I don't know why I have gallstones but what should I do?

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Hi all I am just looking for some advice really, I am a slim 23 year old male who regularly plays sports etc.. Around 4 years ago I first had that sharp stabbing pain in my upper right abdomen going through to my back, went in an ambulance to hospital and was diagnosed with constipation. This happened 4/5 times before I was finally diagnosed with gallstones 2 years ago. I had another attack not long after being diagnosed and it gave me pancreatitis because it was blocked in the tube ( or something along those lines), I sort of blame this on the lack of support from the hospital on what I should be eating and avoiding, I mean they was serving me fish and chips, pie etc in hospital and I didn't know any different. I then had the camera down my throat to try and remove the gallstones that way but something went wrong and they couldn't remove them (there is 2 medium to large gallstones).

since then I have been watching my diet like a hawk and I am very happy with what I can and can't eat. I eat chocolate regularly, pastries, low fat cheese, muffins etc and none of these have given me an attack I eat them in moderation and never more than 8 grams of fat in one go. Thinking about it only fried food and cheese have given me attacks.. Now the only attack I have had in two years was my fault because I brought the wrong fish pie ( I am fine with the low fat youngs ones but I got the regular one with 4x the fat rolleyes

anyway I am scared to death of hospitals, my mom died aged only 40 a few years ago due to hospital negligence so I'd do anything to avoid having an operation on the nhs, it also doesn't help that I have severe anxiety..  The hospital want me to get it removed but I honestly feel like I can cope and would like to explore all possibilities first.

is it possible I could live happily ever after without getting my gallstones removed and just maintaining a low fat healthy diet? What would you do in my situation? 

I have seen lots of people on these forums that are having difficulties after having their gallbladder removed so even if I go through with it there is no guarantee?

Any my advice would really be appreciated as I have no idea what to do, as I know any decision will last a lifetime.

Thanks, Rich

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  • Posted

    I like you am scared to have the op and am trying to control it with my diet. The consultant told me you wouldn't get the problems mentioned on here unless you already have a problem. Try reading up on bile salt malabsorption and you will see that whilst some people did have IBS etc before many did not until the gall bladder was removed.

    I have had numerous operations down the years and so that is not the problem it's how it could affect my life after. It seems to be down to how your body will respond to not having a gallbladder so it's really if you are one of the lucky ones and everything is ok.

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    • Posted

      Thats my fear aswell, It's not ust the fact of the operation but its more to do with removing a part of me which is obviously there for a reason and not knowing myself how my body will be able to cope without after. If that makes sense haha. I have only ever dealt with the hospital and they have gave me no other options other than getting my gallbladder removed so natuarally I want to do my own research and make my own decision rather than them decide for me!
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  • Posted

    Hi RichM have you tried any alternative medicines or a naturopath. I had mine removed 5 months ago due to 1 stone and it's been a nightmare since. I wish I had of persevered and tried the alternative route. Unfortunately I took my surgeons advise and am paying for it now. That been said if your gallbladder is that inflamed which it sounds like it is surgery may end up bring your only option. I would try everything else first. Unfortunately there is no guarantee how this will affect you post op and to be fair no doctor can predict your outcome. So many have side effects short term which do go away but so many end up with ibs and other digestive issues long term after this operation. I wish you well in whatever you decide. Take care x
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    • Posted

      Hi, No I have never tried anything really but I am looking into things at the moment. I have been drinking pressed apple juice all week so far as a few people have reccomended that. I wouldn't say its inflamed really, I have only had one/two attack in the last two years and I eat quite alot compared to what alot of people say they do on here. I guess my only main worry is would my gallstone get worse and worse and cause more complications even if I was to stick to a perfect low fat diet (Which I don't mind). I just don't want to put myself in danger by avoiding an op. Thanks and you too smile
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    • Posted

      RichM try Apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon 3 times a day in a cup of hot water. Supposed to help dissolve the stone. Also have heard ichol plus is supposed to be great for dissolving the stones and is completely natural. I wish I had of tried that before my operation. Good luck. X
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  • Posted

    The people with bile salt malabsorption experience have really bad D which a lot hadn't had before. Some of those with ongoing problems before may experience it but others who didn't have any bowel problems can get this condition after having the gallbladder removed. I don't want my life to be ruled by a toilet and so am keeping my gallbladder for now.

