I have been sick for about 9 months ever since I took some antibiotics for the flu and a tonsil infection. I have had vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart beat (120-150bpm) along with palpitations, strange lymphnode type pain in my armpits and insane head and neck pain with dizziness to where I almost pass out. (I also have tmj, but never had pain like that with it) Since June I have lost 30lbs. I am female, 5'11" 145lbs. 37yrs old. I was going to the er and kept being told it was anxiety. I have pushed my doctor for numerous tests, and the only thing that has come back abnormal was a hida scan with a 0% ejection fraction. I saw a surgeon who feels it is an elective surgery and that you can live with a non functioning gallbladder. I did schedule it, but it is not until January. I have had gallbladder aches for a long time. I have been doing the epsom salt olive oil flushes once per year for about 10yrs. I think it has finally given up. I have no stones.
I feel really bad and have been reading here that it is not good to wait several months for surgery. I don't want it to end up being an emergency. Should I get a second opinion? Do most of my symptoms even sound gallbladder related? I am terrified of surgery, but feel I have done everything I know how to try to save it:( I don't anticipate having an "attack" because I have no stones, so how do I know when my feeling sick is an emergency? They weren't taking me seriously when I could barely stand up:(
If your CCK-HIDA scan revealed a gallbladder ejection fraction of 0%, then you almost certainly have a disorder known as biliary dyskinesia. This condition typically causes severe right upper abdominal pain (usually--but not always--after eating), and may be associated with nausea and vomiting as well.
Hopefully, you will feel better after your surgery to remove your gallbladder.
Thank you for your response:)
I am feeling stressed because I have gotten 2 opinions on surgery, and both doctors have said I might feel better after surgery or I might feel worse. I am on the fence as to what to do. What could happen if I don't have surgery? (other than feeling awful) Could I be setting myself up for other problems? Both doctors have said it is my decision! That is so scary! I certainly am concerned about feeling worse, but I also can't imagine a non functioning organ is healthy either. Is the hida scan always (usually) right, or can it fluctuate?
Thanks so much, and sorry for my rambling...I am a wreck!
HI...I am dealing with all kinds of debilitating symptoms like yours and have had every test known to man. Mine started with RUQ pain below ribs, hot flashes, dizziness, nausea. Now I am having intense left shoulder and lower back pain and headaches and strange burning sensation in right side through to back. I am scheduled for a hida scan to finally check my gall bladder after 18 months of feeling ill. I am scared to death of this test. If I were you I would opt for the surgery. I know I will if my test reveals gall bladder dysfunction. How was the hida scan for you? I have heard horror stories?
I recently got a HIDA scan done and I just got my results yesterday and said the the EF was 0% as well, they told me that it was an emergency and that I needed to go to a sugeon right away. I spoke with a NP and she asked me if I had an enzyme level test done, so I'm waiting on the surgeon deal. HIDA scan itself is ok, layed on a hard table under an xray type of machine for an hour and 1/2 few cramps passing through here and there but bearable....
I am against any type of surgery, especially if I had to move any part of my organ out regardless if I need it or not, I believe that there's always a reason why you have that part...I've read alot about biliary dyskinesia and alot of individuals who had their gallbladder removed had lots of complaints about chronic diarrhea.
You don't have to have your gallbladder removed, especially if you have no symptoms. Entirely up to you. Presumably you are not completely well or you wouldn't be having the HIDA test done.
The implication of a 0% ejection fraction is that the bile duct is completely blocked, usually by a stone but also possibly by a malfunction of the sphincter and occasionally by a complication following surgery. Complete blockage of the bile duct is extremely serious and it will kill you if it isn't treated. The most realistic treatment is surgery. It is possible to attempt shattering or dissolving stones, or even removing them individually by endoscopy, but this would not usually be attempted in an emergency situation.
Most likely you do not have a completely blocked bile duct or you would be in considerable pain and very rapidly you would turn yellow. More likely is that your gallbladder muscles simply aren't responding. There are very conditions, mostly thought to be caused by chronic gallbladder problems of various kinds. The gallbladder thickens or stiffens and ceases to eject bile on demand. Symptoms are not well defined, but you will have more or less serious discomfort in response to food, possibly diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating, etc.
