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Question for those who have gallstones/gall bladder problems?

(33 Posts)
BettySpaghetti Tue 17-Jul-07 12:15:35

About 6 months ago I had what was probably gallstone/gall bladder problem. Typical symptoms of extreme pain under ribs, around right hand side etc.

I never saw a doctor as we were snowed in at the time but did talk to my GP over the phone and he said he thought it was likely thats what it was. Anyway it cleared up so never followed it up.

Thing is, today I've got this ache in my mid-back and under my ribs. Its not a pain (yet?) but a bit of an ache, similar to pre-period type niggles (only I don't have them due to pill).

For the life of me I can't remember how the problems I had 6 months ago started.

Am I about to experience another episode? Is this how it starts in your experience?


ZacharyZoo Tue 17-Jul-07 12:24:31

Had my gall bladder removed 3 years ago, after 3 or 4 years of what i though was indigestion! Ended up with pancreatitis which was agony, 7 days on a drip on hospital, which apparently was caused by one big gall stone. The pain was right in the middle under my ribs and right through to my back, always worse after rich/fatty food and stomach used to swell up and i looked about 6 months pregnant. Not pleasant you poor thing. In between them diagnosing and removing it, i went on a fat free diet, and never had another attack, so it could be worth trying that. Funny thing is even now i don't have a gall bladder i feel yucky if a eat fatty food, not the pain that you are having but just not right.

debbiewebweb Tue 17-Jul-07 12:38:52

I had a really bad gall bladder/stone 'attack' one day - ended up in hospital and they arranged to have my gall bladder removed. My husband found a recommendation off the internet that suggested drinking lots of water and walking round can alieviate an attack, between my first attack and having it removed I felt the pain starting again I immediately took 3 nurofen drunk loads of water and walked around the house - the pain subsided and I was ok. Worth a try ! Good Luck.

bundle Tue 17-Jul-07 12:40:23

i have one gallstone - about 1cm - but my gallbladder wasn't inflamed so I've left it at that. I'd previously only had say 2 or 3 attacks of pain (sometimes vomiting) a year but have tried to reduce the amount of fat in my diet and that seems to have helped and - touch wood- haven't had any attacks in ages. hth

BettySpaghetti Tue 17-Jul-07 12:42:23

Thanks to get a glass of water.

The thought of a fat free diet scares me
- I mean I do eat fairly healthily, and am veggie, but I do have a sweet tooth (especially for choc). Like a glass of wine too.

BettySpaghetti Tue 17-Jul-07 12:42:58

And thanks bundel, X'd posts

sugar34plum Tue 17-Jul-07 12:51:29

i agree with op i had mine removed 8yrs ago at the tender age of 26 after 8 months of regular attacks which were excrutiating. I was told cut out dairy, red meat and anything fried. Give up anything that tastes yummy basically!

But since having it removed fatty foods make me sick if i so much as smell chip fat im off! but also found out im the cheapest date going one drink and im yours! where as before it was more like is that 1 bottle of vodka mel or 2?

Def get to gp and they can give you lovely tablets for the pain. I was on pethedine for mine. Great stuff as soon as i felt an attack pop a few pills and off i floated!

BettySpaghetti Wed 18-Jul-07 09:48:12


Luckily although the pain got worse during the afternoon it had actually gone by early evening. It didn't get as bad as it was 6 months ago though thankfully.

Should I be making a dr's appt or do I need an appt mid-attack so they can prod about to see where the pain is? The problem yesterday was that by the time it was painful I couldn't have got an appt. as it was too late in the day.

debbiewebweb Wed 18-Jul-07 12:28:52

Glad you got through it ok betty. I think i'd make an appointment to see the dr, they can start the ball rolling and arrange for a scan if they agree it could be gall stones. With my bad attack, I went straight to the dr and collapsed on the floor I think the poor new locum thought I was dying and sent for an ambulance straight away, fortunately my mum turned up and took my 2 young dd's otherwise it would have been a nightmare. Hospital just did pethidine and drip and kept me in for the weekend to do a scan. Best try and get one under better circumstances I think

BettySpaghetti Thu 19-Jul-07 10:42:20

Thanks debbie -took your advive and saw the GP this morning. She has referred me for an ultrasound and I've got to go back to have bloods taken too just to check that everything else is functioning as it should (liver etc).

debbiewebweb Thu 19-Jul-07 11:32:24

That's good betty, better to have all the tests whilst your 'with it'. Had my gall bladder out about 6 weeks after that attack - it was by keyhole and just a few days of discomfort and I've not had a problem in the 10 months since. Good luck with it all.

margoandjerry Thu 19-Jul-07 13:54:16

I had mine out 4 months after my daughter was born. Apparently problems often show up after pg. I had three attacks - agonizing. Worst thing I've ever experienced. Well worth a night in hosp to get rid of it. When attacks were happening I found black coffee helped (a tiny bit).

