Pred and Gallbladder

Hello...I posted about 3 weeks ago about gallbladder attack. I had surgery Thursday (20th) removal of the gallbladder...it was done Robotic, not too much pain and short downtime. Today is day 3 after surgery and was out and about for a little while. Amazing.. Surgeon feels more than likely due to Steroids. I never eat fried, fatty, greasy or spicy food and was in great health and shape before GCA. Been on pred for 1 yr...started at 60mg and down to 15...stuck on 15 for 2 months...probably due to gallbladder issue and had urinary infection...hopefully, I can get going in the right direction again.. just hoping this drug doesn't have any other effects on other organs while trying to taper. Thanks to all who responded on my previous post.. also hope all of you are making progress and feeling good.

Thanks, bert403

10 Replies

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  • Hello Bert, so pleased to hear that you are feeling so much better, (if you see what I mean). Don't forget that the problems you experienced may not have been due to the preds. I have been diagnosed with a polyp on my gallbladder, discovered at about the same time as I developed PMR but at that time I was not on preds and the polyp could gave been there for sometime pre PMR.

    I have also been diagnosed with an non alcoholic fatty liver that cause my liver readings to be all over the place. I am only 54, pre PMR was very fit and sporty, ate an excellent diet and I don't drink alcohol, so we're has this fatty liver come from? Well I could have a pre deposition to it, and I would have got it no matter what my life style was.

    My friend who had her gallbladder removed says that your bowels will work differently now and when you want to go to the toilet you will need to go to the toilet, and quick! Other than that no difference.

    Wishing you further good recovery from both the op and the GCA. Regards, tina

  • Your friend might be interested in this Mayo article:

    mayoclinic.org/tests-proced...

  • Hello pmrpro, thanks for the info. I've just read it and clearly my friend who is a clinical lead in a hospital is being a very naughty girl and really needs to be watching her diet!! Regards, tina

  • I suppose knowing stuff depends on in which area you're a clinical lead ;-)

    And everyone I know in the NHS likes their coffee and cake...

  • In some people taking pred and calcium supplements can lead to grit forming in the kidneys and in the gall bladder. In some people that can lead to inflammation and in others to stones. One lady I know has just developed gall stones after high dose pred for GCA - but she's been off pred for about 3 years now. I occasionally have bladder problems that are probably due to grit - if I don't drink enough on days I'm travelling it can be a problem but if I don't take the calcium tablets those days or consciously drink more it is fine.

    Get well soon!

    You might be interested in this article given the other poster's comment although you say you don't eat much fat:

    mayoclinic.org/tests-proced...

  • I have gallstones and been taking Prednisolone for 16 years, for GCA/PMR however I feel the Pred has been masking and helping with the gallbladder inflammation, therefore I haven't been in too much pain more bowel/digestive problems, but things are getting worse so will have to decide wether to have the gallbladder removed. I have been undecided because I understand that Diarrhea [ which I have ] still continues after the op.

    I'm thinking that perhaps the masking of the gallbladder inflammation by the Pred. can't be good in the long run and could mask something sinister.

    Maybe the long term use of Calcichew could have been my problem and caused my gall stones, ? I also have stage 3 kidney disease, but no kidney stones.

    I have stopped the Calcichew as my dexa scan was normal.

  • bowler, an ultrasound revealed a stone on my gallbladder during my year with undiagnosed/untreated PMR. At a repeat ultrasound for another issue some 7 years later, I mentioned the gallstone and was informed by the technician that there was no sign of one! It had obviously dispersed itself.

    During the intervening years, I was eventually diagnosed with both PMR and GCA, but, due to an oversight on the part of the GP and rheumatologist, was never prescribed a calcium supplement. I later learned that as, like you, I have Stage 3 kidney disease (and just a sole kidney), calcium supplements could have proved detrimental to my kidney. Even my Vit D supplement of just 1,000iu a day is confined to only 3 months of the winter - the reason being that taking Vit D can encourage more calcium to be absorbed into your body from your diet. It is quite possible that your calcium supplement was the culprit for your gall stones.

    It's a pity that everyone on calcium and Vit D supplements isn't given the appropriate routine blood test to ensure that the supplements don't cause too much calcium in their blood (hypercalemia).

  • Bert, good to hear that the op went well and it must be a relief that it is all now behind you. It isn't common to hear of those on long-term steroids having gall bladder problems - probably far more likely to be due to either having a pre-disposition or, if you have been taking calcium supplements, that might have tipped things over the edge. I hope you continue towards a complete recovery........on both counts!

  • Thanks for all your comments...I did have 3 gallstones. Was not happy to learn I needed surgery, but now that is over, I don't feel any different. I do take calcium chews (1000) and vitamin d3 daily. Had bone density test last week and Dr says to continue..no osteoporosis..still osteopennia.. as far as bowel issues, I am Not experiencing any diarrhea ay all. In fact I have not gone to bathroom since before surgery...I am taking Benefiber to help. I always had to take some help to keep regulated. Hopefully I will skip the bowel issues. Time will tell what will be. Just want to be done with all of this just like all of you. Hopefully one day soon.

    Thank you for the Mayoclinic.or article.

    bert403

  • A few weeks ago, following a scan for possible Aortic Aneurism (fortunately negative) I was informed that the scan had shown up 'multiple gallstones' of an average 12mm diameter which sounds quite sizealble. I have been assured that unless/until I get symptoms of inflammation, I should be fine, In the meantime, thanks for the information provided following Bert's post. Fingers crossed.

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