Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gallbladder Infection?
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Gallbladder Infection?

I've been diagnosed with gallstones, and I'm waiting for the surgery.  I haven't yet gotten the date, because the surgeon wants me to go in for another ultrasound, which is scheduled two weeks from now.

I was doing okay with the gallstones by controlling my diet.  I'd have an attack about once every week or two that would last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.  I was never nauseous -- I just had major pain in the gallbladder and abdominal areas.  This went on for about 6 weeks.

Things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday night, when I was nauseous for the first time.  I was dizzy, vomiting, and I felt like I was going to pass out.  The next day I had a lot of pain in the gallbladder/abdominal/liver area, even though I ate nothing fatty.  I went to urgent care, where they did urine and blood tests.  I was told that I'm fine, but my liver enzymes are slightly elevated.  They said to come in if I can't stop vomiting or if my temperature spikes.  

Since then I've been miserable.  Most of the time, I'm nauseous or having pain.  I seem to get the gallbladder/abdominal pain no matter what I eat.  Those areas are very tender to touch from the outside, too.  I've put myself on a fruit and liquid diet for the past two days, but it doesn't seem to be helping.  

I'm wondering if this sounds like a gallbladder infection, that will ease if I treat it appropriately?  If it sounds like an infection, how should I treat it, and how long does it take to ease?  

Or does it sound like regular gallstone pain in its advanced stages?  Is it something that I'm just going to have to deal with until surgery?

Also, should I go to the doctor again about this?  It didn't sound like they want to pursue it any further, but should I push anyway?  

Random notes that may not mean anything:  My urine has been bright orange, but I'm not dehydrated.  I've only had one small bowel movement since all of this started.  My feet and hands have been itching like crazy -- I've never experienced that before.  I took my temperature twice when I was having that nausea on Wednesday night.  Both times it was quite low -- 95.7.  

Thanks so much for any guidance on this.  It's scary not knowing what's going on.

Tammy

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This should defintely be addressed with your doctors.  A stone in the bile duct is certainly a possibility.  

If this is suspected, your physicians may want to explore whether an MRCP or ERCP should be considered to evaluate this possibility.  I would not advise waiting until surgery.  

Without examining you, I cannot say whether it is infected or not, but typically a fever and an elevated white blood cell count would be suggestive indicators.  Abnormally low temperatures can also be indicative of infection - which is all the more reason this should be evaluated.  

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.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
8 Comments
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It sounds like you may have a stone in the main bile duct, which can be a very serious thing. Absolutely you need to be back in touch with your doctors. I don't know why another ultrasound would have been felt necessary if the first one showed stones. In any case, in the absense of fever or chills, it's not likely you have an infection. But with a stone in the bile duct (as opposed to the gallbladder) infection can more likely occur, and be much more serious. Even if you don't have a stone in the bile duct, it sounds like the time is right to be having more intervention. Call 'em!
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Hello. I am 29 years old. My mother died of colon cancer at the age of 47. Her mother had it after the age of 50 and was succesfully treated, and her great grandmother died from it in her latter years. I am mantally exasted from thinking about this. I know I need to be tested and I am but I have to wait till we get our income tax return in Feb to get it. We do not have insurance and our local charity hospital will not give me a colonoscopy because of my age. So I am in a pickle! I have for a couple of days had slight bleeding during bowel movements when I wipe. It is bright red. I started taking fiber because I would get constipated and it has made me nice and regular but my stools are larger so I am wondering if it could have caused a fissure or something or maybe an internal hemmeriod. I do have a sharp pain for only a second when I go. Do you think it would be ok to wait till Feb. That is only 5 months away. This is driving me crazy!!! Thankyou, Danielle
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Avatar_n_tn
the standard recommendation is that people with a family history of colon cancer get their first colonoscopy at an age 10 years younger than the youngest family member got it; that's a few years away for you. As to the cause of your bleeding, it indeed sounds most like a fissure since there's pain with it; likewise, the small amount of bright red blood suggests the source is very near the anus. You could be examined with an anoscope, which is a simple cheap office procedure as opposed to colonoscopy. The bottom (no pun intended) line, however, is that no online opinion replaces one from a doc who actually knows and sees you. So at minimum you need to mention it to your doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
This is just a follow-up to my question.  I called my doctor on Monday, and he sent me in for emergency surgery to have the gallbladder removed.  During the surgery, they found that my gallbladder was inflamed, and they did find a stone in the main bile duct, as you suggested.  I went in for an ERCP on Tuesday, and they got the stone out.  The procedure extended longer than they expected (3 hours) because I'm "a little crooked", so I kept waking up.  That was crazy!  

So, I wanted to thank you for advising me to call my doctor.  I'm so happy that everything turned out, and that I'll be able to move on with my life once I get over this pain.  

Tammy
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Avatar_n_tn
I can sympathize with your pain.  Glad you went back to the doctor and had your surgery before it was scheduled.  I had the same thing, horrible pain lasting all night.  When I finally went to my docter she had me get an ultrasound the next day.     that night I was in the emergency room sicker than I have ever been in my life.  Fever of 104 chills and an elevated liver count that just kept rising.  I spent 5 days in the hospital getting well enough to undergo surgery. Had gallbladder removed on the 6th day of hospitalization.  Moral?  If you are sick don't wait.  I almost waited too long.  Hope your recovery is going as well as mine!
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Avatar_n_tn
I need some help.  My father has being a very healthy man and a couple of days ago, he developed this rash in the palm of his hands and his feet.  The next day, the rash covered most of his body.  He described the rash as small blisters. Then his skin started to turn into a yellowish color; his eyes also have this yellowish tint.

He was admitted to the hospital, and went through several tests.  The doctors found that his gallbladder was filled with puss (sp?).  I don't think he was running a fever, but another symptom was a severe case of hic ups.  So severe, he said he could not breathe.
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Avatar_n_tn
I need some help.  My father has being a very healthy man and a couple of days ago, he developed this rash in the palm of his hands and his feet.  The next day, the rash covered most of his body.  He described the rash as small blisters. Then his skin started to turn into a yellowish color; his eyes also have this yellowish tint.

He was admitted to the hospital, and went through several tests.  The doctors found that his gallbladder was filled with puss (sp?).  I don't think he was running a fever, but another symptom was a severe case of hic ups.  So severe, he said he could not breathe.  The doctors were a little puzzled.  The symptoms my dad has, according to the doctors are not common.  

Is there anyone that has ever heard of a similar case?  BTW, my father is in Bolivia, where I'm from.  I'm affraid that medicine might be a little behind, and my dad might not get the best treatment.  I appreciate all the help you can provide.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a gallbladder attack a week ago and have an appointment with the specialist in a week. They want to schedule to remove my gallbladder. I keep having spells of being really hot and sweating and then it will go away within a few minutes. I know it's not a hot flash because I am only 27 years old. Do you think it has anything to do with an infection in my gallbladder?

Thanks, Laci
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A related discussion, post gall bladder removal problems was started.
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A related discussion, gallstones was started.
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