Weight Loss Support - Abdominal Pain - Gallbladder Attack?




Renwomin
05-23-2010, 11:36 PM
A trip to the ER with abdominal pains over the weekend has really shifted my focus from weight loss / health to just my health.

The ER doctor believed that the pain was coming from a gallbladder attack. Unfortunately he didn't run the ultrasound tests at the ER that would have conclusively diagnosed such an issue. I am going to be beating down the door to my doctor on Monday to get this diagnosed properly. The pain felt like it was coming from the center of my chest (which made me afraid of heart issues) but when he was prodding around (OUCH!) the area of my liver / gallbladder on the right side of my body had the most pain.

This was the fourth and most painful similar attack that I have had in the past three weeks. The first of which I thought was gas and wasn't as severe. The second started happening while exercising. I decided if I had the issue again I would go to the doctor. Saturday evening I had another attack that nearly sent me to the ER with a following attack in the wee hours of Sunday that did send me there. My body forced me to the doctor after all!

I have done some research on gallbladder attacks and discovered that weight loss of more than 2 pounds a week can sometimes trigger the development of gallstones. (I've averaged 3.5 lbs of loss a week for the past two months.) But at this point I really don't know what it is going on with my body and am eager for a proper diagnosis. Needless to say I'm scared of what may be going on. I've been honestly afraid of eating today since apparently eating too much fat can trigger an attack.

If anyone has any experiences in this area I would greatly appreciate any information.


GradPhase
05-23-2010, 11:43 PM
I've had attacks that I was SURE were gallbladder related (I'd recently lost weight, my brother had his out when he was 16, female, fair skinned, on birth control - lots of possible red flags). My doctor seems SURE that they're not though, and nothing showed up in the pelvic or abdominal ultrasounds, so now I'm on medication for ulcers (which isn't helping).

Whatever it is for both of us - I hope they find out soon :(

Ookpik
05-24-2010, 02:07 AM
Sounds like the attacks I used to get, and they turned out to be gallbladder attacks. I used to get really bad pains in the middle of my chest too...at times I thought I was having a heart attack, and I used to get really nauseous. An ultrasound confirmed I had gallstones, and I had it removed nearly two years ago, and I've felt so much better! Good luck!


addictedtoretail
05-24-2010, 02:44 AM
I had Gallstones about 2 years ago when I was doing the Atkins diet. My doctor told me that it was because I was on a high-fat diet and it was damaging to my gallbladder. I will sometimes have attacks if I eat a food that is too spicy or high in fat because my gallbladder cannot process it properly after having gallstones. I know how painful the attacks are so I am so sorry you had to go through that, I hope they get to the bottom of your attacks and you never have to deal with that again!

seafoamgreen
05-24-2010, 08:36 AM
I had my gallbladder removed about two and a half years ago. In November of 2007, I started having these sudden, stabbing middle of my sternum pains and it felt like someone was crushing my ribs so that I could not breathe. Because I was 23 and relatively healthy at the time, I thought that maybe I was having a really bad asthma attack!

Long story short - ER - tests - had a gallbladder FULL of gallstones. I wanted to wait til Xmas break to get it removed because I was working full time and going to grad school full time and could not take time off. Anyway, doc said if I was careful and made sure not to eat any fatty foods, I could wait a month. So I'ved off celery, carrots, turkey sandwiches and yogurt for a month! Got it removed and felt much better. Hope you find out what's wrong and can get it fixed. Feel better. :-)

Renwomin
05-24-2010, 03:46 PM
Thanks, everyone! I just got back from the doctor's office. The doc seemed to also think it was a gallbladder attack and ordered an ultrasound. I got in to get one done this afternoon. Hopefully I will hear back soon.

What seems to be wearing me down at this point is a dull persistent pain in my upper abdomen. It reminds me of a stitch in the side that sometimes people get when running, but it isn't going away.:(

I really hope that it does soon! Did anyone else feel really tired after an attack? This is the second day out from the attack for me. If it is the gallbladder and they recommend surgery they will likely schedule it aways out (unless it gets infected). I certainly don't want to feel like this until then.

HeidiNicole
05-24-2010, 05:50 PM
Sound exactly like my gallbladder attacks, and yes, I would be SO tired after one. Mine was removed in emergency surgery b/c a stone was stuck in the duct.

And, Eskinomad, ask them to do a HIDA scan. It checks for function, not gallstones. My husband had no stones, but his gallbladder had quit functioning properly which caused attacks.

