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Gallstones and low fat diets

(112 Posts)
chocaholic73 Mon 06-Aug-12 19:50:27

Have had gallstones for a few years. Following an agonising night a few weeks back, I ended up at A&E and had to stay in for a few days to be stabalised. They wouldn't remove the gall bladder at the time - said it increased the risk of bleeding as it was inflamed. I am now awaiting an outpatient appt which will then lead to a date to go back in for removal. In the meantime, I have been told to have a low fat diet - but that is the limit of the guidance I received. I have since read that too little fat can lead to the formation of additional gallstones so I am very confused. How much is the right amount? In the 2.5 weeks I have been home, I have lost about 4 pounds which is just about OK but I don't want or need to lose much more and I think if I carry on eating just what I have been eating the weight will continue to drop off. I am at the moment following the 5g in 100g rule but I am wondering whether I need to be quite that rigid. The bottom line is that I will do (almost) anything to avoid a recurrance of that horrendous pain while I wait for surgery! Those of you who have been there, will know what I mean. Any mumsnet guidance from people who have done this would be brilliant, or if there are any medical people, dietitians etc too.

pictish Tue 07-Aug-12 09:29:09

Uuuurgghh - I had a bad night. Pain pain pain.
I ended up taking co-codamol which really disagrees with I decided the side effects of puking and feeling like I am floating (but not in a nice way) was preferable to the burning agony of my poor gall bladder.
I finally dropped off to sleep about 3 am. Kids had me up at 7.
I am fine this morning - but fuck me they cannot take the buggering thing out quick enough!

Pleiades45 Tue 07-Aug-12 10:24:08

Pictish, how are you surviving?

I have only had one episode which resulted in my being admitted to hospital, discharge for 10 days whilst I had antibiotics (for inflammation) and then re-admitted to have my gall bladder removed. Like Bambinoboo, I had a stuck stone.

Is it possible you might need some antibiotics for inflammation?

My sympathies to all those who suffer from this. The one episode was enough for me. In those 10 days I lived on lucozade and jelly. They were the only things that didn't make me sick.

pictish Tue 07-Aug-12 10:30:10

I am on concoction of meds from the doc, prescribed months ago when I had my last bout of attacks. A stone must have got stuck in the duct.

I need to lose a stone in weight before they will operate. I now have my incentive. I am avoiding anything which may trigger it atm, so the weight will fall off.
I am hungry but I can't eat.

It's co-codamol and fingers crossed for the time being.

I would not wish this on anyone.

MadgeHarvey Tue 07-Aug-12 10:40:26

That's the thing I find so odd about it - you feel like a bag of crumpled shite and it hurts but you're still hungry! It's a special kind of torment!

chocaholic73 Tue 07-Aug-12 17:09:02

wow ... all of you have actually made me feel very fortunate! Because my gall bladder was inflamed I had iv antibiotics in hospital which must have calmed things down nicely. I actually feel a lot better than I have for some time at the moment. Hearing all the stories has made me feel I do need to keep under 5% until things are sorted, but it's not actually that difficult, just a bit boring. Hope you all get sorted soon!

WkdSM Tue 07-Aug-12 17:17:04

There is a really good Delia recipe for root vegetable soup on her website - it has no fat in it at all - is easy to make and very yummy.
I am making a load up as I am in next week to have gall bladder removed.
No stones, but thickened wall and suspected 'malignancies'. So will be on a low fat diet for at least a few weeks.

Pleiades45 Tue 07-Aug-12 18:47:06

WkdSM, good luck for next week and come back and let us know how you are.

Twinkletoes91 Tue 07-Aug-12 21:20:34

Also waiting for removal, I also get awful aches in my shoulders. I find that a hot water bottle sometimes minimises the pain. I'm not to strict on the low fat as sometimes a bit of milk will set it off. Hopefully everyone waiting will get their removal soon too!!! smile

WkdSM Wed 08-Aug-12 11:20:15

One of the things the nurse recommended last week when went for pre-op assessment was a plug in electric heater - I got one called Thermo Therapy by Dreamland in boots - it was about £20 and is like a small electric blanket - she told me this will really help with achy shoulder etc after op.

The good news is that I asked her about diet after the op - there are so many scare stories about not being able to eat etc - she told me that I should have a low fat diet for about 2 weeks - and split meals into 5 small meals rather than 3, and then introduce other things gradually keeping a food diary so I can track back anything that upsets me - but basically I should be OK to eat normally. Thank God - if I had to give up wine and curry I would be distraught!

Feel great sympathy for you all as I have had not had any symptoms (except a bit tired and some bloating but that could be periods!). Hope you all get your dates soon. At least I will give you honest feedback about the op!

Kurdy Sat 11-Aug-12 09:32:45

I'm feeling a bit of a fraud after reading all your posts. I've had what feels like food poisoning stomach ache for 4 days and very bad back ache if i stay in bed too long and feel exhausted if I do too much. Was told by doctor I had gall stones and waiting for blood results and scan now. Is this just the beginning of the storm to come? Getting really nervous now sad

NUFC69 Sun 12-Aug-12 17:49:17

I just wanted you to know that I suffered from what I described as "episodes" for years - but nobody seemed to take them seriously. Eventually in late February I saw my GP and she recommended an ultrasound scan - appointment took 2-3 weeks, saw the consultant about three weeks later and he offered to remove the gallbladder the following week - so don't think it might take a long time for you to have the operation. Oh, the joy of feeling something like normal again!

DottyDot Sun 12-Aug-12 19:11:19

Oooh - I would love that! Am seeing the surgeon a week on Thursday - counting down the days and fully expecting to have to wait another few months for the op but sooner would be wonderful. Gluten free and fat free is no fun at all!

