Gallbladder Issues, Removal or Natural Healing!?

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I startted having occasional attacks over a 2 month periods Sept./Oct. of this year, (2015)  The last one was bad enough to send me to ER.  Which was diagnosed as gallstones. Went and had an ultrasound, and found small gallstones, with thickening of the gallbladder walls.  Ultrasound tech said it needed to come out.  After reading and trying to decide what was best.  I cancelled the surgery. I consulted a naturepathic, that got me on supplements to help the liver/gallbladder.  I havnt had any major attacks in 2 months.  But I am still experiencing back pain across the shoulder blades, and pain in the area of GB, and under the right ribs. Feels like a heaviness in there that comes and goes. Abdomen, feels bloated.  I am torn at what I should do next. I am getting frustrated with pains.  Using ice packs, and transdermal packs of castor oil helps somewhat. But they never really go away.  Does anybody know, or have advice for what I should do next?  I am close to the point of just going through with surgery. I have mixed feelings.  All the readings encourage keeping the GB... But how do you know at what point you are at,  as to when natural healing isnt helping.  Frustrated!!  Need thoughts ~~~

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  • Posted

    Hi Elizabeth, I'm going to tell you about my own research about this and my own experience. I was told last year that I had stones but they found them by accident. I never has pain until this year, that I had to go to the ER, they said the pain was due to the stones. Went to see my GI and he said take it out, so I started my research. I asked a bunch of people in my neighborhood Facebook to see who had this done, since I only know 1 person who had taken out ( my father ) he had it removed last year and he has been great, he has not any problems at all yet. Many people wrote in my post and said they had good experiences, so I went online and read horrible stories. I went to see a dietitian and she said I could take bile salts to help me digest the fat before and after surgery, so I haven taking them. I read that if you don't the GB out the stones can get stocked in the duct and made things worse, your liver, and pancreas can be damaged. The Dr said that having small stones it was more risky since they could get stocked easily, and I had many small stones. I decided to joint this site and and asked for successful stories and many people wrote about them. I learned from my research that there are natural treatments out there that can help you get rid of these stones, but that can take time and in the meantime things can escalate and get worse very quick . I am in favor of natural medicine but I know from experience that most of them take time to work. I decided to take it out after reading a lot about it and I can said that I made a very informed decision. My procedure was last Friday and I can tel you that so far I am ok. The first 3 days were difficult and I was very uncomfortable, the gas pains are the worse, but that gets better. I also have IBS, so I know that I can have issues related to that as well. I am getting heartburn and I feel very sensitive in the upper abdomen and I do not get very hungry, but I have been able to eat fine. I am introducing fats very slowly and I take the bile salts, and probiotics. All I can say is that you need to read as much as possible from the good and the bad, so you know what could happen. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hello Elizabeth. If you have tried every avenue of relief, I think going ahead with surgery would be a good thing. I'm not one to rush on surgery either, and I like to try the natural stuff to, but sometimes we do end up having some work done to these bodies. Not trying to get into a religious discussion or anything, but feel no guilt in having surgery because after all, God put Adam in a deep sleep to remove his rib, that was a type of surgery. Sounds like your in dire straits with this, and hope you get relief soon!!!
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  • Posted

    My journey to have my gallbladder removed was filled with rough days and a lot of frustration before getting relief.

    I am a 37 y/o male. I've been obese most of my life, but over the past 2 1/2 years, I've lost 150 lbs.

    My issues started is Decmeber of 2014. I started having chest pains after I ate and it would wake me up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep. I chalked it up to indigestion, but still made a doctors appointment to make sure it wasnt my heart. My PCP had me have a stress test done, and it came back normal.

    During the time I had the stress test and my follow up, I noticed I was getting sick and having pain under my ribcage and in my back, and it was worse after big, fatty, or greasy meals. I brought this up to my pcp and she said it could be a number of things, so she scheduled me for an endoscopy and an ultrasound. The scope showed a few superficial ulcers and a minute hiatal hernia and a negative test for h pylori. The ultrasound showed no stones, and no thickening of the gallbladder walls.

    But my symptoms kept getting worse. Along with everything else, I started getting nausea and dry heaved after bad foods. This whole time, I was dropping weight because I couldn't eat. At my followup with my pcp, she recommended I try the BRAT diet to see if it offered me any relief and prescribed me Zofran (an anti nausea medication) She said there was a chance it could be my gallbladder but wasn't completely set on it.

    In Mid April, I had a gallbladder attack. I had cramping and pain under my ribcage and relentless dry heaving. I went to the emergency room, and had another ultrasound and bloodwork done. Both came back normal, but when the doctor did the physical exam, he pushed where my gallbladder was, I nearly jumped off the exam table in pain. I was admitted and the next morning, I had a HIDA scan done. My EF was over 80% and I had excruciating pain when they administered the CCK. I cried every time they did it. The surgeon looked at the test and deemed it "normal" and wasn't "completely sold" that my gallbladder was causing my issues. I was discharged the next day. He wanted me to have an upper gi done and see him in 3 weeks. Had the upper gi done and went back to see him. The upper gi came back normal. Meanwhile I had lost 15 pounds since I had been discharged. He was shocked that I wasn't getting better. He wanted me to stay on the BRAT diet and he gave me a new anti-nausea medication. I had hit my breaking point. I was miserable, I was sick all the time. I had no energy. I hadn't eaten real food in months.

