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Low-functioning Gallbladder With No Stones

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Hi Everyone! I had a Hidascan and upper endoscopy at the hospital last week. Endo showed everything's normal in my upper digestive tract. I have a question about having a gallbladder that functions at 14% with no stones though.

I've got RUQ discomfort with occasional stabs of pains after I eat. Most of the time I have extremely slow digestion. I can eat dinner and it will still feel like it's in my stomach the next morning. What started me on this quest for a diagnosis was I would get occasional heart palpitations and dizzy spells. I'll feel like the world is going sideways. Went to the ER and was told it was vasovagal reaction. But to what? It happened after I ate a big meal. I can't remember if it was a fatty meal though. Anyway, I made an appointment to have blood work done. I had a pretty thorough work up done (thyroid, hepatic, basic, female hormones, etc.) and all came back normal. I had a 24 hour urine test (checking for adrenal issues) and that came back normal too. Cardio doc did an echo on me and it came back normal too. Everything seemed to point to gallbladder. Half of the doctors I've seen say gallbladder won't cause dizziness or mess with my heart, half say it could.

Anyone out there with gallbladder issues also have these type symptoms?

Thanks,
H.T.
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First Helper Heydoo
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replied March 12th, 2009
Low BP with gallbladder trouble.
Hello, I found your post and thought it was extremely interesting as my Mum has exactly the same symptoms and the docs are baffled.
Please can you tell me whether you found anything out. I realise this is quite a long time ago for you now though but I'd be grateful for any information.
Stephanie Haynes
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replied February 23rd, 2010
I have exactly the same symptoms. For a year I've felt terrible with no energy. My heart beats fast sometimes and I have sudden pains in different parts of my abdomen. Mostly, I bloating and pressure in my upper abdomen. And lots of constipation and diarrhea. Food takes FOREVER to digest. Also, my left side hurts more than my right which is why nobody suspected my gallbladder. I've had a ct scan and a full blood workup done in the emergency room. Just last week I had a hida scan which showed my gallbladder functioning at 14%...no stones. I will have surgery in 2 days for removal. I hope this fixes all those problems. I'll try to come back and give an update.
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replied April 17th, 2012
Hi I have been suffering with the same problems for over twelve months. Initially I couldn't eat or drink at all as I physically couldn't fit anything in and felt so bloated. As soon as I did eat anything I was in total pain and remained that way for hours after . I felt as if nothing was being digested at all. I then began to have a burning sensation in the upper part of my stomach which made me breathless and generally feel very unwell. I brought up an acidy froth and was put on lansoprazole which helped a little. I've had a scope but results were fine. I've had a ct scan which showed impaction prob due to not eating or drinking enough ! I was given laxido orange to take and basically told I was suffering from IBS! I wasn't happy with this diagnosis as I do suffer from IBS but have NEVER had symptoms as high up in my diaphragm as these or the pain on my right hand side under my ribs going through into my back . The pain felt similar to the pain I had during my pregnancies when I had the condition cholestatis . After mentioning this to my consultant I felt like he finally took me serious. He sent me for a Hida scan . I'm now being referred to a surgeon as my gallbladder isn't functioning right ! I have also been having terrible palpitations and my heart speeds up for no reason , this is so frightening as it gets worse if I am hungry or when I have eaten more than usual . I'm waiting to have an echo done and a heart monitor for the week. I can't take much more of this , has anyone suffered these symptoms OR has the removal of their gallbladder stopped such symptoms ? I feel like I'm going out of my mind . I'm 39 but feel 79!!
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replied November 30th, 2012
the vagus nerve
dont have gb surgrey. what you have is vasovagal syndrome.its a nerve from the brain to the stomach and also controls the heart.its not life threatning but sure feels that way sometimes.good luck
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replied March 12th, 2010
Gallbladder, Heart and Calcium
I have been doing some research and have come up with connections between vitamin d, gallbladder, melatonin and calcium. Some of the connections between calcium and the gallbladder are: Limy bile, porcelain gallbladder, UV exposure and incidence of gallstones and mixed-type gallstones. It is my belief that the gallbladder plays a very important role in the body to do with calcium metabolism/buffering/regulation.
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replied May 30th, 2011
DeDear artistgirl85 I have the exact same situation. My abdomen hurts on the lower left and right side. My left side of my chest feels weird sometimes and my heart beats fast. My righ side of my abdomen hurts on the upper and lower. After three months of severe pain that sends me to my knees and almost loosing my job I find out my gallbladder functions at 20% and I'm scheduling an apt to get it removed. I also have severe nausea and sometimes can't even keep water down for like 12 hour intervals. My lower back also hurts around my sides. If anyone else has these symptoms please let me know..
Elizabeth
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replied September 7th, 2011
Low-functioning Gallbladder With No Stones