Don't be afraid of the test. I have had it done 3 times!
Two of those times was like 6 yrs ago, back when the pain was just an ache (lol) and at that time my EF was at 42%. I had no problem then other than a metallic taste from the tracer stuff. This time though, I was okay until I stood up after the test was over and started dry heaving and had some dizziness. I was still able to drive home and felt okay after a few hrs. Basically you just lie there and it is pretty boring. I got twinges of pain in the right side, but it wasn't like the pain I get when I eat.
I have had 3 opinions now, and two said they didn't know if it would help and one said it might be SOD and thinks I should try a tricyclic antidepressant to relax the muscle (which I won't do). I don't understand the theory behind that. I understand it would stop the spasms, but the antidepressants reduce the gallbladder contractions which is what I thought is the problem to begin with...so in my mind I would still have this stagnant bile and still feel like a toxic dump, only with less pain? I am so confused. I don't want surgery, but I am so over this!
Also, this might sound weird, but I was reading the chinese medicine stuff and they claim if there is a problem along the gallbladder meridian, that the second to last toe will curve inward (which mine does) and if your liver is congested or whatever that you will have pain in the big toe (which I do)...I am wondering if this is true or if I just had some ill fitting shoes at some point? lol
I absolutely understand your dilemma. I've read alot about SOD and even read about patients who have had their gall bladders removed who then had problems with SOD. So what is a person supposed to do? I am a certified massage therapist and have taken courses in shiatsu and do believe in meridian diagnosis. However, I've not heard about the second to last toe! Of course as soon as I read your post I checked mine and it does! lol Does it matter which foot?
On a more serious note...do you or did you ever have hot flash-like symptoms with your discomfort? I have and they even tested me for a rare cancer called carcinoid. All tests (scan) have been nagative. The hida scan is the only thing I have left to take along with one more CT.
There is a website where I have found recipes and diets for gall bladder dysfunction. The woman who runs it is an acupuncturist in California. I have to tell you that the flax seed tea recipe for acute pain has helped me tremendously. The website is gallbladderattack.com. This woman even does telephone consults. Alot of what contained in the website makes a great deal of sense. You may want to take a look at it.
Thanks for getting back to me...You have some time before your surgery so perhaps you can look into some alternative things other than what you have tried thus far. Did you experience serious heartburn with your pain? I do frequently now...never had heartburn in my life!
I was also tested for carcinoid twice! I have been having these what I have been calling "episodes" for about the last 10 years. I never related them to the gallbladder, but now I am wondering. What will happen is I will get the hot flash thing (no sweating) my heart will start racing (120-180bpm) and I will feel like I am going to pass out then get the horrid diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. When it all ends (which is anywhere from 20 min to several hours) I am freezing and shake like crazy. then I would have the ruq ache (which has now become pain.) I am now wondering if those were attacks? The other thing with those, is if I was on birth control pills, it all went away (but I had other problems on them). I know a lot of women have gallbladder issues when they are pregnant and I wonder how much hormones have to do with things. When I would tell doctors these symptoms, they look at me like I have two heads or something!
The other thing, is I had a positive antibody test for celiac disease, but a negative biopsy. (so I don't know if I have it or not) but I read somewhere it can cause your gallbladder to not function properly and after a time on a gluten free diet, it can revive itself. Only problem is I was trying to do the gluten free diet when my symptoms got really bad:(
I think I saw the gallbladderattack site, but I will look again. I have done the hulda clark liver flushes probably 15 times over the past 12 yrs or so. To be honest, that is the only thing that I really felt helped my health. I think it really might flush stones, but I am thinking perhaps if my gallbladder isn't working that it just keeps getting full of crud and I start feeling bad again. If you don't have any large stones that you know of, I would recommend it. I also drink dandelion tea, and eat beets and take milk thistle sometimes. I take acidophilus daily. Coffee enemas had helped in the past, but I haven't done it for probably 10 yrs. Also castor oil paks relieve the pain quite a bit. I think I have more pain in my back than in the ruq...and the back pain has always temporarily gotten better after a liver flush.