    I tried to edt the previous post to this but you can't edit them.

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    • Posted

      Anita I just want to say I admire your bravery and courage. I wish I had of listened to my gut instinct instead of my consultant whom I've known and trusted for 23 years. To be fair to him he didn't expect this to happen to me either. I had my large bowel removed 22 years ago due to ulcerative colitis and When my gallstone was diagnosed was told it's very common in people with colitis and crohns. I was also told that side effects in my case should be very rare as it's usually people who have the large bowel that get diarrhea and bile salts. Well I had the diarrhea pouring out of me after the operation. I have been taking psyllium husk and calcium to control it and am afraid to stop taking it. The top gi doc here in Ireland told me I shouldn't have gotten diarrhea and was amazed I did! I hope you find something that gets rid of that stone for you. Would you try chinese medicine. I am going to acupuncture now to help with the nausea and the therapist said she could have treated my stone with herbs! Keep me posted on how your getting on. I wish you the very best. Xx
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    • Posted

      Yeah i've heard alot of people end up being ruled by the bathroom once their gallbladders are out so therefore have to avoid fatty food anyway, So if thats the case It feels like I might aswell just stick to a low fat diet and look for other ways to break down the gallstones. Whatever I decide to do I'm going to give it a lot of research first. Thanks for your reply smile
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    • Posted

      hi Anita

      don't know if i have spoken to you before but have you had your gall bladder removed or are you tring others ways to cope with the pain of gall stones.sorry if i have already spoke to you.

      Pat

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Pat,

      I still have my gall bladder. I have been told that when I want to have it removed to let them know as I hadn't made up my mind.  I am still finding out what food triggers it but am having more good days than when I first started with it. I get nausea, headches and tummy ache but not the terrible pain others have with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi anita am so glad to hear your are doing ok. I Am still unwell and it's been 6.5 months since my operation. I have been going to an acupuncturist to see if that helps and she is very good. She explained to me that the main cause of gallbladder problems are in fact due to the liver and mostly high estrogen levels. The liver is responsible for balancing hormones and when we have too much estrogen in our bodies the liver can't get rid of it and the bile becomes thicker and sluggish and eventually gallstones form and/or gallbladder disease. Also high estrogen can cause irregular periods, ovarian cysts and fibroids as well as other hormone problems. When I had my scan last October they told me about the gallstone but neglected to tell me I had a large cyst and fibroid! So removing the gallbladder gets rid of the symptom but not the cause. It's funny because I know so many people who've had hysterectomies after their gallbladder was removed and now realise why. Unfortunately it's all connected. The acupunturist explained that the liver and digestive system is interlinked and if the liver is not working as it should we can develop digestive issues. She recommends milk thistle drops to take which detoxes the liver and helps it function better. It also rids the liver of excess toxins including estrogen and is great for heartburn and indigestion. It also Helps to dissolve stones. I started taking it last week to see if would help me and I actually feel better not 100% yet but it is helping. I would highly recommend it for you and anyone else who has gallbladder issues. It can take a while to work but it's definitely worth trying. You can get milk thistle in drops or tablet forms and it's completely natural too. Good luck. X
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Sorry to hear you are still suffering after this long. Thank you for the milk thistle tip I will try it. Now I am finding out what triggers the nausea I do not have it as much which is great. I am still finding out what foods give me the stomach ache but like anyhting it takes time as I have to elimate them one at a time.  When you are told that if you have the op you may still have the symptoms then you wonder if it's worth having it, especially when I was told it's not at this moment necessary for me to have. If things got really worse then I would re-think but at the moment I am happy to try and control it myself.

