Girlfriend diagnosed with a Gallstone.

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I'm merely after advice on this Gallstone situation. My girlfriend was suffering with stomach pain for a few days then of the Thursday night it got to a point where she couldn't take it anymore, and in the early hours of Friday she phoned 999.

They rushed her in and found they gallstone from a ultrasound scan, it's 2CM (is this big?)

Her doctor that looked after her said she has to have the Gallbladder removed as she has developed Cholecystytis, but until the inflammation and infection has reduced they can't operate, but it will be within 6 weeks.

My questions are,

What foods are best just avoided? I understand low fat and low finer are supposed to help.

What is a gall bladder attack? I've seen the term mentioned a few times.

After she's had it removed what dietary changes should she make?

We was all very stunned by the news it was gallstone her diet isn't at all high in fat, but she did until this trip to hospital knock back monsters 2-3 cans a day.

she does have 3 children, I know this can make it more common as so does the contraceptive pill.

Thank you for any advice any can shed on this for me as I'm a bit stuck, and was wondering if any with this already, would have any tips..

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I was rushed in back in November and had 2 stones stuck in my bile tube, until then I thought I had acid reflux and I was having an attack of that. I was in hospital 10 days, I had a chest X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, and a procedure called MRCP, which is an endoscopy with a tool attached to remove the stuck stones. My liver function was really abnormal too, this is another sign of gallstones, I was told I needed to have my gallbladder removed, but like your partner mine was too swollen as they wanted to do the procedure by keyhole. I have had to go private, luckily we have private healthcare with my husbands work,as they told me I could be waiting months on the NHS! After a couple of consultations I had my operation on Friday, still a long time when you feel poorly every single day!

    The consultant advised me low fat as possible, I lived on fish, low fat yoghurts, veg, fruit and anything else which was low fat. It's been really hard, but worth it without any pain, as it was horrendous!

    I wasn't on a high fat diet before but they think mine had been there years, but as I have acid reflux, they think the attacks of the acid I had were actually gallbladder attacks! Mine was that I had stones which had formed from the gallbladder and once they start to move this is when the pain occurs.

    The only advice I would give is keep very low fat and make a nuisance of yourself at the Drs and hospital then you may get it done quicker.

    My op went fine, off work for 2 weeks as can't lift, bend or drive, feel sore but all worth it to feel normal again.

    Good luck hope your partner gets sorted soon x

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  • Posted

    Hi there, first of all the gallbladder stores bile for when you eat fatty food. The gallbladder releases the bile to help break down and digest fat. If you have gallstones, when the gallbladder contracts it can spit the stone. When the stone hits the neck of the gallbladder, it causes irritation or even a blockage. That's a gallbladder attack. Sometimes a stone can get blocked in the bile duct. Once you have stones it's likely more will be made. That's why they recommend removal.

    A low fat diet is essential. I was told less than 3% fat in everything I eat. It's incredibly restrictive. Eggs for example are around 9% fat. When you have a faulty gallbladder NO fat is good fat. Nuts, wholegrain, oily fish is off the menu. So no matter how good you think a diet is, if it's over 3% fat it's no good for gallbladder disease.

    As for having an operation within 6 weeks I'm afraid that may not be true. I was told two months but I'm still waiting, four months later and was told last week it could be May or June. Under the NHS England, gallbladder surgery is classed as elective surgery. This means you have a right to treatment time of 18 weeks. I was told by my hospital they are running 2-3 months behind answer if you talk to people in here, the wait is fairly typically a long wait.

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  • Posted

    Hi ant.D91....

    Im male , 50, non drinker, low cholestorol otherwise pretty healthy guy, diagnosed with multiple small Gallstones last year afer a few months of increasing uncomfortable 'aches' on my right side just under the bottom of my rib cage. I never had a high level attack but anecdotely I hear they are incredibly painful and are more often than not A & E jobs. 

    2cm, I think, is big! dont quote me on that. 

    She definately needs to have it removed, her GB is now beyond repair and will just grow new stones (even if they could somehow just remove this stone) , so out it must comes and the sooner the better..

    Foods to avoid..can I answer this differently? If she can survive on banana/wheetabix or plain cereal for fibre, then white meat and grilled veges (like bell peppers/courgettes NOT brocolli or asparagus as theyre gassy, she will get all the nutrients she needs in a healthy diet that should really not cause any trouble. Of course fatty foods and deserts (anything you KNOW is bad for you) just leave it out. 

