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Enlarged Gallbladder, Doctors No Help
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Enlarged Gallbladder, Doctors No Help

I have suffered from chronic abdominal pain for several years.  Earlier on when my pain started I visited my doctors and we went through several tests which ended nonconclusive.  My parents and I would've persued the matter further, but several things got in the way and I just dealt with my pain inwardly.  Now lately my stomach pain as returned and it is just as bad, if not worse, than before.  I'm only 17 and going through high school with this problem has been complete and utter hell.  Just last week I visited my doctor again who was leery to start tests again with the fear that we would get the same results, but when the results of my CT Scan came bad they found that I have a mildly enlarged gallbladder as well as enflamed ovaries (with small cysts).  So in order to follow up with that they did an ultrasound of which my results just came in and nothing was found to be wrong.  My doctors have basically given up on me and chalked it up to growing pains, but I just have a feeling that what I've got is more than just another ache.  I can hardly eat anything because I'm constantly scared about how my stomach will take it (which is usually bad- I'm constantly running to the bathroom after I eat even medium sized meals), and after my last CT Scan my body seemed to reject the barium that I was given (my doctors think I'm allegeric, but they won't do a followup).  I'm am an average sized teenager with basically no other complaints when it comes to health, but lately I've become dizzy, lost some weight, and had nausea along with random heat waves that leave me breathless along with my pain.  I'm at my wits end as to what to do and my doctor's are absolutely no help whatsoever. If anyone could help me or at least give me a hint as to what I can do I would be extremely greatful!
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Avatar_f_tn
Kelly, does anyone in your family have a history of either gallbladder issues or possibly a food intolerance issue like celiac disease? Have you tried to figure out if either fatty foods, or foods containing wheat, rye, barley and oats cause you problems?

Is there any GI issues that 'run' in your family? Are you on any meds at all?

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CalGal, the only medical history in my immediate family that I know of is my mom's cancer and my dad's tendency for acid reflux (which I have as well).  I try and stay away from foods like dairy (brings diarrhea) that can trigger my pain, but even when I don't eat it comes back two-fold.  As of now I'm not on any meds, probably because I have a horrible time trying to swallow pills, and I'm thinking of switching to a new doctor who may be able to help me more...hopefully.  Is there any way that any of that information can help?  Thank you!
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Hi Kelly:

You've been through so much at such a young age; I'm so sorry you are suffering.  If the last CT-Scan had findings and your Doctors aren't pursing those findings, perhaps a second opinion is in order.  

A mildly enlarged gallbladder can cause pain.  Inflammation of ovaries and/or small cysts can also cause pain.  Symptoms like dizziness, weight loss, diarrhea and nausea should be investigated further, though.  Since the Ultrasound was normal, I would ask them to re-run it at the very least.  

Have you been adhering to a low-fat diet?  As CalGal mentioned, perhaps if food sensitivities are at the root of your symptoms, allergy testing might be an option.

I don't understand why they took the time to follow-up a CT with an ultrasound and then ignored the initial CT findings.  You don't sound like the type of kid who goes to the Doctor for every hang nail and tummy ache.  You seem grounded, articulate and intelligent, so I would definitely pursue answers.  If you answer CalGal's questions, she will likely provide a thorough response.  She is brilliant and she knows more than anyone else I've ever seen on this board.

Good luck and God bless,

Sam
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Sam,

Thank you so much.  My parents and I are definately looking into other doctors around our and area and are considering some in St. Louis, so your advice for a second opinion will not go unheard.  As for my doctors dismissing the first CT Scan, who knows exactly what they're thinking?  We've been dealing with this issue for so long that I think it is time for a fresh new perspective.  My mom also read CalGal's advice for allergy testing and thinks a great idea and worth definately worth a shot.  Plus, with the new knowledge that I got that involves a history of colon cancer in my family there's several more options that we can look into as well.  It's nice to see people on this site who aren't as narrow minded when it comes to medical answers as my doctors seem to be.
Thanks to all who have answered my reply, you've both given me a more hope in the idea that maybe I won't be stuck in the same predicament for the next couple years of my life.  :)
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I also forgot to mention (and maybe I should have in my first post) that when I was getting my ultrasound done, the tech said that my stomach was full.  This was after 8 hours of fasting without food and drink.  The only thing I had ate in the past 20 hours was a few dounut holes for breakfast and a half bottle of water.  The tech was almost sure that I had ate, and said that the fact that I had chewn maybe one piece of gum in that time wouldn't create that much saliva to fill my stomach.
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469934_tn?1333138882
Hi Kelly:

You know, it sounds like you had a technician who either wasn't very experienced or wasn't a very skilled practitioner.  It is such a shame when someone who has a legitimate problem, like you, doesn't get the care they deserve because of malpractice, inexperience and/or ignorance.  If they re-run the test, though, skip the water and the donut hole (just to be on the safe side).  =)  If my comments have helped at all, I'm very grateful.  If you want to chat or vent, feel free to write or post anytime.  Your parents, too.  It's so difficult to watch a loved one suffer.  I'm a pretty good listener and I absolutely understand what you are going through.  I sincerely hope you can get back to living life instead of watching it pass you by.

