Biliary Colic

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Hi I am 56 and was diagnosed as having 2 medium sized gall stones and my gall bladder a few weeks ago when I was generally feeling poorly and having various abdominal pains. In the past week I have had three biliary colic attacks and boy I haven't felt pain like that before, even in childbirth. Strangely all my attacks start the same, first a rushing diarrhoea attack, then I get a full feeling in my stomach which gets tighter and tighter, then the pain suddenly comes on right below my breastbone and up into the centre of my chest. Since I also suffer from angina it feels very much like I am having an angina attack because the pressure seems to become so great that I cant breath properly and if I try to take a deep breath in it is agony in my diaphragm. The pain just builds until I am rolling around, walking and staggering around, on my hands and knees trying to relieve the pressure in my stomach, the pain is very very severe and these attacks have lasted 2 to 6 hours. The first one I went to hospital and they gave me liquid morphine which really didnt do much. They sent me home with co-codomal which I throw up when i take them when I have an ttack. The last two attacks I didnt go to the hopsital, I just rolled around screaming at home because I didnt want to sit in a drafty corridor in the hospital and be ignored for hours on end and ultimately be told that its biliary colic and just take a light low fat diet and wait for your out-patient appointment! Today so far no attack, though I was up until 6am waiting for last nights attack to abate! I have no appetite really, feel so nauseated. Yesterday I tried to eat light and healthy, green leaf salad, beetroot, advocado, low fat humous, low fat cottage cheese and brown bread with just a scrape of the lowest fat spread you can buy. But still the attack came. Today I am afraid to eat.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh just been sick, OK, anyone out there? Am I doomed to suffer this until I get this elusive operation, even healthy eating isnt to be tolerated, I saw some posts and it looks like I am going to have to resort to dry toast until goodness knows when. Has anyone found a particular pain killer that works, or an anti sickness medicine that helps. My blood pressure has gone up and I feel like hell and I am supposed to be packing up my house to move, but I am staggering around with a plastic bowl by my side ready for the next chuck! My hot flushes seem worse since this started, as if menopause wasnt bad enough! I want a body transplant...any offers!!!!
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  • Posted

    Bit late on this reply but anyway...

    I don't usually get sickness when I get bad attacks but the last time I did & it was horrendous!!! I kept feeling the need to rush to the toilet but there was nothing there, the pain got worse and worse until I couldn't handle it any longer & took myself to A&E. They gave me anti-sickness drugs which worked a treat and sent me home with some (after 5 days in hospital as my bloods were abnormal). Unfortunately, no drugs ease the pain for me & I have to endure it for hours (usually about 8). Tramadol does help but if it really is too unbearable I would go to A&E and ask for morphine and anti sickness to see if that works. The more you go to hospital, the more urgent they will see your case and the sooner you can get the op to have your gallbladder removed.

    As for a diet I think it does help to eat healthily but with me I get the pain about once a week, no matter what I eat.

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    • Posted

      Removing the gall bladder doesn't mean you can eat just anything, though. G, a dear friend since we were 8 years old, told me it hurt more without the gall bladder. She still couldn't eat chocolate cake or cheese, most fats, whole grains or cabbage family.
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  • Posted

    What do you mean: you could crawl? I simply adopted a fetal position and groaned until my husband took me to the hospital where they did many wonderfully uncomfortable tests. This seemed unnecessary because by then the pain had gone. However, my doctor told me that I had a colicy gall bladder but no stones ... yet. He asked me if I wanted to manage it with meds or diet: I chose diet and that made him happy. He was a very nice man, but prone to telling people to do things they don't want to hear. He called it the White Diet and I can't find the list anywhere. I remember it was 5 things all of them tasteless and unmemorable. Jello! But not flavored or sweetened: simply gelatin which is protein I think. Chicken broth with no fat, salt or pepper or any spices. Lots of water which wasn't a hardship. cottage cheese with no additives like salt or tomatoes or fruit. Bread: white, with no fat, no toppings, dry and toasted. The 5th was too blah to remember. One week later, he added boiled egg white and then the yolk. It isn't bad, really. For 2 months he added a food a week and then told me, "If it hurts, don't eat it." It worked. Takes about two hours for whatever food it is to start hurting and then it's just a twinge unless you pig out on it. Keep a record. You will probably remember that you can't eat spaghetti unless you cook it, but it helps. I also noticed that any food I shouldn't eat produced a 'burp' that tasted of used bad for me food ... like oregano. I've also discovered that if I 'save up' - be really good about choosing okay foods for a month I can splurge on corned beef and cabbage with no problem. Once a year makes that food extra good. Raw vegetables are rough to give up because that means the beloved green salad. Every body is different. I can eat lemons with salt and enjoyment, my friend can eat olive oil on her salad. I know it's been a year plus and hope you have found an agreeable diet by now, but just in case ... Yes, I have a friend who suffered great agonies for years before we had the discussion about the elimination diet/White diet.
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    • Posted

      Dear Evelyn,

      I just came across this reply and felt I had struck gold - your doctor sounds amazing. I have all the symptoms of biliary colic and whenever I do as you suggest (aka only eat simple white foods) I feel better. I thought it was just me though and it is comforting to hear that you, too, live in the same way - 2 hours for the pain to kick in, only a twinge if you have eaten "bland" foods, far more (up to 5 hours for me) following a binge, the "burp" being about foods that you cannot digest properly, "saving up" for a splurge etc Happy to know I am not alone. How often do you have pain now (if I may ask) now that you have been following this? Have you put on weight (I find all this white food to be very high GI!) Are there any foods you must avoid at all costs (I cannot eat bananas nor any fruit for that matter but sugary stuff is fine.) I can forget binging - more than one course and I am a pile of suffering. If you have any more info on the white diet I would love to hear it!

