Gallbladder pain/no stones. Discomfort and pain for months. Miserable.

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi guys, first time on here but I needed somewhere to find advice because I'm finding it hard to cope with.

I first had a twinge in my gallbladder region back in May at the same time as having pain in my lower abdomen. I got it checked out and the GP said it was likely to be IBS and spasms in my gallbladder. Prescribed buscopan and told to eat high fibre. I did this for a few weeks and things calmed down to the point where I was able to eat whatever I wanted again (with just odd twinges) which led me to believe there might not even be a connection between eating and the pain.

It calmed down for a good while. I was on a PPI for a month for the lower stomach pain, during which time, both pains left more or less. I finished the month's course and within a few weeks the gallbladder pain returned. It's difficult to say whether the ppi's were anything to do with it as the pain started a few weeks after stopping. This time however it was more painful than ever before and resulted in 111 referring me immediately to a GP and booking me for a scan with suspected gallstones. A burning/stab pain in my URQ that wasn't relieved by any pain killers. The attack lasted around 6 days before calming down. I had the US scan about a week later and the immediate response from the sonographer was that everything looked healthy. No sludge. No stones, which surprised me as I was convinced that it was going to have to come out due to the pain. Since then (about 5 weeks) I've been in constant discomfort of one sort or another. one day it will calm down to a discomfort, almost like a tight muscle feeling. Then the next, it can flare up and make it impossible to concentrate on anything else at work. Today is one of those days.

I have a follow up appointment regarding the scan, with my GP in a few weeks, but I don't know whether that will shed any light as everything looks normal. I'm finding it incredibly frustrating as a low fat/ low sugar diet doesn't seem to control it and just adds to the misery because I'm eating miserably for no reason. It's wholemeal bread, salad, wheatabix etc every day.

I have a further five weeks before I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist. But I'd really like to know if anything might be being overlooked. I'm trying to just put up with the pain, which is incredibly difficult at times. But It worries me that I might be overlooking something more serious, simply because I'm fed up with seeing GPs who can't easily diagnose the problem. I keep reading things about pancreatitis, chronic cholecystitis, acalculous cholecystitis, gallbladder pain from mono in patients with gilbert's syndrome (which I have), gallstones that don't show up on ultrasound scans, low functioning gallbladder. Sorry for the long description, I've gone from a super healthy, super fit, 6'5" guy in my late 20's, who was in the gym and playing competitive sport 5-6 times a week and running half marathons and obstacle races, to being unable to train because of the pain and discomfort, losing nearly a stone within the last three to four months as a result.

If anyone has any ideas or experience with pain without stones that was constant for a long while, I'd love to hear on where I'm headed with this?

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  • Posted

    Obviously you've done your homework and the GP can't shed any light on it.  Presumably you haven't got medical insurance but you can still self-fund.  If that is a possible option in your financial circumstances try looking for a good GI specialist on BUPA's website and phone the sec to find the fees.  Then ask your GP to refer you.  One consultation might be affordable even if the whole procedure isn't.  Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Tom. I'm not sure what to do at the moment as I have an appointment with the specialist on the NHS in about 5 weeks. I looked up the doctor that Im seeing and they specialise in biliopancreatic diseases, so might be a good source of info anyway. It's a tough call as I feel like I'm gambling my finances to speed up what will still likely be an inconclusive appointment, particularly as more tests will likely be required.I can potentially afford it, but because up until a month ago, the pain was manageable, I live in hope that it will calm down and see me through the next month or so. Maybe because I've seen a number of GPs who haven't been able to shed any light, I'm losing faith a bit, so I'm afraid of chucking money away.The NHS is frustrating.
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    • Posted

      From my own experience and that of others here these GB/Pancreas problems are very hard to diagnose.  You probably know that the NHS contract doesn't allow Drs to mix private and NHS but you may go to another specialist.  I've found that I am quite often seen by the registrar not the consultant whereas when I had BUPA it was always the consultant. I suppose most of us would have insurance if we wanted to afford it .... but I've stopped mine as it was £2k pa though I could spend say £500 for a specific private treatment if I wanted to.  Worth finding out the cost but not with your NHS specialist, need to chose another.
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    • Posted

      Hey! You're in our prayers. I know your facing a difficult situation but be positive. you're not alone. There are lots of people are facing the same problem like you. It's true it can be frustrating. I can't tell you don't be upset or downhearted. Just be positive that soon you'll be ok. Have a little Faith. smile

      You're in our prayers smile

      Katherine

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tom. I've emailed a few specialists today. I'll wait to hear back. Finally decided I couldn't keep waiting around ofr months for appointments with me losing weight as I am. Thanks for your advice.
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  • Posted

    I went through some of the same stuff. All my tests came back normal.

    It wasn't until I sought a second opinion and the new surgeon recognized immediately what was going on. She specialized in biliary issues and said that she sees a case like mine at least once a week.

