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Acid Taste in mouth and lots of heartburn after gallbladder surgery
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Acid Taste in mouth and lots of heartburn after gallbladder surgery

Hi Everyone,

I had my gallbladder removed 3 weeks ago and for about two weeks now I have a lot of saliva with bitter taste in my mouth and lots of heartburn.  Doc put me on protonix (40 mg) - did not get rid of the taste in mouth - decreased some of the heartburn.  He switched me to Nexium - same result.  Question:  Is it normal to have "heartburn w. possible reflux after gallbladder surgery.  I never had the problem before!!! Also, why won't the PPI's reduce the excess saliva with the horrible taste???? Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Romy
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Romy

I have exactly the same problems after my goal bladder surgery  (4 weeks ago - on 27/3/02). I am on 30 mg of ZOTON (lansoprazole) twice daily for last week with no improvement. I'm on low fat diet since operation, having the last meal at least 4 hours before I go to bed, but as soon as I lie down, this rush of acid up to my throat start and I can't sleep even with the elevated bed head. The bitter-acid taste stays with me all the time, plus pressure in my stomach and burning chest. My doctor thinks it may not relate to goallbladder and he sent me to gastro specialist. I have not made an appointment yet - I hope my problems will go away with time.

I will appreciate comment from someone who had simmilar experience after surgery and what they did in order to get better.

Tajtrlik
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I had my gallbladder out on March 5, and I am having the same type of problem.  I have elevated the bed and all of that, but I still wake up in the morning with a sore throat and congested lungs.  Now I have a bad cough in the morning that drives me nuts.  My surgeon put my on Prevacid 30mg, but it does not seem to be doing much.  I need to see him again this Thursday, so I will ask him about the link between sudden heartburn and gallbladder surgery.  I thought that I was the only one having this problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
You are so right - I thought I was the only one as well.  There has to be a connection, especially since the acid reducers DON'T SEEM TO WORK.  Could it be that the misdirected "bile" is giving us the problem????  If so, this should ease up with time.  Let's see what we can find out.  Thanks so much for posting.  By the way, we all had our gallbladder removed recently, so, hopefully, this will ease up.  I hate it.

Romy
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone!

I have had exactly the same thing happen to me after my GB surgery on March 12.  I'm on 40mg of Protonix and that hasn't helped me much either.  I'd never had this rotten taste in my mouth before surgery either or the heartburn this bad.  It's been six weeks today and I was hoping, like the rest of you, this would eventually pass.  Maybe someone out there that has had a similar experience, only sometime ago could give us some insight on this.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sagie,

Thanks for posting.  Well, maybe it is some comfort that we are not alone.  Let's hope that this resolves.  Maybe we should stay in touch and share with each other when symptoms resolve or what docs recommend.  Here is my email address: ***@****.

Feel free to contact me any time and that does not only include Sagie, but all the other ladies who have posted to my thread.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
One more hint, ladies.  If you buy sugar-less gum and sugar free candy and chew (or suck candy) - it gets rid of the taste for a little while.  I chose sugar free for the cals or lack of.  Have a good day.  It would be great if we could get responses from former gallbladder surgery patients  with similar problems and find out whether this resolved or not.  I hope it will.  I talked to a friend of mine and she said she had symptoms for about 2 months afterwards and then it was fine.  However, I don't know whether she had these symptoms.  

Best wishes,

Romy
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I am not a lady.  I am a 24 year-old male.  I never had gallstones or anything, but there were some odd marks on my gallbladder that made my surgeon want to remove it in a hurry.
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Avatar_n_tn
....................To the fool who said Gallbladder is a wonderful solution to one's stomach trouble, I hope you are reading these horrible stories
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry Gumby!  Should not have assumed that all the replies were written by ladies.  Actually I am feeling a bit better today - so maybe there is hope in the future.  I am still taking the Nexium, so that may hide the discomfort.  The taste has subsided somewhat, but I don't want to become optimistic too soon.

Let's keep in touch!

Romy
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Avatar_n_tn
For the first two weeks after surgery, I had that. And food had such a weird different taste, yuck!!! It is slowly going away, but I do think my body is still adjusting to how it is handling the bile. It takes time for the body to adjust to it. And everyones time frame is going to be different.

But I am not at all unhappy I had the surgery, it is a major improvement.
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Avatar_n_tn
That was great to read the last comment - it must be the bile we are "tasting" since acid reducers are not helping much.  But I am so glad to hear that your symptoms are going away.

