Low HIDA scan result, but ulcer symptoms months before

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I'll try to make this as short as I can. I'm in my early 30s, 6ft, 160 pounds. I was taking a low dose of hydrocodone 5/325 daily for 6+ months for a bulging disc in my back. Month 4 had to eliminate certain foods because of vomiting/digestion pain.

1 year later, still having stomach problems. 2 months ago stomach got even worse, so saw a gastrointerologist. Ultra sound was normal. HIDA scan ejection fraction was less than 5% (diagnosed as biliary dyskinesia). 1 doctor said remove it, the other said to do more testing first.

With a low HIDA scan result, gallbladder is not functioning well, but I personally feel (no proof, just a feeling) things started going wrong over a year ago related to pain medicine symptoms and cutting foods out. A year ago coffee is the one that stood out as an causing fairly intense pain/cramping in the upper abdomen, never the right side, and I've cut it completely out since then. Pain in the upper right didn't start regularly until after the HIDA scan.

My question is, do you think I should get an ulcer test (like h pylori) done before the gallbladder removal? If I do have an ulcer, is there a chance the biliary dyskinesia could have been caused by the ulcer and that by healing the ulcer it could heal the gallbladder?

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  • Posted

    Forgot to add I stopped hydrocodone about 9 months ago. The pain doctor prescribed other pain killers that had same results of me vomiting bile so I decided the stomach pain was becoming worse than the back pain.
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  • Posted

    Hi John. My story is a lot like yours. I was on an anti inflammatory for 6 months for back pain and I started having constant nausea and pain in my upper abdomen. Dr thought it might be an ulcer so I had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy while I was,at it. No ulcer. Gastritis. The pain and nausea got worse and yes coffee was a no no. Had a hida scan and it was 4%. After dealing with this for 9 mo and after meeting with the surgeon I had my gallbladder out march 20. It has taken about 5 weeks but I'm feeling more and more back to almost normal. Yes I would say to have blood tests for h pylori and an endoscopy maybe. Hope all goes well with you. (I know, I can't take anything for the back pain anymore either. I tried to go back to maloxicam but it hurt my stomach.)

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply! I looked at your other posts too. For me, there wasn't any sludge or stones that showed up on the ultrasound. Do they think the anti inflammatory had anything to do with your sludge issue or your gastritis diagnosis?

      How did the HIDA scan affect you? I had mine almost 2 months ago, and before the scan I had bloating symptoms but wasn't really limited for food options (still no to coffee and soda but yes to meats and cheeses). During the HIDA scan I had no reaction, but about an hour later I had a horrible headache/fatigue for the next 48 hours, then felt great for a day, then was unable to eat anything that had fat in it. Even small amounts would cause pain in the upper right side of my stomach (gallbladder area) which was never there before the scan.

      The other thing that bothers me is I when I'd vomit, I would vomit bile. Luckily it mostly stopped when I stopped the pain medicine, but it has happened 1 more time since then.

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    • Posted

      Hey John. I think the anti inflammatory probably did cause the gastritis though not positive. I really thought I had an ulcer. I never had the typical right side rib pain and I wasn't convinced for a while that it was my gallbladder.

      The hida scan didn't bother my stomach at all. Like you I just had a headache and fatigue. I can't remember if it affected me any other way.

      I sure understand being hesitant as far as wanting to get the correct diagnosis. I'm glad I had mine out but I'm ready to be back to 100%. I guess I'm not very patient 😉

      I was always incredibly nauseated but never did vomit.

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  • Posted

    Hi John, unfortunately nothing will mend your gallbladder when it isn't working properly. I had several tests before my hida scan which all came back as normal and the hida scan at 14% which is abnormal, and yes its called biliary dyskinesia but they don't know what causes it. 

    I had an endoscopy initially to rule out ulcers and check for h.pylori and other issues. There are several conditions in that area that give the same symptoms so they should do some other checks first to make sure that its just your gallbladder. 

    With biliary dyskinesia the pain tends to get worse in stages, I found something that I had eaten had set it off and pushed it too the next level. coffee can be something that aggravates the gallbladder but I've found that I can still drink it but some foods with a little fat in it put me in alot of pain.

    Unfortunately there's nothing that will mend a gallbladder thats not working which is why they tend to remove it.

    There is another condition called sphincter of oddi dysfunction which is under the same title of biliary dyskinesia which causes pain and they remove the gallbladder first before they diagnose it as the pain continues after removal so I hope you haven't got this.

    I would have a gastroscopy so you can check for ulcers and have biopsies done to rule out anything else before you take your gallbladder out but it will need to come out at somepoint as it can get worse and you really don't want that to happen.

    Let me know how you get on. Take care.


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