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Anyone get gallstones?

(52 Posts)
Ledkr Tue 28-Jan-14 23:23:43

My attacks are getting closer together and I cannot pinpoint the triggers.
I've had one minor and one recent major op in the last 6 months but I'm starting to think it won't be long till I have to have another.
Anyone find any relief from an attack?
I'd rather have ten labours, being sick a few times seems to ease it off.

Ledkr Wed 29-Jan-14 09:12:48


Poledra Wed 29-Jan-14 09:16:29

Do you have anything prescribed for it? DH had gallstones (well, one enormous one, as it turned out!) and he was prescribed some fairly heavy-duty painkillers to treat the attacks whilst he waited for surgery. Mind you, he wasn't entirely pleased as they were opiate suppositories, but you can't have everything!

We couldn't pinpoint triggers at all - we did reduce the fat in his diet but I'm not sure it helped much. He did say that the operation was truly worth it - the nagging pain in his back that he'd suffered with for 2/3 years went (referred pain from his gallbladder).

Ledkr Wed 29-Jan-14 09:33:10

They did give me painkillers but oral so obviously didn't even listen to me because I vomit.
I'm seeing gp tomorrow.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Jan-14 09:37:31

I had my gall bladder removed at 30 with one large sotn ein it. No specific triggers to my attacks either. Why aren;t you just having it removed?

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 09:39:37

You need to get that gall-bladder gone!! In the meantime insist on Tramadol for the pain. I gave birth to a nine and a half pound baby, 27 hours labour, four hours of pushing with nothing but gas and air and i can tell you it was like a fleeting tickle compared to the agony that was gallstones. I never thought it was possible to experience so much pain, i was blue lighted to hospital twice because it hurt so much i couldnt catch my breath.

You need to cut out fat completely - it will help because when you eat a fatty meal your gall bladder contracts and causes the stones to rub against it. Then it becomes inflamed and there is risk of infection. Thats not fun either! Sitting up and walking around apparently helps to ease the pain during the attacks.

Insist that you are put on the list to have them removed, tell them that you are happy to drop everything and go in at a few days notice if there is a cancellation. don't be fobbed off, they aren't going to go away on their own.


Lottiedoubtie Wed 29-Jan-14 09:39:37

I had mine removed, full of small stones a couple of years ago.

There's no pain like it. Why are you having OPs that stop short of removing the whole thing?

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 09:41:27

oh and i cannot tell you how good it felt to be able to eat again after the op!

I had mine removed a year ago, immense relief.

For me, the attacks started getting more and more frequent and it became too much. I had twins in Sep 12 and within 6 weeks of having them I had 2 horrendous attacks and ended up in A&E on morphine. I was booked in as an urgent case and had it out when my twins were just 7 weeks old.

Go and see your GP and ask for a referral and some Tramadol, it was the only pain killer that worked for me.

Ledkr Wed 29-Jan-14 22:27:28

lottie two unrelated operations I meant.

How often do you have to have attacks to get it out? Mine have always been weeks apart but lately I've had several attacks, last week it was the worst and longest one ever, I was literally screaming, since then I've had two less severe attacks so I wonder if I'd passed a stone during the bad one.

I'm seeing gp tomorrow.

I agree about the labour comparison, I've had five dc and never been n so much agony.

I'm always sick with my attacks so I'm not sure the Tramadol would have time to work.

LEMmingaround Thu 30-Jan-14 08:43:52

If your attacks are weeks apart then you are absolutely within your rights to demand surgery - maybe they have been reticent because of the other ops, but that is ridiculous to leave you in such a state. It is also bloody dangerous because if a stone moves into and blocks the bile duct you are in big trouble and would need emergency surgery. If you get jaundinced its a A&E job. In fact, don't be afraid to go to A&E for pain relief although the tramadol should help.

Please don't be fobbed off - this is not a minor illness, common and thankfully not life threatening (99% of the time) it still needs treating.

With frequent attacks there is the risk of infection, which = more pain, more vomiting, high temp etc and then it complicates surgery.

If you are vomiting you can ask for an anti-emmetic.

Ledkr Thu 30-Jan-14 09:14:56

It's the vomiting that relives the pain so I pretty much make myself sick iykwim? So anti emetics wouldn't help.
They are definitely more frequent and I've also had several mild attacks in the night which have come to nothing, well at least not the pacing and groaning of the big attacks.
I'm self diagnosing here as I only know I have gall stones from a scan I had years ago, the attacks started 3 yrs go when I was pg and have been infrequent until recently when I've had more.
I shall nag gp today, I'm almost embarrassed to have another operation, I feel like I've got munchausens-sp?