Hi Elizabeth89,
I have pretty much the same.
Thinking of the operation.
How do you feel after the operation?
Please let me know.
Thanks.
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replied September 12th, 2011
My symptoms were almost the same. My doctor stated that pain causes and increase in Blood pressure which in turn cause heart palpatations. I did not have as much pain under the right quardrant- but more of the nausea and abdominal pain. Attacks would wake me anywhere between 3-5 am in the morning...sometimes this would last for days. In three months I ended up in the ER 3 times and was told it was the stomach flu. Being 47 and being very familiar with the stomach flu I knew they were wrong. I was persistant with my doctor who then requested CT, Ultrasound- which should no stones. Then I had the Hida Scan which should 30% function and sludge. I had my gall bladder out one week ago- I'm not going to say it's been easy but I know I can live w/o it and look forward to NO more attacks. I have had episodes of the dizzy head with the attacks before it was removed and after it was removed. My doctor explained to me today..or should I say..scolded me today for the way I am breathing...to many deep breathes/sighs release to much oxygen therefore not enough oxygen in the blood- which will cause the dizziness. He also put me on a low dose of Xanax to help me "relax"- being my first every surgery and having some anxiety about it. I must say.. the first pill- 3 hours later....I feel like a new person!! I will not regret my decision to have it removed...the attacks were terrible and were affecting my life, job and just quality of daily living. A diseased gall bladder does not reverse back to a healthy gall bladder..period!!! Good Luck
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replied December 29th, 2011
I have the pain in my lower back close to the sides as well. I have upper abdominal on right and shooting pain going to the left of upper abdominal region. I also have terrible back pain directly under bra strap and my right side of my chest causes me pain. I feel like if I eat too fast or drink carbonated bev. with meal that my airway closes off and nausea....had another hidascan done and supposed to get appt. set up with surgeon. I also have terrible irritable bowel and I believe it is because food is not being digested correctly before getting to colon and it is tearing me up!
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replied January 2nd, 2012
Me too had really high bp now I get v.low 70 /40 at times. My HIDA scan showed my gallbladder is not functioning properly. I have just posteud on her .love C.x
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replied January 13th, 2012
gall bladder symptoms
I had a cup of hot chocolate and within a 1/2 hour I had heartburn and terrible upper right quadrant back pain, Since then I've been burping a lot and have really bad pain in that area of my back as well as between my shoulders, so bad it kept me awake last night. Not really pain in the abdomen, mostly back, indigestion and belching. Had a hida scan about 9 months ago showing 20% function. Called my doctor yesterday and she prescribed Prilosec. It may help a little but i know it wont change the underlying problem. It's scarry though bc gall bladder attacks mimick heart problems, ulcers, kidney stones, and lung problems bc of the pain associated. I'm a high anxiety person anyway so all this throws me over the edge with not knowing for sure if this is what it is but I'm assuming its gll bladder.
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replied January 13th, 2012
gall bladder symptoms
I had a cup of hot chocolate and within a 1/2 hour I had heartburn and terrible upper right quadrant back pain, Since then I've been burping a lot and have really bad pain in that area of my back as well as between my shoulders, so bad it kept me awake last night. Not really pain in the abdomen, mostly back, indigestion and belching. Had a hida scan about 9 months ago showing 20% function. Called my doctor yesterday and she prescribed Prilosec. It may help a little but i know it wont change the underlying problem. It's scarry though bc gall bladder attacks mimick heart problems, ulcers, kidney stones, and lung problems bc of the pain associated. I'm a high anxiety person anyway so all this throws me over the edge with not knowing for sure if this is what it is but I'm assuming its gll bladder.
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replied April 26th, 2012
Re: gall bladder symptoms
shellyrx wrote:
I had a cup of hot chocolate and within a 1/2 hour I had heartburn and terrible upper right quadrant back pain, Since then I've been burping a lot and have really bad pain in that area of my back as well as between my shoulders, so bad it kept me awake last night. Not really pain in the abdomen, mostly back, indigestion and belching. Had a hida scan about 9 months ago showing 20% function. Called my doctor yesterday and she prescribed Prilosec. It may help a little but i know it wont change the underlying problem. It's scarry though bc gall bladder attacks mimick heart problems, ulcers, kidney stones, and lung problems bc of the pain associated. I'm a high anxiety person anyway so all this throws me over the edge with not knowing for sure if this is what it is but I'm assuming its gll bladder.


Shelly: Did you ever get any closure to your problems? GB surgery? I've been having problems for 4-6 weeks now. While I haven't had an attack for a couple of weeks now, I still have an upset stomach which really affects my appetite. I didn't even know what these attacks were when they were happening (mainly at night for several hours). Went to a GI doctor and had all kinds of tests ran. The ultrasound revealed a small stone and the HIDA showed GB function at 33%. He said since there is a stone present along with the 33% function, he recommends having the GB out. I haven't yet made a decisi to go through with this yet.

