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Gallstones and low fat diets

(107 Posts)
chocaholic73 Mon 06-Aug-12 19:50:27

Have had gallstones for a few years. Following an agonising night a few weeks back, I ended up at A&E and had to stay in for a few days to be stabalised. They wouldn't remove the gall bladder at the time - said it increased the risk of bleeding as it was inflamed. I am now awaiting an outpatient appt which will then lead to a date to go back in for removal. In the meantime, I have been told to have a low fat diet - but that is the limit of the guidance I received. I have since read that too little fat can lead to the formation of additional gallstones so I am very confused. How much is the right amount? In the 2.5 weeks I have been home, I have lost about 4 pounds which is just about OK but I don't want or need to lose much more and I think if I carry on eating just what I have been eating the weight will continue to drop off. I am at the moment following the 5g in 100g rule but I am wondering whether I need to be quite that rigid. The bottom line is that I will do (almost) anything to avoid a recurrance of that horrendous pain while I wait for surgery! Those of you who have been there, will know what I mean. Any mumsnet guidance from people who have done this would be brilliant, or if there are any medical people, dietitians etc too.

gavind Thu 29-Nov-12 18:44:12

If you have pains on the right side just below the rib area, then it's a high chance of a gall stone. You should have a doctor check on it.

There's also a new concept about gall stone removal rather than gall bladder removal itself. Check this step by step experience in finally getting the gall stones out. whatisgallstone.com

tb Sat 01-Dec-12 17:50:05

I found out at the beginning of October during a routine medical that there was a possibility I had gallstones. I had an x-ray the same week, and a scan 2 weeks later. The 12th November I had my gall-bladder out.

Unfortunately, I did a bit too much once home, and have caused a hernia somewhere around my waist - my GP told me that he could feel a ball of fat that had 'popped' through a gap in the muscle layer. I'm now on Tramadol/paracetamol and enough Naprosyn to floor an elephant. So, ladies, when you do have your gall-bladders taken out, don't rush round like a mad thing the minute you get home.

The pain I'd had under my ribs had been dismissed my 'd'm who told me I was probably a bit stressed - must be prior to 1992. So thinking the 'belt too tight' feeling was down to stress I put it to the back of my mind.

Finally, my op was done in a French clinic, and cost €3000 with about €150 back-hander to the surgeon in 'dépassement honoraires' ie fees about the tariff, and the same amount in specialist appts beforehand - surgeon, lung specialist, anaesthetist and cardiologist all to make sure that I could withstand a general anaesthetic. Otherwise, under French law, outside life-saving emergency surgery, it's illegal for them to put a scalpel blade or gas mask anywhere near you.

DazR Tue 04-Dec-12 15:25:37

Diagnosed yesterday via Ultrasound Scan with a dozen gallstones in a bulging gallbladder. Back to the GP today who has referred to me a surgeon! I think there is a long wait in our area so have been reading this thread to get advice as to how to manage pain and diet. I have suffered for nearly 3 years with pain under my ribcage and especially behind my right shoulder blade and middle of my back. Has taken this long to get the correct diagnosis.... I even specifically asked my previous GP what organs were under my right hand ribcage that could be causing the pain and nothing was said except being prescribed very strong co-codamol! Since my pain started I have had a shoulder op for arthritis - the surgeon said 'why had I waited so long' so it obviously needed doing. During post-op physio to regain mobility in my shoulder the original pains have yet again returned - rib pain, shoulder blade pain etc. The physio kept saying it was 'referred pain' from the op but eventually I had had enough and returned to my new GP who thought I ought to be checked for gallstones - and BINGO it was obviously this all along.... So another year wasted while I wait for treatment for gallstones. Hopefully one day I may be pain free??? Does this day ever come??? How long do most people wait for referrals and then for operation dates? Sympathizing with all my fellow sufferers. sad

chocaholic73 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:55:05

Shocking you had to wait so long Daz for what is a very common problem - particularly amongst ladies of a certain sort of age .... there are certainly a number of us on here. The waiting list will depend on your area. However, your GP should be able to give you a rough idea. If you find out where you have been referred to, you could then be proactive and phone the surgeon's secretary for a more accurate update. In the meantime, I found a low fat diet really controlled things (I also lost over a stone in weight!). It can be a challenge at times but it worked for me. Although, in some cases, it isn't so successful. Anyway, my gall bladder was finally whipped out just under 2 weeks ago and good riddance so far as I'm concerned. Hope you get things sorted soon.

notallowedatall Wed 05-Dec-12 12:23:00

Another one suffering here. I'm awaiting an ultrasound scan to confirm gallstones, but reading this board, I'm about 99% sure it's the cause of all my problems. For years I was prescribed gaviscon (must've had a wheelbarrow full of 'em), then a few years on lanzoperazole but they no longer work. I've been on a low fat diet since July and have lost almost 2 stone, but still getting severe aches under rib cage, shoulder blades etc and generally feeling quite unwell, especially after consuming something a 'little' fatty. Christmas will be interesting!!!

DazR Wed 05-Dec-12 15:08:15

Thanks for your words of encouragement chocoholic. Actually i have already given up chocolate (my all time favourite snack) so am feeling quite miserable... Never had to follow a diet before (am 5' 8 and normal weight - but not fit (need to get exercising but pain keeps preventing it!). What have you been eating to keep 'low fat' - any favourite meals? Glad to hear that you have had your op - how long did you have to wait? I haven't had any episodes of extreme labour-type pains but I am just generally in pain (varies in intensity), and sometimes dragged so low with it i am in tears. I feel it is getting worse - and the GP did say there was a risk of blockage due to the size of my stones.
Hi notallowedatall - it's miserable isn't it! I too am thinking that Christmas may well be interesting......

chocaholic73 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:08:13

When had acute gall bladder inflammation in July, they told me I would have an outpatient appt in about 4 weeks. In fact it was 10 weeks. I was then told the actual waiting list was 8 weeks. I kept chasing but could never speak to anyone. Eventually I did and they told me I hadn't yet been allocated a date but it was likely to be the end of January. Fortunately, at this stage DH's work health insurance stepped in and I was done within 2 weeks. Low fat wise, it was a real challenge. I am a veggie and rather partial to cheese - low fat cheese slices just aren't the same somehow! You can get low fat chips that aren't bad, pasta and any sort of vegetable sauce is fine but everything is really limited. I broke the vegetarianism in as far as developing a thing for Cadbury's low fat chocolate mouse .... divine .... well a girl has to have some form of chocolate! Your pain does sound very different to me, on a low fat diet I was fine ... the only time I had a wobble was the 1 occasion I went out for a meal for DH's birthday .... I took some Buscopan and pain killers and it did settle down fortunately.

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