LEMmingaround Thu 30-Jan-14 10:11:09

I am surprised they didn't offer to remove your gallblader when you had the scan tbh, although gallstones can often be asymptomatic or just cause mild discomfort. My uncle died from complications surrounding gallstones (to be fair he was an alcoholic so his liver was probably shot to fuck) because he refused to have surgery.

Ledkr Thu 30-Jan-14 12:46:41

DIED! Fuuuuuuck. <checks will>

AllIWant85 Thu 30-Jan-14 12:57:14

I am one week post op to remove my gallbladder. My attacks were a few weeks apart and the only way I found that even remotely minimised the pain was the squat down hugging both knees and rocking slightly!! I realise how ridiculous that sounds but it was in between vomitting that I found this out. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't completely go but it slightly helps.

ushiemama Thu 30-Jan-14 13:04:44

I suffered with gallstones for years, GP diagnosed pain as stress !!! Changed GP & within 2 months had gall bladder removed. I've got the 36 stones in a jar, they were the talk of the ward. Don't keep accepting pain killers, get rid of the gallbladder. Gallstone pain is horrific, labour pains are a breeze after going through a a bout of gallstone pain. Good Luck.

Kundry Thu 30-Jan-14 22:37:26

They'll take it out. I only had a few episodes and was worried it wouldn't be 'enough' to have the operation but surgeon was never in doubt that as soon as they cause problems once, the gallbladder has to go.

NUFC69 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:28:47

I had my gall bladder out almost two years ago. Gp referred me to the consultant and as he didn't have a waiting list I was in almost the following week. One of the best things I have ever done. I did have a few problems after as some stones were caught in the duct but as soon as they got rid of those I never looked back. Tbh you sound in a worst state than I was, as my attacks were every few months.

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 08:07:45

The two times I've seen the gp they said its A, ulcer or B, muscle spasms.
I've self diagnosed from the net and the fact they showed up ona. Scan about 8 yrs ago.
Can I compare symptoms with you all?
I get a pain just slightly lower but between my boobs which goes through to my back,it starts off slight and escalates very quickly and feels like someone is squeezing my sotomach with their fist, it goes on for any time from ten minutes to an hour and usually ends with me being massively sick. I can t keep still when I've got it and try all sorts of different positions, it is very much like labour.
I don't know what exactly triggers it but it is always after food. Think chocolate for sure.

Kundry Fri 31-Jan-14 08:17:41

That's a very good description of biliary colic. You need your gallbladder out.

Twunk Fri 31-Jan-14 08:23:10

Anything fatty should be avoided - I ate chicken and rice for 2 months (plus fruit and veg!) - lost loads of weight. The gallbladder empties to help you digest fat after a meal - and when doing that the stones can get stuck in the tubes and cause the pain. I was BF when I had them but generally pain is so bad you need morphine. I was given suppositories which sorts out the vomiting issue.

I had several dozen gallstones - I have them in a little pot! They look like yellow peppercorns blush

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 08:38:44

Right I'm seeing dr today so feel confident that's what I've got and need a referral.

I went out with dh for a. Rare night our last night and ate curry and had wine, I opted for a non creamy curry and was ok but I still dreaded an attack.

Is it normal to not always get attacks from the wrong food?

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 08:39:40

I like the vomming though as it's stops the attacks generally.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 31-Jan-14 08:42:37

Good description of gallbladder pain, except my attacks lasted a min of 2 hours each time. During an attack pain is constant and IME no painkiller they would prescribe me would touch it, but then attack would stop very suddenly, I could almost feel something release and then it would be over.

Doctor didn't want to diagnose me with It (I was too young allegedly) but it was unmistakable on ultrasound and MRI.

It doesn't get better on it's own, IME just worse see your GP and insist on a referral, good luck!

Lottiedoubtie Fri 31-Jan-14 08:44:39

Yes it is a bit unpredictable. However, for me it escalated eg, at Christmas I 'got away with it' by not eating pudding. By march I nicked a handful of my husbands chips and had an agonising 2 hour attack.

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 08:49:46

Yes it's definitely worse in intensity and frequency, I'm so glad you agree in the symptoms. Gp was like "it doesn't sound like gallstones" hmm

Is it a quick op and recovery as I'm still off work for the last op, beginning to look like a hypochondriac.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 31-Jan-14 08:52:46

Reasonably, most people have it out key hole and it's day surgery.

I had to stay in one night because I didn't go down to surgery until 6pm in the end, woke up at 9pm too late for discharge hmm

2 weeks off work and then absolutely fine for me. Tiny scars now have to look hard to find them almost 4 years on!

