Gall Bladder Issues

Updated on February 10, 2008
A.D. asks from Mokelumne Hill, CA
23 answers

Hello,
First of all I have never heard of gall bladder problems in relation to pregnancy until I have started having problems. Upon reading this sight I have learned it is very common and has happened to a lot of you.
I am 18 weeks preganancy and have been experiencing what sounds like gall bladder pains since I was about 12 weeks. I have never had problems prior to pregnancy. My doctor said he thinks it is my gallbladder- I am getting a test on the 22nd. He wants to wait tell after the baby is born to do the surgery if needed if I can handle the pain- which I would like to do. The pain is getting worse and more prolonged all the time. It started being only at night, I am now starting to notice it in the afternoons. The only relief I have found is a low heating pad on my upper right side of myback(where the pain is primarily). So I am wondering if there is anything that can be done that helps with the pain to get through it? Iam hoping there is a relief in the way of diet and or supplements?

What can I do next?

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R.S.

answers from Chico on

Just be careful, one night nine weeks into my pregnancy with my twin boys, I has such an acute attack, I thought I was having a heartattack. Turned out I had gall stones. They had to take out my gall bladder. Immediately.

It all turned out for the best. The twins were fine. My doctor and surgeon were the best.

For diet...avoid high fat! As for pain, I don't think there is anything strong enough that you can self administer that is strong enough, cause there is nothing like that pain.

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello,
I had the same problem when I was pregnant with my second child. In my case it happened when I was about 5 months pregnant and it was a severe pain. I too wanted to wait until after my daughter was born to have my gallbladder removed. My doctor recommended a low-fat diet. I went on a strict diet of only 8-10 grams of fat a day. I would ask your doctor before you did something like that, because I was over weight to begin with. Needless to say 2 months after my daughter was born I had to have my gallbladder removed. I hope that helps. Good Luck!

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D.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,
I have had 3 extremely painful gall bladder attacks which lasted several hours. Peppermint water is helpful. I think what helped me most was the fresh apple juice. We have a Champion juicer and that was about all I could take in for a couple days. We didn't want to go the surgery route so my husband spent hours on the internet doing research. We found some supplements called "Stone Free" which my husband makes me take any time I get the sense that the gall bladder is going to act up again. You might try a castor oil pack: put the castor oil on your pain, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel or heating pad. My last attack was in August last year a week before my first childrens conference. It was incredibly stressful. I hope this helps.

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A.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Stay away from large meals, spicy meals, greasy foods, and most of all foods high in acid, like lemons and tomatoes. You will be surprised at how much this will help....oh and if you are a coffee/soda drinker stop. I had the same problem with my first pregnancy, and had my gall bladder removed and I haven't been the same since. I have never been able to go back to eating any of the above, if and when I do cheat and eat one of my no-no's I pay the price with alot of pain and discomfort.

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L.W.

answers from Sacramento on

I have used Quantum Touch healing to dissolve calcium deposits in a shoulder and remove kidney stones from my father so that he didn't have to have surgery. He is in Kansas and I'm in Sacramento. I did it long distance, that's the power of love. You can also use affirmations. Some of the most powerful ones are "I Am Safe" and "Every cell of my body is love" You may not feel that these statements are true especially at first, but if you repeat them often enough it will reprogram the misfiring signals and eventually it will feel true as well. When the cells that are not in balance hear that often enough, they realize that they are no longer needed and return to balance as well.

EFT is also very effective for quick relief, get your free manual at www.emofree.com

Also, please test your ph levels. That's really simple, there are testing strips that you can get at the Sac Natural Foods Co-op, Elliott's or Whole Foods. You want to test your saliva after having nothing but water for 2 hours. This way you are testing only your saliva, not morning breath, or the foods and drinks. Likely you are acidic. Believe it or not the fastest way to get your ph levels back to 7 (normal) is to drink the juice of a lemon every day. Counter intuitive because of the acidity you think is in a lemon, but this chemistry actually is the MOST alkaline producing thing you can do for yourself. Google foods high in alkaline forming properties. This is beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, that is what you need to bring yourself to 7 if you test low on the ph (acid). Raw is better. Stay away from processed foods, all meats, soy. (veggies have protein in them you will be ok, supplement with lentils and beans for protein)

I had been eating alkaline forming foods and kicked the sugar and chocolate. I thought I was doing so well when all of a sudden I had terrible chocolate cravings. I tested my ph and it was TOO alkaline, so my body automatically told me I needed some acid forming foods as well. Balance is the key and it is what the body strives for. It tells you what it needs based on how it talks which is pain and cravings or feeling good. Usually it is saying, "hey remember me? I need some love down here - focus on self already!" hee hee !-)
Love, L.