Romy
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Avatar_n_tn
HI, I HAD A CHOLECYSTECTOMY ON THE 6TH OF MARCH,I AM NOT GETTING THE BITTER TASTE IN THE MOUTH BUT HEARTBURN I HAVE TRIED ALTERING MY DIET BUT STILL FEELS THIS SEVERE BURNING IN MY CHEST PARTICULARLY AT NIGHTS WHEN I GO TO BED.JUST AFTER THE SURGERY I EAT BASICALLY FRUITS AND SOUP NO HEARTBURN THEN BUT SINCE I TRIED EATING NORMALLY AS MY DOCTOR SUGGESTED IT STARTED.OF COURSE I CAN'T EAT FRUITS AND SOUP ALL THE TIME BUT I CAN'T BEAR THE BURNING ANYMORE WHAT I DO IS DRINK WATER AS SOON AS I FEEL THE BURNING COMMING ON AND IT HELPS FOR STARTERS.U JUST GET THIS BLAZING IN THE STOMACH  I STARTED TO THINK SOMETHING ELSE WAS WRONG WITH ME BUT SEEING YOUR COMMENTS MAKE ME FEEL A LOT BETTER IT SEEMS TO BE COMMON LETS HOPE WE FIND AN ANSWER SOON.
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Avatar_n_tn
Keep in mind that it can several months for the body to adjust to the bile! And if the problems dont go away or get to be too bad, they do have meds to help, like Questran.

Your surgery wasnt that long ago...... there is still a great chance it will go away.

My Doc told me to eat low fat and then "as tolerated". Some people may always have to keep an eye on their fat intake after gallbladder surgery..... but eating low fat is not a bad idea regardless. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
This has all been very informative.  I've been very sick for several months.  Pain under right rib.  They found a lesion on my liver, but all liver profile tests were normal.  They found no gallstones, but found the gall bladder is not working properly.  I'm to have it out within a couple of weeks.  My problem is that I'm getting weaker & weaker.  Did any of you have that problem?  I'm concerned about cancer!  I'm afraid they'll take out the gall bladder, & then I'll have all the acid problems you're all referring to & I already have terrible GERD with a hernia.
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Avatar_n_tn
Bailey, yes I experienced the weakness and yes it go worse the sicker I got. There was no cancer. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I also experienced weakness before GB surgery and was nauseous almost all the time and couldn't eat.  For several weeks after the surgery, I felt the same way, but now for the last week or so, I'm getting my appetite back and feeling better.  I didn't have gallstones either, just a nonfunctioning gallbladder.  Like all the other posts here, it just takes time for your body to adjust, some longer than others, and you have to be patient.  I have talked to a lot of other folks who had the same problems both before and after and they now don't regret having their GB removed. But, it is your body and your decision and you have to decide on your options.  It would be wise to discuss your concerns with your doctor before you have the surgery done.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have pain in my chest and through my back after having gallbladder surgery  over 13 months ago.  I keep a heating pad on my back when I feel bad. My doctors have ran every medical test there is on me...to come up with Acid Reflux.  I have good days and bad days. It hurts pretty much all the time, mostly dull pain, but many sharp pains in my heart area.  THE HEART HAS BEEN RULED OUT with EKG and stress test.

I also take** 2) 40mg of Protonix daily** and it still DOES NOT HELP! I must add that I have been on this for 5 months. I watch my pretty diet closely and YES chocolate, high fat and coffee **** (it) off big time.

My throat/stomach scope looked normal. The only test I could not do was the 24hr. PH monitering....It made me gag to much.

I am trying some of the concerned lady suggestions in conjuction with my doctors to HOPEFULLY whine myself off Protonix or cut way back.  AND hopefully get better.

Last month was a great MONTH but the problem came back full force. I think once I start feeling better I indulge in something bad (lie chocolate) and it takes a LONG time for my body to get better.  

I also use a reflux pillow and have been for 3 months..could tell you if this helps.  I know it hurts to lay on the side my stomach is on for over 15 minutes.  