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 31-Jan-14 08:58:01

I got to the stage where I was vomiting every day and in severe pain (I used to drink slightly sweetened black tea as it didn't taste too bad coming back up!). Was admitted to hospital finally at this stage, had scan and gallbladder was absolutely stuffed full of stones of all different sizes. Stayed in ten days (nil by mouth and on a drip) as my liver function was very poor, then put on a very low fat diet, and admitted to hospital ten days later for surgery. That was 11 years ago. Although I occasionally get phantom gall bladder pain (according to my doctor), I have been absolutely fine since.

wfrances Fri 31-Jan-14 09:09:50

i only had 1 attack ,but my gp referred me straight away and I had the op within 2 months.

Twunk Fri 31-Jan-14 09:24:55

Oh I would still vomit - sorry wasn't clear - I meant I had pain relief (diclofenac) via a suppository.

I had one attack (when 8 months pregnant) that lasted all night - from about 11pm to midday the next day. I just walked up and done for most of that time :-(

I then had such a bad attack when my DS2 was 2 months I ended up in hospital at 3am. At 9am I had a scan and there they all were. Gallbladder was removed 1 month later.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 09:28:58

I am speaking to the dr today ledkr...had mine out 2 months ago but still getting pain so am going to beg for a scan today. Won't happen sad

LEMmingaround Fri 31-Jan-14 09:29:28

Is your doctor mad??? of course its bloody gallstones - FFS, its even been confirmed on ultrasound - albeit in the past. Did you get the refferal?

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 09:45:18

Oh dear, two weeks??? I had four off in the summer now 6 for my gynae op, pity they couldn't have done it at the same time.

badvoc I hope you are ok and dr listens.

I went at the wrong time yesterday blush so will be going again today and hope to get a referral to the "gall bladder man" who do you see?

Ledkr Fri 31-Jan-14 09:46:24

Lem, my dr is incompetent. I am changing as soon as my current episode is over as too complicated with sick notes and stuff.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 10:40:59

Got an appt at 10.50...will keep you posted.
I think it's a general surgeon you need ledkr.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 12:22:37

Soooo....dr sending me back to hospital where I had the op for a scan. Seeing dr on Monday. Hope to get scan soon after.

Not every one needs two weeks off, I had my surgery at 11am, went home at 6pm and looked after newborn twins and did night feeds alone that same night. Carried on as normal the next day.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 12:46:00

Yep...I rested for 12 hours and then ended up having to look after ds2 who had a nasty d and v bug for the rest of the week!

Kundry Fri 31-Jan-14 12:49:58

Ledkr - it's day surgery and you'll be signed off for 2 weeks. On day 1 I couldn't believe they could be so cruel as to send me home but I was completely fine after a week. You see an Upper GI surgeon or 'gallbladder man'.

Badvoc - glad you are seeing your surgeon again. There is a small chance that you have a stone stuck in one of the ducts that are left and they will rescan you. If it isn't that, then it's something else and they need to start investigating again from the beginning. Best wishes, it sounds miserable.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 12:51:29

If it is another stone what are my options? Another op? sad

Kundry Fri 31-Jan-14 13:49:05

Sorry - don't know as I'm not a surgeon smile It's possible they might be able to do it with an endoscope, otherwise it will be another op.

Potentially it's not gallstones at all - there are numerous causes of abdo pain and if you see gallstones, you'll naturally blame them when they might have been quietly minding their business the whole time and something else was causing the problem IYSWIM.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 31-Jan-14 14:37:37

It's likely if there is another stone it's in your bile duct, they may be able to hook it out by going down your throat <boak>

But it avoids surgery.

Only a scan can know for sure though.

I'm jumping on board here.

I had scan results back and I have a gall stone (I went to GP with pelvic pain which I thought might be menstrual related though I'm peri menopausal)

Came back with the results of a stone so I've got my Choose and Book to do.

Does anyone get backache because of this? I have a constant backache ( result of RTA) but it flares up from painful to really painful.
Will this be due to gallbladder?

Squirrelsmum Fri 04-Apr-14 15:15:07

I hope by now you've had it sorted Ledkr, I have the same thing and find vomiting is the only thing to ease the pain, my scan showed one large stone, I haven't been back to the doctor yet though. I find fatty food or even too much food sets it off, I had oh so yummy pizza for dinner last night and as expected was up half the night because of it. That is 4 attacks in the last month, the last one before then was mid last year.
70isalimit yes I have horrid back pain during an attack which feels like my ribs are being crushed and the rest of the time it is just a dull ache that twinges after I eat.