    Two weeks later, my gallbladder was out and the issues stopped.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the replies guys. It's just incredibly frustrating to be in pain all the time and feel no nearer to finding out what's causing it. Add in the fact that Everytime I get some medical attention, it seems to result in further questions and a minimum of a 6-8 week wait just for someone to ask more questions. Tommyboy, how have you been since? Any repercussions froom the removal? Are you able to eat as you could before? I didn't realise how much I'd miss my previous machine of a stomach until now!
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  • Posted

    Hi Jaydroid.

    Sounds a similar situation to me.

    Had baby last May, extreme discomfort and pain on my right side only. Pain was on going for a while. Then stopped then started again. Had bad "attack" in jan of this year. Ultrasounds x3 showed perfectly normal gallbladder and liver. My fourth ultrasound about 2 months ago showed debris "sludge" in my gallbladder. I've had an MRI and MRCP both normal. After a lengthy discussion with my gastro they agreed HIDA scan. (my pain had also moved onto my left side giving me chronic pancreatitis symptoms. The pain on my right was different to my left sided pain and the pains were never at the same time as each other)

    Anyway, my HIDA scan showed low motility and dysfunction. From my reading I know what this means and I will be pushing to have the thing removed!

    I have suffered for over a year, been told it's in my head, it's IBS, the pain can't be that bad your able to walk etc. my old GP refused to send me to gastro for investigation because my scans were "normal". My advice is to not accept IBS as a cause until they ruled everything else out. Get them to check pancreas and liver and make sure they use specific tests for each one. I've had endoscopy,sigmoidoscopy and a endoscopic ultrasound.

    Good luck in finding a cause.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Gem, hope the new addition to the family is doing well! The points that you mentioned are my concerns. I'm worried I'll be fobbed off, especially as the ultrasound has come back clear. Yes, my initial diagnosis was ibs in a kind of atypical doctor's "NEXT", type attitude. Im sure if i had ibs, the pain wouldn't be so localised to specifically my gallbladder region. I don't know for sure, but I'd say that would be the case. In the research that I've carried out, I've not heard of IBS causing gallbladder issues apart from in situations like this, where people have been sent home with an ibs diagnosis, only to have the issues continue until a dr takes it seriously enough to properly diagnose. IBS does seem to be the default for, "go away and come back if it's still bad".
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  • Posted

    I dont trust the ultrasound scans. I was told I had one single stone but when they took  out my GB I had a lot more smaller ones that werent even picked up on the scan . I had very similar to you and it got the to point of constant nagging pain all the time and all I could eat was porridge and vergetabble soup. I hope they can get you sorted soon.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I did have terrible constipation which had been going on for some time but this was all linked to the GB . I also got pain just above my hip on the right side. I didnt have any severe stabbing at all during the whole time but it was a nagging pain and felt severley inflammed all around the GB area. My consultant even told me that mine wasnt typical gallbladder  and that the GB was fine no inflammation, well that was wrong as when it was taken out it was very inflammed all around the area. I was interested to see that you cant exercise as it brings on the pain well I basically couldnt do much at all and just walking around brought it on. Previous to this I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia  and CFS( 20 years plus  in fact) I am amazed to  say that this seems to have almost gone. I can do things I havent done in years.I am still healing and it has taken a little time for me(5 weeks today) a lot of that though is as  i have had it brewing so long ,  but every day is improving and I feel on top of the world. So dont get too down hearted  you will be back to doing your sport and being fit again  but to me it sounds like you need that GB out asap. Just keep pushing the Drs as I found it is so easy for them to just forget about you otherwise smile
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Jane, it's what I want to hear as that's the part that's having the most effect really, it's a complete lifestyle change in 5 months. Sporty and incredibly active/enjoying evenings out and meals out with friends/never been a heavy drinker but it's nice to have a beer with friends in the pub from time to time ----fast forward five months and no activity, no meals out, even a movie night is a little depressing when eating boiled rice etc. Really glad to hear that things are going in the right direction for you, definitely gives me hope!
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  • Posted

    Hi! Sorry to hear that you've been experiencing a very painful situation. Did the doctor recommend to remove your gb?I got my gb removed 2 months ago due to gallstone. so, I don't know what to say in reply. and which aspect i can be help. but i think you're doing well with your food intake.

    Take Care & Hope you'll be fine soon!

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    • Posted

      It hasn't been recommended yet, as I have yet to have the follow up for my scan. Though without stones showing up, I imagine it'd be unlikely at this stage and I'm likely to get more clarity when I see the specialist in November. Although that seems a long way away when the discomfort ranges from mild (although never gone completely) to very uncomfortable and is daily. Did you have yours removed as a result of sudden pain or did you suffer symptoms for a while?
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    • Posted

      I see! Keep us in touch so, we could be help in some ways. smile

      Yes! I felt a sudden pain on right side of my abdomen. at first i thought i ate an expired food. and just drink lots of water and drink paracetamol for pain. but for 1 week. I still feel the pain so, i decided to see a doctor after some Physical and lab examinations. They saw a stone in my gb so, and then,they scheduled me for surgery. It's really painful like a heart attack because of it i hardly breath and couldn't stand.

      It makes me awful.

      Anyways, I hope you'll be better soon after you've seen your doctor.

       Regards,

      katherine

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