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Gallstones-anyone?

(21 Posts)
cherrysodalover Fri 26-Aug-11 01:31:59

So I have had 4 excrutiatingly painful episodes of stomach pain in the last 3 months, followed by severe diareah(my sp) and the doc is sending me off for ultrasound to see if it is gallstones.It is always after eating a meal.
However I am 7 weeks pregnant so am just concerned to try and avoid any more attacks in the meantime,if it does turn out to be this.
Honestly it is more painful than labour when it happens and I feel like i will black out with the pain.

Has anyone had this?I am going low fat- don't drink or do red meat anyway so am surprised that I could have this as our diet is pretty healthy.

I cannot get enough grapefruit juice- which may be pregnancy related also.

Thanks folks.

PamSco Fri 26-Aug-11 01:51:56

I've had gallstones since about wk10 and am now wk29.

Never felt pain like it! Had a week in hospital at end of 1st trimester. Have not taken painkillers except for 3 attacks I had in hospital and shortly after. Had an MRI scan and I'm now passing stones without pain as stones are smaller than bile duct.

They can't operate due to being in 3rd trimester so just have to wait and see what happens. hohum. Luckily haven't had a painful attack since June - long may it last!

As the relaxin hormone kicks it eased off as the bile duct widens is my guess.

cherrysodalover Fri 26-Aug-11 05:07:41

Poor you Pamsco.
I am kind of hoping if they find any that they operate whilst I am still only 7 weeks.It is so painful when they happen- much worse than early labour- on a par with later labour I would say.

SocialButterfly Fri 26-Aug-11 14:49:21

My Dh has gallstones, he is waiting to have them removed. He was told that the worst foods for getting an attack were dairy fats like cheese and cream, creamy dressings and sauces etc.

Bearskinwoolies Fri 26-Aug-11 16:03:38

A low fat diet is the way to go - when I had them I also found that very acidic foods/drinks and fizzy juice made things worse. Eat little but often, and your body won't be releasing large amounts of bile when you have large meals.

Do look at the fat content listed on packs, I was amazed to find just how much there is, even in fairly innocuous things.

PamSco Fri 26-Aug-11 17:42:36

I was having attacks on a zero fat diet. During pregnancy there can be a hormone trigger which frankly you can't do anything about.

I agree logic says a low fat diet should minimise attacks but many people I met on the surgery ward when I was in hospital said that they didn't see a correlation. I suspect we build up to an attack with a history of too much fat in our meals, but the actual attack may start independently of the meal.

A banana triggered one for me.

cherrysodalover Fri 26-Aug-11 19:01:22

Thanks social, bearskin and pamsco.
We eat a pretty low fat diet so i thought- no red meat no milk, no butter but i do have parmesan cheese with pastas and thinking the four times i have had it I have had grated cheese or dressing on a salad.I rarely drink as am still breastfeeding( which has made me eat bigger meals these last 18 months) but i guess the fat must be coming from somewhere and i do still have a stone of weight on from last pregnancy.

I wonder do they always take the gall bladder out- don't we need it?I guess it is too tricky to just remove the stones?
I am so afraid of getting another attack I am prepared to go low fat and bland.

vividgingerchilli Fri 26-Aug-11 20:55:09

yes, me. Eat less than 5% fat and - in my experience - avoid apple juice and licorice allsorts as they guarantee acid reflux.
I have been following a low fat diet since March and have not had an attack since.

jonasmcflonas Fri 26-Aug-11 20:59:51

I developed gallstones during my first pregnancy and had my gall bladder out when DD was a few weeks old. It's a very simple op - keyhole surgery and I felt fine a few days later, just a bit sore.
The consultant told me that we can manage very well without the gall bladder (phew!) and there were no diet restrictions afterwards.
However, I feel really sorry for you as I vividly remember the excruciating pain of gallstones attacks - I would say labour was MUCH easier!

cherrysodalover Fri 26-Aug-11 21:41:58

Okay low fat it is then.No more labour for me as I will be scheduled in for another c section for second baba but it is useful to know the pain of labour as a comparison-it says something when you claim to be in greater pain than labour.

