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Now what do I do?

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Old 08-21-2011, 02:35 AM   #1
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Now what do I do?

I had a painful attack about 3 months ago right below my sternum. The ER people guessed it was gastritis, but I thought it was a gallstone passing so I went to a doc. He recommended an ultrasound. No inflammation, but there were some tiny stones and some sludge. Since then I've decided to eat better and lose some weight in hopes of avoiding surgery. I'm dropped 15 pounds and stay away from fast food and don't eat massive quantities of food like I used to.

Now my problem is I still am having digestion issues such as chronic indigestion, dull stomach pain, and that full feeling even with a moderate meal. I'm eating a near-vegetarian diet which helps a lot and keeping my portion sizes small.

At this point I don't know what to do, because while its not enough to put me in the ER, its very annoying to have near constant stomach discomfort. My stool habits have changed dramatically. I used to evacuate up to 3 times a day, now its once per day. Overall I've been lucky, my blood work seems fine, no jaundice, and any pain I have are just minor twinges on the right and sometimes on the left side.

I want to avoid surgery if at all possible, but I have a feeling the ol'gallbladder isn't what it used to be.

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Old 08-21-2011, 05:21 AM   #2
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Now what do I do?

The stones may have damaged the gb. There is no way to cure a damaged one so removal is the only option. it's an easy surgery for the most part. I jogged 2 miles a week after having mine out. Was only off work 2-1/2 days. Easiest procedure I've ever had!

Old 08-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #3
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Re: Now what do I do?

Weight loss, particularly rapid weight loss can exacerbate gallbladder disease. More cholesterol and bile is released from the liver, it forms the base of the sludge which becomes stones. Once you have gallbladder disease, a change in diet is unlikely to stop its progression. A low fat diet will lessen the attacks as the gallbladder doesn't have to contract as often--this means less pain, however it can paradoxically lead to more stones as the bile and sludge sits there and stagnates forming more stones.

Secondly, having sludge and gallstones may be coincidental with other symptoms. Most people will get gallstones if they live long enough. So there in fact may be other issues. The key test for gallbladder function is the HIDA scan with CCK. You definitely want to have that test before allowing them to perform surgery.

There are drugs such as ursodiol and actigall that can dissolve most sludge and stones. They are rather expensive and not a cure, ie, you have to keep taking them to keep the disease at bay.

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