I had an alternative doctor tell me he could repair things with heavy metal chelation, but that is scary and I don't even want to go there right now:/
Also yes, the heartburn is terrible. It has woke me up with acid coming up out my nose and I wake up choking. Strangely they didn't think I had a reflux problem, just a small hernia.
I keep hearing all these horror stories about the surgery when there are no stones, but then I also see some where the people say it is the best thing they ever did and have never felt better! I WOULD LOVE TO BE ONE OF THOSE:) When is your hida scan? Make sure they do the cck injection. I had the one without it two weeks before and it was normal...
I can't believe you have nearly the same symptoms! My heart rate/pulse jumps to 130 - 140 all the time during my "episodes" I get the same feeling like I'm going to pass out (however I sometimes sweat)then I am chilled and shake! The only difference is that I don't get diahrrhea..quite the opposite! When I do go to the bathroom it is sometimees excruciating! I either don't go or feel as though I have to go immediately and it's painful. I read that painful bowel movements can be a sign of poor functioning gall bladder when a colonoscopy has ruled out anything else. (Which I recently had) The heartburn is horrible too! I take the prescribed prilosec but it only takes the edge off. I still have the pain. My back pain upper and lower and left shoulder pain is constant now.
When they tested you for carcinoid did they do a Chromogranin A blood test for just the 5HIAA? I has a slightly elevated Chromogranin A but all scans as I said, have been normal. I currently know of a woman who posted on another site with very similar symptoms to ours. Today she is having a Octreoscan for carcinoid. But the funny thing is she has "0" estrogen and can't metabolize ormone meds. The only thing they've found thus far is a 1 cm adrenal mass which they pass off! The reason I mention her is because perhaps this does have a hormonal component! She and I areten years older than you and have been told we're peri-menopausal! (That's the catch all phrase for women our age!) I was also told I'm too thin to have gall bladder problems! This after going from 129 @ 5'9" to 117 in just two months! (Perhaps I was so thin from not being able to eat!)
I was tested for celiac as well but it was negative.
I just read a post this am about a women who had gall bladder dysfunction no stones that had a horrible time getting diagnosed. It turns out she had adhesions that bound her gall bladder to her intestines or liver I think because of repeated gall bladder infections that went undiagnosed. So she developed adhesions. She had had abdominal ultrasounds that were negative but no hida scans! What's wrong with these doctors?
Have you ever had elevated liver enzymes? Mine have always been fine. My ct scan found what they believe to be a liver hemangioma that they said would not be causing such pain...So I think my liver is ok...I think!
I hesitate to do that liver flush. I just couldn't do the oilve oil thing. I do however take flax seed oil regularly in small amounts over the ourse of the day and when I stick to it (I blend it with cottage cheese which is a sulphurated protein which it binds to) I do better.
I guess I'll make the appointment today since I've spoken to you. (Still scared to death) LOL
I have no idea what they checked when they did the carcinoid test. They just told me it was negative. Funny about the adrenal thing, I had several "nodules" show up on the adrenals on a ct scan a yr or so ago and they said I needed to follow up to see if they had grown, and on the follow up they weren't there??? I also have nodules in my lungs which haven't gotten any bigger but there seems to be more of them (like 12 or something). I don't know what that's about. I do smoke, so it concerns me.
I never had elevated enzymes. I heard your liver has to be pretty far shot to have your enzymes be off.