Moanna Fri 26-Aug-11 22:45:21

Low alcohol/fat/acidic/spice for me. I'm having my gallbladder removed in just over a week <nervous>.

Since I started a low carb/low fat diet I haven't had an attack, just aches, which is fantastic. I live in fear of having yet another attack.

Bearskinwoolies Sat 27-Aug-11 02:39:17

I would rather go through labour again than have another gallstone attack; the hospital gave me loads of morphine and it barely touched the sides.

Gallstones tend to irritate the gallbladder, and can cause thickening (scarring) to the inside of the bladder, so they prefer to remove it. I didn't have any large stones at all, I just had lots of tiny stones.

Moanna - I'll keep my fingers crossed that you don't get another attack before next week; the op itself is a piece of cake, and you'll feel so much better afterwards smile

vividgingerchilli Sat 27-Aug-11 07:11:51

Do any of you get itchy hands and feet with your gallstones?
Drives me mad!

PamSco Sat 27-Aug-11 08:58:50

Vivid that is the bilirubin building up in your system. When you get a blockage due to gallstones your liver goes awol.

The toxins make you itchy. AFter every attack I am so itchy all over I want to flay myself alive. Nothing stops it except gallons and gallons of water. I get my liver checked weekly after an attack because of the pregnancy, and I can correlate the bilirubin levels with the level of itching.

I'm going to try and wait 6 months before having my gall bladder out. I've read it is harder to lose weight without the gall bladder and I want to get the baby fat down first. Fingers crossed the gallstones behave - if they don't then it may need to come out.

talking2myself Sat 27-Aug-11 09:30:16

Could there be a link between pregnancy and gallbladder attacks? I had two attacks within 8 months of giving birth but none since then (my youngest is 3yrs). Never had my gallbladder removed and I still have the same diet. One of my friends had attacks within months of giving birth too. Could there be something with the hormonal changes that makes attacks more likely?

PamSco Sat 27-Aug-11 09:32:35

I believe there is

vividgingerchilli Sat 27-Aug-11 09:40:29

Is there anything that relieves it? I've not normally had it but it's driving me round the bend today. I did have a stone blocking the bile duct but they got rid of that, I'm going on Friday to see about having the gall bladder removed - bring it on!
Thanks.

vividgingerchilli Sat 27-Aug-11 09:40:58

PamSco, sorry, missed that about the water, I will get on to that straight away!

PamSco Sat 27-Aug-11 09:43:04

Dunno - for me lots of water and lots of vomiting clears an attack. I seem to have passed a 1.5cm stone as it was on an ultra sound but gone on the MRI scan. I remember a day of extreme vomiting between the 2. Apple juice helps for me too, but not for others reading above.

vividgingerchilli Sat 27-Aug-11 09:44:26

Yes, I had a stone in the bile duct but when they did the ERCP it had gone. Apple juice seems to make the reflux worse but who knows if that is coincidental.

cherrysodalover Sat 27-Aug-11 19:53:01

Well the doc called this morn and I missed her but the message said all blood results were fine just one reading on the liver that was somewhat raised so instead of being referred to the gastroenterologist straight off I am being referred to the obstetrician.....but I had two awful attacks before I got pregnant so I don't think it is just related to pregnancy.

Maybe it is something else but it does sound very similar to what a lot of you are saying on this thread-I don't always vomit but the feeling I want to is very very strong and I do feel better when I do.

I am perplexed as I thought they were a problem for people that eat a lot of fat and I really don't think we do- very few dairy products as son is allergic but i guess soy milk has fat in it too and I do load up the carbs since breast feeding.

Pamsco a 1.5 stone sounds awful- how painful.
I cannot get enough grapefruit juice but that may be pre related too.

Has anyone tried dr huldas weekend remedy? A friend did it years ago and avoided surgery but I am not convinced the stones that come out are not just oil binded with epsom salt as they are so big- how can they possibly sit or pass through an organ as small as the g bladder.

Don't google it if you are fainthearted.

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