can gallstones cause itching

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I am waiting on an op to remove my gall bladder,and the last couple of weeks I have had an annoying itch usually on the right side of my upper back.It feels as if I am wearing a really itchy rough fabric,but i get it first thing in the morning when I am in my nightie and and at various intervals during the day Today I was out shopping and it was really bad. I had my husband check to see if I had any moles or spots,but he said there was nothing.(mind you,he couldn't find the milk in the fridge the other day as I had moved it to another shelf)

Does anyone else with gallstones have this problem?

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    The itch bubbles to the surface from inside, its a symptom of inflammation smile
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  • Posted

    Thanks DR Spock I started a new thread on this as I didn't think it was connected to the gallstones . I thought itching was a symptom of jaundice. Its mainly on the right upper shoulder blade,but today it was all over my upper back and causing me a lot of discomfort.I have had 2 gallbladder attacks this week,and the sooner I get rid of it, the better.

    At least that has put my mind to rest ,as I didnt know what was causing the itch.

    Thanks again

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  • Posted

    That's very interesting. I am due to have my gallbladder out on the 25th April. I too have been experiencing an annoying itch at the top of my back. Very tingly and like a nerve ending itch. How useful this site has been. I thought my problems and pains were to do with digestion etc. They did find a large hiatus hernia and a 4cm segment of Barrett's but it would seem that the gallstones and the thickening in my gallbladder they found with the ultra scan is the cause of the pain, vomitting and loss of weight,
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  • Posted

    Apparently itching can be caused when the bile duct is blocked by a stone. Because the flow of bile is impaired it often is excreted via the skin, which causes jaundice, in the form of bile salts. It is these salts that cause the itching.

    I had itching for over a week after the gallstone attack I had 3 weeks ago ... and it was itching of the kind I had never experienced before. It more or less affected my whole body, although my arms, legs and feet probably were worst affected.

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  • Posted

    marco01, i agree the itch from jaundice is unlike any other, i was jaundice for 6 weeks and the itching was unrelenting, all over and made sleeping a rare occurance! if found cold showers (in the middle of winter!!) gave a short relief and when i was in hospital they gave me bowls of water and ice cubes to soak my feet in to get relief from the itch on the soles of my feet - which i had managed to rub raw trying to get relief!

    also i found after the jaundice had been resolved, i was still prone to itching due to dry skin caused by the fat free diet i was on for 6 months. if you are not taking fat internally the skin dries out and becomes itchy i found a way round this was to treat the area topically with a high fat cream - i used cocoa butter twice daily i got through loads of it in theat time.

    i hope all you who are waiting for help get it soon.

    vix

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  • Posted

    Vixen, That is very interesting as I am on a low fat diet and that might be the cause of my itching. It is mostly on my right shoulder blade (hard to reach) and I have scratched till it is sore. Sometimes its all over my shoulder area,but mostly confined to the right one. I have also come out in a crop of small itchy spots all around my nose,and a couple on my cheek.They are taking ages to go awayThey are quite small but quite sore and when one lot clears up,another lot comes along. I wonder if this is all related to the gallstones and the lack of fat in my diet. I just can't wait to get rid of it and get back to eating something normal without being afraid of having another attack.Only good thing is that I am having it out on 21st and the low fat diet has kept the worst of the attacks at bay.
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  • Posted

    plain jane,

    try to get your other half to rub cream into the area that itches and see if it helps.

    as to your facial spots, are you eating enough fruit and veg? sorry i ask as alot of people on wieght loss diets suffer in the same way as they dont replace the ntrients they lose from their diet.. you are preparing for surgery and optimal nutrients will aid your healing!! if you are not making your 5 a day now is the time to exceed it for your recovery.

    good luck for your op - i will be thinking of you on the 21st.

    let us know how you get on.

    if you have any questions please ask - if i cant answer - someone may be able to.

    all the best .. vix

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  • Posted

    Vixen, Thanks for your reply and your good wishes. I go for my pre op on Thursday,and I think I am more nervous of that as my BP goes sky high as soon as I set foot in side a hospital or even the doctor's surgery. I have managed to control the gallbladder pain with the low fat diet,although I still get twinges in that area and I know it needs to come out.

