Is it Gallstones?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Over the last year I've had about 5 of the following attacks that last from about 5 minutes up to an hour:

Extreme mid-back pain (unable to get any relief, agonising, cant sit still)

Pain soon spreads to liver area and mid chest too

Muscle spasms start in my back and liver area.

The spasms turn into contractions where all my stomach muscles tense like contractions and I get extruciating pain like I could be pushing a gallstone out.

12 months back I was bordering on obese and have lost a lot of weight since from dieting and exercise. I was taking whey from my gym and think this might have caused mild dehydration when the attacks occured.

Last Thurday (5 days ago) I went out in the hot sun all day and came home quite dehydrated. I got an attack and althought the extreme pains went quick I've got some problems.

I couldnt hyrdrate no matter how much water I drank and my urine was very dark yellow and I've had constipation since. Yesterday I drank some electrolyte sports drinks and my dehydration drastically improved. Today I can get it to being almost clear and I've passed a stool. However my stool is very pale and I feel like there's pressure in my right stomach area (not painful)

Is it likely I have a blocked bile duct? How long do I give this to sort itself out before visiting GP if it hasnt resolved itself? Theres a lot of scary information on the internet about pale stools!

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    Doesn't match my experience, but doesn't sound like anyting I would wait on seeing a GP about either.  Many shareers have said that they experienced back pain, but you have a lot going on. 
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    • Posted

      If I go on the NHS website it says bad dehydration can cause constiptation with white stools. I've only had 1 stool in 5 days following my dehydration, I dont know if further ones will be like that.

      My urine is within the normal yellow range today following the electrolyte drinks. I dont feel dehydrated anymore (no thirst, no overheating, no dry mouth, etc). Before today I was loading up on tap water and it wasnt rehydrating me at all.

      I'm stuck between a bile duct blockage or if I've just been producing little bile because of the dehydration. I'm not turning yellow, I dont have fatique or feel ill anything. My stool wasnt white, it was pale brown.

      The billary colic symptoms of gallstones on the NHS I fit quite well for all previous spasm/cramp episodes. I'm tempted to give it tomorrow before deciding to go to the GP.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jon

    What you are describing is EXACTLY what happened to me.

    I started with pain exactly as you describe just for a few minutes to half hour about 2years ago!

    In April I had an attack that lasted 7hours with pain as you describe, had to call out doctor.  Then constipated then pale stools. Then vomiting up bile and severe headache as the bile gets into your system and wreaks havoc with your body!!!

    I was sure it was gall stones, GP said gastritis!

    Cut a long story short I had endoscopy a few weeks ago which showed inflammation in oesophagus!

    then ultrasound couple of weeks ago that shows 26mm gall stone...!

    Now waiting for surgery and on omeprazole which is helping and a no fat diet!!

    Go see GP tomorrow cos believe me these attacks will become more frequent

    and last longer!

    Take care


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  • Posted


    Your symptoms - especially the mid back pain and the spasms etc are very like what I had. I had the back pain for several years before the other symptoms showed up - I kept thinking I had done something to my back and went to GP then chiropractor and they kept saying it was tension in the muscles. Then I had the first of the other symptoms about 2 years ago - sudden bouts of nausea & vomiting, the constipation then runny tummy, then the pains which for me started in the chest (not knowing any better I thought it was a heart attack!) then under ribs - sometimes just a severe pain that lasted for 2 to 3 hours then sometimes it would be like you said stabbing pains & contractions. When I finally got the scans done sonogram and then MRI, they both showed a large gallstone. Had it taken out about 3 weeks ago. Best thing ever. Just because the symptoms are similar doesn't automatically mean it is the same, but you must go to doc ASAP. The symptoms seem to escalate in their severity - just before my operation I was in constant severe pain for about 6 weeks and lost a lot of weight (usually a good thing, but it was too much too fast!). Get to your doc and I hope they get you sorted out soon!

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    • Posted


         aren't you so glad that pain and all the symptoms are gone. it's been a month now for me without ( Gastro the Gallbladder ) and man -o- man what a blessing. 

      Glad to hear you are better too.


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    • Posted


      It is wonderful! Glad you are doing better too. I am amazed everyday that I am no longer in the state I was in! I think I didn't believe something so simple would "cure" me!!


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  • Posted

    call tomorrow and  your dr should be requesting a ultrasound to see what is going on and they will be able to tell if ducts are blocked , how many gallstones etc. from it.  I just had one done also.  good luck.  When I get these attacks, they last for hours. They end up giving me med to stop the  vomiting.  It is extremely painful.  This is not fun. My gallbladder is not working properly from my gastroparesis which I got somehow and gb removal is not recommended. I will end up on tube feeding as it will throw my gp into overload.  This all  just keeps leading to more problems all the time.  Daily I am having severe liver pain from my gallbladder not working properly and is so inflammed. Drs dont really take it seroius.   Find a good GI that will listen to you.  Be your own advocate.  Good luck. 
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    • Posted

      A strange conversation but here we go lol.

      My right stomach area had pressure in it yesterday (not painful, more light a little inflated). I tried sleeping on my stomach last night and after a few minutes felt something move then wussshhh! I felt the bile emptying into my intestine.

      Got up this morning and my urine is still back to normal and my poop is medium brown with patchy pale light brown places. My dehydration has gone although my skin is dry and very itchy.

      I think this was a gallstone attack brought on by dehydration. I realise if I'm havbing gallstones, and its likely I have been doing over the last year, I need to go have a chat with my GP.

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  • Posted

    Agree, Jon.......go to doc...........per Mayo, sounds like it c/be a bile issue, and that could be due to other things it would stones, maybe your weight loss, etc.

    Always the urge to wait, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, as they say.................good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi All

    I have a doctors appointment for Monday and if I need to see someone before then I've been told to go to the hospital.

    So I'm not turning yellow, I have no stomach pains, I'm still constipated and my stools are light brown. They arent white but they are pale. I itch all over too.

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    • Posted

      We'll done Jon .

      the reason we have all nagged you to go to the gp is because we all know how long the process is to get diagnosed then be scanned then to get an appt with a surgeon then to wait to be operated on. 

      While waiting if your gall bladder really plays up you are suffering absolute agony with the quality of your life severely affected.. So the quicker you get in the whole process the better .. 

      If it is gallstones which it does sound like removal is the solution . 

      Well done for biting the bullet and booking appt . 

      It's not that bad to go to the gp. smile 

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