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    • Posted

      At least your doctor was honest with you. My surgeon who has done all my surgeries over the last 23 years told me it was best to have it out as The 1 large stone I had could get stuck. He did tell me that my gallbladder walls looked ok on the ultrasound. I feel he should have told me to hold off and should have offered me the medication or the laser therapy which I didn't know anything about. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do now but am so angry with myself for just going along with it. My gp is very good and keeps telling me I will get better as she has seen this vomiting and nausea before. She had a patient who had vomiting and diarrhea and nausea for 8 months afterwards and then at 8 months it started to get better and took another 4 months. I stopped taking the anti sickness tablets a few weeks ago as thought I was getting better and within 4 days started vomiting again! Please do all you can to keep your gallbladder as I wish I had of tried too. The milk thistle will definitely help. I actually feel a lot better since I started it. Good luck and keep in touch. Xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Acejohnston

      i have just brought myself some milk thistle and apple cider vingear

      the milk thistlle is in tablet form 1 a day.so hear goes,i'm going to try and get rid of my stones,thought i had 18 weeks to decide if I wanted my gall bladder remove got letter yesterday and the op booked for early august,was hoping to have my injections for my back first as both doctors think its my back causing my pain and not the gb but they will take it out if i want to.still trying to decide but thought i would give this a go first,as it seems to have worked for some people on here.I 'm not going to let them remove my gb if I can help it.hope it works for you too please let me know how you get on

      all the best

      Pat

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    • Posted

      Hi Anita

      thanks for getting back to me,I have a date for my gall bladder op but really thought I had more time to decide.i just brought apple cidar viniger and milk thistle so going to give them ago. i realy want to have my injections in my back first to see if that helps,i 'm worried if i reject this date I will have to start all over again,I can cope with the pain at the moment but when I first had it in feb I would have had the op asap but not sure now having read some of the things people get after they have it removed.  the doctor told me that I could still be in pain after the op and may have other problems as well.so going to do every thing possiable to avoid the op.do you have many gall stones I 'm frighten that one will move and then I shall be in more pain than i'm now but I surpose thats just done to luck. please keep in touch.i think gb problems are very simual.take care

      Pat

      please keep in touch with how you are doing

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    • Posted

      Hi Pat.

      I had an scan and they found 1 large stone. It was another 5 months before I even found out that I had one as no one had told me that they had found one. All that time I was eating as usual which was just aggravating it. Once I knew that I had one I switched to a low fat diet and have been a lot better than I was. I still have bad days ( had one today). I can be fine then nausea and dizziness will come on then I feel tired. Feeling ok again now, I just do what my body tells me to do.

      I also have a disc problem so they think that the pain I get in the lower back and sides is to do with that and not my gall bladder.

      I would rather carry on like this for now than be in the 10% and things get worse after the op.

      The decision was left to me and was told when I feel that I am ready to have it to let my Dr know so I will can get referred again to have it done. Good luck with whatever you decide and do what is right for you as only you knows how you feel and are coping with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia delighted to hear you got the milk thistle and apple cider vinegar. Hopefully they will help you. Have you a lot of stones and are they small? I just had 1 large one. I'm taking the milk thistle now the last 12 days and actually finding it is really helping me. My head is the clearest it's been in a long time and the heartburn seems to be easing off a good bit. I'm hoping it gets rid of my cyst on my ovary too. Meant to say to you if your on any ppis for your tummy stop taking them as they actually aggravate and can cause gallstones. Please keep me posted on how your doing as I really hope this works for you and you don't have to have the surgery. Take care xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Anita

      your story is very much like mine,both dr thing my pain is coming from my back and not the gall bladder,had MRI and although I have problems with my lower back,high up where the pain is now is just gerenal wear and tear.

      thouht I had 18 weeks to decide only to get a letter saturday to say I can have it removed in August.i'm waiting to have facet joint injection in my spine,was hoping to get them before the op as this might cure the pain.At the moment i think I will put of the surgery until I have had them.Like you I can cope with the pain at the moment although if you had asked that question in feb i would have had the op then.I don't want to have the op and be left with the same pain and more problems.I have started taking milk thistle and apple cider vinegar in the hope this will help.hope this go well with you

      keep in touch

      Pat

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    • Posted

      Hi Ace

      they just said I have lots of gall stones about 3mm.sorry don't know what you mean whats ppis.at the moment I have decided to leave the op,try the mt and apple cidar and see how things go.want to get my injections in my back first and see if that helps.I'm just a bit worried about my gall stones moving and then being in a lot of pain like I was in feb.I am worryed about all the problems that you can get by having your gall bladder removed so think I will try and keep it for now.hope things keep getting better for you wll keep in touch

