Undiagnosed persistent and severe pains even after gallbladder removal

Posted by emmakup @emmakup, May 31 3:38am

Hello, I am 28 year old female, I have been battling with a very strange case of chronic pain that the specialists at the hospital cannot seem to diagnose, I have had numerous tests, CAT and MRI scans and have been in intense chronic pain for the last year. The pain I have is a gallbladder pain, intense pain in the stomach and back, when the pains come I also have vomiting.

In October 2021 I had my gallbladder out as they suspected it could be that however since having it out the pains are worse and more frequent, the symptoms seem to appear when I miss a meal or am hungry, 70% of the time when I eat when the pains appear they seem to disappear however on occasions it doesn’t matter how much I eat the pains don’t go away and I end up vomiting, when I have vomited what seems like bile, the pains stop.

My doctors have run tests to see if I have stones lodged in the conduct, sphincter of Oddi, H pylori and they are all negative. Also, the pains appear regardless of what I eat, it’s the quantity that triggers the pains, if I eat a small quantity of food a few hours later if I don’t eat anything else the pains are triggered, since my surgery I have not slept a whole night without waking up with pains. My pains appear around 4 times a day. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you in advance

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health group.

Welcome @emmakup. I'd like to bring fellow members @astaingegerdm @terri9 @msb18 @wisco50 and @aurorahmoon into this discussion to see if they have some thoughts or experiences to share with you.

You may also be interested in this related discussion:
– Post-cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal surgery https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-cholesectomy-gallbladder-removal-chronic-back-pain/

Emma, did I understand correctly that you had these pains before the removal of your gallbladder, suspecting that its removal were resolve the pain. But now the pain is even worse and the cause remains undiagnosed? Have you considered getting a second opinion?

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Thank you for your reply, yes exactly, I had the pains before my gallbladder was removed, however, I would experience the pains once or twice a month, due to where the pains were occurring they put it down to my gallbladder since they removed it I now experience the pains 5 or 6 times during the day and night and they are more intense. I have had two second opinions however the diagnosis and treatment they sent me has not worked.

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@emmakup

Thank you for your reply, yes exactly, I had the pains before my gallbladder was removed, however, I would experience the pains once or twice a month, due to where the pains were occurring they put it down to my gallbladder since they removed it I now experience the pains 5 or 6 times during the day and night and they are more intense. I have had two second opinions however the diagnosis and treatment they sent me has not worked.

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So I'm not a doctor. My thoughts are based on my experiences. It sounds to me like it could be an overproduction of bile/too much bile in your system. I say that because you mentioned that you have the pains when you miss a meal and eating usually resolves the pain. Before getting my gallbladder removed I used to fast a lot and I was fine not eating for long periods. However, after, if I don't eat then the bile just seems to sit there in my system and I get sick. I typically experience nausea but also sometimes have stomach pains. This resolves when I eat. The food helps absorb the bile and push it through my system. Then you mentioned that sometimes, it doesn't resolve and you end up throwing up what looks to be bile. So that made me think that when too much has accrued that the food isn't working, that is when you end up vomiting.

Have you tried frequent, smaller meals throughout the day? Does that have an effect? Have you kept a food journal to see if it's related to when you eat specific stuff? My doctors told me I'd be able to eat 100% normally after and I wouldn't have to change my diet. I'm not sure why they tell people that because for most people I've talked to…that's not the case. I had to drastically cut down on the fats that I was eating.

Also, it hasn't even been a full year since your surgery. My surgeon originally told me that I would recover after two weeks. Later, I got the fully story…it takes about two full years for your body to adjust after having your gallbladder removed. The body also does some weird things during these two years. I had mine out in July 2020, and it took well over a year for me to not feel absolutely horrid every day. Each person's post-surgery experience is unique. Some people have a really easy time and some people, like me, struggle. So…give it some time.

This is super personal, but do you have loose stool at all? That can indicate bile issues after surgery. If you are actually having too much bile in your system and eating more frequently and diet changes do not help then you might want to see what your doctor thinks about prescribing a bile binder. I used one starting about 6 months after my removal until about a year after the removal. It helped my body adjust some and minimized side effects.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I hope you start feeling better soon.

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