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Severe Joint Pain After Gallbladder Removal

I found out in June of this year I had a very large gallstone. I found this out after a year of stomach troubles and severe attacks. I was referred to a surgeon for a consult on having it removed. The surgeon said that everything would go back to normal after the surgery and I would be able to eat whatever I wanted, etc. I really wish that I would have looked into it further before having the surgery. I have had nothing but problems since. Almost immediately following the surgery, my joints started to stiffen up. Especially the small joints, hands, feet, etc. I kind of brushed it off thinking that it had something to do with the carbon dioxide they used to expand your abdomen in the surgery. I began to worry, when six months later the pain was so bad in my feet and ankles I could barely walk, and the pain in my hands was so bad I couldn't grab a blanket. I have been seeing a rheumatologist now, but still no answers. He says it is definitely inflammatory and put me on anti-inflammatories and treatment for inflammatory arthritis. I do see improvement with the anti-inflammatories, but there's more to the story. Since the gallbladder surgery, I cannot eat anything really without having to run to the bathroom shortly after. My stool is very yellow, and never solid. I keep telling all the doctors that I see, that I feel my joint pain is related to whatever is happening with my digestive system since the joint pain started immediately following my gallbladder surgery. No one seems to be able to tie the two together. I have read a little about IBS, and wonder if that could possibly cause joint pain, and also if it could arise post gallbladder removal? I also wonder if it could be a gluten intolerance? I have had test for RA, lupus, etc and they all came back negative. I was hoping that someone out there might have some suggestions since I seem to be getting nowhere. Luckily the medication seems to help, but I am very frustrated that I still do not have an answer or a solution. Any input is appreciated.
18 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that the joint pain is also accompanied by swelling. I also get stomach pains very frequently.
Avatar universal
i have the same problem since i had my colon removed even before to tell you the truth. My rheumatologist put me on Sulfasalizine and it took a while for it to kick in but when it did i felt so much better. I could barely walk, all my joints were red and so swollen all the time i even had to get both knees drained it was so bad. They told my my arthritis was caused because i got psorasis from being on steriods for my colitis and if you google it there is a specific arthritis that will affect you if you had my problems. Prayin for you cause joint pain is not fun.
Avatar universal
I have eczema, but no psoriasis. I too have been put on Sulfasalazine, but have not been on it long. The rheumatologist knows it's inflammatory arthritis of some type, but I am really looking for some resolution as to what is causing it. I just can't help but think it's tied into my digestive/gallbladder issues I have had this year. It is very discouraging to have this sort of joint pain at only 23 yrs old.
1353650 tn?1429466974
You should look into leaky gut syndrome. You probably have inflammation in your colon causing minute particles circulating back into your system. This is like poison to your body. I am also suffering after my gall bladder removal two and a half years ago. I have terrible body pain and inflammation all over. My joints aren't effected yet but it seems to be heading that way. The first thing you have to do is get the diarrhea under control. You may have to take some kind of cholesterol drug to help bind things together. Were you having diarrhea before your surgery? I suffer with chronic constipation that I believe is caused by my chronic inflammation in my body. You need to change your diet (get off sugar and simple carbohydrates), take certain supplements (especially fiber supplements because they help absorb the moisture in the colon) and look into getting medication (questran I think it is called). Some people have to take this even though they don't have problems with cholesterol. Taking digestive enzymes, especially protease will help with inflammation in the colon. Look into leaky gut. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Your story is almost identical to mine...I had my gallbladder out...surgeon said it was the worst he has seen....I had a major infection and was in the hospital for 4 days....upon waking from the surgery I had pain in the joints in my feet, along with incredible sensitivity in my feet...(nothing could even brush up against them...couldn't wear shoes or socks, not even the sheet could touch them)....this was 5 years ago and the joint and muscle pain is daily and worsening...had many tests at the Neurologist to rule out nerve damage and now referred to the Rheumatoligist to see what he can find...I have had constant diarhea since the day of the surgery...so frustrated...I know getting my gallbladder removed was a medical necessity but my health has gone steadily downhill since the surgery....never had any kind of issue like this but literally woke up with it after surgery...I thought it was the compression stockings when I was in the hospital...but it never went away...now my feet, hands, leg muscles (feels like I've worked out ALL the time...that is the norm) and hips are all involved....feel like I am losing my mind :(
1353650 tn?1429466974
I didn't mention this in my post to jessygirl but I was diagnosed with lyme disease in Aug of 2011. I had many symptoms prior to gall bladder removal and new ones appeared after having it removed. Having surgery put additional stress on my body and further weakened me causing the lyme infection to spread and take over. Six months after my surgery I developed pain everywhere. I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist as having fibromyalgia and told I would likely develop rheumatoid arthritis because I had an elevated rheumatoid factor. My lyme tests through him came back equivical. This is not a negative and even if it was, a negative result does not mean I don't have lyme. Lyme shuts down immune function and can cause a negative test result. My test was not negative but my doctor assured me I didn't have it. I decided to check into it further by seeing a lyme specialist. This is when I found out the cause of my symptoms. I tested positive for lyme and also was told that I had bartonella which caused the fibro and abdominal pains. I have been in treatmen for these conditions for 6 months and I am feeling much better but not cured yet. Lyme and bartonella is what you need to look into. Please feel free to contact me and I will try to help you to the best of my ability. I used to feel the way you do now and I understand what you are going through. You can reed my list of symptoms in my journal pages.
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