I had my gallbladder removed in '96. Symptoms are pretty darn consistent. "Usually" the pain will start on the right side, below the rib cage and can move (doesn't necessarily though) around to the back of the patient. The pain is consistent with eating.....eat something, particularly something high in fat and you will FEEL the pain. It was sharp and excruciating. Scans won't necessarily pick up gallstones and know that gallstones are not the only reason that people have gallbladder attacks. I didn't have any stones but instead had a condition known as sludgy bile. My bile was thicker than it should be and moved oh so slowly through my bile ducts - hence the term 'sludgy'. Trust me, the pain is just as intense. This condition is more difficult to diagnose than gallstones....you can't 'see' sludgy bile like you can a stone. Ultrasounds won't pick it up, nor will scans. You have to have this nuclear medicine test which threw me into a tizzy. Sweating, dizzy, nausea, room spinning....it was awful!! Basically, they inject a dye into you and see how the gallbladder reacts....how fast the bile moves, etc. Again, no stones for me but, like my father with sludgy bile (and later my brother had the same thing....must be a genetic predispostion I'm thinking!) having my gallbladder removed was a godsend! Pain was gone, gone, gone.
You could try this little test to see about the pain and to document it. Eat a low fat diet. Obviously you have to have some fat. Just don't eat more than a few grams at a time and see how the pain is. Try it for a few days. For example, when I did this, I would eat very lean, deli ham on white bread, no mayo (just some non fat/low fat Miracle Whip), boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts, veggies, non fat milk, mashed potaotes (no butter, non fat milk), etc.....things like that. My pains were so much less on this type of diet. However, if I ate a piece of pizza - man was I in PAIN...horrible, stabbing, sharp pain. Before I had the test for sludgy bile, my doctor suggested trying a low fat diet to see if it made a difference and it did. It helps pinpoint problems when the standard testing doesn't pick up on the usual culprits such as gallstones.
I seriously restricted my fat to no more than 12 -15grams daily - spaced out so that I never ate much at any one meal. It wasn't fun and I only did this for a week or so to get an idea of what did/didn't exacerbate my symptoms. I also stayed on this 'diet' (lost weight on it as well...unfortunately it came back when I didn't go low fat) after dx but before surgery.
6/22/06 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 mths Xeloda only - blood clots 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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