Normal testing and still have bad gallbladder/pain?

Posted , 60 users are following.

Is it possible to have all normal testing and still have a bad gallbladder? 

Since the 1st week of sept I have been suffering from RUQ pain, nausea after meals, sometimes nausea out of the blue, pain in my right shoulder blade, fatigue, lack to no energy level, 12 lbs weight loss, pain in my right shoulder neck area, mix between constipation and diarrhea but mostly constipation and heartburn! The pain is constant and never goes away. 

All of my testing keeps coming back normal. Ultrasound of the gallbladder, Hida scan (my result was 48%), Ct Scan, celiac biopsy, h.pylori, other blood work( amylase/lipase normal), endoscopy, MRI, ct of the head, pelvic ultrasound! We have also had a 2nd opinion with a GI Dr and established with a new GP and spoke to a surgeon (we have another appt 11/12)! 

All testing keeps coming back NORMAL!!! (Which is good) 

Can all these test still come back normal and you still have a bad gallbladder? 

Has this ever happen to anyone? 

Certainly I'm not the only one this is happened too! Any help is welcomed! 

From the USA

Thanks for reading

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  • Posted

    Hello.. I'm in the same boat!! I've had RUQ pain for about 6 years now. I've been to 4 doctors, had 4 US, 1 CT scan, all the bloodwork and everything always comes back fine. I've had regular women's wellness exams, too, to rule out the possibility of female reproductive disorders. Results came back fine, of course. It's great to have good results but can be very frustrating when you don't know what's wrong, what to do next, or even how to begin relieving the symptoms.

    My symptoms include RUQ pain that comes and goes, that is mild and achy, and tends to happen more at night. I've had nausea a couple of times but very rarely does my pain happen in conjunction with nausea or indigestion or irregularities of the bowels. Still, I'm a young and healthy female (32) with pain and an unknown cause.

    I am scheduled to have an upper endoscopy and I may request a HIDA.

    After much research, my thoughts are that I may have small or microscopic stones or sludge in my gallbladder. Given the symptoms that I have and the numerous amount of times that I have read that this is common, I do not doubt that stones can be so small that they are undetectable.

    One other option that my doctor suggested is costochondritis which is an inflammation of the cartilage that attaches to the to cage due to previous injury. I've researched that and I don't think that's my answer.

    I hope this helps! Good luck to everyone in finding their answers.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ash!

      Please get back to us once you have had your Hidascan (if you decide to have one) and ofc. keep us updated on how you are doing!

      My situation is very similar to yours. Symptoms for 7 years now, 3x ultrasounds, 2x endoscopies, 1x colonoscopy and 1x CT with and without contrast.. All negative. I am waiting to have my Hidascan done.

      Hope you will get better soon!

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    • Posted

      I went through a month of normal tests. I had a normal ultrasound, blood work, and HIDA scan. Thank God for my amazing nurse practitioner who had her gallbladder removed and still was convinced it was my gallbladder. I was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but that generally doesn't cause pain and it was an accidental find. One day I went to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack and the ER doctor said he also thought it was my gallbladder dispite negative tests. I ended up going home and making an appointment with the surgeon. I first met with my nurse practitioner before I went to the surgeon and she spoke with the surgeon and wrote the surgeon a letter as well. I saw the surgeon and he was willing to take my gallbladder out as long as I got an upper endoscopy done to rule out H. Pylori, stomach ulcers, ect. It all came back normal and my GI doctor was also convinced it was my gallbladder. My GI doctor said all my symptoms screamed gallbladder. My surgeon wanted to make sure I knew the risks of surgery and this may not fix my problem. I went in for surgery on 06/30/17 and my gallbladder had adhesions all over it and was inflammed completely. My pain is completely gone. You just need to follow your gut and have a good medical team behind you. Keep the faith and know it will get better and be persistent.



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    • Posted

      Hi Ash, curious to know how you went with your endoscopy? 

      I have had problems for many years now, but only recently have take action to sort this issue out. I believe I have problems with my gallbladder, but all tests have come back fine. I’m scheduled to get an endoscopy soon, and just hope they find something ????

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    • Posted

      Hi olvia. I am suffering like you too.  It has been two months and it just keeps getting worse.  CT scan normal.  small cyst on my liver but they say that it is fatty.  I've lost 25 lbs in two months.  Pain in upper right abdomen.  And flank.  Stools yellow.  Lipase at hospital fine.  Glucose fine.  Liver blood tests fine.  Hormones fine. Women parts fine except a small tubular filled fluid next to ovaries they tell me not to worry.  Hidascan fine.  Endoscopy fine colonoscopy fine.  However blood in urine as of Sunday and waiting for autoimmune blood work to come back with a small bowel follow through too.  This sucks.  I wish I had better answers seeing a heptologist about my liver cyst in a month.   This is reckung my life.   I hope yours goes better for you. 

