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ruskintl

Pancreatitis And Gallbladder Disease - How Long Does It Take To Go Away?

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Hi all, I hope someone here has had similar symptoms and can share their experiences with me.

I am a 31 year old female.  I am 3 months post-diagnosis and have been fully gluten free for 4 months.  We are not sure how long I went undiagnosed.  I had mild digestive and psychological issues begin in high school but severe symptoms did not start until last fall after the birth of my third baby.  After months of hell I finally was diagnosed and went to a gastro who found that I also had mildly elevated pancreatic enzymes and a low functioning gallbladder.  I am taking ursodiol and creon to aid in digestion, and if I don't take them I have a return of symptoms.  Now the gastro is talking about taking out the gallbladder (even with no stones or pain) and wants to do another endoscopy procedure to take a closer look at the pancreas.  Any one else have issues with these and have them resolve on a gluten-free diet?  Or am I looking at medical intervention?

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I think this will help, possibly.  My  Functional Medicine practitioner told me that the villi in the intestine tell the pancreas to fire.  When the villi are damaged, they can't do this job.  The solution was to take pancreatic enzymes to help break down your food.  The good news is that the villi damage is reversible.

 

Diana

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Here's what I wrote about my gallbladder experience back in May:  

 

I had what I now know to be  annual gallbladder attacks (I always passed out).  Each ultrasound show a healthy gallbladder without stones.  In retrospect, I think the annual attacks were times that my gallbadder wouldn't empty, would cause severe pain (usually lower abdomen) and then it would start working again in 10 to 12 hours.    No visit to the ER ever caught it even though I had a strong family history on non-functioning gallbadders.  One gastro thought I had abdominal epilepsy, but fortunately, the nero disagreed!  It wasn't until five years ago, that the doc in Las Vegas ordered a HIDA scan after the ER doc admitted me thinking that I had appendicitis (raging infection).   My gallbladder finally stopped functioning completely (0%) and started to rot.   Maybe if I had known about celiac disease, I'd still have my gallbladder.  

 

So, maybe being on a gluten free diet for a year or more will cause your gallbladder to start functioning properly so you can avoid surgery.  But, I've done well without it and happy not to have died from an infected gallbladder. .

 

Keep me posted as I have lots of family members who probably have celiac or a gluten intolerance and are already having gallbladder issues.

 

Oh, you mentioned that you don't have pain from your gallbaldder, but you have digestive issues.  You don't necessarily  have to have pain or big attacks if your gallbladder is not functioning properly.  You need that appropriate amount of bile to digest your food and isn't  that a "pain?"  Ha!  

 

Good Luck to you.  

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Thank you for the replies.  Diana I have heard that too, so I am hoping that enough time on the diet will naturally take care of this.  cyclinglady I will definitely update on how it turns out.  My HIDA scan showed an ejection fraction of 19% with anything under 30% being low.  I can tell the ursodiol is helping, although it causes nasty gas and bloating.  I agreed to the endoscopic ultrasound to rule out a blockage in the common duct, but my doctor even told me she doesn't think I have stones and that taking out the gallbladder probably won't cure the pancreatitis.  :huh:  So my next question was why should I consider taking it out then? She said just in case. Haha, ok! I think I will hold onto my gallbladder then  :D

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Just be careful!  Each procedure has it's own risks.  

 

Here's more to my gallbladder story:

 

My grandmother had her gallbladder removed.  My Dad is one of 7 and six of the seven siblings have had their gallbladders removed.  All were considered non-functioning.  I'm one of 27 first cousins and the fifth oldest and the fifth to have her gallbladder removed.  It's a family curse!  There has been one fatality -- my Aunt.  She was only in her mid-50's.  Had the GB surgery.  Still had some issues (it probably was celiac) and had a stent placed in her bile duct.  Got pancreatitis.  It was horrible.  She recovered.  The stent moved or had to be replaced.  She went in for the procedure and within 48 hours she was dead from septic shock.  

 

I'm not trying to scare you, but please make sure your gastro is an expert in this area!  Go outside of your "network" and get a second and third opinion even if you have to pay out of your own pocket.  it's your life!

 

I'm hoping that continuing on a gluten-free diet will heal your intestinal tract.  Celiac disease may be the root cause of our family curse.  I've only been diagnosed for two months now but am trying to get other family members tested.   

 

Keep all your parts if you can and keep me posted.

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Just wanted to update so that other people might benefit...

I took the medications for a few months and found that they were causing severe pain - headaches, neck pain, bone pain.  It was very strange.  I was also starting to have gallbladder attacks quite frequently.  

Then in June I landed in the hospital with sepsis!  I was on IV antibiotics for 3 days while they ran every test imaginable and they never could figure out where the infection spread from.  They wanted to take my gallbladder out right then, but I said no way in hell am I going into surgery with a mystery infection.  Once I was home and eating real food again I decided to stop all my medication to see if anything changed.  As an aside, I did confirm that the meds were gluten free, but they did contain potato starch and nightshades are on my no-no list.  

Anyway, I had a follow-up with a surgeon who told me taking out my gallbladder would only make things worse at this point.  I asked about infections or the possibility of it rupturing and he said it is so rare most doctors never see a ruptured gallbladder.  Thank God for an honest and caring doctor!

I continued to have moderate to severe pain for a few weeks after discontinuing the meds, and then it gradually faded away.  SInce I did not have pain before I started the meds, I believe the pain was a side effect.  My labs since then are completely normal as well.  

Moral to the story, keep your body parts!!!  It just takes time to heal and get some good nutrition into the body. 

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On 11/19/2013 at 11:01 PM, ruskintl said:

Moral to the story, keep your body parts!!! 

I like that.

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