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Avatar universal

Anyone have/had gallbladder problems with no pain?

I have had a HIDA scan which  showed my ejection fraction as being 38% which basically means that it is not emptying properly. However, I understand that many doctors say it should be below 35% before they will consider removal. In my case I have had conflicting opinions from various doctors ranging from leave it where it is and take it out.
I also understand that gallbladder disease is normally indicated by pain under the rib cage, normally on the right side and which often will radiate into the right shoulder blade plus nausea and also vomiting.
My symptoms are almost constant nausea and stomach discomfort which I have had for 18 months. I would not describe my stomach discomfort as pain it is more of an ache which is not from any specific area. It is the sort of stomach discomfort you would get if you had a stomach bug. The worst symptom is nausea.
I should point out that I have had 3 ultrasounds all of which were normal. In addition I have had numerous other tests, all of which were normal.
My question is to ask if anyone here has had similar symptoms that have been relieved by removal of their gallbladder or if anyone here is considering the removal of their gallbladder with similar symptoms to mine?
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Have you had an upper endoscopy or gastric emptying study? These are avenues I would explore if you cannot find relief. Slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis) can cause chronic nausea. I had these tests and all was normal.

I also had a borderline HIDA scan (two of them actually). The first showed 33% ej and the second 48%. My only symptom was terrible debilitating nausea that kept me up at night. I could not get a straight answer from doctors as to whether I could expect improvement from gb removal. I researched it a lot, and almost everyone talks about a distictive URQ PAIN, particularly after fatty meals.

Do you find that your nausea/discomfort is worse after eating certain foods? My wasn't, and I could never find any real connection with what I was eating. I was also suprised to learn that NOT having gb stones is correlated with a lower percentage of symptom relief after gb removal. In other words, removing a slow gallbladder without stones is less likely to give relief than removing a gb with stones.

I do have some good news, I have had substantial improvement in my nausea (which began last year after a stomach virus) since starting Remeron, an antidepressant. For some reason, Remeron and tricyclic antidepressants are effective in many chronic unexplained nausea cases. I take 30mg at night. It helps me sleep, and after about 8 weeks seriously improved my nausea. You may consider it if you cannot find any answers.
Avatar universal
Many thanks for your excellent answer. I have had 2 upper endoscopies and also a gastric emptying scan. Like you I cannot find any connection between any foods and my symptoms. Like you I cannot get a straight answer from doctors as to whether removing the GB will help; the fact is they don't know which is perhaps understandable. I know that GB problems usually cause URQ pain and hence my question here.
I have been taking Remeron (Mirtazapine) for 5 months although only recently increased from 15mg to 30mg so will have to wait and see. The only effect I have seen so far is it hleps me sleep better.
I have other strange symptoms in my bowels. I say "strange" as they are too difficult to describe in words and they constantly change, however suffice to say that all is not right in that area.
I am pleased you have found relief from your symptoms. I have been contacting people on various boards that had refractory nausea and asking them what solution they found and I have had a whole host of different answers but alas I don't have any of the things that they were found to have.
Has your nausea completely resolved?
Avatar universal
I would not go so far as to say my nausea has completely resolved (I feel a little superstitious about it, like I should knock on wood), but I feel about 95% better. Once in a while the nausea will resurface. I hope you find some relief with the Remeron at 30 mg. For me, my nausea was worst at night and would keep me awake all night. With the Remeron I am able to sleep through the night which is a big improvement. It sounds like you may be having some IBS issues as well, or perhaps the gallbladder is a problem if you are having bowel issues. You may want to try adding in a good probiotic. Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Well I saw the surgeon yesterday who was excellent and explained everything. He said that there is no way he would suggest having my GB removed. This was based on the fact that I do not have typical GB symptoms i.e. pain in the upper right abdomen and raditating through to the shoulders. He did say that having a sluggish GB meant that I was a candidate for stones in the future and that I should have fairly regular ultrasounds.
However, he did also say that there was a slight chance that the sluggish GB could be causing my symptoms but removal was my decision.
So my original question remains: had anyone had problems with their GB but no pain in the upper right abdomen (I do get generalised pain in my abdomen) and if so was it cured by GB removal?
Avatar universal
By the way wantonwonderer, how much Remeron do you take and have you considered increasing it?
1283791 tn?1276821914
I had my gallbladder removed 2 yrs ago. I suffered severe pains mimicing a heart attack. Had 5 ultrasounds and it showed nothing. I was in and out of the ER constantly for the pain. Never had the nausea from it. I delt with this pain for a yr until the very last time I went to the ER. I demanded to see a sugeon and caused quite a scene, and good thing I did! They agreed to do the sugery and afterwards told me my all bladder was filled with stones the size of big marbles and that nothing could move in or out of my gallbladder. After the surgery I felt fine to this day no more pains, but recently have unexplained nausea. It has lasted 5 months now and once aain having all kinds of tests and the gi dr cant figure out whats causing it. I have been taking phenergan and zofran but they only work sometimes. I also have tried antivan and no reflief from that either. If I were you I wouldnt have the gb removal unless you know you have stones. If you dont have stones it makes the symtoms worse. I know several people that had their gb out without stones and now they wish they never had it removed. Hopefully you will find out whats really wrong and I will keep you in my prayers.....
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. I am intrigued to know why the people who had their GB removed even though they didn't have stones, did they have pain?
Sorry to hear about your nausea. Please let me know if you find a solution as it may be a solution for me.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
How are things with you, is the Remeron still working or have you found another solution?
Avatar universal
Hey,  I have been having similar symptoms to yourself, severe nausea, vomitting and lost a ton of weight... my HIDA scan showed normal EF of 54% but took over two hours for it to drop to the duct.... was in alot of pain during HIDA, my ultrasound was normal... I get really bad pain after i eat, used to be certain foods now its seems to be everything, even some thing i drink...surgeon told me i would not benefit from removal as they now think its ion the ducts... so now I wait for those tests... I feel like they just keep passing me on from one doc to another.... have you had your ducts checked??  MRCP or ERCP?
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear of your nightmare. My understanding is that the HIDA scan is to see how long it takes to fill your gallbaldder but when it is followed by a CKK or a fatty meal it is that part of the test that deicides how long it takes for your GB to eject. It seems that in your case the gallbladder doesn't fill as it should but then of course I am not a doctor.
I have had an endoscopic ultrasound which can get much closer to the various parts than an external ultrasound, but I have not had a MRCP nor a ERCP. Hope you get sorted soon, keep us posted. If you don't eat do you have any symptoms at all?
Avatar universal
I read all of the above comments and I am SO glad to be able to finally find other people with similar symptoms like mine.  I have had IBS type symptoms for about 11 years, but a few years ago I