The olive oil part of the flush isn't too bad...but the epsom salt is horrible tasting! I also thought that with the flax/cottage cheese combination that you have to follow a specific diet along with it because it can either kill off, or cause tumors (cancerous) depending on what you eat with it??? It's all too much for my little pea brain...LOL. I have noticed though that I am feeling better on a very low fat diet. It has cut the back and neck pain about in half! I usually prefer a more atkins type diet, but I guess those days are over:(
Also I was wondering if you were losing hair with this at all? Mine has been coming out by the handful! I don't have any bald spots (yet) but it is falling out and is super dry. I had a basic hormone test done and of course it came back normal:/....and was told it could happen from stress....hmmmm
Hi...me again! I know I keep saying I can't believe the similarity...but I can't!!! My hair used to be long, silky smooth and thick as can be. Three years ago it started to fall out! I don't mean just a little. I mean handfuls where my brush would be covered with it after shampooing. My hairdresser (who highlights my hair) tried to hide how much came out after a highlighting recently. It is not only getting from falling out..it has also changed in texture and is also very dry! My skin is super dry too no matter how I moisturize. My eyes are always red and dry too! Are you having dry skin? As I speak I have discomfort RUQ and the heartburn is starting. I ate a half of an egg salad sandwich for lunch...BIG mistake! You know there are other posts about hair falling out with people who have gall bladder dysfunction but when they adressed it with their doctors, the doctors said there was no correlation! Of course I was told..."it's probably hormonal!" UGH!
I think I would want to know what those "nodules" on the lungs are???!!! What have the doctors told you about them?
Ok...so we both have extreme similarity...so what is it!? It must be the gall bladder right?
Jeez...talk about long posts! Mine are getting longer each time it seems! LOL Is there a limit to how many you can post? I hope not I am hoping one of us finds out what this is all about before we loose touch with each other on this thread!
ha ha ha ha...not really funny, but I had to laugh...I also just had my doctor test me for sjogren's because of the dry eyes and dry mouth!!!! (It came back negative...imagine that) I haven't been able to wear my contacts for over a year and a half, I sleep with a humidifier on and the door cracked open and even with that I have to put eye drops in as soon as I wake up. I also am getting the purple bags and my eyes are always red! My eyes weren't that bad in years past, but I did notice they feel better with the flush...so maybe gallbladder too? I have to think all these weird symptoms aren't all actually gallbladder, but maybe from a toxin build up from stagnating stuff sitting in there from it not emptying right? That's all I can come up with. And alternative doctors I have seen have all told me I am "toxic" but no explanation as to why. I am also very sensitive to MOST medications and am allergic to lots of things and have bad reactions to many herbs and stuff, so that is why am desperately trying to kind of stay with western medicine. I am afraid that if I have a reaction to some weird herbal combo and have to go to the hospital they won't know what to do with me and they would just let me croak...lol
Hi...I got it...I am going to shoot off a quick email to you right now so you can delete it quickly. Talk to you in a few!
By the way...In addition to the red eyes..I too have dark circles under them. Never had them in my life. Allergies are severe to many things including most antibiotics. I am going to scan an short list of what gall bladder/liver dysfunction can cause to you. It may take me a little while to find it but I got it off the internet from a kinesiology site. I found it cery interesting. Many of the symptoms we share are listed.
I know this post is old, but incase it helps anyone who might come across it, over the past 2 years, I found out I have celiac disease along with 30+ other food allergies Since I have been gluten free (for a year now) the rapid heart beat is gone. So is the flushing and most of the dizziness. Much (but not all) of the anxiety is gone too. I do still have the gallbladder pain and frequent vomiting. I haven't gotten it out yet, because after 4 hida scans, it keeps bouncing around. 0%, 50%, 28%, 22%. I have read that the allergies can cause inflammation in the ducts causing pain, and that I might still have pain after surgery. However, the pain is getting steadily worse, so I will probably eventually do it *gasp*. I also still have bad intestinal pain even with the gf diet and I am doing my best to avoid all the other things as well, but it is nearly impossible. (the gluten I am super strict on) I would have never imagined gluten could do such horrible things to a person. Now all it takes is a crumb and the first thing that happens is psychiatric type symptoms, then the racing heart, and then the orange diarrhea. It takes about a week to recover from it. I hope this helps someone get on the right path. I had asked my doctor for years to test me for celiac, and he wouldn't, because it was "so rare".
"Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals.
For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our
medical experts page.
You may also visit our Gallbladder Disease , for moderated patient to patient support and information.
The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician.
Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.