Renwomin
05-24-2010, 06:24 PM
I was called by a nurse at my doctor's office and told that I have gall stones and that I am being referred to a surgeon. I'm overwhelmed right now with the thought of surgery. I guess partially because talk of any alternatives have not come up at all. I've been reading that surgery has been a very positive thing for some people. I've also read some articles that suggest that surgery isn't the best alternative.

I really want to do the best thing for my body, but I just don't know what that is and I'm afraid of just being swept up in what I am being told I should do.

JoJoJo2
05-24-2010, 06:46 PM
Hi, Renwomin:

I have gallstones, too. My PCP advised me to have the surgery, but the surgeon suggested that I wait to have the surgery since the gallstones were not bothering me. That has been several years ago, and they haven't bothered me at all. If they do heat up I will cheerfully have surgery.

My DH had a hot gallbladder a couple of years ago, and had surgery to fix his problem. Since his gallbladder was so inflamed, he had to have it removed the old-fashioned way, not a laproscopic (sp?) surgery.

We are both senior citizens, in fairly good health.

I think surgery is something to be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if it is necessary it should be done.

Hope you can get some answers that satisfy you. Please continue to keep us informed as to your situation. Best of luck to you.

Renwomin
05-24-2010, 07:47 PM
Thanks, Jojo. If I knew that I wasn't going to have an attack again or that my gallbladder wasn't going to be infected then I definitely wouldn't get it removed. What I am grappling with right now is that fact that I've had four attacks in a span of a couple of weeks and this last one has knocked me on my tush. I've also been studying my eating plan and I can't find the exact trigger. This last time it could have been caffeine and the one nasty seven gram of fat cookie I had. The other times I hadn't had caffeine, eaten a lot of food, had a lot of fat... I'm not really sure what my trigger is.

I'm definitely worried about the possibility of another attack or a gallbladder infection that would call for a more invasive surgery. I've also been reading that some people gain weight after having their gall bladder removed. Has this happened to anyone? I really want to go into this decision with my eyes open.

JoJoJo2
05-24-2010, 08:38 PM
Hi Redwomin:

My DH did not gain any weight after having his gall bladder removed. He is a very active senior citizen, and watches his weight by weighing himself daily.

I think it is a very individual matter, and everyone is different.

kendra
05-25-2010, 01:21 AM
*hugs* gallbladder attacks are the worst! I had one that lasted 6 hours and it only stopped because I went to the er and got some kind of painkiller. That was when I was diagnosed. I had other attacks but didn't know what it was and I don't go to Doctor's unless I absolutely have to.
Please don't wait too long to have the surgery. It got to the point where i was having daily pains. It didn't matter what I ate and I finally got to the point where I was eating pretzels and breadsticks with NO sauce. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long. According to the doctor, I had waited so long, I had gallstones down in the duct.
I am so glad that I had it out. I feel so much better now!! As far as gaining weight, I think that comes from not paying attention. I gained about 10 pounds but I was eating junk. It wasn't because I had the surgery. Recovery time is not that bad.
So please listen to the surgeon, don't wait too long. *hopes the attacks don't get too bad*

Renwomin
05-25-2010, 08:56 AM
Thank you, Kendra! It really is helping me to get experiences from others. I have to say that I am more than a little bit scared right now and I really want to make the best decision for my health.

It really doesn't help me that I found a site where people are swearing up and down that their weight gain and inability to lose even with diet and exercise is because of their gallbladder being removed. Also people who are saying they have continued to have digestive problems for years. On the other hand there people that are saying that having it removed was the best thing. So you can see why I'm very confused.

For anyone who has had an attack, did you continue to hurt and be exhausted days after? It is the third day out and I don't feel any better.:(

LizR
05-25-2010, 09:24 AM
Renwomin - Have you seen your doctor or surgeon? After a simple gall bladder attack the pain should go away and you should feel better. If you continue to have dull pain that indicates that the gall bladder is inflamed. You may need antibiotics to fight off a gall bladder infection.

Renwomin
05-25-2010, 11:36 AM
Renwomin - Have you seen your doctor or surgeon? After a simple gall bladder attack the pain should go away and you should feel better. If you continue to have dull pain that indicates that the gall bladder is inflamed. You may need antibiotics to fight off a gall bladder infection.

I saw a doctor yesterday and am scheduled to see a surgeon on Thursday morning. I asked the doctor about the dull pain and he seemed to think that was normal but I should contact them if I had a high fever or a lot of pain. I don't have a lot of pain or fever, but I definitely don't feel right. I'm really exhausted again today and this dull ache won't go away or get better. Thank you for the information! It sounds like I should quit trying to tough it out and call my doctor.

abreezies
05-25-2010, 11:47 AM
Just a tidbit......it seems you are a little worried about gaining weight after having it removed, but just imagine what a toll it will take on your weight loss efforts if you are in pain and uncomfortable all the time. I will pray for you and wish you the best!!

