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Can't eat fat
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Can't eat fat

Hi,

I've been having some strange symptoms. Basically, when I eat fat I get a dull pain in my right side (behind the ribs), nothing severe. It is usually accompanied by a muscular pain on my right leg or buttock, or my right shoulder blade, or my right hip, sometimes even my right armpit. The muscular or joint pains are stronger than the one on my side, bad enough to miss work, and be afraid to eat fat.

This summer I went for two months without  eating hardly any fat (maybe 9grs a day), and I felt great (although it sucked not to be able to eat out). After a paint free month, I tried adding a bit more fat to my diet until I was eating normally. Now the pain has started again. It's as if something toxic builds up in my system when I eat fat, and goes away when I don't.

I've had all sorts of tests done. The ultrasound showed no gallstones (just a couple of cysts in my gallbladder and liver). Many blood tests didn't show any liver damage, cyliac disease, lactose intolerance, or anything out of the norm.

My family doctor is sending me to a specialist, but in the mean time, I figured I'd post this here.

Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been going through all of this and just had a Hida scan done to check the gallbladder. You may have your specialist do this test because what you are describing sounds like gallbladder.
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Avatar_n_tn
Only just found this forum and I know you posted your comments last year. I'm wondering if you have got any further because it took nearly four years for the health proffessionals to finally agree with me that I was fat intolerant. I'm also interested to know how old you are, if you are fair and if you are over weight. I have my reasons for being so nosey!
I had similar symptoms to those you are describing but much more severe in the end. Like you, I had all the tests under the sun done and they all showed that I was 'fine' despite three seperate admissions to hospital via A&E.
When a GP finally took the leap to say I needed my gall bladder removed they found that it was full of grey sludge. This doesn't show up on a scan. Every time I had eaten fat some of this sludge had been pushed out and caused blockages in the bile ducts, this is what causes the pain. In my case though it also caused infections in the ducts.
I was told that I could then go back to a normal diet, gradually, which I did, but the symptoms came back. I was given the advice which is given to people with gall stones and it took a further 2 years and 2 more hospital admissions, again via A&E, before I finally saw a doctor who diagnosed me. I had, like you, taken myself off of fat in the end as it was the only way to stay off of the antibiotics. I also realised that I had become lactose intolerant which may have been a side effect of abdominal surgery.
The last doctor I saw was an elderly man who had been in his speciality for a long time. He told me that he had, over the years, come across a few cases like mine, patients who don't fit the bill for gall bladder problems, they are classified (not very nicely) as "fair, fat and forty". I am fair but at the time only 32 and I've never been fat, I don't even like chocolate, red meat or dairy products. Basically I didn't fit the bill.
I was advised never to go near fat again and I try to keep under 10g a day. Yes it's a pain, going out to eat is a nightmare but I find that any decent chef enjoys the challenge of trying to feed me but it has been worth it. I rarely get ill, even colds, which I used to get a lot of, just seem to bounce off me now. After nearly 4 years of being on antibiotics and pain killers, in and out of hospital, feeling tired, lethargic, achey (achy) and all round pants, I now feel great!
Don't let them fob you off, you know yourself better than they do and you are probably right. I had a check up recently and saw a young doctor. He said that I should begin introducing fat back into my diet as missing out a food group may be bad for me, he had no idea! Another GP told me I had the best diet for health when I expressed concerns.
Good news though is that I have very recently been experimenting with un-saturated fat versus saturated fat and I've found that if I avoid saturated fat in a meal I can actually up the amount of un-saturated fat I can handle. So olive oil is ok. This has made eating a whole lot easier and a darn sight more flavoursome!
Good luck to you
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Avatar_f_tn
I am new to this forum...just posted several days ago with a similar, but seemingly more alarming set of symptoms. I have had that exact pain for 4 months! Pain that radiates from just under ribcage on right to right hip and sometimes down into the thigh! My pain started with a rapid onset and with tremendous heartburn. The heartburn has subsided somewhat but the pain  (like hot burning pain) continues. I have had CT scan, Ultrasound of gall bladder/liver/pancreas, MRI and all that was found was a small lesion (benign) on my liver. Have you lost weight? I have lost 13 lbs. I also have severe lightheadedness and headches. I am going for an endoscopy/colonoscopy on Tuesday of next week. Ugh! I would definitely recommend seeing a gastro specialist if I were you. I have cut out all meat except for fish and only eat organic veggies and brown rice/beans. I drink nothing carbonated and mostly herbal teas. THis seems to help somewhat. Nothing fried...ever! You may want to try and make your diet an easily digestible one....this may give you some relief. Try as well, to cut out dairy and things high in fat....to see if this may alleviate some of your symptoms. Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for posting. I'm better now, although still have occasional symptoms. You asked about me, and I'm 34, and not overweight (not skinny either).

I think what I have is a dyskinesic gallbladder. I can eat fat now, for the most part, although fatty meals (like pizza, burgers, fried things) still trigger the pain.

I went to a GE, but he was a joke (about to retire), so he did absolutely nothing.

Right now I'm just living with it. I don't think is as bad now that it requires surgery.

Thanks for taking an interest!
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Avatar_f_tn
As I replied to ditzybird, my symptoms are not as severe anymore, so I can eat a normal diet, as long as it's not too fatty.

Have you read on dyskinetic gallbladder? That's what I think I have. Basically the gallbladder is not working as it should (no stones or anything).

Thanks for replying to my post!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have very very small but similar symptoms when eating fat. I am 20 years old, skinny and fair. However, whenever I eat fat my stomach hurts really bad (and on occasion it might hurt slightly elsewhere) and sometimes it's hard to move because it hurts. Usually I end up throwing up the fat 30mins-4 hours after the meal (so no, not bulimia... it's not voluntary). I say throwing up the fat as I can really "see" the fat in the vomit. It usually hurts a little less after that. It only hurt that bad from for instance French fries, pizzas and similar foods. Unsaturated fats are okay though. I wonder, if this could be something similar although it's not really that bad yet? A doctor I talked to simply said that some people just can't eat saturated fats, that without running any tests (she did not really take it that seriously). Anyhow, I simply avoid the saturated fats as far as possible.
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Avatar_m_tn
my husband has this problem. we have sort of figured it to be vegetable oil.  anything fried that he gets out in a restaurant or even sometimes if he gets brownies at a party or anything that people may put veg oil in. he literally gets sick, then feels better when the oil is gone. I do not use veg oil at home, so he never gets sick eating at home. even breakfast out....they use it to make eggs, it makes him sick. it is very strange. just doesnt agree with him, maybe this is your problem?
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