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Aud E

Gallbladder Removal Relief?

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I have dysautonomia and Ehlers-Danlos III (hypermobile). My gallbladder has a 12% ejection fraction rate (no sludge or stones), intermittent upper right pain, and have chronic diarrhea since November where no medications help. I wake several times per night with gas, tachycardia, lower abdomen pain (from belly button to lower right) & shaking (ruling out chronic appendicitis via CT tomorrow). My doctors disagree whether gallbladders are causal (primary). I am curious how many had POSITIVE experiences following gallbladder removal (without sludge or stones) and who by following a healthy, high-fiber diet avoid chronic diarrhea? I read many bad experiences including secondary infections & associated risks. Trying to get an idea of those with dysautonomia (and possibly EDS) where it improved symptoms before considering removal. Also going to start a trial of 5mL oral cromolyn before each meal and bedtime to see if improves symptoms.

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Several years ago my dysautonomia caused me severe GI issues, including diarrhea, right upper abdominal pain and GERD,. I saw a surgeon who did an EGD ( Barrett's esophagitis and duodenitis , HIDA scan ( normal ), gastric emptying study ( normal ) She suggested my GB be removed. My PCP and my insurance both said no b/c the evidence apparently showed that GB removal does not improve diarrhea but actually can CAUSE it. So - years later I still have my GB but my GI issues have improved greatly once POTS was controlled. So - this may not be the same situation for you but in my case I do not believe that GB removal would have improved my symptoms. A careful balance of proper medications and lifestyle and diet changes improved my GI symptoms ( and POTS symptoms as well ). However - if your tests came back indicating GB disease and your physician recommends GB removal I would consider it. 

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32 minutes ago, Pistol said:

Several years ago my dysautonomia caused me severe GI issues, including diarrhea, right upper abdominal pain and GERD,. I saw a surgeon who did an EGD ( Barrett's esophagitis and duodenitis , HIDA scan ( normal ), gastric emptying study ( normal ) She suggested my GB be removed. My PCP and my insurance both said no b/c the evidence apparently showed that GB removal does not improve diarrhea but actually can CAUSE it. So - years later I still have my GB but my GI issues have improved greatly once POTS was controlled. So - this may not be the same situation for you but in my case I do not believe that GB removal would have improved my symptoms. A careful balance of proper medications and lifestyle and diet changes improved my GI symptoms ( and POTS symptoms as well ). However - if your tests came back indicating GB disease and your physician recommends GB removal I would consider it. 

I have GI symptoms, but slower emination and constipation. What diet changes did you make? I've tried more fiber and sometimes that can make it worse. Used to love greek salads, now they bother me. Woke up last night with pain on both side of my abdomen. 

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9 hours ago, JimL said:

I have GI symptoms, but slower emination and constipation. What diet changes did you make? I've tried more fiber and sometimes that can make it worse. Used to love greek salads, now they bother me.

I changed to 6 small meals a day rather than 3 big ones. I avoid high acid foods ( like citrus and tomatoes, but I draw the line at anything Italian! Vinegar is also a big one!!!! No salad dressings!!!! ), only eat small amounts of fresh fruit and no fresh veggies, only cooked or steamed. A nutritionist told me to also drink the water the veggies were cooked in to get the vitamins in that. I avoid sugar and try to eat more protein than carbs. I do not eat after 7 pm. Since those changes my GI symptoms have greatly improved. .bloating and diarrhea have stopped and nausea is essentially gone. My repeat EGD was NORMAL!

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The poster is having problems because his ejection fraction is so low. It's almost like not having a working Gallbladder at all. The low ejection fraction can be the cause of all of your symptoms. I had the opposite. Well, I never actually had my ejection fraction checked, but I had multiple small and medium sized gallstones along with a swollen sludge filled Gallbladder. I have some of the same digestive issues that I had before the removal, but not constipation. I am never locked up for days like I used to be. I do have diarrhea sometimes, but it is very infrequent now. It was bad for the first few weeks after my surgery, but now is getting better. I had my last liquid movement a few days ago. I have not changed my diet at all either. I take a digestive enzyme along with supplemental bile from OX Bile. I only take OX Bile when I eat a lot of fatty foods. If it is only like 10-20 grams of fat, I merely use my digestive enzyme which also had enzymes that help break down fats. You can try using OX Bile whenever you eat, or a digestive gold digestive enzyme from enzymedica to see if that helps you digest food better despite having some GB function. I hope this help. I only had the Gallstones. But I was sicker than a dog for 2 weeks, throwing up every time I ate. Got to the point where I was afraid to even take a sip of juice. I was starting to get GB attacks even on low/non fat foods. My liver enzymes were elevated and my kidney function was down to 33 percent from all of the vomiting. I was barely able to tolerate sipping some water. It was h*** for me. I hope you get some better answers from the doc's because low GB function can also cause the same symptoms as Gallstones.

