a maintenance dose of two 250mg tablets a day. If I start to feel discomfort or the bowel movements start turning pale, I adjust the dose upward for a few days. At this point I eat whatever I want and feel great 95+% of the time.

    This treatment is especially helpful for the elderly and those who have medical conditions that make surgery risky.
    Thanks for your reply.
    You mention pain in this post so I assume you had pain as well as nausea. I don't get pain I just get stomach discomfort.
    I have read that sometimes you don't get pain if you don't have stones but your GB is just not contracting properly.
    Anyway, my doctor has also prescribed 250mg x 4 per day.

     
    Old 03-14-2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
    Yes, removing my gb cured all my symptoms. Every now and then I have "phantom pain" but it fleeting (seconds only) and not often at all. That was 5 years ago. Am so glad I had mine out...it was very damaged...path report scared the you-know-what out of me! Sounded gross....
    Thanks for the reply. My original question is asking if anyone had supposed gallbladder problems but had NO pain just stomach discomfort and nausea and if so were the symptoms resolved when the gallbladder was taken out. So I guess my question to you is did you have pain before your operation and if not what were your symptoms and how were you diagnosed please?

     
    Old 03-14-2010, 02:18 PM   #12
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Yes I had pain...had gallstones. Diagnosed with an ultrasound. As I said in one of my earlier replies, from the postings on here it would seem that people in your position don't seem to fare as well with removal as those who have stones or a much lower ejection rate. Since 35% is the cut off point for non-functioning, I'm not sure your insurance company would even approve the surgery. If I were you, i'd be investigating methods of controlling the nausea and other symptoms for the time being. You could always have it out later.

     
    Old 03-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #13
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    Re: Anyone had gallbladder issues but no pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jns1022 View Post
    I definitely had pain with my gallbladder. Had a gallstone and ended up having 3 gb attacks in less than a month before I had mine out. The absolute worst one only lasted 30 minutes but I couldn't even stand up and it hurt to breathe. Seriously was contemplating calling an ambulance but then it eased up. Scariest experience of my life for sure. The 2 other attacks were extemely painful but not as bad and lasted 3 hours and 6 hours.

    According to the people around me I'm having anxiety issues now. It's because I still am having stomach issues and I'm worrying about it all the time.
    That is all I can think of 24/7 - my mother keeps saying it is acid reflux but I don't think acid reflux does this - I really feel like a war is going on in my stomach. Sometimes I can't even move my stomach area because it is so painful. I forgot what it is like to feel good.

     
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