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jasonD2

Should I Have My Gallbladder Removed?

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The constant fullness and indigestion is destroying my life- i cant handle it anymore. I had a GB ultrasound in November and it was negative but my liver ALT was slightly high since last summer. not sure if there is a connection between my gallbladder and these symptoms but am starting to think thats where the problem is. would removing my GB finally give me relief or make things worse? im desperate for answers

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No you do not want to have a healthy gallbladder removed, and no good doctor would do it anyway without disease present. The wonky liver panels are often seen in us and once we have been gluten-free for a while those numbers usually normalize.

Are you being strict about avoiding the other intolerances you have?

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yes and im not sure if its the intolerances that are causing the problem...i am very strict

either its cc, reintroducing too much food too fast or the parasites that caused the flare.

i just cant eat substantial meals w/o feeling uncomfortable and this is preventing me from putting weight on

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If your gallbladder ultrasound was normal and you want to investigate further ask for a nuclear medicine HIDA scan with CCK to be done. This will check the functioning of the gallbladder which the ultrasound does not. I'm on this road now, except I know it's my gallbladder causing me grief. I'm still on the fence about getting it out or not. On one hand I want it gone because I'm miserable, but fear the surgery itself. Ask for the test to be sure. It it comes back normal, I'd be inclined to leave it in. As raven stated, a good doctor shouldn't remove a completly normal gallbladder. Heck, I'm having problems finding someone to deal with mine because the function did not meet the "magic number" required for surgical intervention even though my symptoms are getting worse and my function number was not far from it. :(

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I dont want radioactive isotopes injected into my body - so im gonna pass on that scan. are there any other tests that can be performed to see if the GB is functioning?

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I agree with Roda. A normal ultrasound doesn't necessarily mean your gallbladder is functioning,just that you don't have gallstones. Get the HIDA scan and go from there.

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i just cant eat substantial meals w/o feeling uncomfortable and this is preventing me from putting weight on

Is it possible to eat smaller meals more frequently to see if that helps?

It might not work for you but when I wanted to gain weight I always kept a package of Wylde pretzels on hand and munched throughout the day. One package is about a thousand calories and since I can usually only eat one meal a day it helped me gain the weight I needed within a few weeks.

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I would doubt that a doctor would remove your gallbladder without the HIDA scan. Abnormal enzymes can indicate a lot of other issues besides the gallbladder. There doesn't seem to be another way to measure function. All other tests are only useful if you have gallstones.

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I dont want radioactive isotopes injected into my body - so im gonna pass on that scan. are there any other tests that can be performed to see if the GB is functioning?

While I can understand your concern, the radiation is very low. I have noticed you travel alot. Do you fly? You would recieve comparible radiation from the HIDA scan as you would a transcontinental flight or several months of natural background radiation.

There is an exam called an ERCP. You are preped the same way as an upper gi scope, but they pass a catheter into the bile/pancreatic ducts and inject x-ray contrast and take pictures with a mobile flouroscopy machine. It really is more to access the structure/patency of the ducts, not function and you still get radiation. Another in an MRCP done with MRI, no ionizing radiation, but you are exposed to a magnet and radio waves. It also is non invasive. Again it shows similar results as the ERCP, but does not access function.

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I had a normal HIDA scan but my gallbaldder was diseased. I did not have gallstones as the cause of my disease. My gallbladder was just diseased, like an appendix can go bad. I waited it out only because I did not know what was wrong with me. At first I had little appetite, then no appetite, then the sight and smell of food was nauseating 24/7. I lost about 18 lbs in 5-6 weeks just by not eating and having continuous, non stop diarrhea (from the bile spilling out of my liver/gallbladder and irritating my heretofore unknown IBS. I had no relief until several months AFTER my gallbladder was removed. My liver enzymes starting creeping up the week that I had the organ removed.

I eventually gained the 18 lbs back :( but I purposely over ate to prove to myself that I didn't have a silent digestive cancer (eventually had to have colonoscopy and endoscopy to rule bad stuff out).

I still get variable diarrhea from the bile irritating the IBS. It'll go for a week or so and I have to watch my fat and spices (pepper and hot foods are no-nos for me) intake and it takes a week or so and my system is better.

Best wishes - hope you get to the cause of your problem soon.