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    • Posted

      			Hi Red i myself  had every test done under the sun that could be done all my tests come back good even the hida scan but i still have abdominal pain on my rightside in the gallbladder area along with back pain indigestion  .my stool also like yours has become yellow since these problems started due to lack of bile comming out of my gallbladder ' i believe.  the yellow stool and constipation was some of my first symptoms. ive been going threw this for over three years now and finaly decided to get my gallbladder removed. i have it  scheduled for feb 4 2019. im tired of the symptoms and hope this works.   How  are u doing now Red are u feeling any better.      
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  • Posted

    I am going through same thing here! I have had horrible RUQ pain!

    First and second dr thought it was my appendix.

    Hospital told me 3 years ago they though I had a gallstone that passed!

    Last dr sent me for a C scan with contrast.

    Present Dr really listened and said he really feels like my gallbladder is the issue!

    He said it's great news that my blood work was fine but he is sending me for ultra sound in next couple weeks and from there if they don't find anything they are gonna do hida scan!

    I have been eating an extremely low fat diet and it really reduces the pain!

    I am doing a lot of holistic stuff in mean time... drinking dandelion root tea (actually tastes good) I am also taking milk thistle and bike salt!

    Tomorrow is thanksgiving sonInmay cheat on my diet a bit and hopefully not in a ton of pain!

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  • Posted


    I am an 18yr old female and I had to drop out of my first semester at university because my gallbladder made me so sick.

    I experienced all of this as well! RUQ pain that was twice so extreme that I had to go to the ER. I lost 20 pounds (I currently weigh about 100 now). Nausea, no vomiting. Only to be sent home because all tests seemed to be normal. I had a huge blood work up done anywhere from 5-10 times. Only thing abnormal was something in my liver called bilirubin and I was told I had Gilbert's Syndrome, I've been told it causes bilirubin to increase when something is wrong in your body.

    This is the only thing that kept the dr's going.

    First go around at my first dr;

    I had CT with contrast- normal

    Ultrasound- only showed sludge (they said that they can't do anything about sludge)

    HIDA- normal (52%)

    I went for a second opinion. I knew something was wrong and I was not going to let someone give up on me. This doctor ordered blood test and ultrasound.

    Blood tests came back with my bilirubin lower than before.

    My ultrasound came back NORMAL. No sludge!

    I was devastated because I thought There was now not even a little bit of evidence that it's my gallbladder causing all of this.

    This dr didn't give up. He sent me for another HIDA scan. (Mind you, it's only been two months since my first HIDA)

    Today, I got a call from my Dr. I was told this HIDA scan came back very abnormal, gave me the number to a surgeon and told me I need to call them asap.

    Guys, please do not give up. Almost all of my tests were normal up until a week ago. Push for repeat tests if it's been awhile. I don't know why the first HIDA was normal and now this one, two months later, is very abnormal.

    Keep pushing.

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    • Posted

      I am a 25 year old female.

      A lot of what you described has been happening to me!

      A few differences... but enough similarities!

      In late November, i woke up one day not feeling well. Hoping id get better I didn't, and ended up going to the  ER a few days later, I had no appetite, horrible feeling of nausea (I never have thrown up during this) and stomach pains mid and to the right side which increases after food. I have also noticed the heavier I eat the worse it gets. When they touched my right side below my rib cage I would cry instantly. I still feel sick to my stomach everyday since, I've lost 20lbs since December and eating is not something that was once enjoyable. 


      CT -normal

      2 Ultrasounds- one thought maybe nonalcoholic fatty liver (another person said I didn't fit the profile that seemed off and removed it considering I have significant Pain not just some small discomfort in my right side and 2 days after the first ultrasound it showed no presence of a fatty liver)

      Gastric emptying Scan- Normal

      Had to practically demand an endoscopy....

      ENDOSCOPY -slight inflammation in the biopsy of the duodenum no H. pylori or Ulcers or any other significant findings 

      They wanted to just give me SSRIs and say I have hypersensitivity and again I pushed for more.

      So far now...

      HIDA scan- said normal (never gave me a %)

      Manometry and pH level- my motility testing said my esophagus muscles have low peristalsis (decreased function) not as tight as it should be (hypotensive) and I have reflex...  thought maybe an autoimmune disease but blood work didn't show It was positive.

      -tested blood work three times

      A week ago said I have high bilirubin levels which could be due to Gilberts syndrome.... which my bilirubin levels were normal before all of this and there is documentation of that.  also Gilberts doesn't explain my constant nausea, difficulty due to pain when eating, and my pain in my upper right hand side (right next to rib cage)

      Next steps the doctor said is...


      round of antibiotics

      possible colonoscopy

      then SSRIs....

