well, for about a month now, I was having these terrible pains in my right upper stomach...went to the ER about 2 weeks ago and told me that it was just gastritis, which is basically a stomach ulcer due to the vomiting with m/s...anyways...they said it would heal and get better, but it did not...last night I had the worst attack of them all...went back to the doctor and he told me that I have gallstones with sludge...found out by ultrasound...and referred me to a general surgeon...Is this something I should be worried about...? Has anyone ever had this...any input would be great
Oh yes, I have had terrible gallstone attacks--the worst of which put me in the hospital for days. Here are some of the things I have found out:
Gallstones can take up to 8 years to form. The biggest reason one gets gallstones is due to fat in one's diet which will make a blockage or attack more likely. Most gallstones will subside either temporarily or for a longer period of time when treated by a course of powerful antibiotics (I had antibiotics by IV in the hospital). However, this does not solve the problem for the long term. Most docs suggest the removal of the gallbladder either done through laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) which ends up removing your gallbladder and gallstones through several small incisions in the abdomen. This can be done if there is no infection and when they open you up if your anatomy is clear. However, if you are in the midst of an attack when they decide to operate, if your anatomy is not clear or if you have other complications it can lead to full surgery with a much longer recovery time. The first type takes about 3-10 days to heal, the surgery route is longer. I am currently awaiting the laparoscopic surgery and I am on a VERY strict low-fat diet and I am exercising like crazy. Extra weight gain also contributes to gallbladder issues. I read the packages on everything and I am trying to eat 3 grams of fat (or less) per item with a total fat gram intake of no more than about 15 grams daily (however, the gallbladder diet does usually allow for up to 22-24 grams of fat daily--I just don't want to risk another attack). I totally feel your pain--it is the worst pain I have ever been in and it was worse than labor.
I hope some of this information helps. I have been researching some of the side effects of the surgery (either one) and it does have some possibilities of risks such as being more prone to diarrhea and needing further surgeries should things not work out properly. As well, most patients "should" remain on a low fat diet after the surgery (although I have one friend who didn't and is fine, but I think I will stick to my low fat diet).
Here is a bit more info from a website:
I don't know about being preggo, but I assume they will make you wait it out before you can have any sort of surgery to remove it. My sister and I have both had the laparascopic procedures to removed out gallbladders. It has been over 3 years since mine and my sister just had hers a few months ago. I am doing much better since it was removed. No more late night attacks feeling like I was having a heart attack. My diet is pretty much the same. I go #2 a lot more than I used to and so does my sister. It really doesn't bother me. Neither of us were very regular before the procedure, so we are much more regular now. I wouldn't say I have increased diarreah (diarrhea) or anything like that. I try to be healthy, but don't obsess over fat content unless I am on a specific diet.
For now, since there probably isn't much you can do about it, try to stay away from gas causing foods (like beans and cauliflower) and greasy and fatty foods. That should help decrease the pain. Sometimes it didn't seem to matter what I ate though. I didn't suffer long though. I had my procedure about 2 months after we figured out what was wrong. My sister waited almost a year and she didn't die from it or anything. Her stones were much larger than mine by the time they were able to remove them. They looked like miniature dice. Mine looked like beebees.
Yeah, it is possible that if you are pregnant they might consider waiting. I talked it over with my doctor because we are ttc (but it has been years now and no baby yet) and my doc said that they would do the procedure whether I was pregnant or not (because pregnancy can increase the attacks apparently), however the doc did say that if they can avoid it during pregnancy, they would wait.
i had the same thing with the sludge. sounds gross huh? the biggest concern with the sludge as opposed to stones is it will get backed up in the tubes. your gall bladder goes into your liver. therefore when it backs up it sits in your liver and will damage that. they told me that i had liver damage but since the liver will regenerate it was not a problem. liver enzymes are supposed to be like 42 and my was over 5000. once the surgery was over they returned to normal in like a week or so. it was pretty amazing. my best advice...try to eat the same amount of fat each day and keep it rather minimal. Pizza, bacon....NEVER! i managed to make it from mid november to mid dec with out an attack before my surgery. the surgery is so easy. the worst part is not having use of stomach muscles for about 4 days or so. you find a whole new way of getting out of bed. walking is really really slow. oh and the worst of the worst....diareah (sp) for the next year!!!! please dont make the same mistake that i did. do not go out to eat for at least the first week until you understand how your body will react. i went to tgi fridays and had a salad. i was not 1/4 of the way done before i felt like i was going to explode. i went to the bathroom and was terrified that i was going to rip something. i was in there for over an hour and i thought i was done. boy was i wrong. i went back 3 more times. that was the longest trip to tgi fridays ever! good news though...you can eat anything you want for the next year and wont gain a pound. i am the yo yo dieter that has to watch everything that i eat and will gain a pound with one donut. that was the best year of my life!!! anyway, the attacks really suck but the rest isnt that bad. the one thing you should know...it scared the heck out of me...phantom pains. after the surgery you will get the beginning sensation of the attack. the sensation where it hurts but it is tolorable. i really thought they removed my gall bladder and it wasnt the problem. they never got really bad. still 5 years later i get them. Good luck and i hope you feel better.
oh i was really glad to hear that those pains were worse then labor. those were the worst pains ever and i thought i was going to die. i couldnt imagine worse pains. i have been terrified for the past 36 weeks that i was going to be in the much or more pain again. i feel much better!
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