How are you doing now? Please post
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replied April 26th, 2012
Elizabeth89 wrote:
DeDear artistgirl85 I have the exact same situation. My abdomen hurts on the lower left and right side. My left side of my chest feels weird sometimes and my heart beats fast. My righ side of my abdomen hurts on the upper and lower. After three months of severe pain that sends me to my knees and almost loosing my job I find out my gallbladder functions at 20% and I'm scheduling an apt to get it removed. I also have severe nausea and sometimes can't even keep water down for like 12 hour intervals. My lower back also hurts around my sides. If anyone else has these symptoms please let me know..
Elizabeth


Elizabeth: Did you ever have your gallbladder out? I just came across your post.
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replied October 19th, 2012
Abdominal Pain Upper Right under rib cage.
Ive had sharp pains under the right rib cage for months now, worse when i eat, whether small or large meal, whether fatty meal or straight vegetables or bland food. last two weeks it got worse. for months ive gone from constipated to diarrhea with no known cause for either. this last two weeks the pain has been so bad it had gotten to where it was waking me up at night and so severely painful like someone ripping a jagged knife up under my ribs that it would shoot me straight out of bed crying. Doctor had ultrasound done of gallbladder which came back perfectly normal, no thickening of the wall and no bile build up with no stones.

this last week I've been in the ER three times with excrutiating stabbing pains in the upper right side of abdomen just under the rib cage.
first visit, CT scans and ultrasounds all came back normal and all organs perfectly healthy, but suspected that it could be a peptic ulcer and prescribed medications accordingly.
pain still persisted and even worsened. Second visit to ER now stomach so bloated that i look as though i am carrying triplets, pain all through the abdomen and they now say I have Ileus, swelling of the intestines, most commonly caused by a blockage. CT scan and xrays shows no blockage however and very little matter in the intestines. prescribed Reglan for the Ileus.
admitted to hospital on third ER visit, in for four days.
this time they did the ct scan with the barium and still no signs of anything, all normal, second ultrasound still normal no signs of anything.
Had the hida scan done, and gallbladder is only functioning at 14%, they offered removal but GI doctor stated that its only a 50/50 chance that the pain will go away if that is what is causing it.
I also had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy done which showed swelling and irritation in the stomach and intestines, clusters of polyps in the lower stomach and the upper intestines. They removed the polyps and since then, they sharp stabbing pains have lessened a little, still get the sharp pain from exactly where the gallbladder is but doctor states that he doesn't believe that it is causing the pain and attributes it to IBS, this is the first time that IBS has been mentioned as a diagnoses which i don't necessarily agree with.
I have been vitamin D deficient for several years now and cannot seem to get the level to raise higher then 22, and then it quickly drops, lowest I've gone is 11. I take 5000mg's a day and in one month its already dropped from 22 to 18.
I have had to push my doctor to test to find out why I cant retain the vitamin D, and recently had him test my thyroid which came back abnormal with multiple nodules on it. I believe that if i get the thyroid working properly then the vitamin D level will return to normal and hoping that that will then cause the gallbladder to return to a normal functioning state.
have an appointment with the GI doctor on the 23rd and hopefully he can help me get all this fixed.

I would like to know that if i do come to the point of having to have the gallbladder removed, if the pain still persists after removal?
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replied January 16th, 2013
Low Functioning of the Gallbladder
Hi to all of the above gallbladder problem sufferers. I was diagnosed with a 14 % functioning of the gallbladder over a year ago after constant upset stomach and finally pain under the rib cage right side. My surgeon did not push or urge me to have surgery and I don't believe in removing organs that have a function. If you have gallstones that is a totally different story because it can be life threatening, not so with a low function.
I researched the alternative to surgery for the low function and came up with acupuncture. I went for 4 months, once a week and I am now down to once a month. During last summer while in Europe, I went for 2 months without treatment, after the acupuncture therapist put seeds into the ear. I am doing great. You have to believe in this type of treatment and you have to know a bit about the wonderful effects of Chinese medicine. Here is what I found out over time: I can eat pretty much everything, but I must carefully choose HOW MUCH I eat at a time. Small portions several times a day, are best. As the acupuncturist explained to me: There is a valve at the end of the esophagus. That valve closes after food has reached the stomach, then travels to the liver and the bile from the liver after digestion is transported into the gallbladder, then through a valve into the duodenom. That valve should open but with a low function it does not, so that the food is just sitting in the stomach too long. I am sure you have all experienced also heavy bloating and gas pain. I don't know if I got all the fact correct, but it is close enough and I am living pretty well now without surgery.
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