Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • I think I have gallstones
  • codybrennan
    Free Member

    About a 10 day history of right upper quadrant pain. Came on quite suddenly after Christmas/NY. Comes and goes during the day, but seems to be worse after a meal. I’ve been aware of it all day today.

    Tender to the touch in the immediate area, worse on rebound, some pain on inspiration in the area itself too. No jaundice, fever, or nausea/vomiting, not radiating into the back or shoulder. If I poke a couple of fingers in under the ribcage, there’s a definite sore spot. Bowels and urine are normal.

    Phoned the GP today and I’ve got a call booked for a week today. If it is, I’d prefer it if they whipped the sucker out.

    Full Member

    Bowels normal – hmmmm

    From what little I remembe if you have a blocked bile duct you get steatorrhea ie pale fatty poo that floats

    this diagnosis is worth what you paid for it 🙂

    Free Member

    🙂 thanks TJ!

    Hopefully its not that, but that’s my current and best guess.

    Full Member

    Don’t be too hasty to have it whipped out if you’re a lover of cheese or bacon or any other fatty foods.

    Wish you all the best at the docs

    Free Member

    Thanks didnthurt. I do love cheese as it happens, will take this into consideration.

    Free Member

    As a past sufferer of gallstones all I can do is pass on my experience:
    I was experiencing a strong “ache” periodically from the middle of the lower ribcage. GP said it was gastric reflux even though I knew what that felt like and it definitely wasn’t.

    A few months later one of these episodes didn’t stop and continually got worse.
    I was taken into A&E by an employee as I couldn’t wait for an ambulance and within a few minutes I was doubled up in pain and on morphine.

    I had developed pancreatitis due to a small stone that had impacted the junction of the common bile and pancreatic ducts – apparently forcing the pancreatic fluid into the bloodstream where it did what it’s supposed to do…. Break stuff down!

    10 days in hospital (the first 5 with no food and only 100ml of water/hour) and then a private op to remove the gall bladder.
    Job sorted.

    I never had any pain in my shoulder or back which I think caused some initial confusion.
    It’s not a nice thing at all. I wish you luck.

    Given that I believe the symptoms won’t go away untreated I think your main issue may be getting an op in a reasonable timeframe 😬

    In the meantime they say that reducing your fat intake will help.

    Don’t be too hasty to have it whipped out if you’re a lover of cheese or bacon or any other fatty foods.

    16 years on from my op and I’m still eating plenty of cheese, bacon and other crap 😁

    (Just watch out for the occasional requirement for a dash to the loo!)

    Free Member

    From what little I remembe if you have a blocked bile duct you get steatorrhea ie pale fatty poo that floats

    That’s pretty accurate from my experience TJ – but as the OP doesn’t get that he may not have a blocked bile duct.

    Free Member

    I had some serious abdominal pain around 6 or 7 years ago, suspected gall stones. Went for ultra sound and confirmed I had a “few” in there! I’m self employed and as I was trying to buy a house at the time I elected not to have surgery. Fast forward to first week of lockdown and I’m doubled over in pain thinking I’m having a heart attack 😂
    End up in a&e on morphine, I hate that stuff!
    I’ve been on the waiting list to have my gall bladder out ever since, got a phone call offering me an operation next week but there is no way I can manage that short notice with work commitments. Office booking the appointment said I would have 4 weeks notice at most for my surgery date which is tricky to work with but what you gonna do?!
    So I would say I’m 2 years in to waiting for surgery more or less. I have had no pain since but don’t each much in the way of fatty food anymore. Incidentally wife started getting gallstone pain 6 months ago, she got scanned last week
    I think there is a bit of wait for any surgery basically

    Free Member

    Thanks again all-

    sharkbait: that’s terrible. Glad it went well for you in the end. I do have private health insurance through work now. Post GP call next week I’ll make some enquiries.

    marksnook- ah that’s awful, really feel for you. I hope you get surgery soon, fingers crossed.

    Full Member

    I do love cheese as it happens

    Why veganism must never be allowed to take serious hold. It would be the death of the cheese industry.

    Best of luck with your anointment and I sincerely hope its nothing serious.

    Full Member

    I’m still eating meat and cheese, and so is my wife.

    Your symptoms don’t sound anything like mine.

    Free Member

    Don’t be in a rush to get your gall bladder removed if you have the option, look up the side effects. I know someone that has successfully managed over 10 years now without another attack following a change to diet, they no longer eat pork belly or roast pork. They still eat loads of cheese.