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C.H.

answers from Modesto on

Boy, do I sympathize with you. I had gall stones/gall bladder attacks for a very long time. I used to take a very hot shower and just let the water hit where it hurt. However, that only lasted for a while. Eventually for me, nothing took the pain away.

I didn't have insurance so I lived with gall stones for a couple years. I could pretty much keep the attacks under control by eating bland food. High fat, fried and spicy foods would trigger me...espcially pizza and Mexican food.

So, I would suggest eating smaller meals more frequently and keep it mild. Foods that seemed to not bother me were eggs, cheese and crackers.

Ask your doctor about the following:

Essential fatty acid complex- Important constituent of every living cell. Needed for repair and prevention of gallstones.

Lecithin granules or capsules- A fat emulsifier;aids in digestion of fats (Apples have lecithin)

I have now read in case of an attack, drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of apple juice. This should relieve the pain fairly quickly. eat applesause,yogurt,cottage cheese, apples and stay away from red meat as much as possible.

Hope this helps. Best wishes!

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Watch what you eat, spicey food makes it worse, fatty food makes it worse and for gods sakes dont eat a whole box of cholate on Valentines Day.
My gall bladder problem started with my 2nd pregancy and my ob said I had a hietal hernia (wrong) I suffered for 2 yrs after my son was born until V Day(ate to much cholate). i had tremendas pain all night long. Went to a new doctor the next day and had my gall bladder out 3 days later. Most gall stones look like sand, mine looked like I went out into the garden and ate rocks the biggest being almost 1/2 inch acrossed, my doctor said he had never seen them look like mine they were brown and beighe and looked like tigereye stones.
And heres something most doctors dont tell you, after you have your gall bladder out you never poop the same again.
You have more runny bowl movements because the gall bladders job is to take extra water out of the bio which breakes down the food in your bowls, so all that extra water has to go somewhere.

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J.Z.

answers from Modesto on

Hi A., One thing that can help with the gallbladder pains (if it is related to having gallstones) is to follow a low fat diet. When you eat a diet with a lot of fat, it will cause you to experience pain. That is about the best thing for this until you are able to have surgery. I used to work for an ob/gyn office and we used to see gallbladder issues in pregnancy a lot. Hope this helps. :)

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G.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A., I have found a wonderful remedy for the gall bladder.....read it in a natural healing book.....one lemon and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoon of olive oil in a tall glass of warm water first thing in morning....do this for at least a week....it works.....I noticed a change in the side pains in about two days.....and every time I start getting the feeling I do the drink mix and it makes it go away for about few months....I have bad gall bladders in my family....I am almost 60 yrs old and everyone else has had theirs removed....so I really believe the drink works.....good luck....G.

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R.R.

answers from Sacramento on

I had my gallbladder removed around 8 yrs ago after my first child. Years later I had started to see a homeopathic doctor and she told me that she could have cleaned my gallbladder out naturally without surgery. Now because I don't have a gallbladder...everytime I eat a greasy burger or fried chicken or anything like that...I get a real bad upset stomach. I also have relatives that have gone through natural body cleansing and has worked miracles on them. I don't know if it is advisable to do while pregnant but before you have your gall bladder removed it wouldn't hurt to look into it. Most doctors will insist it doesn't work...I have had doctors who themselves believe and practice for themselves natural medicine.
R.