DM

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The constant fullness and indigestion is destroying my life- i cant handle it anymore. I had a GB ultrasound in November and it was negative but my liver ALT was slightly high since last summer. not sure if there is a connection between my gallbladder and these symptoms but am starting to think thats where the problem is. would removing my GB finally give me relief or make things worse? im desperate for answers

I'd answer your question: MAKE THINGS WORSE. The gall bladder helps digest fats. Without a gall bladder you couldn't digest fats very well. That would make weight gain even more difficult.

You may have unhealed gut damage from your parasite history. You may have low stomach acid. You may need to just eat small frequent, calorie dense meals for awhile. You may need digestive supplements. You may need to find a doctor who will look for and treat the source of your gastroparesis.

I can so relate to your frustration with feeling too full after eating very small amounts. I'm drinking lots of ginger tea to keep down anything I eat, because treatment (Alinia) for my current parasite (dientamoeba fragilis) makes me feel nauseas. Also Alinia contains soy, which causes excruciating intestinal craps, because I'm allergic to soy. So I'd just be happy to have a few painfree minutes each day, while treating this bug (my 8th in 4 years).

SUE

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ONLY AS A LAST RESORT!!! It has not helped my sister or mom, and has only made their digestion and nausea worse. PLEASE try good QUALITY probiotic and enzymes first...my guess is that since you were on strong antibiotics for so long your digestive track is out of whack...and you probably have little to no good bacteria left. Also, gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach lining) and cause the feeling of fullness and discomfert you mention. I struggled with that for approx. 9 months. It's so painful.

I urge you to shell out some money on good supplements for one month before trying anything. Dr. Mercola sells great products online...you might want to start there. I actually see the nutritioanlist/homeopathic doctor who used to manage his clinic in Chicago. He got me started on probiotics and enzymes and they are helped me tremendously.

Also, Lglutamine powder is great for rebuilding the digestive track.

Oh, lastly, go on a anti-candida diet (no sugar, no fruit, no yeast, etc) for a while...I did that as well after taking antibiotics. You may have an overgrowth of candida and other funguses in your system. Google it. I also take raw garlic, oil of oregano, brocolli sprouts daily to keep candida at bay.

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I was having some pretty bad attacks.

I had the ultrasound. Showed nothing.

The stomach emptying test. Showed nothing.

Finally had the HIDA scan. It brought on the same pain and nausea.

Had the gallbladder taken out in Feb. I feel a million times better. Oddly enough, I haven't been suffering from seasonal allergies yet.

If you have a bad attack you will be writhing in pain and beg to have it taken out!

I have some occasional "D" if I have eaten too much fat. i.e. gluten free cake, two barbecue ribs and the like.

So a healthy gallbladder does help digest fat, but a diseased gallbladder makes you miserable.

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Just to clarify something: a gallblader in of itself does not help digest fat. The bile enzyme is the substance which digests fat. The gallbladder stores bile. When the gallbladder is removed, the doctor is removing the " bile storage container." Bile is made by the liver and "stored" in the gallbladder until you eat something. When you begin to eat, the stomach thru the brain "tells" the gallbladder "it's time to release some bile." When the gallbladder is removed, the liver continues to produce bile, but just then "dumps" the bile into the small intestine randomly. That is why many people have diarrhea after the gallbladder is removed.

This is why you can, with some adjustment, live without a gallbladder.

Gallbladders can be cancerous and that is a "killer cancer" like pancreatic cancer is a "killer." This is why if you suspect you have gallbladder problems you do not self-diagnose or ignore it.

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Sorry I did not post that very accurately.

I notice more frequent low fat meals are the way to go after having the gallbladder out. It is soo much better not having the feeling you are being stabbed in the back to finally go away! Suffering through a gall bladder attack feels just as painfull as childbirth

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Sorry I did not post that very accurately.

I notice more frequent low fat meals are the way to go after having the gallbladder out. It is soo much better not having the feeling you are being stabbed in the back to finally go away! Suffering through a gall bladder attack feels just as painfull as childbirth

Yes, Mommida you are right. Frequent low fat meals. I liked to eat thin chicken cutlets (not breaded) lightly sauted in a skillet (with a small amount of butter). I ate rice or baked potato with the chicken. The chicken didn't get too dry to be unedible. Every now and then I'll make that for dinner.

I am so glad you too mentioned the back pain - the doctors looked at me like I was crazy to have back pain, even had the pain for months after the gallbladder was removed. My removal was 3 years ago and I still go on and off with diarrhea and back pain.

Take care - Deb

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