    Free Member

    {poiler alert…. poo content}
    The only real issue I’ve had with not having a gall bladder is that generally my “bowel movements” can be a bit softer if I’ve had fatty foods.
    Bacon and sometimes sausages tend to be the triggers (roast port and ham are no problem).
    Very rarely I may need to do a quick dash to the loo.
    I’m assuming this is because, without a gall bladder, there’s no control of the bile into the gut so it can overdose if you eat a lot of fat.
    That said in the 16 years or so since my op I still can’t be sure what the triggers actually are – it may also be that I drink quite a lot of coffee!
    Anyway it’s certainly not a problem for me, but maybe I’ve been lucky.
    I paid cash for my OP as I definitely didn’t want to wait for the NHS and risk another attack.
    It was straightforward and I could have come out the next day, but I stayed two nights as I’d paid for two and it was lovely (Nuffield)!
    The thing is, if you do have gall stones I believe that they generally don’t just go away. A small stone can get flushed into the bile duct and potentially get stuck at any time so it might be best to get the gall bladder removed if you can.
    Reducing fat intake will help as I think that reduces the amount of bile that’s sent into the gut – so it reduces the chance of stones getting flushed out.

    I presume that a stone that doesn’t get stuck will just flow out without a problem, so you maybe you can have gall stones but never have an issue 🤷🏻‍♂️
    Happy to be told otherwise though.

    Full Member

    Had mine out about 5 year back after suffering pain on and of for two years and 2 hospital visits with pain & jaundice (two weeks visits) second time had An endoscopyi 25mm stone trying to get up a 7mm tube. Finally got a date for my opp & went in for it 6 hour opp (microsurgery) tube rebuild 3 drains later fine eat what i want just get the odd quick rush to the toilet(haha)

    Full Member

    I definitely have gall stones (as the ultrasound guy put it “you’re full of them”). Discovered after being taken to the emergency surgery ward by ambulance with a suspected burst stomach ulcer. I had had an episode earlier in the year with some of the op’s symptoms too.

    Anyway, a very quick change of diet (reduce salt, low fat) and things are ok. I’ve eaten 2 sausages and 4 slices of bacon since September. No red meat. I don’t eat cheese. Things to know. Even if you get your gall bladder removed you can still encounter problems. Also, any rapid change in weight can cause problems (mine were possibly brought on by losing weight rapidly with stress). Change your diet. It’s better for you anyway.

    Full Member

    Seems there’s quite a few of us who’ve suffered.

    I too had gall stones. My pain was very local and felt similar to trapped wind but much more intense.

    The pain was weird. I could tell a few hours before that it was coming. Then it intensified to a point where again I could tell it would be over. Most odd and at the height I’d say it was the worst prolonged pain I’ve ever had.

    I suffered for two years with the gp saying it was indeed wind before he thought to send me for a scan.

    Had my gall bladder and six or so 8mm ish stones removed privately through insurance. Was home the day after and didn’t really have any convalescing. No driving for 24 hours and no biking for 7 days. That was it.

    Don’t suffer many effects from the removal. Main ones are I get acid reflux a few hours after big fatty meals and can’t drink spirits or wine at all. They give instant burny throat and it’s not nice. Doesn’t bother me as I don’t drink and shouldn’t be eating such fatty meals.

    I’d urge the op to push for a scan to determine if stones are present and go from there.

    Free Member

    This is quite timely. My gallbladder is to be removed on Monday at the local Nuffield.

    I had three episodes of Biliary Colic (I think that’s the correct term) that was the worst pain I’ve experienced for a long time. Started under the sternum, moved round to the middle of my back & shoulder blade and occurred for about six hours each time. Started at 11pm each time and didn’t stop until 5am. Didn’t matter how I sat or moved, the pain didn’t go away. Then suddenly, it did. It left me wondering if it really happened.

    My family has a history of Aortic Aneurisms, so GP pushed for U/S scan ASAP. The scan showed I have several large gallstones, one 12mm diameter. Given the history of episodes and ongoing tenderness we decided it was best to have it removed as the gallstones won’t go away, alternative treatment has limited effectiveness and the gallstones may create more complicated issues in future.

    I’ll let you know how it goes, assuming Covid doesn’t get in the way.

    Free Member

    A few years ago I got up one morning and suddenly had this massive pain that doubled me up and ended up with me on the flooor. As others have said,perhaps the worse continuous pain I’ve ever had. My wife managed to get me in the car and to the doctors. After a quick examine they sent me straight off to the hospital. Pain had reduced a bit by then.

    Tests showed gallstones as the problem. Pain had sort of disappeared. Dietary instructions given and follow up appointment with a specialist arranged for about a week after.  I had no problems in the intervening period but the specialist told me he wanted to operate and get them out as the problem could recurr at any time and better to avoid that.

    Luckily I had private insurance In/out very quickly for keyhole surgery. Recovery time pretty quick as I remember it. No effects afterwards.