BluCypressLily
05-25-2010, 11:58 AM
I actually lost weight after having my gallbladder removed. I think part of it was that it kinda forced me to adopt better eating habits--certain foods started to go right through me after the surgery (fatty foods, fried foods, etc). Because I didn't like the oh-my-gosh-I-have-to-go-right-now feeling, I started avoiding trouble foods and only eat them sparingly now. From a girl who hasn't met a cheese she didn't like, this really helped me lower my dairy intake :)

Thanks, Jojo. If I knew that I wasn't going to have an attack again or that my gallbladder wasn't going to be infected then I definitely wouldn't get it removed. What I am grappling with right now is that fact that I've had four attacks in a span of a couple of weeks and this last one has knocked me on my tush. I've also been studying my eating plan and I can't find the exact trigger. This last time it could have been caffeine and the one nasty seven gram of fat cookie I had. The other times I hadn't had caffeine, eaten a lot of food, had a lot of fat... I'm not really sure what my trigger is.

I'm definitely worried about the possibility of another attack or a gallbladder infection that would call for a more invasive surgery. I've also been reading that some people gain weight after having their gall bladder removed. Has this happened to anyone? I really want to go into this decision with my eyes open.

Renwomin
05-25-2010, 12:38 PM
I feel so sick right now. Exhausted, nauseous, aching pain that is getting worse and moved to my back. I called the doctor's office and they said that it might be like this until I get it taken out. She thought my breakfast might have been too heavy for me right now.

I ate two small multigrain (soy, flaxseed) pancakes that had been cooked with minimal oil in a non-stick pan. A tablespoon non-fat yogurt and some agave nectar. It didn't seem like a high fat or heavy breakfast to me. At this point I'm not sure what I need to be eating. Does anyone have any suggestions of what sort of foods I need to eat or not eat?

If this continues much longer I'm not going to care about what happens after it comes out, I'm just going to want it removed. ASAP. :stress:

Sunnigummi
05-25-2010, 01:28 PM
Renwomin - sorry you're experiencing so much discomfort. :hug:

Why don't you try instant oatmeal (they come in a variety of flavors and are pretty reasonably priced at Walmart) for breakfast? I usually have instant oatmeal and a glass of skim milk (with cocoa powder). Seems to do the trick. Another option is fruit. Have an orange and a banana or any combination of fruits. These are low on fat, but will keep you full. :)

Renwomin
05-25-2010, 08:38 PM
I called my doctor earlier today and told them how ill I was feeling. The surgeon fit me in for a consultation this afternoon. With how horrible I am feeling I am totally beyond debating about the surgery. My gallbladder needs to come out. I feel like my body is very toxic right now. Even though I'm not at the emergency gallbladder surgery point yet I'm scheduled to have surgery tomorrow.

I've never had surgery before and I'm pretty scared/worried. This is all happening so fast!

Does anyone have any post surgery advice?

JoJoJo2
05-25-2010, 09:49 PM
Hi, Renwomin:

It sounds like you really do need the surgery. And I wish you the very best with it and sending positive thoughts for a speedy recovery.

As I mentioned, my DH had that surgery a couple of years ago. His recovery was uneventful.

In his case they gave him all the post surgery advice he needed. I do remember that he was not put on any dietary restrictions, in fact he was told to eat anything he wanted to. Also he had absolutely no weight gain after his surgery.

You are doing the right thing for yourself. You'll be just fine. Check back in whenever you can.

Passionista
05-25-2010, 10:07 PM
Renwomin, just think how much easier your recovery will be than it would have been 33 pounds ago! Focus on the positive, and healing well! I'll keep you in my thoughts. :hug:

Renwomin
05-27-2010, 10:53 AM
The surgery went well all considering. They were able to do a laparoscopic procedure. I'm in a fair amount of pain from the incision sites and still dealing with some nausea, but I am hoping/sure that will get better in time. Thank you all for the support so far. This has been a really scary process for me. Any post-surgery advice?

JayEll
05-27-2010, 11:39 AM
Stay away from greasy foods for awhile, as in, months! I ate some barbecue ribs about 3 months after my gall bladder removal, and it made me sooooo sick! Couldn't handle the fat... took hours to feel better.

Jay

Vladadog
05-27-2010, 12:16 PM
I hope you're not as sore today!

Renwomin
05-29-2010, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone. My incision sites have been really sore for days and I'm still on pain meds, but I believe this is normal. I am getting better every day though. I'll just have to deal with any other problems stemming from this as they come up!

C'est la vie.