I'm scheduled to have my gallbladder removed in the next couple of months but am looking to bring it forward due to the sleepless nights I'm experiencing. I'd love it if anyone could confirm/discount the following symptoms as I want to be sure it IS my gallbladder that is the likely cause!

I've had 2 full blown 'attacks' about 10 months apart. They started with a feeling of not being able to get comfortable in the evening, a little hot and sore in the back (mid back). I maybe grab a hour or two of sleep and then wake through pain at 2.30. The pain is a feeling of being in a vice-like grip from under the rib cage down to the pelvis. Tenderness to the point of not being able to touch of the whole torso, but particularly the solar plexus area. Cramping back across the bra strap line. Vomiting if I move out of a vertical position. Painful to look down. Unable to go to the toilet due to body spasm. The first lasted 2 hours, the second lasted 5 hours.

Between these I have had minor episodes that all happen during the night for the same length of time. The difference being no body spasm - the main problem is acute back pain across the bra strap line and a feeling of tenderness under the ribs. Only occasionally is there vomiting. Recently I've had 3 episodes in 10 days which is why I'm thinking of bringing the op forward.

I have had an ultrasound which showed gallstones of 13mm. It said 'several', but I'm not sure how many that quantifies! Other than that, it was a meeting with the consultant who basically pushed me into the op.

I've also read about the Gallstone flushes on the web, but they don't seem to be mentioned here. If there was a non-invasive alternative then that surely must be worth a try. My consultant/GP had never heard of them which doesn't fill me with confidence!

Thank you for any information you can give me Smile
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replied July 6th, 2012
Experienced User
Are your attacks triggered by eating particular foods? Especially fatty foods? That is common with gallstones and you may be able to reduce the number or severity of attacks by switching to a low fat diet until your operation.

Feel free to try anything else you might read on the web. I've never read anything that looked harmful, although some of the things sound unpleasant. Don't hold your breath for a cure though. If there was a pill you could pop and avoid going under the knife, there wouldn't be many people having their gallbladder removed!
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replied July 6th, 2012
Thanks for your reply. My attacks seem to be triggered by overeating - not portion size, but eating meals too closely together. I find leaving 4 hours between meals seems to work well. I also stupidly ate stilton & crackers etc for supper one evening...and knew after a couple of bites it was a baaaaad idea!
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replied July 7th, 2012
Experienced User
Fasting allows the gallbladder to refill so you can use a little bile without squeezing down on the stones. They say it takes 6-8 hours to completely refill.

It certainly sounds like gallstones. Hard cheeses are a classic no-no. I once tried cheese on toast and didn't finish eating before I was on my way to hospital.

Even if the initial problem was just a few gallstones, your gallbladder itself is probably not functioning properly now after being inflamed so often and for so long, and you'll start to feel mildly ill every time you eat, eventually even all the time.
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