lizandlulu Thu 19-Jul-07 16:35:13

i had this pain for a year and after repeat visits to the dos, she kept treating me for indegestion. at new year the pain was so bad and i couldnt stop feeling like i was going to be sick, so i took myself to the hospital where they did blood tests and told me i has gall stones. they whisked me to another hospital where i developed pancreatitis, and told me that if i had left it any longer before going to the hospital, i could have died. i had my gall bladder removed around 3 weeks later in a private hospital as i didnt want to risk another bout of pancreatitis, and die!! now i feel fine, no more pain at all and can eat whatever i like with no effects.apart from getting fat!! i was 26 at the time and i think the doctor thought i was too young to have gall stones, so didnt check for anything like that. she just tested me for a bug in my gut that can cause excess acid, and i didnt have that.

lizandlulu Thu 19-Jul-07 16:37:15

oh, and in hospital i also got yellow jaundice from a gall stone blocking something off.

singingsortinghatmum Thu 19-Jul-07 16:46:12

Something I discovered iwhen I had this was that jelly babies have zero fat so can be used(in moderation) to curb those sweet cravings while on fat free.BTW fat free made me worse,no idea why but eventually had the damn thing removed about 2-3yrs after first attack which caused pancreatitis.Was at the end of my second PG when it first happened.No-one could understand why my back and under ribs was still hurting until I lay on the floor to relieve it and couldn't get up as was screaming in agony.
If possible would be worth visit to doc to have proper checks done as believe me you don't want this to happen.

BettySpaghetti Thu 19-Jul-07 19:38:13

lizandlulu and singingsortinghatmum - sounds like you had horrendous times of it.

Thanks for the tips about black coffee and jelly babies. I do have a sweet tooth so that could come in handy.

I had a couple of hours of pain again earlier after lunch so have been scared off eating anything for dinner tonight for fear of making it flare up again. Also still feel a bit nauseous.

rosmerta Thu 19-Jul-07 20:30:27

I've been having attacks as well off and on for the last year or so. Had a really bad one the other weekend, so far I've cut out a lot of fatty foods (inc, pizza ) and I've been <<touch wood>> ok. But in the last couple of days, I've had, I guess I'd describe it as pressure, right in the spot where I get the pain.

Guess I'm off to the docs right? But my drs are quite useless at times, what can I say to make sure they do something?

BettySpaghetti Thu 19-Jul-07 20:42:22

hi there rosmerta - its horrible enough without having to give up things you like eating isn't it?

I consider my diet to be pretty good but even so its making me look at everything and wonder if I'll have to give it up (eg. brie which I had a couple of days running earlier in the week and I'm now wondering if thats whats triggered it?)

As you've suffered for a while your GP should refer you for an ultrasound and blood tests without a doubt. If s/he doesn't I would ask why they're not investigating it and how you're supposed to manage it considering you've already changed your diet with little/no result.

tortoise Thu 19-Jul-07 20:50:31

I was diagnosed with gall stones a few months ago after painful attacks.
Most recent one lastest 3 hours! Dr prescribed Pethidine tablets. Within 30 mins of taking ONE tablet, during an attack, i was asleep!

I am trying to control it with diet. Low fat, not fat free was what a dietitian advised me. The fat causes the problems because bile is stored in the gall bladder and the fat causes it to release the bile which can move a stone into the opening and get trapped. This is what causes the pain.

I nibble on marshmallows for a fat free treat or jelly.

So far no attacks for a while. Any more attacks and i will have to contact my Dr to book in for op.

rosmerta Thu 19-Jul-07 22:00:11

Betty, you're probably right. I'm going to make an appointment & go see them. I've tried using ibuprofen during the attacks but it doesn't seem to help.

tortoise, at the pethidine, not sure if that would be such a good idea if I'm looking after ds!

tortoise Thu 19-Jul-07 22:03:47

I was ok because it was late at night. Wouldn't risk taking one during the day after that. And i only took one. box said take one or two!

lizandlulu Fri 20-Jul-07 22:10:20

i know with my pain, pain killers did nothing to help at all, which made me feel that it was something not right. iykwim. and yes it is a pressure type of pain. i always struggled to find words to express the pain and ended up making it sound trivial. but pressure is the correct word!! thanks!!

tortoise Fri 20-Jul-07 23:03:46

Have been feeling a niggly pain on and off today . its a little worse at the moment. i am hoping it goes soon. At least its night time and i can take a tablet if i get too bad.

Babyramone Fri 20-Jul-07 23:16:01

Hi Tortoise
I had a attack this morning
All because I couldn't resite my DH's home made deep fried chips (they are scrummy)
Managed to get through it DH took day off to look after kids.
Poor you hope it doesn't get worse.
Betty there is loads of great advice on here.
I am following the low fat diet to (I aim for 3-5%)and also drink lots of water if attack looks likely.
Im addicted to starmix at moment.

tortoise Fri 20-Jul-07 23:17:46

Oh poor you babyramone.
Mine from having a takeaway tonight i think. i avoided all the BBQ food because i already felt a bit niggly pain then was hungry walking home and chip shop tempted me!

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