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  • Posted

    check if your gallbladder wall and function is ok and then apply to remove the gallstones only if all with your gallbladder is ok and never accept gallbladder removal that is known as laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
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    • Posted

      So many things are strange to me! My doctor told me that I had a colicy gall bladder where the gall bladder did spasms when the wrong foods were consumed. He said the X-ray - upper GI - did not show gallstones. I was happy about that, you understand, but since I got my first PC and connected to the Internet 1995, I have not seen anything that indicates this is possible. Articles talk about stones or biliary - no in between. It is strange, but since his diagnoses and the treatment works, I don't worry too much about it. I sincerely hope I do not now or ever have stones. The treatment has workedd for so many people I've known over the years! Plus: most gallbladder menus are comprised of food I cannot eat. Whole wheat? Forget it. Olive oil? No way. The elimination diet was one of the best things ever happened to me and was so very educational. Thank you for your comment! I didn't realize one could remove stones and leave the gallbladder!
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    • Posted

      Long time ago laparoscopic Cholecystectomy was not imaginable  when introduced to the market but now all surgeons advise laparoscopic Cholecystectomy only and gallstone removal will be the same in near future.

      We did more than 4000 gallstone removal with our new inventory equipment and all our patients feel good of this operation.

      The only risk factor of gallstone removal is the stone may appear agin if the patients do not follow the low fat diet that it can be also resolved by using the drug treatment that solve the small stones in gallbladder and does not allow the stones to raise.

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  • Posted

    Hi Louise I'm 25 iv been having biliary colic attacks for about two years never knew Wat i wad till 4 months ago iv had the camera down my throat the ultrasound everything to prove I have gallstones I'm riddled with apparently have been highly recommended to have the gallbladder removed waiting to hear for hospital been 2 months now the referral was made for the removal but my nan have hers removed and she still gets them once in a while she recommended drinking boiled water as hot as u can stand it sip try and relax I know from experience u near impossible to do so but try when the sickness goes or after sick and u have nothing left take 2 paracetamol keep drinking the hot water tho that for me as be alot of help they don't last as long mine lasted 8 hours at time quite few some in the middle of supermarket school run my kids got scared before now they help me it's sad really they are 2 and 4 years old anyway hope that helps don't really talk much to people about no one believes the pain is near death itself. Good luck xxxxx
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  • Posted

    Hey it's so nice too not feel like I'm crazy, I've had gallstones now for five years and I'm only just getting it removed next week. I'm 23 and I'm really poorly with it I've lost four five stone in two years I can't eat drink have a normal life because the pain is unbearable,so I've been in hospital over 70 times I've scolded my back on hot water bottles they help loads bye the way fell asleep in the bath because the heat helped and I'm on really strong pain killers which I'm pretty sure I'm now addicted too and don't even hardly work for me anymore and taking about 6tramadol and codeine because I'm in that much pain and at the time I don't care I've wanted too give up a few times because everyday I'm sleepless can't enjoy anything because it sets it of I'm just praying this works because they have said it might not but I can't cope with this much longer I hope u get sorted Hun

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  • Posted

    Hi Loise, I hope after a year you have maybe had your gallbladder removed? I had what docs think was my first attack last week. And as you describe the pain was horrendous and lasted around eight hours. The next day though I felt as if I had been kicked in the gut. Now six days later its only when I walk I feel a weird tight grasping under my ribs on right hand side. Does it actually last this long?
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    • Posted

      Hey babs25,

      Came across this thread because I am on day 6 of feeling like I got stabbed in the gut with a butter knife...and your description is spot on with mine. No insurance so I have been drinking apple cider vinegar hoping for relief. Did you ever find out what was wrong with you?

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  • Posted

    Avocado is quite oily Louise. Stick to bland foods: Nothing fried, no baked goods except wholemeal bread, no takeaways as these are high in fat. I was able to eat poached/scrambled/boiled eggs but some can’t. Try basing meals on baked or mashed potatoes and plain rice. Bananas, pears, coffee, porridge, sweet potatoes, fish (not oily fish), chicken without skin, wholemeal toast are good. Switch to skimmed milk and flora low fat spread. Avoid large meals- better to eat several small ones. Also avoid anything spicy. I’m afraid it’s quite boring food but it does get you through until you can have surgery. I also lost a lot of weight due to eating in this way but I’ve made a good recovery and my weight has stabilised. I still avoid fried foods and ice cream.
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