MAN I HOPE THIS GOES AWAY SOON.  If anyone has any suggestions feel free to email me at: ***@****
GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!
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Avatar_n_tn
vixon, Have they looked at your pancreas? Pancreatitis is not at all uncommon after GB surgery.... although for most people it doesnt last.
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Thanks for the insight.
Yes they did look at my pancreas. All blood tests came back good...EXCEPT I have relatively high (trigelcerides 450) so they put me on a cholesteral reducing medication. High trigelcerides can cause pancreatic problems (over 1000).  Normal (tri) range is under 200. The medication made me quite nausated.  I asked the Doc if I could drop that until we get this pain under control and she agreed. I am trying several holistic approachs to lowering my trigelcerides.  I don't drink so that's not an issue.
Since I have very little regurgitaion/heartburn I have always wondered what is this? AND since Protonix is not helping it makes me wonder. I thought I spinter of oddi dysfunction but the Doc really doesn't think so with my symptons.  
It's very frustrating.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI,MY HEARTBURN HAS REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY I HAVE ALTERED MY DIET I ENSURE THAT WHAT I EAT MOST OF THE TIME IS HIGH IN WATER CONTENT.... LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES I HAVE ELIMINATED EGGS AND CHEESE COMPLETELY FROM MY DIET AND I USE MORE BAKED MEAT THAN FRIED LOW FAT INTAKE IS PART OF THE KEY AT LEAST MY DISCOMFORT IS NOT AS BEFORE.THIS KIND OF DIET IS HEALTHY AND IS TWO FOLD IN NATURE IT EASY MY HEARTBURN AND IS HELPING ME LOOSE WEIGHT WHICH I GAINED A LOT OVER THE TIME THAT I STARTED TROUBLING WITH GALLSTONES SYNTOMPS WHICH WAS 1 YEAR BEFORE SURGERY.I AM KEEPING MY FINGERS CROSS THAT IT WILL SUBSIDE COMPLETELY.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the terrible bitter taste in my mouth for a long time. Usually i get the bitter taste in the morning when i wake up and when i eat garbage foods loaded with fat day time. I take notes of what i eat and if i get sick i eliminated it. Dairy products cause the bitter taste in my mouth except eggs. Sugars also cause the bitter tast, but not sugars in fruits. I never went to a doctor but i new it was the type of food i eat that causes the problem. The only meat i eat is baked chicken, turkey, and tuna fish. In addition, i eat a lot of vegetables served with rice or pasta. I do not eat after 6pm unles it is a salad with fat free dressing or fruits. Ever since i changed my diet, the bitter taste has gone away. It is all chemistry in the stomach. As long as the missing ingridient is supplied, the bitter taste will stay. The foods that i stay away from are any meat loaded with fat, cafein (coffee and soft dirnks), spicy foods, and sweets. This diet helped me get rid of the bitter taste and the other problems it caused like headache and fever. This better thing messed up even my concentration. It is hard to think and makes me confused. The antiacid medicine does not work for me. The change in diet did. I hope this information helps someone.
Good luck everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the terrible bitter taste in my mouth for a long time. Usually i get the bitter taste in the morning when i wake up and when i eat garbage foods loaded with fat day time. I take notes of what i eat and if i get sick i eliminated it. Dairy products cause the bitter taste in my mouth except eggs. Sugars also cause the bitter tast, but not sugars in fruits. I never went to a doctor but i new it was the type of food i eat that causes the problem. The only meat i eat is baked chicken, turkey, and tuna fish. In addition, i eat a lot of vegetables served with rice or pasta. I do not eat after 6pm unles it is a salad with fat free dressing or fruits. Ever since i changed my diet, the bitter taste has gone away. It is all chemistry in the stomach. As long as the missing ingridient is supplied, the bitter taste will stay. The foods that i stay away from are any meat loaded with fat, cafein (coffee and soft dirnks), spicy foods, and sweets. This diet helped me get rid of the bitter taste and the other problems it caused like headache and fever. This better thing messed up even my concentration. It is hard to think and makes me confused. The antiacid medicine does not work for me. The change in diet did. I hope this information helps someone.
Good luck everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been reading several of the posts and I am experiencing similar problems to some of you. My stats are as follows: I am a 42 yo male, who had Gallbladder surgery last September. Prior to that I was experiencing pain in under my right ribcage, through to my back, sometimes it felt like a muscle spasm with stiffness and cramping, sometimes it felt like a burning sensation. I was nauseaus, and eating seemed to make it worse. I was waking up every morning between 3:30 and 5:30 am, feeling very stiff and sore from the inside out.  Needless to say, after two hida scans, an abdominal CT scan with a die contrast, a sigmoidoscopy, and two ultrasounds, all of my bloodwork prior and up to the surgery was normal. They finally agreed that my gallbladder wasn't functioning properly, so they took it out.

I felt better at first, and have been able to eat whatever I want without too many ill effects. I've gained weight and the pain under my right ribcage has somewhat subsided, although it has never truly gone away, I feel it a couple of hours after a meal or when I am really hungry.  At least it doesn't feel like it did.

However, in March, I started experiencing back stiffness and muscle spasms along with some minor right flank pain. My doctor put me on alleve and advil for a short time, for my back and that's when the stomach stuff really kicked in! I had burning in the abdomen under the ribcage sometimes to the right (where the "gallbladder" pain originally was) sometimes to the left, along with big time heartburn and some reflux. Needless to say, I don't take either anymore. I think these two things were really hard on my stomach.

The muscle spasms in my back have returned, but not as severe as in the past. If I stay in bed too long, I wake up sore and stiff some mornings. Particularly if I have done a lot of physical activity.  I think the back thing may be more related to arthritis, but someone told me that if you have an ulcer, you can sometimes feel it in your back.

I am going to physical therapy for my back stiffness and have begun Prevacid for the burning/heartburn/acid reflux problem. Will be on this for 8 weeks.  To date, I have had no upper GI series or scopes. Just the tests mentioned above. I guess I need to give this a few weeks to see if it clears up.

My doctors don't think it's anything to worry about. I don't know if the two are related or not. Perhaps it's just part of not having a gallbladder anymore, and my body's adjusting. Perhaps it's stress-related. I'm not sure. The body is a complicated thing, and I know one's emotions can play a role in both gastrointestinal and back problems. I think I would be less concerned if I knew for sure there's nothing hiding in there that is seriously wrong.  At this point any input is welcome.
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A related discussion, recent gall bladder surgery was started.
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A related discussion, Bitter Tast in Mouth after Gallbladder surgery was started.
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