    What is an attack? It can vary from person to person in level and where it eminates from and to. For me it was right side under rib cage, like a gnawing stitch. I also found I suffered from trapped gas alot which kinda maskeed the whole area with discomfort but we are all very different. Ive also got a hiatus hernia (quite a lot of people do on this forum) which exacerbates the pains, a hiatus hernia is also called 'the great magician' as it can emulate different pains and dsicomforts throughout the upper torso, even emulating heart attack pains. Did your GF have an endoscopy, would be worhtwhile seeing what down there also. 

    As to post GB removal diet, I have no issues eating anything afterwards, it was like a new stomach....unfortunately I lost my job and the stress of running out of money has triggered off a couple of doses of Gastritis/Trapped wind but I dont think its related....cross fingers she will come out 100% afterwards, certainly no more A&E escapades but she may need to keep the odd OTC med handy if her new stomach decides to go play a little, which it might...

    Good luck! Its not all bad! 

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  • Posted

    I hope she's feeling better very soon. I had mine removed several years ago, the surgeon told me that caffeine is a huge reason for gallstones, I drank a lot of tea. After my surgery (about 2 weeks) I had to change my diet because I had severe pain near my sternum and was diagnosed with IBS, eating thick red meats or grilled hamburger and most definitely pain meds were the main culprits (just a heads up) and also a lot of dairy products caused discomfort. I hope I was able to at least offer some kettle bit of help. This is something to watch for afterward, although not everyone has these issues but I have ran into some who have had the same problem. Best wishes
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  • Posted

    Hi ant I had my gallbladder removed in December 2014 also due to 1 large stone. Like most people I was told I would be able to eat whatever I wanted after the surgery and everything would return to normal. This was not the case at all. Unfortunately the reality is that most people who have their gallbladder removed will have some side effects some worse than others. I have spoken to so many people since I had the operation and all except 1 have some side effect. Side effects can range from constipation with a high number of people being diagnosed with diverticulitis to gastritis to acid reflux to indigestion and diarrhea. Some people can't tolerate spicey foods and dairy foods or red wine! Also a high percentage of people continue to have pain were the gallbladder was. Also ibs is a common diagnosis after surgery too. Doctors are too quick to remove this organ. They may be able to laser the stone as it's just the one stone. I would ask for this first before having any surgery. I wasn't offered the laser treatment and didn't know about it as surgery is a quick fix unfortunately. You are correct about birth control being a contributory factor in gallbladder problems and that is why there is an epidemic of gallbladder problems now. I was on a hormone drug which I believe caused my gallstone. For now she needs to stick to low fat no eggs no green veg no alcohol and no dairy or nuts. If she's on birth control tell her to stop it. Also apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon 3 times a day in a cup of hot water can help with the pain and can help dissolve stones in some people and milk thistle too. The liver becomes congested with excess hormones and the bile becomes thicker causing gallbladder problems. Milk thistle can help to detox the liver. When the gallbladder is removed the liver remains congested hence the reason people get the side effects post op. I hope your girlfriend feels better soon. X
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  • Posted

    Hi ant.D91 I don't know much about the size category but I had my gallbladder removed a year ago so first an attack is when she has uncontrollable pain or unbareable that night she couldn't take it anymore is an attack, and as for how she got it it could be numerous amount of ways caffeine is one and fried foods, grease, coffee etc... now for last but not least I'm almost a hundred percent to sure of foods that won't give her an attack you hafta find out what she ate before her stomach started to hurt and there is your attack food but also stay away from a lot if sugar, fatty foods and junk like that cause it could cause an attack as well I hope that info was helpful.... but I'm gonna give her some advice for after the surgery try to walk as much as possible or as soon as you can right after your surgery because depending on what kind of surgery your are gonna be filled up with gas for the surgery and it is not comfortable they don't have nothing to give you to make it better and stay away from any fatty foods and sweets your gonna have good days, bad days,and some horrible days so just be prepared to have some major changes in your life because one minute your constipated the next you can hardly make it to the restroom but as long as you eat healthy everything should go fine don't jump right into solid foods when you get home or at the hospital I mean they will won't you to but it doesn't feel good believe me I'm not trying to frighten you I just want you to know what my experience was and is because I still suffer from my removal sometimes I don't have an appetite and sometimes I'm constipated and sometimes I stay home because my stomach doesn't agree with the outside that day so there are some long term affects I think but everyone's body is different but if I give you some of what happened to me then you could have some results from my experience so after my surgery I had to go back to the emergency room because my stomach kept hurting after my removal like a month after so I went to the emergency room and they found a hernia so a month and a half later I'm back in surgery for a hernia repair and the doctor that did my hernia repair told that the doctor that did my removal was the one that caused my hernia they left some of my intestance in the wound and it healed up in the wound and started to die on one end so the had to do surgery so just be blessed and you are gonna be fine I will pray for you and your family and I pray my long note lol was some valuable information for you and your loved ones God bless you
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