    I left his office and started to do research and found a surgeon in my area that dealt with biliary issues. I set up an appointment with her and within 2 minutes of meeting her and reading my reports from all my tests, she stopped at the HIDA scan and said "this isn't normal. Your EF is high and it's not normal to have pain. Your gallbladder is more than likely bad." We spent the next 20 minutes talking about pros and cons about the surgery. She told me there was a 75% success rate in gallbladder removal getting rid of the symptoms I was having. I decided 75% success is better than getting sick 100% of the time when I ate. She ordered a ct scan to make sure there wasn't anything else that they might run across, and it came back normal, except for a fatty liver.

    I had surgery on June 8th. It took nearly 2 hours on the table. They went in laparoscopically, and the gallbladder came out fine. They had some excessive bleeding when they did a liver biopsy to make sure my fatty liver wasn't causing any other issues. I spoke with the surgeon in the recovery room. She said that my gallbladder was inflamed. I was kept overnight for observation due to the bleeding I had. I had pain but it was more from the gas they used to inflate me. The pain meds helped. But the biggest thing was the next morning when I had eggs and toast. I didn't get sick. I didn't have nausea. I didn't dry heave. I didn't have the pain in my back. Same thing after lunch. No symptoms like I had before the surgery. I had to sleep on my left side for a few weeks, but I am pretty much back to nornal.

    At my follow up The surgeon remarked that I looked much better than I did at our first meeting. I told her that I felt like a million dollars. She said "well we know why." She then told me what the pathology revealed. My gallbladder was completely shot. Chronic gallbladder disease (from my obesity and weight loss) and....it was full of stones. Stones that NEVER appeared on the ultrasounds or ct scan. She said I would have probably kept having more and more frequent attacks and it would have had to come out sooner than later.

    I learned a lot from this. I learned that all gallbladder issues aren't so cut and dry, and I also learned to be persistent with my doctors, to not be afraid to get a 2nd opinion, and I learned to trust my body.

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    • Posted

      great news that all has gone well for you at last. i was on the edge of my chair wondering what could be wrong with you thank the lord.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Cheeky.

      It was a rough ordeal. My surgeon said that what I was experiencing was called biliary hyperkinesia instead of biliary dyskinesia. Since I had it out in June, I haven't had a single recurrence of the symptoms I had before the surgery.

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  • Posted

    What you have to remember is if you decide to go for surgery, that will only get you on the waiting list. You may then have to wait a few months before actually having the surgery. Can you really go on for that long?

    I was on the list for 4 months and got in because someone else had cancelled.

    The list was 8 - 9 months long.

    Also keep to a low fat or even no fat diet, that will help.

    Hope you manage to make the right decision for you.

    Take care andkeep in touhc

    Sarah xxx

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  • Posted

    Wow, after reading these replies, I'm really undecided.  I'm like you Elizabeth, just not sure.  I have been, for the last 3 years, going to ER at least once a year.  The only thing they find is that I have gall stones, but everything else is normal.  At my age, 79, I really don't want surgery so I've been taking a couple of Chinese pills.  One is Lidan.  This is a pill that supposedly is supposed to, over time, dissolve the stones.  The other one I take, I take when I'm in pain, and that is Wei Te Ling.  You can look them up.  No cure with them, but hopefully it will stave off me going for surgery.  You just take your chances.
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  • Posted

    When following people that believe in flushes. They encourage everyone to save the gallbladder.  They do flushes that suppsedly rids the gallstones. I have tried twice. First time, I thought I got stones out, 2nd time, I didnt see anything.  Not sure If I should try again. They claim doing these every 3 to 4 months, and after ridding them, not as often.  Any thoughts with this?   I never had a HIDA test done.. Just the ultrasound. Found stones, and thickening of the walls of GB.  
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    • Posted

      I replied to an earlier comment and then just read this - be very careful with the flushes.   I ended up in intensive care after flushing after blocking pancreatic duct and getting pancreatitis.  I wouldn't do again.  Maybe ok to do them but be very watchful and get straight to A&E if you start getting a constant ache and signs of jaundice
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  • Posted

    I went through something similar many years ago.   I had a couple of big attacks and then on and off pain.   I tried some natural remedies which helped but then got carried away and started doing gall bladder/liver flushes which was a big mistake so don't go down that route.   I ended up flushing stones and blocking my pancreas and spent days in intensive care.    However, the good news....When I was in hospital the consultant was adamant that I would need to have gall bladder removed.  I was still protesting saying maybe not and he said would decide once I had an ultrasound on gall bladder after pancreas recovered.  So I had the scan a few weeks later and saw the consultant again and he said no need to have it taken out!   More than 10 years on and I have had very few problems - the odd ache but no major problems.   So if the pain is just modest for now I would stick to natural remedies (not the flush) and a healthy diet and hope it gets better.   
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  • Posted

    Well update to natural remedies,, and flushes.... I had a major gb attack, and end up in the hospital a week ago, White blood count was up, and I was in severe pain. End up with gb infection, Had a 2 day stay in the hospital and gb surgery. I am glad it is gone. I feel so much better,, Recovery from surgery is alot less then gb symptoms..  GLAD I GOT IT GONE!
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