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What did a stuck gallstone do to my digestive system?
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What did a stuck gallstone do to my digestive system?

Last sept it started as simple indigestion, got worse I could barely eat. Stomach and bowels making horrible noises, constant gas, constipation, bleeding from bowels.  After an Upper GI, no ulcers were found just haital hernia and acid reflux.  Eventually an ultrasound was done in Jan and gallstone discovered and dislodged from duct blockage.  Gall bladder still contains a 2.8 cm huge stone in the rear of the gallbladder. They say it is optional for GB removal as this huge stone should never get stuck or cause a problem.  So I declined the surgery for now.  
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Months later with no stuck stone, I still have stomach problems.  Still loud bowell noises, indigestion, uncomfortable feelings in stomach.  They perscribed Prilosec, Protonix, etc, but all just made things worse.
Currently taking Pepto or Mylanta when problems occur as well as ginger capsules.
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I am in Kaiser HMO till July 1, they have refused my requests for refferal to GI, until now.  They may reffer me just before I leave the HMO.  
I have appointment for early july with a local GI specialist, as soon as I am out of Kaiser and on Blue Cross Blue Shield.
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Until then looking for answers as to what damage could this stuck stone have caused while it blocked the bile duct.  It took months to diagnois properly and was unstuck just prior to the onset of pancreatitus (pancreatitis). All blood teste were normal for months, only when liver enzymes started changing did they persue the situation.  
During the stuck stone period I was very messed up, cold chills, temp dropped to 94.  No one could explain it.  They just said their themometer must be broke.  The lower my temp went the worse I felt.
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I feel that some kind of damage has been done to my digestive system.
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Theoretically speaking what can you suggest as what the damage is?  It will be july before I can get an endscopy and other tests done to determine what is really wrong.  Can you speculate or suggest anything I can do before then to ease the discomfort.
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One last thing, sometimes when I eat It feel like my esophogus is moving inside my body. Bubbling noises occur.  A very creepy feeling.  This usually happens with the first meal of the day only.  

I know this is long, but I am out of ideas.
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

You note dyspepsia (upper GI discomfort).  Upper GI showed a hiatal hernia.  Ultrasound shows a gallstone.

Causes for your symptoms includes the gallstone itself, or other causes of dyspepsia such as a peptic ulcer, cancer, GERD or inflammation of the stomach or esophagus.  

An upper endoscopy would be a good idea, since it would make sure that an ulcer, gastritis, cancer or other stomach/esophageal disorders is not the culprit.   Another test to consider would be a 24-hr pH test to document the presence of any GERD.

It is unlikely that the stone has done permanent damage.  If so, it would be reflected in the liver function tests.  

If the upper endoscopy is negative, you may want to consider a surgical referral to remove the gallbladder.  You have a documented stone, and it is the most likely explaination for your symptoms.  

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.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
it's highly unlikely that the gallstone in the bile duct did permanent damage: if it had, it would show on liver tests, or by you having recurrant pancreatitis, which is not something likely to be missed. Once it's gone, in general the problems from it are over. However, even tho the remaining gallstone is too large to pass, it doesn't mean it's not causing other problems. They can plug up the gallbladder itself. Likewise, when there are large stones, there can be small stones hidden in the "shadow" of the larger one. Gallstones can cause abdominal pain, indigestion, etc, even when they don't pass. What you describe can't be said for certain to be due to your remaining stone, but it's possible. A GI consult sounds like a good idea.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am aware that gallstones can case these troubles.   However my tests show that the gallbladder is still functioning and that this large stone is confined to the rear of the gallbladder. Also all blood tests (liver & pancrease ) are normal.
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The problem seems to be stomach related. The strange movement in the esophagus immediately apon eating could not be caused by gallstone.   It is instant.  
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Therefore I can only assume my stomach has been damaged somehow due to the total lack of bile while the stone was stuck.  There was no bile at all getting through for 3-4 months.  
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What a mess.
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Avatar_n_tn
gallbladders function even when stones are causing intermittant trouble, especially if the tests are done at a time when the symptoms are not acute. Function, per se, does not rule out the possibility of stones causing symptoms. Also, there's really no meaning to the idea that the stones are confined to "the back of the gallbladder." That's not a concept of relevance. If at the time of checking, the stones are not stuck in the opening of the gallbladder, then there likely would not be symptoms at that moment. But stones do not stay "in the back." They float around. This minute in the body of the gallbladder, the next at the neck. So a location at the moment of a particular test tells nothing about the next, or the previous moment. I don't have any way of saying whether your stones are causing symptoms or not; but the "back of the gallbladder" concept has, in fact, no meaning in terms of diagnosis. And, again, lack of bile for a time would have no effect on the stomach. The explanation for your troubles is not yet clear -- but I think it's safe to say that's not it....
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Avatar_n_tn
Would an endscopy be definitive and reveal whats going on.  The upper GI x-ray showed nothing but the Hernia and the reflux, no sign or tumors or abnormalities.  I assume an endscopy would reveal everything.
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Avatar_n_tn
well, no test is perfect, but endoscopy is very good at finding something going on in the stomach or esophagus or duodenum
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