    Free Member

    A work colleague had his Gall bladder removed 7 years ago, said the pain was the worst he’d ever had.
    Fast forward 5 years and he’s back in hospital having Gall stones removed, not sure if he bought a lottery ticket that week!

    Full Member

    I found out I had gallstones after a 70 mile hot ride.

    A few hours I was in A&E doubled over and vomiting as I was in the most ridiculous pain imaginable.

    After an ultrasound the next day, they told me I had a infected gallbladder, five days in hospital getting the infection under control, then four weeks of an almost zero fat diet (chicken breast salad etc) I had it removed privately.

    I then could not produce solid motions for three months so am now on prescription bile acid sequestrants for the last four years, apparently according to my consultant, I was one of the unlucky 5% who need the medication.

    If you can go private, I was told it’s a better option as the surgeon will x-ray the bile duct as well to make sure there are no residual stones left in there, he said that on the NHS, they don’t do that, so you can be left with pain even after have the gall bladder removed.

    Good luck!

    Free Member

    A few years ago now had the most incredible pain that started late at night on 3 different occasions, each resulted in an ambulance being called and off to hospital. Each time the pain subsided in the morning so A&E said best to go home. They did some ultrasound scans and confirmed gall stones so added to the waiting list for gallbladder removal. Following week I had another attack again resulted in a 111 call, doctor attended didn’t like the look of it and couldn’t control the pain so off to hospital again. Ambulance driver came and said “Oh you again” but did the honorable thing and took me to A&E. This time I was admitted as the pain didn’t subside for a further 36 hours. Later ultra sounds couldn’t find the gallstones so I must have passed these through the system. A further 6 months later attended the hospital as out patient to discuss gall bladder removal but questioned if really needed as hadn’t had a problem since. Now probably 8 years on and that is still the case.
    All I can say it was very painful at the time and I have really not known pain like it, the ambulance gas and air didn’t touch it.

    Free Member

    Thanks again all. Lots to reflect on, appreciate all the comments and posts.

    I did intentionally weight reduce last year by some strictish dieting, over about 10 weeks I got it down by about 3 or so kgs and I think thats been a factor. I’m vegetarian and do maybe enjoy more fried food in recent months than I should. All seems contributory. As a test, I’ve avoided my usual diet today and I feel better. I was very worried last night while walking the dog. I had a bout of pain so severe that it caused me to feel breathless as the pain on inspiration was intense.

    I’ll post an update when I’ve seen the docs.

    Free Member

    I’ve not heard I’d weight loss as being a factor so I’m not sure about that and as far as I’m aware the stones develop over quite a while.
    Regardless it’s a good idea to reduce fat intake as I think this leads to increased bile production/movement and thus potential for stones to move out of the gall bladder.
    Good luck and let us know what happens with the scan.

    Free Member

    If you can go private, I was told it’s a better option as the surgeon will x-ray the bile duct as well to make sure there are no residual stones left in there, he said that on the NHS, they don’t do that, so you can be left with pain even after have the gall bladder removed.

    That’s what I found also (although it was either an MRI or CT scan).
    But yes, even though they take the gall bladder out they don’t know if there are still any stones in the bile duct waiting to cause chaos at some later date.

    NHS don’t do the followup scan due to the cost involved I think.

    Morphine FTW…. Accept no substitute!

    Free Member

    I thought I’d follow up with this thread following my gallbladder removal on Monday, in case it’s useful to anyone.

    Surgery was pretty straight forward. I opted for a private procedure at the local Nuffield hospital. Keyhole surgery, just over an hour in theatre with 1/2hr recovery before going back to my room. I haven’t had a good response to Morphine before, so discussed with the anaesthetist what other options were available. As a consequence, I seem to have bypassed the whole nausea experience and had a very easy recovery. Sleeping of the GA etc for a few hours with observations every 1/2hr for three hours, then every hour for the next six hours. I now have four small incisions in my abdomen, internally stitched, externally glued with a waterproof ‘patch’ over the top of each so I can shower etc. Pain has been minimal, with no transferred pain into the right shoulder that I was told to expect due to the trapped gas used with keyhole surgery. Followed by an overnight stay and discharged yesterday. I’m taking paracetamol and ibuprofen for now, but may stop that soon as I’m not really in any unmanageable pain. So far so good…

    Other than soreness from the surgery itself, the lack of an ongoing dull pain from the gallbladder is a welcome relief.

    Free Member

    Good job – one less thing to worry about.

    I haven’t had a good response to Morphine before, so discussed with the anaesthetist what other options were available.

    After the surgery I didn’t have anything particularly strong at all – the morphine was only in hospital whilst having an ‘attack’.
    Wish I’d had glued incisions…. for some reason it hurt like hell when the stitches were removed.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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