Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gall Bladder Sludge?
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Gall Bladder Sludge?

  I have posted before about my problem.  In short, it started out with
  clay colored stools, abdominal pains, bloated stomach, (Even after small meals)
  and acid reflux.  The pain would also go to my back and shoulder blades.  
  I have been through a year of tests and as far as that goes, the doctors
  were stumped.  They could only pick up some irritation of my throat from
  the acid reflux.  All scans, bloodwork, tests were negative.
  I was worried that it might have been an infection of sorts, but all
  of the doctors said it is not an infection of ANY kind nor it is a
  autoimmune disorder of ANY kind also not a hernia of ANY kind.
  In short, they said I was just stressed.
  In frustration I tracked down an other doctor.  In short, he did the
  right tests and fond that I was having gall bladder attacks.  
  (No stones.) The tests indicated that I had "Gall Bladder Sludge"
  I am a otherwise healthy 195lb, 25 year old who works out. I cut
  out drinking (Weekend Drinker)and modified my diet.  Nothing of
  this sort runs in my family.
  Keeping this post as short as possible, (I know you have tons to read! :)  
  I am trying to think of what did I do to bring this on?  
  The only thing that my doctor and I can think of is,
  maybe the weight gain powder/creatine/binge drinking that
  I was doing right before I had these "Gall Bladder Attacks".
  Could this volatile mix of goop I was taking collected in my
  gall bladder or did it do something to my liver?  (Pancrease has been ruled out)
  I am doing better for the most part but, I am still hurting.
  I know that this is somewhat of a rare thing but, what are
  the causes of gall bladder sludge, and how do I get it out!  
  Or is this a problem with my liver, dumping sludge in there?  :)
Dear Frank,
The risk factors associated with the development of biliary sludge are similar to those associated with the development of gallstones. Gallbladder sludge consists of cholesterol microcrystals and calcium bilirubinate in a thick mucin gel matrix. It may precede stone formation or spontaneously disappear. The major components of bile are bile salts, phospholipids and cholesterol. Cholesterol, in order to become more soluble interacts with lecithin and bile salts. If bile is supersaturated with cholesterol (and therefore insoluble) it will precipitate and act as a nidus for crystal and stone formation. This can occur from increased cholesterol secretion or decreased bile salt secretion. Another important factor that leads to sludge and stone formation is decreased motility of the gallbladder (or gallbladder stasis). This leads to incomplete emptying of the gallbladder. Therefore, mucin gel secretion and subsequent crystal and stone formation can occur. Pregnancy, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels), vagotomy (surgery on the stomach), diabetes, celiac sprue, total parenteral nutrition (intravenous nutrition) have been associated with gallbadder stasis. Other risk factors for the development of gallstones include: gender (women greater than men), age, medications (oral contraceptives, estrogen, lipid lowering agents, bile acid binding drugs), obesity and rapid weight reduction. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physicians
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