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Joe0123

Gallbladder Problems

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I had an ultrasound done on my abdomen and it revealed a small polyp and either gallstones or sludge. So then I got a HIDA scan done, but it was normal. I'm confused because it seems like if the HIDA is normal then the ultrasound should be as well. What does this mean? Do other celiacs/gluten intolerant people have issues with their gallbladder?

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Do other celiacs/gluten intolerant people have issues with their gallbladder?

Absolutely. Many even have their gallbladders removed before being diagnosed - some because they have gallstones, others in apparent attempt to relieve the pain. For the latter group it is usually not successful. (Just what I have observed on the board - know nothing about gallbladders personally)

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I was just at my GI today for Gallbladder pain, and the way he described the difference between the two tests is that the US looks at the structure. This is what showed your stones/sludge. The HIDA is to examine the function of the gallbladder. So, I suppose overall, your gallbladder is funtioning within limits, despite the stones/sludge. Best of luck to you! I have my HIDA on the 28th, so hopefully I get some answers too!

-Daisy

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Are you gluten free? My husband started having some gallbladder issues right around the time he started gluten free. Well, actually for years he had this minor dull pain under his right ribs that he tried to ignore. Then went gluten free and had about 3 major attacks..that left him on the floor almost passing out it was so bad. Refused to visit a doctor. We read up on gallbladder stuff and he believed he could avoid surgery by changing his diet...and it worked. That minor pain is also gone. I read up on gall bladders and the prevalence of celiac and it seems very much related. My BIL didn't believe any of it and had his removed...oh well. Hope you figure it out!

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I am an ultrasound tech. As was mentioned earlier, ultrasound is very good at looking at the structure of the gallbladder, but doesn't indicate how well it is working. A polyp is a small growth, similar to a skin tag, that forms on the inside wall of the gallbladder. This is a relitavely common finding, and not one to be worried about, or that would impact the function of the organ.

It is smart to keep an eye on it though. If it grows large, or if it grows quickly, it could become problematic. Patients will often have annual ultrasounds to monitor things like this.

Stones within the gallbladder are also a common finding, and are no big deal, as long as they stay in the gallbladder. If they try to get out, they can cause a "gallbladder attack" with a huge amount of pain, and it can sometimes progress to an infection of the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is like a balloon filled with bile. If the bile sits for a while (usually because you are not eating enough healthy fats) it can get thick, and form what is called sludge. It also isn't harmful, but can indicate that the gallbladder isn't contracting fully.

Good luck with the rest of your testing. I hope this information was helpful!

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The gallbladder is like a balloon filled with bile. If the bile sits for a while (usually because you are not eating enough healthy fats) it can get thick, and form what is called sludge. It also isn't harmful, but can indicate that the gallbladder isn't contracting fully.

So lack of fats causes sludge? I can't eat foods high in fat because it makes my stomach hurt and gives me diarrhea. That's why I think there's something wrong with my gallbladder.

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The ultrasound can really only tell if there is something structurally wrong. It sees anatomy, not how something is functioning. I think that's why they did the HIDA scan. I hope your doctors can have some more specific information for you. From what you have discribed from the ultrasound though, if it was me, I wouldn't be worried. :)

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