      take care

      Pat

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia I thInk you are making the right decision. Stick with the milk thistle and apple cider vinegar. It may take a few months but keep taking it. Ppis are proton pump inhibitors are medication for reducing acid in your tummy like nexium and zoton. Let me know how your doing. Also if you can eat apples and drink apple juice as that will help get rid of the stones too. Good luck. Will be thinking of you. Xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Acejohnston

      thanks I think I'm making the right decision at the moment just hope I don't get a flare up like i had when this whole thing happened in feb.started on the mt and apple cidar.the mt is in tablet form which is ok,the apple cider 3 tablespoons in hot water 3x aday,it tastes terriorable made me want to be sick,can I  add something to it.I am taking 1  Omeprazole 20mg a day not sure if there helping.i had my sunday roast with pudding and only had mild discomfort that why i think my gb is not to bad as I can eat what i want.will keep in touch hope alls getting better for you

      take care

      Pat x

       

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    • Posted

      3 times a day in hot water. Make sure it's a good lot of water to the 1 tablespoon like a mug size of hot water. If you can tolerate it they do come in tablet form too. How long have you been on the omeprezole? I have read that these drugs can cause gallbladder dysfunction and gallstones. What's interesting is that I had a scan in July 2013 and no gallstones was put on zoton in August 2014 and a few months later was diagnosed with gallstone. Be careful with those drugs. A recent study has also showed a link between them and heart attacks. If you can stop taking them it should also help. X
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    • Posted

      hi Acejohnston

      thanks reread you reply and Inow know its only 1 tablespoon,it might be easier to take now.not been on omeprezole very long my gp said take 2 a day but they made me feel realy ill going to see a gp tomorror so will ask her.I really hoping that these two things will help me,know you have gall stones some how makes it hard to decide what to do,I'm frighten one will move and get stuck and with that will come that terrorable pain.might try and get the cidar apple in tablet form if I can't drink it.thanks again for your advice.will keep in touch

      Pat x

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    • Posted

      Sorry don't know why that keeps happening. If you can do without the
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    • Posted

      oh my god it happened again. If you can do without the omeprezole I would stop it. As you have lots of small stones they should be easier to dissolve and then pass. The apple cider vinegar and the milk thistle will definitely help you. Also be careful of eggs in particular as that's what caused my trigger and my surgeon said they are lethal with gallstones. Hope things improve for you soon. Take care xxx
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    • Posted

      thanks.are you ok,whats happened again. going to get the apple cider in tablet form just the smell of it makes me want to be sick,have started the  mt now so here's hoping it works,I realy don't want to have my gb removed only to find out it was my back causing me the pain

      will keep in touch

      Pat x

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    • Posted

      It keeps posting my posts while I'm in the middle of typing them! Your right to try everything first Patricia. I wish I had of. I went by my surgeons advise whom I've known for 23 years. I can't blame him as he thought he was doing the right thing and am sure he would never have done it if he had of known this was going to happen. I feel I was high risk due to my previous history and he should have tried alternatives first. There is medication they can give you and also some other laser therapy but they don't ever offer these to people. The funny thing is that they are only removing gallbladders about 40-50 years before this they used to open up the gallbladder and remove the stones and leave the gallbladder. Anyway let me know how things are going for you. Take care xx
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    • Posted

      hi

      have got the apple cider in tablet form so here goes,I have managed to postpone my gb op until November so hopefully I will be able to get the injections in my back done.I wonder why the don't offer you the medication or laser its proberly to dear,hope you will be feeling better soon,thanks for all your advice will let you know how I get on

      take care

      Pat x

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    • Posted

      That's great news Patricia. That gives you plenty of time to get rid of the stones yourself. Let me know you get in and if you feel any better. It won't happen overnight but will work in the long term. Once you start detoxing your liver the flow of bile will be better and the bile itself will be better which will help dissolve the stones. X
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    • Posted

      hi

      thanks for all your help

      also found pressed apple juice in Marks & spensers so going to drink that too,it want be for the want of trying to get my gall stones to go away how are you getting on now,hope you find some relief soon

