Pain in LEFT upper back - Gallbladder scan showed 5% function

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Hello all,

So since January I've had mild to moderate upper-left back pain (I lift weights so I attributed it to that but it hasn't seemed to have improved) as well as nausea and loose, light colored stools on and off.  It got worse recently and fearing pancreatitis due to a semi-heavy alcohol history up to this year (I'm 25 and drank almost daily from 21 till February of this year when I went cold turkey) I pushed my gastro for more testing.

CT Scan, MRI, Ultrasound, X-Rays and bloodwork all came back negative for anything, but when they did a HIDA scan of my pancreas today it was only emptying at 5% into my small intestine (35% is normal).  Would it be possible that this is the cause of my back pain even though it is left sided as well as my loose stool?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi 

    it's good you've stopped drinking .....Left sided pain and your other symptoms can be symptoms of chronic pancreatitis if you google you can read more .....drinking alcohol excessively can cause this ... And if you are diagnosed with it as I am only guessing am no expert your stopping drinking will slow down the progress ... Worth getting checked for  Diabeties..... I know you are shocked by your result but I am sure others here will enlighten you on treatment and outcome which will put you at ease ....but you sadly will have to wait until your doctor explains and makes a diagnosis from your results ..   

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    • Posted

      I'm kinda hoping it's not chronic pancreatitis as that sounds like a horrible disease to have especially starting at a young age.  My test confirmed there is an issue with my gallbladder - all tests related to pancreas came back negative so my question is more can you have left-sided pain and soft stools due to your gallbladder even though I know right sided is more common.
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    • Posted

      Yes you can ... Pale stools nausea all symptoms of gallbladder ...

      problems too ...whatever you have you have gone early for tests and that is good ...  Try a no fat diet and see if your symptoms settle down .. No fat... If it's gallbladder it should settle ..

      i have been reading up on pancreatitis because I have had my gallbladder removed and you are prone to getting pancreatitis after removal if your diet is too fatty ... And fatty liver .. 

      I hope your symptoms settle and you've gone early enough to avoid gallbladder surgery , or pancreatitis problems 👍

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the kind words!  I'll keep you updated as I learn more and I hope you don't have pancreas problems - they don't sound like fun!
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  • Posted

    Sorry - meant to say HIDA scan of my gallbladder today not pancreas!
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    • Posted

      If you have had ultrasound and MRI which have come back as normal I would say it was unlikely to be a problem with your gallbladder, but I am no expert here. I think MRI would definitely have shown any gallstones.

      Hope you manage to find out what is going on here and feel better soon .

      Take care and keep in touch

      Sarah

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    • Posted

      Hey Sarah,

      I don't think the issue is gallstones - when I had the HIDA scan though it showed the ejection fraction for my gallbladder is 5% (33% is considered low end) meaning bile is barely reaching my liver. Not sure what this means but was told by my Dr. this can cause significant digestive issues.

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    • Posted

      Hi me again ..lol     

      your liver sends bile to your gallbladder to be stored and concentrated your stomach request bile from your gallbladder to digest foods. 

      If your gallbladder is not ejecting bile very well you will not digest food very well .. But bile can backup into the liver ..this usually happens when a stone gets stuck in a bile duct from the gallbladder .. Usually violent vomiting  spasms etc dislodge the stone but if not the back up of bile can cause jaundice pale slimy chalk coloured stools , yellowing skin this is life threatening as your liver is struggling .. You have had a mild form of these symptoms , so something is causing your gallbladder to not function propberly and stones are not always shown up on scans they can be hidden...sludge can also be present ..I had pale stools occasionally before my gallbladder was removed and constant billiousness lots of heart burn and then terrible colic attacks with violent vomiting for 6,7 hours with pain on heart attack level that was a gallstone getting stuck (I now know) 15 years of misdiagnosis .its .ulcers, gastritus its food poisoning etc I finally got scanned and I had a whole gallbladder full of stones .... Removed and feel great .. But just been reading up need to keep low fat ... I think you are in early stages you may by changing your diet avoid an op for a while or you may need it ..

      each time you eat any fat or red meat etc your stomach request extra bile your gallbladder contracts and squeezes whatever your problem is stones sludge infection etc is aggravated .. So avoiding fat and hard to digest foods and caffeine will help it to settle .. Let us know your outcome .. 

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