began having stomach issues that just didn't seem like the usual IBS stuff.  I started having severe abdominal bloating almost 3 years ago and began suffering from on and off constipation. I

started to notice that I was feeling this terrible nauseous feeling in the center of my upper abdomen...it's so bad that I can't even stand to have my bra pressing on my ribs or have my shirt or a

sheet touch my stomach.  

In the beginning I was tested for colon cancer and celiac disease.  I had a colonoscopy done at the age of 29 in 2009 and also had an EGD to check for celiac - everything was negative.  The first

GI specialist I saw (who did all of those tests) told me I probably had IBS. I wasn't happy with that general answer....it just didn't seem to really explain the symptoms that started in 2008.  All

of my previous symptoms that started in my early 20s were very much like IBS: food would go right through me....no matter what I ate.  I learned to deal with that and just tried to follow a very

healthy diet and stay active.  Everything changed when I started taking Yaz bcp in 2008.  I didn't put it all together until a family member mentioned my symptoms sounded like gallbladder issues.  

I researched online and found the connection between gallbladder problems and Yaz.  I am not sure if that's my issue, but none of the symptoms I started having in 2008 began until AFTER I took Yaz.

I stopped it in Jan 2010 and felt a bit better, but have continued to have issues.  My GI doc said it probably isn't my gallbladder because I'm in good shape and I eat healthy....he said it's

probably just IBS.

I stopped seeing the GI doc in April 2010 and I was just dealing with everything. I recently started seeing a new PCP and she sent me in for an abdominal ultrasound to rule out gallstones. Last week I had a PIPIDA scan and my ejection fraction was 38%. Ever since the test I have been having worse pain afer I eat...it's been pretty unbearable nausea and it last for several hours.  It's always in the center of my upper abdomen, though...I have never had that sharp right upper quandrant pain typically associated with gallbladder disease. I have been referred to a general surgeon to discuss options.  I don't know that taking out my gallbladder would help, but I can't live like this.  I was so sick when I ate after my scan last week and it just seems to be getting worse.  I don't know if it's damage done from the Yaz or if it's even my gallbladder.  I don't want to have unnecessary surgery nor do I want to be on any medication for the rest of my life.  I haven't had kids yet and I'm worried I will feel worse when I'm pregnant or worse after having kids if it really is related to my gallbladder.  