      I honestly feel like its my gallbladder, so many similarities why would I have pain in my right abdominal, nausea, stomach pain after eating which worsens with certain foods. 

      I've only been going through this for a few months, its a constant battle with doctors hoping someone believes you. I was going to apply to get into an MBA program. I was schedule to take it in December, apply and accomplish my dream of getting a Masters degree at my choice of school. Now I feel like im out of control of my own life, I've had to move back to my hometown and have family take care of me. I hate being taken care of.... I tend to be independent but this has lead me to become dependent. 

      Finding this forum makes me realize I have to continue to listen to my body, and Doctors are humans....

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    • Posted

      Hi Calichic,

      I have had a lot of the same symptoms that have lasted for six months now. It started with extreme severe nausea that had me lying on the bathroom floor praying to vomit, but I never did. After several trips to the ER, I saw a Gastro Doctor Who had an ultrasound done on me that initially said that I had gallstones. He said I needed to find a surgeon to have my gallbladder removed. Before I can make it to the surgical appointment however I had another attack and went back to the emergency room. They did another ultrasound there and said that they could find no stones, and then I was told that the technician read the first scanned wrong and that I did not have gallstones. While at the hospital I had a HIDA Scan done and they said it was normal. My Gastro doctor also did an upper and us copy and found a very small ulcer and then said that I also have GERD.  He put me on a PPI which reduces the stomach acid in your stomach. I was also put on a very strict low-fat diet for the GERD and ulcer.

      I still continue to have problems so we decided to do a colonoscopy, which was all clear. In mid November, I had some fatty foods for the first time in a long time because we had a family wedding, and that night I had a very bad attack. Not only was I nauseous but I felt terrible and I went to the emergency room and I had elevated liver function numbers as well.

      My Gastro doctor then had me consult with a liver doctor. To make a long story short my liver numbers started coming back down and I decided to try to find another Gastro doctor, and I got a referral for a very good one from a friend of mine.

      He did and endoscopic ultrasound on me and found that I did have gallstones. Delivered Dr. now wants me to consult with a surgeon again for gallbladder removal because of my symptoms along with the elevated liver function numbers. If there are problems with the gallbladder, it can inflame your liver as well. When that happens not only can it make you nauseous and give you Gastro symptoms, but I can also make you feel fatigued and very ill.

      I have found if I stick to a very low fat diet I gradually start feeling better, but if I have one bad fatty meal it throws my whole system off again and it can take weeks before I start feeling halfway decent again.

      I’m older than you, I’m 52, but I am in excellent condition. I exercise almost every day, and very fit, and I’ve never smoked.

      Ultrasounds can be wrong. Sometimes gallstones are hard to see on regular ultrasounds. If you can I would push for an endoscopic ultrasound.  Find a top notch Gastro doctor. You’ll probably have to go to a large city in California for that.

      I’m going to the surgeon this afternoon to consult for gallbladder removal.

      I hope this helps and the best of luck to you.

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    • Posted

      I have had some of the same issues as you, but my GI has been fantastic. I have suffered from reflux for years. 14 years ago I had a fundoplication. Over the years I have had, what I thought was recurrent reflux, but now I am thinking it has been gallbladder all along. My GI did an endoscopy, colonoscopy and a ph study. All came back normal. Had an ultrasound and it came back normal. Was scheduled for a HIDA scan. My GI said my symptoms sounded like gallbladder and that I should just have it out. I saw the surgeon before I had the HIDA scan and he said that it sounds just like gallbladder and that even if the HIDA was normal that we should take out the gallbladder anyway. So in the end I didn't have the scan and am having the gallbaldder out in two weeks.

      I hope you can find some answers and I hope I am on the right track!

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    • Posted


      Happy holidays. Let me know after your surgery, please. All my tests were normal, except I have bile reflux, stomach polyps, off and on clay, white, foul stools (sorry), no appetite, burping, belching, very sick with digestion. Awful to be so sick...

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  • Posted

    I'm in the same boat as a lot of these other people. Nausea and vomitting has been going on for 2 1/2 months now as well as heartburn, on and off pain urq with low back pain. Also constipation or diarrhea. Blood test, ultra sound, CT with contrast and HIDA scan all came back normal.

    It's taken me months to get in to have testing and the symptoms have defiantly slackened but couldn't get in for testing when things were very bad.

    I have no appetite, fatigue and take zofran 8mg 3 times a day to keep down a bland mushy diet. I've lost 20 lbs and don't know where to go from here.

    I talk to my Dr Monday to go over results and where to go.

    I'm hesitant to go thru with gallbladder removal as a gamble to try and make this better. My GI keeps sashaying gastritis. Has anyone had symptoms like this for this long from chronic gastritis?? 32 yo female and don't know what to do. Please anyone advise.

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