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My gallbladder had bothered me since age 6, the doctors told me it was "growing pains." I avoided as much fat in my diet as I could until age 28, when it suddenly did not matter what I ate. The "softball wedged between my spine and sternum" pain occurred after eating anything. My GI also worked me up for GERD, Barretts's esophagus, etc. and did a HIDA scan which came back at 17%. I did have my gallbladder removed and have not had that pain reoccur ever again! It did not effect my POTS symptoms or increase my gastric transit time (which was found to be very slow.) 

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4 hours ago, Pistol said:

I changed to 6 small meals a day rather than 3 big ones. I avoid high acid foods ( like citrus and tomatoes, but I draw the line at anything Italian! Vinegar is also a big one!!!! No salad dressings!!!! ), only eat small amounts of fresh fruit and no fresh veggies, only cooked or steamed. A nutritionist told me to also drink the water the veggies were cooked in to get the vitamins in that. I avoid sugar and try to eat more protein than carbs. I do not eat after 7 pm. Since those changes my GI symptoms have greatly improved. .bloating and diarrhea have stopped and nausea is essentially gone. My repeat EGD was NORMAL!

ok. Thanks for the tips. Before this, I was doing Keto. I have a hard time with Keto now, even though I did it for 16 months. I used to eat a lot of fresh greens and use vinegar and tomatoes. No fruit though.  I have been eating 3-4 meals a day for about 2400 calories, which for me is maintenance. My weight has stabilized. If I don't eat that many calories, I start to drop weight. I've tried to add more salt, but I've had mixed results. In some ways it helps, but I get other issues. Normally my sodium intake before this would average about 3500, now I am at 4700. I've gone as high as 8000, and that wasn't good. Seems like my standing HR gets a little better, but I retain some water and I still get some dizziness and still GI issues. I also feel a little funky in some ways, different than pots. I think the extra sodium is hard on the kidneys. I notice I've been urinating more too. 

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Thank you all for replying. Regarding GERD, I have had it in the past and not reclining for at least an hour to two hours after eating helped me. It is difficult when not feeling well but they say the head should just be elevated six inches higher than stomach until digested. Others have told me I probably don't have to hold out as long as I am seated up, but it really fixed the reflux so I stuck with it. As far as diet changes, some hospital healthcare institutions offer free or low-cost cancer and heart health cooking series. Near me, one major hospital system offered it free through the Coleman Cancer foundation and another medical system charged $15 per class. They are also geared towards diabetes, people who just had quadruple bypasses, etc. Some are offered at lunch time and others in the evenings and they feed you whatever the class taught you to make. It really helped me learn how to eat a whole-foods based, nutrient-dense diet. I took it slow (over several years as I could). It was the only thing I could do to improve my health beside walking when able. 

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13 hours ago, firewatcher said:

My gallbladder had bothered me since age 6, the doctors told me it was "growing pains." I avoided as much fat in my diet as I could until age 28, when it suddenly did not matter what I ate. The "softball wedged between my spine and sternum" pain occurred after eating anything. My GI also worked me up for GERD, Barretts's esophagus, etc. and did a HIDA scan which came back at 17%. I did have my gallbladder removed and have not had that pain reoccur ever again! It did not effect my POTS symptoms or increase my gastric transit time (which was found to be very slow.) 

Any ejection fraction under 40 percent, they usually remove the GP from what I've read. 

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On 3/22/2019 at 5:43 AM, firewatcher said:

My gallbladder had bothered me since age 6, the doctors told me it was "growing pains." I avoided as much fat in my diet as I could until age 28, when it suddenly did not matter what I ate. The "softball wedged between my spine and sternum" pain occurred after eating anything. My GI also worked me up for GERD, Barretts's esophagus, etc. and did a HIDA scan which came back at 17%. I did have my gallbladder removed and have not had that pain reoccur ever again! It did not effect my POTS symptoms or increase my gastric transit time (which was found to be very slow.) 

Thanks firewatcher. Exactly what I am wondering. Perfect. 

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Just an update that I had my gallbladder removed. It showed chronic inflammation, stones, was sludgy when removed (and we previously knew about the biliary dyskinesia or low functioning gallbladder). Sadly, my diarrhea pattern is not improving. I put a question out whether anyone has found an anti-depressant good for IBS with diarrhea that does not worsen tachycardia or weight gain in personal experiences. Thanks.

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