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Can a Hepatic Functional Panel show gallbladder problems?
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Can a Hepatic Functional Panel show gallbladder problems?

Hello,
I am a 46 year female.  I'm tall and thin...5'11..138 lbs. My diet is okay, however, I don't eat sweets, cakes, pies, etc. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a small hiatal hernia by upper GI tests.  Ever since then, I have experienced upper abdominal discomfort....not pain, just discomfort sometimes after a meal. Sometime the discomfort is worst than other times.  It feels like it is spread across the upper portion of my stomach (directly under my brestbone).  During the time I had the upper GI to diagnose the HH, I also underwent a gallbladder ultrasound that didn't show anything.  Recently I underwent a Liver Hapatic Function Panel (because I had a hysterectomy and received a blood transfusion).  My doc wanted to ensure that I didn't contract hepatitis from the blood transfusion.  My question is this: if there was problems with my gallbladder.....stones, inflammation, cholecystitis, etc, would anything on the Hepatic function test be elevated to indicate a dysfunctional gallbladder?  I'm trying to avoid undergoing more tests.  If my symptoms above sound like typical hiatal hernia discomfort, then I can live with it.

Thank you kindly !!!
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No, the hepatic function test is not good enough to evaluate the gallbladder.  The abdominal ultrasound would be the most reasonable test at this time, and can look at both the gallbladder and liver.

I would also consider an upper endoscopy to ensure there is no ulcer nor inflammation which can cause the symptoms.

If the ultrasound is negative, you can also consider a HIDA scan with CCK stimulation to ensure the ejection fraction is normal - if low, that can cause gallbladder symptoms similar to the ones that you describe.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Medical Weblog:
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3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Short answer: no. Liver function tests can't rule gallbladder disease in or out. If there is acute inflammation of the gallbladder, there can be abnormal liver tests; likewise if a gallstone is lodged in the bile duct. But most symptoms from gallstones are not related to acute inflammation; during a gallbladder attack, there may or may not be changes in the liver tests. And a person having intermittant gallbladder pains would most likely have normal liver tests most of the time. Side comment: many hiatal hernias are symtom-free. The mere presense of a hiatal hernia on an xray does not mean there are problems associated with it. The main symptoms, if they exist, relate to reflux. What you describe doesn't sound like typical reflux. I'd say gallbladder dysfunction is still on the list. Nor have reflux problems been ruled out. It may be best to consider undergoing further tests.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your info.

I did recently learned that I have a sluggish gallbladder from my Natropath (alternative doctor). My symptoms are mild to moderate discomfort several hours after a meal. Also sometimes, there is slight pain (more discomfort) when my stomach is empty. I have gas, bloating and a very distinct fullness after eating just a small amout. But then my stomach hurts when it's empty. After talking to my Natropath doc, it was diagonosed as a sluggist gallbladder. She thinks I could benefit from a full GB cleanse. I would like to ask if anyone has had success with this procedure. I've read that it can be very dangerous if a large stone happens to lodge in one of the bile ducts while trying to pass. My symptoms are not severe, and i've never had pain or tenderness in the upper right abdominal area. So I dont know if this means that maybe my "sludge and stones" are not too severe. Could I please get input and/or experience with the cleanses? I would like to try it.

Here's a clue.....I read that consuming pure organic apple juices as well as eating apples could help. I did this for an entire day and drank only pure spring water, organic apple and pure beet juice. From that alone, i have noticed a improvement.....quite a ways to go tho, but improvement none the less

WHATEVER INPUT AND ADVICE YOU COULD PROVIDE WILL HELP.

I understand the traditional medicine community does not advocate natural remedies.  But if I've responded someone to an apple and beetroot juice one-day fast, would you think I could possibly be in no immediate danger to try a full cleanse?

Thanks again !

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Avatar_n_tn
As someone who has operated on around two thousand gallbladder patients, many of whom tried "alternative" methods including cleansing from naturopaths before concluding they needed surgery, I can tell you without reservation that such treatments are complete and utter hogwash, whose only benefit is to the cashflow of the "physician." Totally bogus. Clear enough?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello there. I'm a 29 yr old male, relatively healthy guy. I'm 180 lbs and would consider myself stalky. I've been having a upper right side dull to now intermediate pain that seems to be getting worse by the week for about 4 weeks now.  I'm currently working out of state and can't see my regular doctor or I'd be getting help from him. Anyways, I've had an hepatic panel done with results coming back totally normal along with a stool swab to check for blood which came back negative. Also had an ultrasound done and waiting to hear back on that. I've had everything that would suggest my gallbladder is going bad from diarreah (diarrhea) to constipation. From yellow stools, to dark green stools. Also very bad gas inside my intestines. My urine is relatively lighter in color but I'm still worried that I may have hepatitis. The pain comes and goes and somedays, maybe 3-4 days in the last month I've had no pain at all. Tonight though I started getting real sharp pains up under my ribcage. Pain subsides for the most part when I go to bed. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
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