Kurdy Mon 13-Aug-12 23:12:36

Thanks NUFC69. Is it true that i'll need to go to the loo really quickly if you have no gallbladder?

Gabeesh Thu 16-Aug-12 02:54:06

Thanks for this thread, I'm in the early stages of diagnosis and have started trying to cut my fat right out, but it still seems like no matter what I eat sets me off because of the sickness. I have no idea what to eat. This might sound stupid to some but is a serious problem for me so please be understanding, but I am seriously fruit and veg phobic. If I have to attempt to eat fruit or veg I sometimes vomit at the thought and feel horrendously sick if I'm around them ;apart from potatoes). Even seen a hypnotherapist about it, didn't work. I genuinely don't know what's safe to eat. I'm starving and sick.

Trying to look on the bright side - at least I'm losing the baby weight.

MadgeHarvey Thu 16-Aug-12 09:41:46

Blimey! I'm living on bloody bananas at the moment so I can imagine its a problem for you! I have found my appetite has diminished drastically - probably because there's nothing appetising about fat free food! I can recommend Ready Brek made with skimmed milk - its fat free and shouldn't irritate you at all. Might be worth a try?

AvonCallingBarksdale Sat 18-Aug-12 22:01:40

Been there, done that! I had my gallbladder and 57 (!) stones removed a few years ago after months of increasingly agonising attacks. It's by far the worst pain I've ever been in and that's including having 2 DCs. I had mine removed by keyhole surgery and was home the same day (which in hindsight was too early, but there you go). I have had absolutely no problems since having it removed. I avoid high fat food now, ,but that's probably a good thing anyway. Best of luck to you all. Any questions, feel free to ask!

hermionestranger Tue 28-Aug-12 10:13:19

I had an attack last night, not had one for a couple of years. I forgotten how much it hurts. Agony. Going to try(ha,ha) to get into the GP later on today.

Twinkletoes91 Tue 28-Aug-12 19:21:31

I don't know about anyone else but my attacks (or maybe medication) are making me extremely tired and sick, can hardly eat a thing and still have to run to the loo (sorry of tmi). The whole spiral is awful I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy sad

DottyDot Wed 29-Aug-12 08:50:01

Woohoo! Well I'm now on the list to have my gall bladder out. No date yet but they said it would be in about 12 weeks, so hopefully before Christmas..! Can't flipping wait...

mummyneedingahug Sun 02-Sep-12 19:50:54

Out of interest (and fear!) is anyone taking the contraception pill Yasmin. I have gallstones and whilst googling for advice found that Yasmin causes gallstones and the US were banning it!

DottyDot Mon 03-Sep-12 17:02:38

No not me. I have PCOS though and that might be a contributing factor - and my Mum had to have her gall bladder taken out a few years ago - there can be a genetic link I think.

NoWayNoHow Sat 22-Sep-12 17:07:08

I know no-one's posted on here for a while, but I'm hoping I can get some advice.

I was in A&E yesterday after 12 days of stomach pain that's gotten gradually worse and worse and more and more constant. Started as mild discomfort after eating, now it's constant pain and absolutely excruciating agony when I eat. They have diagnosed suspected gallstones (although thankfully blood tests etc confirm no infection), but I have to wait 2-4 weeks just for the ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis, and then who-knows-how-long for the the op to remove.

I'm in so much pain, they've prescribed co-codamol which is really strong, but it's still only lasting a couple of hours. I work and have a DS and don't know how I'm supposed to get on with my life in this state!

I see from the thread that I need to avoid fats - is that it mainly? What about sugar/alcohol/carbs etc? I eat really well normally, but do tend towards quite a protein heavy diet with red meat/pork/eggs which I'm guessing has to go out the window now. What about good fats in fish? Or olive oil? Are they still okay to have?

I'm so confused, I've not really been given any guidance at all by the GP...

MadgeHarvey Sat 22-Sep-12 17:56:55

Sorry about you and your pain NoWay - and sorry to have to tell you this, because really who wants to hear it!, but yes - you're going to have to go as near to no fat as you possibly can IF you want to minimise the pain as much as you can before things get moving. Your good diet has little bearing on it really - ANY kind of fat will set you off whether it's 'good' or 'bad' - as I learned very painfully one night from a dish of pasta dressed with olive oil!
Is your appetite still good? I found this the oddest thing - I felt so awful but still had an appetite! Anyway - I just went as close to no fat as I could and for me that meant a steady diet of bananas, apples, bloody ReadyBrek and skimmed milk. Oh, and veg - on which I used a product called Butter Buds (from Lakeland) - taste like butter but v low fat content. For me this was the only option - shades of fat were no good so I just severely limited what I ate. It did help but the pain never really went away until the damned thing was removed!
Hope this is of some help to you and that you get sorted soon

NoWayNoHow Sat 22-Sep-12 18:05:59

Thanks Madge

I'm just so frustrated at the moment - part of me wishes it would get really bad really quickly so that they'll just take it out! Clearly by the time they get round to taking it out, I'll be a massive codeine addict and about 6st!!

Am so desperate, I've even been researching how much it would cost to get it done privately - £4,000 - £7,000! shock shock shock No fat diet it is then!!

I know what you mean about appetite - TBH the pain feels like hunger pangs, but about 789,033 times more sore, so I'm struggling to recognise when I actually need to eat. Just eating little and often at the moment, and feeling my way round what causes more/less pain.

MadgeHarvey Sat 22-Sep-12 18:13:53

It is expensive privately! I was so lucky to have that through my DH's work and we just got the breakdown of the bill - £7500!! No way could we have done that without the insurance. I've said this before on these threads - but I'll say it again - be so so careful of that damned codeine - it does constipate you and then you'll have something else to add to your list of troubles! I had to eat a whole pack of dried apricots just to shift it when it got too bad - and believe me - that was no fun either!!

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