All the best,

Sam
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901406_tn?1242403422
Yeah maybe just not eating anything period would be a good idea.  And your comments have helped immensely. It's nice to know that other people can sympathize with your problems, even when it feels like the doctors couldn't care less.  I may even take you up on that whole venting thing sometime if all this medical confusion holds up, but hopefully some new doctors will be able to clear some of this stuff up and bring at least a little relief.  I hope you have a great rest of the week.  :)
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469934_tn?1333138882
Hi again, Kelly:

One last thing I forgot to mention:  Have you considered joining a web group?  They are absolutely free.  They are similar to MedHelp except everyone in the webgroup is familiar with Acute Pancreatitis, Chronic Pancreatitis, Autoimmune Pancreatitis, Minimal Change Chronic Pancreatitis, Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction and/or other UNDIAGNOSED DIGESTIVE ILLNESSES.  I belong to two groups, Michele's (Sphincterofoddi_pancreatitis) and Maddi's (Pancreatitis_sphincterofoddi) but there are many others.   We have Members as young as 17 years old, so you would have people your own age to talk to.

To find them, go to Yahoo!  On the left-hand-side of the page, click the link for Groups.  Search Yahoo! Groups for the keyword "Pancreatitis".   When you find groups that suit you, click on "Join this Group".  There's no limit to how many you join.  You then fill out a request to join and the Group Moderator will review it and let you know that you have been accepted within a day or two.  If you don't hear back from them within two days, the group may be closed.

These groups offer information, references, databases and links.  More than that, they provide the opportunity to interact with others who have been through EXACTLY what you are going through.  The only people who can truly relate to your experience are people who have had the same or similar experiences.  Digestive diseases affect every aspect of your life; physically, socially, financially and emotionally.  It affects your relationships and destroys your social life.  It changes your lifestyle and, most importantly, your quality of life.

Okay, I'm done.  Especially if you're not a fan of psychiatry or psychology, a web group is a great way to talk things out without judgment or criticism.

All the best,

Sam
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I'll definately have to check it out.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_m_tn
Have you been to a Gastro specialist? Have you ruled out crohn's disease or colitis?
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Avatar_m_tn
Kelly,
This sounds horrible.  Also check into bile reflux..There are a few cause but that is what I am also doing. I had my gall bladder out three years ago and still have the severe stabbing pain in my stomach. I have been tested for everything and have nothing. The ER mistakenly diagnosed my for acid reflux which later test showed that I do not have, however acid reflux is something you can have at the same time as bile reflux which is why this is frequently missed. I have finally come across something that actually fits my debilitating pains. I can find no trigger and nothing that could be causing this and never know when this my strike. It is extremely frustrating whan you hit a wall, but don't give up. You need to be your own advocate. Bile reflux is often missed or misdiagnosed. In my case with the organ, that uses to house the bile and only secrete it when necessary, gone the bile is constantly circulating the body. The pain is not normal and not expectable for anyone to experience. I have modified my diet in many ways and have found no relief. Also look at the symptoms for Gastritis which can occur from the bile reflux. The two together explain all of my symptoms and also sound like yours. Check out the Mayo Clinic's website.
Good Luck I hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
Another thought I forgot to mention was when you said the tech didn't believe you hadn't eaten. Another cause of bile reflux, since you haven't had surgery, is your stomach isn't emptying fast enough.
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469934_tn?1333138882
It's so surprising to know that so many others are suffering from the same exact thing.  Have you guys had problems with urinary tract infections?  Just curious.  Have either of you had mono?

Have you looked into Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction and/or Minimal Change Chronic Pancreatitis?

I wish you all the best!  Hang in there and have a safe and happy summer,

Sam (female - 44 - Rockwood, Ontario Canada - Undiagnosed)
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1384961_tn?1279503008
ive had same problems with doctors not listening and taking there time!!! Change doctors until you find one that will do something!!!
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469934_tn?1333138882
Thanks, Nate!  I appreciate your response.  All the best to you and yours,

Sam
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