Has anyone been able to get a concrete diagnosis?
2193501 tn?1338362127
I am new to this discussion and by this time I hope your problems with your stomach has been diagnosed and treated successfully. I had problems with my stomach for months, with it getting progressively worse...it got so if I ate, that I would have to get to a bathroom within 30 minutes...it went through me that quickly...I went on a trip and during that (week long) trip it got a lot worse, I had no energy, all I wanted to do was sleep...when I would try to eat, I could only eat a few bites and I would be full, I got dehydrated as well during that time, when I came back from my trip my skin and eyes had turned a yellowish color...I went to the regular doctor...he took blood etc and run test and told me he could find nothing wrong. The doctor sent me to a place to be checked for gallstones, the test came back as inconclusive and as I had not had the kind of pain most gallbladder patients have including pressing on my stomach etc, they concluded I didnt have gallbladder problems.
He called me as told me that they could find nothing wrong.  I insisted something MUST be wrong as I was getting weaker and weaker, and had lost 20 pounds in a week, I couldnt eat and all I wanted to do was sleep.
He said he was going to send me to a Gallbladder surgeon as my symptoms seemed to be related to that even though the text were inconclusive. The surgeon (one of the better I have ever met I might as, as he really listened to my symptoms). However he didn't want to do surgery without more test, so he ordered a Endoscopy done, to make sure the problem wasnt something with my stomach...that came back negative. He was more concerned than the first doctor with the dehydration as he ask me if I was able to urinate and told me that my Kidneys were on the verge of shutting down, he wanted to put me in the hospital for that but I convinced him that I would start drinking stuff like Gatorade for the electrolytes...with did help with the dehydration but not the main problem. So he finally agreed to operate. He told me late my gallbladder was diseased.
From that point I got a lot better...I did still have some problems for a few months with digestion, as food still seemed to go through me very quickly, and was treated for that for a while but it got better so I got off that eventually. There are still some foods that trouble my stomach...fatty foods etc, as I no longer have the bile from my gall bladder to deal with them, so I have to watch that
I don't know if this helps at all, but hope it may....
you may also want to look up gluten allergies...they are somewhat similar...and be aware that gluten is hidden in a lot of things, its even in ice cream and Catsup of all things.
Also one more thing to look up is lactose intolerance, it causes a lot of stomach problems as well.
Avatar universal
I've had some similar symptoms as people on this forum...  About 1.5 months ago I had a severe and sudden attack of vomiting and diarrhea.  I thought it was food poisoning.  About a week ago, I had the same sudden onset and went to the ER.  Had another attack four days later.  Just completed ultrasound of abdomen and HIDA scan.  I have no pain anywhere and feel fine otherwise.  No correlation with anything that I've ate before the attacks.  I am a very healthy person who takes special attention to diet and exercise.  All gb issues seem to be correlated with pain of sorts. So frustrating....
Avatar universal
I started this thread in 2010 and I just thought I would give an update. I saw a gallbladder surgeon and he was very definite that my GB should say where it was.
I was then seen by a new GI doctor who prescribed some drugs which took away the nausea and so I am much improved as that was the most awful problem. I still have issues with my bowels which is not good and so I am still trying to find a solution to that.
In the meanitme I would like to thank everyone who posted here. I do know from research that GB problems can manifest without pain and perhaps more importantly I know that digestive system symptoms can occur which doctors cannot explain because medical science is not advanced enough and the system is extremely complicated.
What did your doctor prescribe that helped with the nausea?
Avatar universal
My daughter has gall bladder dysfunction/biliary dyskinesia. She is always sick and has stomach aches and nauseas all of the time. They want to remove her Gallbladder. Nothing works as far as food restriction or reflux medicines. She has also lost 20 pounds in 6 months! She is 11 years old, any help will be appreciated. I am nervous about the surgery and how it will affect her life.:(  She had endoscopy and colonoscopy both fine. Just had a HIDA scan and it was 28%.  
I'm so sorry about your daughter. I recently started having gallbladder problems. Good luck to you and your daughter. GOD bless
Avatar universal
Hi. Had 1 bad attack almost a month ago. They found some stones and sludge. No pain since. Even did olive oil and lemon juice flush. Felt ok afterwards. Still have some bloateness. I get a little anxious too sometimes. Spoke with gatro Dr and wants to take out gb. My Dr says"let's wait". Been trying to eat much better. I would rather not take out gallbladder. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions or comments would be helpful. Help!!!
168348 tn?1379360675
My daughter did as a teen ... symptoms were not the usual and vague -- including reflux -- then finally it escalated and was very + on HIDA scan for GB .. it's been nearly 10 years and she's doing great and pain free / symptom free
Avatar universal
I am scheduled to have my gb removed 12/18/17 and I would love an update from anyone who has had theirs taken out even though the hida scan was not terribly low. I have had URQ pain for over two years.  I have diarrhea occasionally, but my main symptom is the pain. It feels like I have a bubble under my right rib cage.  The pain is worse in the evenings, my energy is low and I feel like I have spells of frequent bowel movements.  I had a normal ultrasound, CAT scan, colonoscopy, endoscopy, full blood work and my HIDA came back at 42.  I saw a surgeon today who first told me all of the percentages to discourage me from having the surgery but then said if it were him he'd have the gb removed.  He said that 42 is not what is really considered healthy, that really a healthy HIDA is between 50 and 75, and that there is a grey area between 50-35.  He said if I were below 35 he would have no doubt that my gallbladder is the problem, but still recommended removal with a HIDA of 42.  Any similar results with removal??
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