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Hello all,

Back in March I had my gallbladder removed because according to the ER doctors that was what was causing all my symptoms.  3 days later, same symptoms, back in the ER... I recently learned that the testing done on the gallbladder they removed showed it was working fine just had some stones in them.  Since then (past 2 months), I've developed an intolerance to gluten, which is pretty severe and instant.  When exposed to gluten I get severe abdominal pain mimicking the gallbladder pain.  That I could live with...

The problem is now that I started to have pain with all foods. I've noticed that about 2-3 hours after eating (assuming I've been eating all day, small but steady meals) I get a horrible pain in my mid back (T4-7 area), radiating all the way around my ribs to my sternum.  It throbs and pulses and feels like my ribs are trying to crush my insides.  I have a numb spot just left of my spine in the same area, that radiates across both sides when I eat or drink anything at all.  These attacks only happen when I've been eating all day, like I said, and last for about 8 hours.  Over the past few weeks I've cut down eating to 2oz of food (measured) every other day and the rest just liquids.  Ive lost 40lbs since my surgery 8 weeks ago.

The doctors have done: ultrasound abdominal and kidneys (3 times), abdominal x-rays, CT with contrast, tons of blood work, EKG, urine testing.  I am currently taking an antispasmodic when the pain gets bad, but it doesn't seem to help.  My GI specialist did a scope down my throat, which showed NOTHING but a healthy stomach, etc... however the biopsies are not back from that quite yet (done just last week).  All testing shows normal, nothing is wrong.  I even had the ER doctor tell me I was making everything up and I need to see a psychiatrist. 

Can anyone think of ANY reason, issue, problem, etc.  or any testing that I might suggest to the GI doc?  Anything at all?!  I can't afford to lose so much weight!  Oh, I'm 31 yo female. 

Thanks!

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Hi teemo -- I also had my gallbladder out in March 2013.  The 14th, to be exact. My severe pain started in February, and it only took a month to be diagnosed with a low-functioning gallbladder (7%) and have it removed.  They also determined that I have fatty liver. I am a 52-year old female. After the surgery, I had cellulitis in my bellybutton incision, which prompted a trip to the ER for IV antibiotics. I did well the first week, because I ate little - chicken soup and jello.

That was the beginning of my saga. I look back and realize that I had symptoms for a very long time (2 years or more), but because we were physically active building structures at our property, I wrote it off as aches and pains doing heavy manual labor.  I believe some of the aches and pains I had, in addition to loss of gallbladder function, were due to fatty liver disease. At one point I was ready to be checked for fibromyalgia, and I have discovered that fatty liver can cause similar pain. Since surgery, I have been very frustrated. I have lost 23 pounds - the weight loss stopped because milkshakes &chocolate pudding cause NO pain, and they are YUMMY. LOL. Other than that, though, I do best when I eat less than 1 cup of food at a time, and keep it to mostly low fat foods. I remained on bland, no fat foods until the last 3 weeks.  I have not determined if spices make it worse, because I quit being careful when it continued to hurt, so I added spicy food back in to my diet lately - if I'm going to hurt, why not eat the foods I like? If I eat more than 1 to 1-1/2 cups of food, I am bloated and the pain is worse. This bloating lasts for 3 hours. Last week I ate a chef salad for lunch, and exactly 2 hours after eating, I had sharp, stabbing pains in my right side, under my rib cage, approximately where my gallbladder pain used to be.  This pain radiates back under my rib cage to the back.  Thankfully, it is not gallbladder pain. But under my rib cage & my back hurts ALL the time, and it is worse if I stand for long periods of time.Of course, it is also worse if I SIT for long periods and scrunch my upper abdomen, or even lean into a table. I cannot lift anything without pain. The doctor sent me to a Gastroenterologist, who wants to perform an endoscopy -- and a colonoscopy at the same time - YAY! Because I'll already be out, so they might as well get a baseline.  I do not believe they will find that I have an ulcer. In fact, I do not believe that looking in my stomach will pinpoint the pain at all.  However, the Doctor has made it clear that this is the next diagnostic step and I must comply. I am frustrated because if it is Sphinter of Oddi dysfunction, they will need to do yet another scope to check that.  My question is "how long can the pain be ignored before there is permanent damage?"  Thank you for listening.  Now that I have typed this out, I realize that I need to re-baseline my diet and start taking VERY detailed notes so that I am properly prepared for my next FUN doctor visit. Although I am relieved that my gallbladder doesn't hurt any more, it has not been a good experience, and my post-surgical expectations have not turned out to be realistic.  Thanks again!  And I hope my experience helps someone!

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