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M.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I had a surgery 3 months ago, but before I did not take the pain seriously, I thought it was indigestion and from time to time once a month. I spend the hole night walking in my apt looking for a relief the the pain ahhhhhhhhh my god it was so painfulllllllllll but the thing is the day after every thing gone.
so I had this kind a problem for like from Feb. 2007 and my pain was worst, I went to the doctor to see what is going on she asked me to do an x-ray and guess what they found a stones on my gallbladder and it was really bad situation and the doc said how could you handle this kind of pain for all these months, and she asked me the contact a surgeon, I wanted to wait like for 2 or 3 weeks before to have an appointment grrrrrrrrrrr on that night was the worst night in my life even when I was pregnant.

The day after I took a Tylenol and I dropped my son in his school (preschool) and I kept my 2years old daughter till my son finish. Half an hour later I was in crises my husband wanted to take me the emergency but I wanted to have first the advise of my doc .I went again to my doc crying because of the pain and gave me the address to surgeon to go and see here wish I did. I did my surgery the same day in the hospital thanks god the operation went well and they removed it with success. Oh it was a relief for me and now I have a new life.

My advice to you is to avoid eating all kind meal with heavy cream, like broccoli cheese soup, clam chowder, pasta with Alfredo sauce, just regular meal,.... it will help remaining in peace. Any medicine? Nothing, just Tylenol but one hour later the pain is back. Good luck. God help you my email is [email protected]____.com if you need any information

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A.G.

answers from Stockton on

Hi A. my name is A.. I had the same problem and before surgery the only thing that helped me was changing my diet. The gallbladder helps process fat so if there was more then 2 grams of fat per serving i couldn't eat it, which isn't a bad thing. Also there is a window of oppertunity in the second trimester to have the surgery which you might want to ask your doc about if the pain keeps getting worse. Hope this helps. A.

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S.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi there--my hubby is a firefighter/paramedic too! I have suffered w/ gall bladder symptoms for years. I finally cut out all red meat and dairy and fried foods. I admit I am vegetarian now... however, I dropped 40 pounds in eight months and feel so much better. Good luck to you. PS. NO coffee or soda either very bad for gall bladder.

Sorry...wanted to add that back pain can also be kidney stones?? Maybe mention it to your doc.

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J.O.

answers from Redding on

Last Spring I had my gallbladder removed after suffering off and on for 13 years. My son was born when I had my first symptoms, but I was in my early twenties, so the doctor didn't diagnose correctly. In fact, they thought it was all in my head. Stress due to being a "young" mom. Then two years later, when my daughter was born, I had symptoms again. Again, they gave me meds for irritable bowel or Previcid. After that, when I'd have symptoms I knew what the doctors would say so I dealt with it...until last Spring. I couldn't eat anything without being doubled over in pain. I spent a week with barely any nutrition, I couldn't sleep and the whole thing was catching up with me. When I was finally admitted to the hospital, there was no doubt what was wrong. But time and again I was told I didn't fit the profile. Most are female (I am that), fat and forty. I am slim and in my mid-thirties. So sorry I didn't fit the text book, but it sure was nice to have someone tell me it was real and not in my head! They removed the stones, and one was the entire width of my gallbladder and nearly half the length. I'd obviously been suffering for a long time. Even now, certain things make my stomach upset, but I no longer have the pain. Pre-surgery, I should have watched the amount of fatty foods. I hear eggs provoked attacks in 90% of people with symptoms. Even avocados and "good" natural fats, because the gallbladder is a cache for the bile that processes fats. If you eat something fatty, it will try to extract by contracting the excess bile from the gallbladder to dump it into your stomach for digestion. If you have a large stone or if a stone is blocking the duct, you will experience great pain.
Of note....my attack last spring coincidentally followed my going on "Yaz" birth control pill. I had been on for about a month when the attack started. I'm wondering if the hormones of pregnancy and the hormones in the pill are related to the gallbladder symptoms. Anyone heard of that? Just curious.
Don't be surprised if your appetite is different for a while, or even permanently, after gallbladder surgery. Some people do (me included) have issues with processing fatty foods or having an acidic stomach and therefore a bit queasy for a majority of the time. But it is sooo much better! Here's hoping you have relief!

