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Avatar universal

Poor Gallbladder Function

For a little history~
Have been having very mild discomfort, mostly back, occasionally back to chest, and a pressure-feeling during deep breaths, mainly when lying down with my head elevated, but can happen at any time. Occastional pains in the right shoulderblade area (mainly on left). Went to dr., blood work apparently normal. Ultrasound showed no gall stones (don't know any other details on it yet). Had the HIDA scan (thank goodness for insurance!) which was the most boring three hours of my life. HIDA scan showed my gallbladder works at 15% instead of the normal 30-35% range.
I need advice, since the GP's auto response was "do you want me to schedule a surgical consult for you?". I'm not sure I want or need surgery, at least yet. The pain is mild still, nothing like what some people describe. I have been having weird 'weak spells' or 'disorientation spells' too, but I'm not sure if that's related.
I want to try and give my gallbladder a chance to get happy again without surgery.
I don't have stones, but nearly everything I can find is only about what to eat or don't eat for stones.
Anyone have any advice on routes for me to take with this, and ideas of what foods to avoid?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Best bet is to get a second opinion from a GI doctor.

But, my wife was diagnosed with gall bladder issues some time ago as she had the same symptoms you describe (pain, weakness/disorientation spells after eating, etc.) She had a HIDA scan and it showed gall stones.

The doctor mentioned surgery, but she never had it and hasn't had problems in some time.

Do you drink beverages with sucralose (Splenda) in them? From what I've read on the internet it can cause problems with your gall bladder.
Avatar universal
My suggestion is have the US to determine gall stones.  If there are - have the gall bladder removed.  You can only hold the pain out for so long.  Those stones will eventually catch up with you sometime in your life, so why suffer, but only have the surgery if there are stones and of course along with your GI's recommendation.
Been there had my gall bladder out at 24.   Most issues were gone with pain and discomfort.   Although 17 years later I would recommend the procedure if there is no alternative procedure.  That being said be aware it is still possible to gave stones and pain.  I have had to have a ERCP procedure 3 times.  Be sure to weigh the pros and cons and most emportantly research the surgeons thoroughly.
Avatar universal
See original post... Ultrasound showed no stones and gallbladder was otherwise completely normal.
See, now I'm confused about something. When I talked with my GP about possibly having the consult, just so everything is set up and I can talk to a specialist, she told me that a GI dr would not handle gallbladder surgery, that a general surgeon would. So who would I go to? My insurance does not require me to have a referral, but who would I look for? A general, or a specialist?
Avatar universal
A general surgeon would be the one to actually remove your gallbladder.
Avatar universal
If it is the gall bladder you are concerned about, I would definitely see a specialist whether it be your GP/GI specialist.  Let them do more tests.  Don't make the same mistake I made - I was referred, via ER, to a specialist surgeon with a once-off attack of nausea and stomache pain, the U/S picked up inflamation only, no gall stones, nevertheless my gall bladder was whipped out the next morning, due to the fact that I was 5 months pregnant and they couldn't risk a 'flare-up' later in my pregnancy.  Be careful.  I was 29yrs of age at the time.  Despite the above, 7 years later, I still believe that if there are gall stones, the best option would be to have the gall bladder removed. Take care.
Avatar universal
I agree with the others' suggestions to see a GI.  Be careful though, I didn't need a referral according to my insurance, but I did as the policy of the GI's office.  It took forever to get an appt - FYI.  As far as your pain, the pain on the right back and chest sounds like you passed a stone.  You may have had stones at one point, but not at the time of your tests.  I described the same pain on the right, especially in my back and my GI said that pain in my back was during the passing of a stone down the bile duct.  I am not sure about the pain on the left, a GI could tell you if the pain could have been displaced for any reason, or if he or she wants to look for somethimg else.  It could be IBS, or acid related - the upper GI is a real pain at times to deal with and diagnose things.

The GI will probably want to run a few blood tests to determine your liver functionality, etc.  

Good luck, and keep us posted with any updates!
Avatar universal
wubbie3, what was the out come of your question.  I was told my gallbladder function was 17% and removal is what was needed. The only difference with me is, I have everything you stated dizziness,fatigue, etc. but one day I had sever pain on my right side. I was unable to go to work and I was very tired after that.  Ever since then stomach and gall bladder has gotten worse.
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