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Ongoing Bile duct sludge symptoms
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Ongoing Bile duct sludge symptoms

I had my gallbladder removed over ten years ago due to "attacks" I had involving pain in my right upper abdomen area with the pain moving around to my back creating an extremely painful/suffocating feeling. I have excruiating pain and loss of ability to breathe okay during these attacks. I was okay for several years after my gallbladder was removed and then started having random attacks, ususally quite some time between them. I have had 2 ERCP's in the last 3 years, the last one being this past December. I have had several liver function tests come back elevated and I'm tired a lot of the time, especially after an attack. Prior to that my last "attack" was almost a year ago to this day. This past week I have had symptoms that go along with the attack, but I have not had a full fledged attack, and I've been extremely fatigued with quite a lot of tenderness around the right side of my ribcage. Why does this keep happening, and is it really my bile duct? I feel that at 32 I'm too young to be having so many problems. I have been dealing with this on/off for the past 14+ years. I'm scared of the possiblity of cancer.
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Dear Grace,
I had to respond to your comments on bile duct sludge.  Your symptoms are very simmilar to my own.  I too had my gallbladder out seven years ago. I have also had ongoing liver aches and pains off and on since my gallbladder was removed.  Five years after my surgery i had what felt like a galbladder attack.  The pain was in my right shoulder,liver area and in my breat bone area (which i didn't have with prior attacks)  My Doctor thought it might have been a biliary stone,because of the pain i had in my breast bone area.  My liver enzymes were around 900.  When  i was having my Gallbladder attacks the highest my enzymes got were around 800.  I thought it was weird to have higher Liver enzyme numbers after my gallbladder was removed.  I had elevated Liver enzymes five years prior to my sugery.  My old DR. thought i had a virus that attacked my Liver.  Like you i have been dealing with Liver aches and pains and elevated liver enzymes off and on for 12 years.

I also have had itiching and very red palms off and on.  I have a dull ache constantly in my right back right behind my Liver. Do you have a constant ache in your Liver area?  What has your DR. said about your symptoms. My DR. doesn't say much when i complain about my Liver aches.  

When i first complained about having pain in my Liver area my DR. thought i had pulled a muscle in my back.  I had around 4 Gallbladder ultrasounds which didn't show any stones.  It wasn't until i went to the ER with really bad attacks that my stones were found with ercp.  The endoscopy DR. told me that ultrasounds are 96% reliable and that i fell into the 4% that aren't reliable.

It's nice to find someone with simmilar symptoms.  This is the first time i have answered a question on the internet.

I hope to hear from you.

Armo


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I would love to hear how you are doing now. I have had problems with sludge, etc for years and have had 7 ERCPs. I am now considering surgery. Are you still having "attacks" or did they stop after the stones were removed?
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Wow, you have had 7 ERCP's??? That seems like an awful lot, but then again, my doctor told me that about 6% of the cases that have ERCP's have to have them done on a regular basis. Seems like something more permanent could be done. What are you having surgery for?
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I can't say that I have pain in my liver area, I guess it could be, but it is not ongoing, just after I have an ERCP or an "attack".
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I would suggest that you switch doctors if they won't respond to your questions.  There are a lot of good doctors out there who will talk to you and help you deal with your problems.  Do it ASAP!
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i've never participated in a chat room before, but your writeup gave me an ahh-ha moment i could not resist. after 15 years of episodic midriff pain (level 8 pains), my gallstones were finally diagnosed & the gallbladder removed laproscopically. the gallbladder contained black crystals, called billirubin gallstones. i finally felt wonderful! 4 years later i began having 1-2 minute attacks (level 10 of roll-on-the-floor gut pains.) despite 5 weeks of these, 3 hospital admissions & many tests, no blood work or ultrasounds found any abnormalities, so docs were monitoring my heart because the pains were relieved by nitro pills! finally in the cardiac care unit of a major seattle hospital, i had 20 minutes of hell (level 25 pain!), whereupon an ultrasound & labs finally found a swollen bileduct and increasingly elevated liver & pancreatic readings. i then had an ercp procedure, cutting a 7mm opening in the bile duct. much sludge drained. even though no gallstone was found, the doctor concluded that 20 minutes of hell was the probable passing of the mother of all gallstones. that was 7 years ago. life has been wonderful until 3 weeks ago. i've had 2 episodes of midriff pain again (level 8) -- 1 lasting 1-2 hours, which disappeared after eating dinner; and 1 lasting ~20 hours(!) where eating did not help at all. (i did not take nitro pills for these.) i went to my ercp-doc during the 20 hour pain & actually fainted in his office from it. during this pain i had blood tests, abdominal x-rays, & an ultrasound. for all years, each episode involved loss of appetite, belching, bloating, burning and/or cramping in midriff with twinges down, up, or to my back deep inside. the results of my recent tests during pain were: mild dilated bile duct (11mm max), abnormal bowel gas patterns in 2 places with mildly dilated loop of small bowel. i just had another test where i "swallowed" a long tube from nose to small intestine, so that barium could be deposited & films taken. i await results on this test. meanwhile 48 hours after the pain, i felt totally well & strong again! the bottom line is that I THINK all these years of episodic gut pain are related -- all due to stones or all due to the still-unnamed colon problem. HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:
(1) have any of you had bilirubin gallstones? and passed more after gallbladder removal?
(2) have any of you had diagnosed colon problems after gallbladder removal?
MY ONLY ADVICE IS THIS -- be careful that you don't faint from  abdominal pain! for me a NEW response to sudden gut pain is that the vegas nerve in my belly makes me faint. by falling 5'8" chin first, i've lost 4 perfectly good teeth & severely injured 2 others plus my jaw hinges. if you can't believe you're going to faint, remember this story & BELIEVE IT! good luck to all of you. --- ccz
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WOW - It's a miracle.  After months of trying to figure this out, I logged on today and found you all right there.  
I had my gall bladder removed about ten years ago.  Last year, after some unrelated abdominal surgery, while under huge amounts of stress I started waking up with terrible epigastric/back/shoulder pain.  I told three different doctors that, "If I still had a gall bladder I would swear this was gall bladder pain."  They all just nodded at me.  I've had all sorts of cardiac and muscular tests and treatments.  I even saw the GI surgeon. Nothing.
As soon as I read your notes, I made an appt. with the gastroenterologist.  (He was not one of the docs I have consulted this last year.)  I feel so much better to think that I'm on the trail of this thing.
Thanks
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HEY, THE ODD THING IS IM 24 AND HAVE SLUDGE IN MY GALL BALADDER.
I HAD BAD BACK PAIN AND CHEST PAIN FOR 2 DAYS. AFTER THE 2ND DAY I WENT TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. 8HRS LATER I FOUND OUT THAT I HAVE SLUDGE! I SPOKE WITH A HERBALIST AND SHE GAVE ME A GREAT REMEDY. 8 OUNCES OF WARM WATER, HALF OF A FRESH LEMON, AND A PINCH OF CAYENNE PEPPER. 3 TIMES A DAY FOR 3 WEEKS. IT WORKS!! IM IN NO PAIN AT ALL. THERE IS A DIFFERENT REMEDY FOR STONES. EMAIL ME AT
JASON.***@**** FRO ANY QUESTIONS.. TAKE CARE--JASON
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