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J.W.

answers from Yuba City on

I had this also but it started when I was about 5 months pregnant. Except they thought I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions instead of checking for my gall bladder. I had mine removed when my daughter was 10 months old (she is 17 now). Anyway, my advice is to watch what you eat. Lots of veggies, very little fried or greasy foods. Try to stay away from spicy stuff too. Watch your red meat intake. Check out the local health food store. Whole foods helped me out too. Drink lots and lots and lots of water. For some reason, cranberry juice helped too. Maybe it was the hydration that helped.

I spent hours in the shower with the water as hot as I could stand it - sitting there letting it hit me right where it hurt. Also, sleeping on my left side seemed to help sometimes.

I wish I could help more, but those things helped me even when I didn't know it was my gall bladder. Keep tabs on it and monitor the pain. If it gets sharper or more frequent, make sure to tell your doctor especially if the test comes out positive. By the time they figured out what was wrong with me, I had 38 stones and spent 8 days in the hospital.

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K.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I'm actually having my gall bladder taken out in a couple of weeks. (I'm not pregnant, have three kids). My doctor recommended that until my surgery, I cut out all fat. It has totally helped. I haven't had an "attack" since I've cut out fat. For breakfast, I eat Special K cereal with non-fat milk, lunch I usually eat a salad with only balsamic vinegar (no oil) or a low-fat soup. For dinner, I eat more salad, grilled chicken or fish. Throughout the day, I'll eat fruit for snacks. I've also found fat-free pudding and fat-free fig newtons to curb my sweet tooth.

Being pregnant, you may want to check with your doctor regarding diet - I would want to make sure you are still getting enough nutrients (like iron and protein).

Hope this helps and best of luck to you.

-K.

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I couldn't believe that my "back problems" were actually my gall bladder, but thats all they were! The Gall Bladder helps digest protiens and fats like oil and meat. To quiet the pain down you need to eat very little fat and meat. Personally, I would go completely vegetarian without any kind of oil for at least a week and then slowly add one thing at a time until I was sure it wasn't going to cause an "attack". I know it's miserable, but it won't last forever. Good luck and best wishes!

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C.G.

answers from Sacramento on

I had gallbladder issues with my 2nd pregnancy. All the docs told me was to stick to a low fat diet. When you eat fat it stimulates the gallbladder to release more bile to take care of the extra fat.
I had a rough experience with my gallbladder. When my son was two weeks old I had to have it removed in an emergency because one of the gall stones become lodged in one of my bile ducts. VERY Painful!! Hope this helps a little!

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L.M.

answers from Redding on

A. D:Although I am no expert on this subject, recently I did quite a lot of research on gallbladder issues spurred on by a friend who had a gallbladder attack and a relative experiencing similiar symptoms that turned out to be pancreatic cancer. Not to scare you, but a true diagnosis would be what I would encourage, to rule out anything really serious.

Your organs are directly related with your health, and usually poor diet habits are the contributing factor to gallbladder disease. There are cleanses and herb supplements that help to detoxify/decalcify your gallbladder that you can do, although most likely not while you are pregnant.

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K.P.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi A.,
I had the same problem when I was pregnat with my son 23 years ago. He now works in the Forestry as a firefighter.Anyway the only thing that helped me was watching my diet and staying away from high fatty foods. Look at the labels and go for the least amount of fat I tried to stay under 20 grams a day. This might be harder for you due to the pregnacy. I would check with your doctor. Please let me know.
K. P

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N.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi there,

I had my gall bladder removed prior to being pregnant. I have heard that is very common amongst pregnant women or it comes up right after pregnancy. I would reccomend eatting very carefully anything greasy or fatty can cause an attack.

I hope you feel better.

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

If it were me, I would get a second opinion. However, if it is gallbladder problems, I am surprised that your doctor doesn't suggest a special diet for you. I had gallbladder problems (I was not pregnant) and was given a special diet. Mostly, I ate chicken without skin that was barbequed plain and veggies. I was told no dairy or breads.

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J.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi A.
If you sgueeze fresh lemons and drink a little of the juice every day your gallbladder trouble should disappear. I have talked to two people that this worked for. But be sure it is fresh squeezed juice. Mix it with water, add honey, however you can stomache it. My sister in law had her gall bladder removed during her pregnancy. I wish I had known about the lemon juice back then.
Sincerely, J.

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