    I just wish it was all over.and I am back to normal.

    Thanks again. I will let you know how I feel as soon as I can get back on my PC

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  • Posted

    plain jane, its normal to feel a bit aprehensive about hospital appointments, just remember your pre op check is one step towards getting the problem sorted. good luck on thursday - it is just the hospitals opertunity to check you out and make sure you are fit for surgery, and for you to ask any questions you have about your up and coming surgery - its nothing to worry about.

    vix

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  • Posted

    Well 8 weeks post op,and I am still itching in the right shoulder area. It always happens as soon as I have breakfast,and sometimes at various intervals during the day.It has never gone away,even though I have had my gallbladder out,and things are getting back to normal. I am still on a relatively low fat diet,so I don't know what is causing it. It is more annoying than anything else,but it must be coming from somewhere. It's funny how it always happens in the morning when I sit down to eat . I have bread and apricot jam. I have always had this for my breakfast for years now. I thought it was something to do with that,but I sometimes get itchy sitting at my PC on various times throughout the day. Funny eh?

    Anyone have any idea what it could be,now that the gallstones have gone.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane I've seen your post and realise it's from a while ago but was interested as I've just had a scan and have a large gall stone, but my main symptom is itching, it sounds similar to yours. I would love to hear how you have got on and hope it has been relieved for you as I understand how horrendous it is. Thanks Sarah
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  • Posted

    Hi Plain Jane. I don't know if it will help but I have been using Bio OIl to get some moisture back into my skin after the op. I have developed a dry patch on my abdomen and find the oil is very good, if somewhat expensive. You will only need a little so it should last ages.

    I have seen both my Gallbladder surgeon and my Gastro Consultant in the last couple of weeks and both have told me that it will take a while for everything to settle down and that you can still have some of the symptons you were experiencing before the op. The say I have Post Cholecystomy Syndrome as I was still having chest pains in the night. I am sure it is to do with my Hiatus Hernia. I have been using a herbal tincture called Centaurium (a stomach bitter) and take it 15 minutes before my main meal. I have had no pain or reflux since Tuesday. Plenty of wind mind you! My Consultant had never heard of it but the pain was bad so I thought I would give it a try. Still having to stick to low fat meals and no meat or poultry.

    Do hope you can find a solution to your itching. I remember having it before the op but not since.

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  • Posted

    Hi Maggie. Thanks for replying. I dont know why I am still getting this itch. I thought it would have gone with the Gb. I will try the oil and see if that helps. I still get some nights where I have flatulence and bloating,and I have red weals where my trousers have been digging in to my waist and bottom of my bra leaves a red mark as well.I have tried walking about for about 15 mins after my main meal and it has helped a bit .Nichola,my daughter in law,is recovering well at home She hasnt driven yet but has gone to Asda with her Mum and has cut out all fatty foods from her diet.Her navel hasn't healed up properly yet either ,but she is getting there.I havent eaten any red meat since before Xmas. Going to be difficult when we go on holiday next week,we all like to go out for meals. Will need to have fish or salad.

    Hope you continue to improve and hear from you soon

    Take care ,

    Jean

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  • Posted

    Hi, I just realized last night my gallstones are back. I had them for years with all the symptoms before I finally figured out what was wrong with me. About 7 times that year I did the gallbladder flush, and did a pretty good job of flushing them out. Relief lasted for a year, then the problems started returning. I tried to do the flush again and ended up throwing it up. I had become intolerant to all the ingredients, including apple juice. Since apple juice is supposed to soften the stones, I wondered if apple cider vinegar would dissolve them or at least soften them enough to help. It turns out ACV will dissolve them. I can't stand to drink ACV, you put 1tbs in a glass of water and drink with meals that have fat in them. So I take ACV capsules, two per meal. I have been gallstone free until this summer they came back. I went to the health food store this morning and got some ACV capsules and expect my stones to start dissolving right away. And yes I had stopped taking ACV, I guess I won't again. Something I need to warn you about, as the stones dissolve, your cholesterol will rise. Mine was always below 200 and rose to at least 250 but eventually came back down to under 200.

    Sherryjo

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