Gall bladder problems

Hi everyone, I hope your all well. I was wondering what people's experiences of gall bladder problems on here are?

I was very unwell a year and a half ago when during a hospital admission a ct scan found I had plueral effusions and a thickening of the lining of my gall bladder along wth an endoscopy which found another stomach erosion and gastritis amongst other things. I have since been diagnosed with undifferentiaed connective tissue disease which the consultants feel is likely to be lupus, although it has not showed up in my bloods yet. Since this hospital admission my gall bladder has been pretty good, until recently.

I started on azothiaprine a few months ago on top of hydroxy and unfortunately at this time I became unwell again, with stomach problems, vomitting and pain in both my stomach and again my gall bladder. The gp referred me for a abdominal scan and re-referred me to another gastroenterologist. I was later taken of the azothiaprine and things are a bit better, but I'm still having problems with my stomach. I have now this week started methotrexate instead, so fingers crossed.

So today I had my scan and the lady doing it said I had a polyp in my gall bladder, she said it was what's causing the pain and also the vomitting due to bile coming back. She said I would need to have my gall bladder taken out now. so now i've got to wait for the gp to have my results and refer me to whoever does that.

My concern though is that I'm worried about getting an infection due to being on the immune suppressants and having an operation.

Also how have people found recovery time with these sort of auto immune problems?

I am very unwell at the moment and on top of this my thyroid is playing up, I had my thyroid levels blood test again at the hospital today along with the thyroid anti bodies, so just got to wait for the results now.

It just feels like its one thing after the other all the time :-( to be honest I'm terrified at the thought of an operation as I'm already so unwell.

I'd love to hear people's experiences though, thanks in advance xx

4 Replies

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  • Wrote a long reply and the dog came and knocked me off the page so I've lost it! Can't rewrite it as too knackered but I've got gallstones - had them for many years. Got near to removing the gallbladder but bailed out twice when kids were young. Now I have RA as well as Hashimoto's, Sjogrens and Raynauds. I am very drug intolerant - have tried Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate oral and injectable, Hydroxichloraquine and tomorrow I start Azathioprine so we are in similar boats but the opposite way round.

    My experience of gallstones has been limited to a few very painful flares a long time ago now followed by years of IBS type symptoms. I found that these cleared after I dropped gluten, dairy and refined foods and lost a lot of weight. Although I do have spells of severe upper abdominal pain - like a mouse gnawing at my innards. This actually started when I came off methotrexate and I did have a scan a few years ago but all they found was large gallstones which weren't going anywhere as too huge! Sometimes these episodes of upper abdominal pain seem to relate to drugs - NSAIDs especially - and sometimes not. One GP suspects an ulcer, the other thinks it's just gastritis. I see a surgeon in ten days to discuss what type of investigations I should have if any. I have so many awful symptoms just now everywhere that I'm taking codeine, naproxen and paracetamol all max quantities and still in pain - especially ankles, wrists and jaw. The Naproxen and other NSAIDs defintely make my tummy ache much worse.

    Hoping very much that Azathioprine I start today doesn't trigger more stomach issues/ gallstone problems and also that you do well on Methotrexate. It didn't cause any stomach pain at all for me but did make me nauseous and gave me the runs simultaneously for days on end. After two years I just couldn't take anymore although it kicked my RA into the long grass. Good luck - I think you will probably have to have a week off MTX for the operation but I could be wrong. I know a friend has just had their gallbladder out and it seemed to be positively simple and unproblematic compared to what I'm going through with my flare just now. I really wouldn't worry about it at all - a very straightforward procedure for most people I've known who have had it.

  • Have you considered that it might be your gall bladder that is causing a lot of your problems? I had my gall bladder removed, it was done by keyhole surgery and I had to have two weeks off work. I do have to watch what I eat as too much dairy or spicy food can cause stomach pains, otherwise all is reasonably ok.

    If the consultant suggests you have to have the gall bladder removed it will be for a reason. There is nothing to stop you asking their opinion of what would happen if you don't have it done. you are normally given the worst case senerio but ask the percentages of patients that have had ongoing problems after having this operation.

    Wishing you well soon

  • I had problems with my gall bladder in 2001 after surgery, the wrong diagnosis and drugs including 2 courses of a broad-spectrum anti-biotic I shouldn't have had with being allergic to penicillin.

    For a long time I could take no fat at all, but I wouldn't risk more surgery, so waited and slowly introduced only good fats- a little at a time and now I can eat more fat and I feel my gall bladder is healing.

    I sought knowledgeable complementary practitioners and a nutritionist for help, but had to help myself, too, and listen to my body.

    When I got ill - diarrhoea and vomiting after eating fat again, I cut it down again, until I felt stronger and introduced a little again, but not low fat or the unhealthy stuff - but the natural fats we were meant to have and not all the man-made junk we are constantly being told is good for us!

    Take control of your health - ask questions, meditate and ask for help and you will be surprised what answers come through - doctors don't know it all and are trained, in my view, in the wrong way - not to support the healing of the body, but instead to dish out drugs - many not proven to be effective, but that line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.

    I have been at death's door and suffered immensely, but I got the help I needed and you can, too, just ask for help and wait and see what happens, but we must listen and the answers are not always easy - we have to work hard sometimes to restore the balance to our body because unknowingly, we have allowed the problems to happen in the first place or inherited problems from our ancestors.

    Good luck and keep positive!

  • Thank you everyone for your lovely comments, I've had a bt of a rough night and day so only now responding. The scan i had yesterday and the pressing on my gall bladder seems to have made me quite sore.

    Twitchy toes, you made me laugh, I've done that before where i've typed loads and lost everything I wrote lol. Just a thought though you said your on NSAID's, but you may have a stomach ulcer? I've had 2 ulcers and may be on my third now, I'm not allowed any of these drugs now due to the risks of taking them, it might be worth discussing this again, maybe the surgeon will advise for you to have an endoscopy to check.

    Hi Chris 21, the lady who did my scan thought that it was probably what is causing a lot of my symptoms and making me vomit along with pain. I think that asking about leaving it in is a good idea, but I also had a look on the Internet and it sounds like it has to come out or be closely monitored for growth because they can sometimes be pre cancerous amd also cause obstructions, but I'm not even going to think about that right now. I suppose if it stops some of my pain and the vomitting it would be good to have it taken out, just worried about catching an infection from the operation etc.

    hi cann, sorry to hear you've been so unwell, it's so difficult, I think your right though, my body is all out of balance, I'll try and cut down on fat and improve my diet, I have already made some changes, so I suppose that's a start.

    Thank you all so much for your replies, you have all helped me to feel a lot less panicked, I feel stronger today and more ready to deal with what comes my way, following the shock of yesterday,

    Thank you again everyone xx

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