Gallbladder related or something else?

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Hi everyone,

I was sent in for an emergency ultrasound today to check if I had gallstones, but to no surprise it came back clear. The pain started last week; It was an onset attack; I vomited, had chills (no fever), felt faint, and had severe crippling pain in abdomen which was mainly in upper right side under the ribs. (This excruciating pain lasted about 5-6 hours.) I have yellow stools and during this unpleasant time have orange/ yellow oil in my stool as well, it has a really fatty smell (fatty stool?), excessive gas and bloating, full sensation in right side of abdomen, sore/ tender right arm and shoulder blade, excessive phlegm in throat, but the pain in my right upper abdomen under the ribs and back is still severe and always there. Laying down also hurts and so does moving around, it feels as if something is under there. Does this sound like a dysfunctional gallbladder or gallstones, because my home doctor certainly thinks it is, but my ultra sound detected squat. Are there other ways to determine if this is gallbladder related? I was diagnosed with IBS a while ago because they can't find where my pain is coming from, attacks seem to have improved after giving up gluten completely. Any help & insight would be greatly appreciated! 🙃

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  • Posted

    Hi Hanna,

    i had had a selection of different scans and tests that all came back clear. My consultant was adamant that I had a gallbladder problem due to the pain and vomiting that was intense. I had my operation in January this year. I am pain free and I still continue to eat a low fat diet. 

    My consultant stated that I had an enlarged gallbladder with gallbladder disease.

    Hope you get sorted out soon x

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    • Posted

      What scans did you have done?

      Apart from original ultrasound which showed gallstones my other ultrasound and MRI came back ok.

      waiting on HIDA scan now though. Really hope that shows something or that the surgeon I see agrees to take my gallbladder out. I'm positive thats what it is!

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  • Posted

    I presented very similar to that but first ultrasound showed gallstones. Was waiting to see surgeon then ended up getting admitted to hospital with severe pain and fever and yellow stools again. They did ultrasound again which showed a distended gallbladder but no sign of any stones. Have just had a HIDA scan as pain is right over the gallbladder and all symptoms point towards it being gallbladder related. Waiting to see surgeon again in a few weeks for result of this scan. Think I'm gonna just ask for the gallbladder to come out no matter what the result! Pain is unreal and have been living off a low fat diet for the past few months too!

    Ask for them to send you for the HIDA scan to check how well the gallbladder is functioning. There's also an MRI or CT they can do. Good luck!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Scottie, I hope they find what's wrong with me, I think this is the worst pain I've ever felt! Did you have similar attacks? I have always had stomach problems especially after eating. Before I cut out gluten I would wake up in the middle of the night with severe abdominal pain that kept me up 5 hours easily but the right side under the rib pain is new to me. I'm also on the lowfodmap diet which has helped a lot! I hope I can get the CT scan and HIDA done asap.

      Cheers!

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    • Posted

      Had first attack in December which lasted about 8 hours and felt really rough for a week or so after it. Then another attack in April and about 4 since. 2 in the past 2 weeks though and that's on a low fat diet too. If you're an inpatient then the ct scan will get done really quickly. I only waited 12 days on the HIDA scan after discharge from hospital. Still feels like an age when you're not feeling well and don't know why. Hope your GP is fab and sorts it for you!

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that, I hope you get a proper answer from your HIDA scan! The pain under my right rib is making me go crazy. It feels like something is pushing against my liver or rib. If the pain subsides will it still show on a CT scan or a HIDA scan? And did you ever have yellow stool or oil in your stool? I really hope it's gallbladder related so they can fix it.

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  • Posted

    I've had similiar problems. My RUQ pain started about 4 months ago and is constant. It feels like someone has a foot crammed up under my right rib cage. It occasionally rotates to my back and shoulder. It's not really sharp or extremely painful, just annoying and constant. I get the yellow stools, but no nausea or chills or fever. I eat very healthy and roughly 80g Fat, 275g carbs, 170g protein a day in terms of macro nutrients. I'm 5'9 170lbs and about 15% bf and work out 6 days a week(makes it tough somedays to feel pain outside of my abdominal region since most muscles are sore on a daily basis). 

    I've had a CT scan w/o contrast (I'm allergic), Ultrasound, Endoscopy, HIDA scan ( showed 89% ejection rate, (which I think is high but the doctors are saying normal), and countless blood work all come back normal. I have no jaundice. I do have spider veins on my right rib cage, but they do not look like the star shaped ones usually associated with advanced liver disease.

    I was recently prescribed WelChol which has greatly reduced the yellow bilish loose stools. So that portion is back to being solid, but still off color. I also was prescribed Nortiptylne (spelling?) which is an anti-depressant that is used in IBS patients for treating abdominal pain. This doesn't seem to help with the pain, but helps with my mood somedays (go figure). All in all, I believe my issue is the gallbladder but can't get a definitive ruling on it. Might have to check out the University of Michigan medicine to get a diagnosis. 

    Keep us updated!

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Viashino, I called my GP today and will be going in tomorrow again. I live in The Netherlands and let's just say they have the worst healthcare I have ever experienced. I really do think it's gallbladder related, but since the ultrasound was clear the technician didn't seem to care. I have been laying in bed for more than a week and I'm scared I will never get a diagnosis. Are yellow stools and oil in stool gallbladder related? I only vomited and had chills when my attack first occurred but I feel extremely full on my right side this entire time. I hope you get better.

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    • Posted

      I've read from following this forum, that a lot of people have clear ultrasounds and all negative tests but have still had issues with the galbladder.

      From what I gather, the yellow stools can be from the galbladder, liver, or pancreas. It is possible that it can be any of the three.

      I haven't gotten any of the nausea or chills. I just have the yellow stools and a constant right abdomen pain that sits just below my rib cage about 5 inches below my pec on my right side. It just feels like someone stuck a foot under there. I'm hoping my case its not the liver, as I used to drink very heavily. I have been dry over 570 days but hopefully didn't damage it in my early twenties.

      Hopefully they find out what is causing your issues :D

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    • Posted

      Your symptoms could all be gallbladder related, Hannah. The full feeling - thought my stomach would burst. Greasy yellow stool would indicate gallbladder issue too. It's a horrible illness.

      Here in uk we have long waiting lists of people needing HB surgery and patients are left in pain for months before they get surgery, so not so different from where you are.

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    • Posted

      I have the same symptoms and have had the same tests and results as you viashino. I went to the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology. They sent me home and told me to start Omeprezole again after local gastro told me to stop. I'm missing a lot of work because the symptoms are debilitating. Mayo told me to try otc product FDGard but it makes no difference. It's been over 8 months and I've lost 80 lbs. I believe it's my gallbladder. I'm told IBS with constipation

      Good luck and let us know how you come out.

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    • Posted

      Holy crap 80 pounds?! That is crazy and I hope they find out what the cause is for you. Fortunately for me I've been able to eat and while I did have very loose stools at first, I was prescribed WelChol that has basically put a stop to any of my diarrhea and loose stools. I've actually been putting weight back on, but things still don't seem 100% normal.  

      Out of curiosity what was your HIDA scan results? What is FDGard?

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