      .will keep in touch

      Pat x

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia

      That's great and eat an apple a day too. I find the milk thistle very good for the indigestion and heartburn which I didn't have prior to the op either! There's definitely a hormone link in my case as I've just had my period for the last week and had the nausea and wanting to vomit really bad and now it's finished its gone! I have a cyst in my ovary so am wondering if that's part of the problem although have heard of other people who've had hormone issues after gallbladder removal. I think my acupuncturist is right that it's a hormone imbalance that caused all this in the first place as was on a hormone for a couple of years prescribed by my endocrinologist and one of the side effects is high estrogen! There is definitely a link too with birth control pills and hrt and gallbladder problems too. My acupuncturist has given me some other herbs too in conjunction with the milk thistle to balance the hormones. It's 7 months next week since my operation and it's been hell. I'm just praying my gp is right that it will all settle down in time. The longer this goes on the more frightened I'm becoming. But the milk thistle has really helped so am hoping another 6-8 weeks and things will have settled down. I wish you the best in getting rid of the stones. Let me know how your getting on. Will be thinking of you. Xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia,

      I have been doing a lot of reading up on milk thistle and the apple cider and they all say ask your Dr before starting them. I have read 2 reports that were done this year and whilst they both said that they could help the gall bladder and liver they could also help the stone or stones to move and block the duct or even rupture the gall bladder. Milk thistle can also cause the gall bladder to contract.

      To fully eliminate the stones you have to do a flush to get rid if them once they have been softened with the apple cider and milk thistle.

      I would take the milk thistle if I had by gall bladder out at any time as it does seem to be good for that.

      Take care,

      Anita.

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    • Posted

      Hi Anita

      Thanks for sharing this. My understanding is that the flushes are usually the main cause of the stones getting stuck. I know a lot of people who've used the milk thistle and apple cider vinegar and it dissolved their Stones. Have heard of people who've had stones get stuck after a flush but not with Apple cider vinegar or the milk thistle. The milk thistle detoxes the liver. Gallstones are usually formed due to the liver becoming overloaded with toxins ie estrogen, cholesterol and the bile becomes thicker causing the stones to form. The milk thistle helps the liver and gallbladder work more efficiently and the bile flow more freely. The apple cider vinegar helps soften and dissolve the stones. Also when you have a lot of stones in your gallbladder it can't work properly and contract as it should to release bile when we eat food. Unfortunately most gallstones won't go away by themselves although some are passed without anyone realising they have passed. So you need to try and get rid of them if they are causing you problems. Some people have stones that cause them no issues at all. Doctors can prescribe medication to dissolve the stones but it can take a long time and stones may form again. They can also do laser treatment but they don't offer either of these as they say stones may form again. The key to this is the liver which needs to be detoxed and help to work more efficiently. X

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    • Posted

      I don't think you can put links on this site but I googled milk thistle last night and all forms of herbal remedies that can cause the stones to dissolve or get soft advice you to consult a Dr first. Also people with diabetes  shouldn't take them.

      There were 2 case studies in the States this year and they say that milk thistle is good for gall bladder pain and does help keep the oestrogen levels down.

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the link as it was to a site unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

      http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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    • Posted

      hi Anita

      thanks for the advice,I don't want to have my gall bladder removed if it is in fact my back causing the trouble,have postponed my op until Nov so that I can hopefully get my injections for my back,will try anything that might help get rid of the stones.keep in touch

      Pat

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that information Anita. Unfortunately stones can move and get stuck whether you use remedies or not. There's a risk With everything. Some people have stones and have no problems and don't have surgery and some have stones who cause problems. I suppose the difficulty for you is that you have 1 big stone (as far as I can recall) so the issue is if you do nothing what will happen or if you try some remedies what will happen. It's catch 22 really isn't it? It's really a personal decision but if it's big like mine was and couldn't get out of the gallbladder you would in my opinion be better trying to get rid of it naturally yourself in case it ends up causing inflammation in the gallbladder. I wish you the best with whatever you decide to do. Take care xx
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