Daughters chest pain / reflux / gallstones

I've posted many times on my poor daughter's constant pain below middle of her ribs. She saw a private slug of a gastro twice - had an abdominal scan that showed gallstones which means her gallbladder needs to be removed. 3 yrs back and forth to GP and no advice from 6 monthly Endo check ups. No one of them made a connection with thyroid and gallbladder stones. Any ways we are now going back to GP who is very sweet but not great, basically need her as the lead for op at a private hospital as we cannot use the awful slug of a gastro again. The worry is the pain still might occur after the op which I put to the slug as I thought he might check for a possible hiatus hernia but he suggested my daughter have the gallbladder out and get back to him after (never in a million years). Need to call Hos as she may have to have a lead gastro if our GP is not enough.

So 3yrs and my daughter just might be on the road to recovery of this constant pain. She lost weight slowly on the Paleo AI diet and still the pain persisted. Fingers crossed now to get her op underway.

Last edited by

13 Replies

  • Once my gall bladder was removed - I had absolutely no further pain from the constantly recurring pancreatitis - in fact weekly ! I did not have stones just a rancid gall bladder. Pancreatitis pain is worse than childbirth. I was rushed to hospital eventually - strapped to the stretcher - screaming my head off. Thought they were taking me somewhere other than the QE....

  • The abdominal scan report indicates lots of small stones but I will get her a 2nd opinion before the op

  • ..that sounds very painful. Hope all goes well for your daughter....

  • steadyhealth.com/articles/R...

    Are you absolutely certain the st ones cannot be broken down with ultrasound?

    Xx. G

  • Thanks for this I will get my daughter a 2nd opinion especially as the gastro was so appalling.

  • Yes, a good idea.... specially if the stones are small enough to break up. The thought of permanent dire rear, or problems eating some foods... Even cancer caused by the action of bile upon the intestines permanently, not just when there is food to digest, Nasty.. I would definitely seek a second opinion.


  • The NHS no longer use the sonic method of breaking down stones. It is difficult with the gallbladder and causes more trouble than it helps. The stones fracture and are unpredictable. It causes them to exit more often via the bile ducts and get stuck. This is what causes the pain of biliary colic - an agonising sensation that no-one wants. Additionally, it is more likely to cause inflammation, pancreatitis and sometimes necrosis - all bad ideas.

    On top of this, surgeons are of the opinion that the gallstones will just reform. This is almost certainly true if the original cause is not removed, be that thyroid problems, or lifestyle choices like diet that are not drastically altered.

    I think you would have great difficulty finding anyone to do this for you - even privately. I know this because it was an option I tried to get without success for the above reasons.

    Also, I'll just add that if you consider dissolving them with ursodeoxycholic acid you will find that all doctors and surgeons tell you these tablets don't work. They are correct. I took them personally for a year and a half, in a determined attempt to save my gallbladder. I also drastically changed my diet and lifestyle. All to no avail. I was very sick the whole time, lost a huge amount of weight and most of my muscle mass. I believe I also damaged my brain (due to lack of nutrients and fat) and gave myself trigeminal neuralgia. I can most adamantly affirm they are a BAD idea!

    Sadly, there are only two viable options with gallstones - leaving them and learning to live with them, or losing the gallbladder. I should just point out I had the exact same type as your daughter - many little ones, and they are known to be the worst because they are always making heir way out the gallbladder and getting stuck, hence the pain, jaundice and biliousness they cause. Please give your daughter my love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. X

  • Galathea, the NHS does not offer this method of gallstone removal. As for the link, while I agree that I would think VERY seriously about removing your gallbladder, and would advocate you don't do it if you can live with it and it doesn't make you ill, for some people that is not an option.

    I was very ill with gallstones for a year and a half - deranged LFTs, jaundice, in almost constant pain, hospital emergency trips - and tried everything to heal myself. Eventually I had to give in. I don't like that I had to lose a body organ but with it I had no quality of life, plus, all the methods I undertook to save it ended up causing more damage than good (Vit B12 deficiency, malnutrition, wasted muscles, trigeminal neuralgia).

    I feel these articles MAY be well-intentioned, but they really apply more to people who only have grumbling stones, not people who are seriously ill with them. Personally, I find these articles unnecessarily scaremongering and irresponsible. Gallbladder removal can literally be a life-saving operation; it is not a cosmetic piece of fluff.

  • Whilst I agree with you that sometimes removal is necessary, I believe it is best to be aware of all the possibilities, however grim they may be. The doctors have a nasty habit of glossing over the realities and assuring us that our organs are superfluous and can easily be compensated for.

    A prime example of this happens on this forum when we have people who rue the day their thyroids were removed, as the resulting problems have not been fixed by the replacement pills.

    Patients are assured frequently that there are few drawbacks to having no gall bladder and are shocked when they find out what an impact it can have upon their lives. Forewarned is forarmed.

    G x

  • I agree with everything you say, and I do believe surgeons are guilty of making your gallbladder sound like God's trivial afterthought. In fact, if my surgeons - and there were many - hadn't all been so trite about it early on I might not have fought so hard to keep it!

    All that said, I do feel many of the articles I have seen are guilty of making it sound as if losing your gallbladder is the downfall of modern civilisation, when the fact is it is often the inescapable end of the line and it is not helpful to have people telling you frankly erroneous things, like it can cause cancer (there is a SLIGHTLY higher risk of colon cancer in people who don't have a gallbladder; but to see that in perspective how many of those people would have ended up dead many years earlier had gallbladder removal not been done?)

    I do think the articles often stem from America where there definitely IS a tendency to remove gallbladders when they are merely at the grumbling stage - in which case the scaremongering makes more sense and has more validity, but I do still feel they belong to the school of 'your drinking water is killing you' and as such are unreliable and irresponsible.

    P.S. As these articles go, this one is not the most insane I've seen, and I do feel it is probably aimed at the US market where asymptomatic gallstones are often removed without justification.

  • Has she had her vitamin D checked? Most people in northerly regions like the UK do not get enough sun and are deficient in vitamin D. It may seem unlikely to be a factor in your daughter's condition, but it is now starting to be recognised as essential for just about every bodily function.

  • If your in the oxon or berks area i know a truly fantastic surgeon

    Had my gallbladder removed in dec and wish i had done it several years ago as i am better not worse

    Aware that some people get probs but thats why an MRCP should be done before the op

  • Thank you all for the much needed support info. I am in the process of getting a 2nd opinion very soon just waiting on appointment confirmation. However, as my daughter is not bending over with pain I might try a natural remedy of apple juice for 5 days 4 times a day then on the 6th day skip evening meal and have Epsom salts in warm water {which I won’t use} will go for Andrews Liver Salts instead much less aggressive. Then at 8pm same thing; then at 10pm half glass of olive oil with half glass of lemon juice. Apparently this is mild and worth trying on small cholesterol gallstones. Anyways I will give it a try and see how it goes.

You may also like...