What size of stones have been found?

<<daren't Google >> shock

nona2706 Fri 04-Apr-14 23:36:39

When i had my gallbladder attacks it would start about an hour after any type of food touched my stomach. It got so bad in the 2 months before my removal operation that i was on morphine. 20mg of slow release twice a day as well as diclofenac twice a day and tramadol 100mg slow release twice a day. The only thing that really helped was being blue lighted into hospital and given liquid morphine.
The first 2 times i was in hospital i was diagnosed as having reflux and a stomach bug and sent home. Third time i got a lovely doctor who took one look at me stuck me on the morphine and said in his professional opinion i had gallstones. I was admitted and had an ultrasound while in hospital and as the lovely sonographer put it a nice wee collection of stones.
2 Months later i had the operation and was told i had 89 small stones and one large sticky stone which did cause a slight bit of trouble when it was being removed but i was up and moving around the ward within the hour.
If i were you the next time you have an attack go to hospital and demand proper pain relief.
Hope all goes well if and when you have your operation.

What's the current diet advice WRT gallstones?

Part of the shock of the diagnosis I think:

I'm a non smoking, non drinking vegetarian (have been vegetarian for 35 years)

The symptoms I had (for about 6+months before)
Pain (like labour pain) a 'pushing' feeling, D&V, backache (though I thought the D&V and back was work related)

Now I realise the pain was the stone.

I had a blood test done, my cholesterol was a bit high, so I cut out crisps, only have cheese once a week (this is difficult to cut down fat on a vegetarian diet) and just started on statins.

(My GP didn't offer any advice, but I could ask them)

tb Mon 07-Apr-14 17:45:46

Don't forget to take it easy for a couple of days once you're home after a gall-bladder op. I didn't, and was dancing - 2 days later I had the worst pain ever - I'd developed 2 hernias across my middle, where something had popped between a gap in the layers of muscle.

Sandthorn Mon 07-Apr-14 18:40:02

Oh god, this thread has taken me back. I had my gallbladder removed when I was 28, after about 2 years of attacks of increasing frequency and intensity. By the end, I was eating almost no fat, but the attacks were triggered just by the process of eating. The pain was just awful (apparently it's a lot like having a heart attack), but the worst was the 24hours of nausea and vomiting afterwards.

My own GP was pretty useless for most of it. He said it was indigestion for about 1.5 years, despite me describing the pain in graphic detail. hmm It was only when I was freaking out at some weird symptoms the evening after an attack that I called my godmother (a retired GP), and she diagnosed me over the phone with jaundice caused by gallstones. When I went back to the GP and asked for a referral, he actually said "You did mean it was painful!" angry

Anyway, what I learnt is that although some GPs will try to persuade you to manage it with diet, the specialists I saw said that very rarely works in the long term, and that it's too dangerous (loose stones can lodge in the liver or pancreas) to just put up with attacks indefinitely. Except in emergency cases, the op is almost always done by keyhole surgery. I was up and walking to the loo within 2 hours of surgery, because I couldn't bear the though of a bedpan smile

Whingey alert:

I have heartburn (bought some Gaviscon now as drinking milk doesn't help)
I have pain when I sit down but on the left and centre at the moment.
I also get a stab/throb on the right side fairly constantly.

Today my back across my shoulder blades felt like a constrictive stitch (after running type not sutures type)

And I'm having raging flushes - not sweating, just a feeling on sudden heat, like standing in front of an oven. Have to drink loads of water then I pee at 3am, I'm not good at waking in the small hours after it's taken me ages to get to sleep, but I roll out of bed and totter to the loo.

<<Sigh>> I'm off to have a nice soaky bath .

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Mon 28-Apr-14 11:50:43

Tips: indigestible food sets mine off, such as thick cheese sandwiches, cold lamb, half cold burgers, that sort of thing. I have found when I start getting twinges that if I drink a glass of wine that can stave it off. ( I think alcohol breaks down the fats in your stomach that are causing your gallbladder to pump out loads of bile). Also Apple juice helps, and a very hot hot water bottle on the area.
And go to sleep sitting it up- the bile duct often blocks when you lay down, causing the full on attack
Good luck, it's horrible. But I haven't had a full on attack for ages- I manage to stave em off with the above

NeverendingPotato Mon 28-Apr-14 11:57:51

70 Do you think it might be infected? I started having more localised pain and pain relief wouldn't work as well at one point so the doctor gave me antibiotics which made it return to the usual food triggers rather than a more constant stab.

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