Stomach issues, maybe Gallbladder?

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krazykat's picture
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Stomach issues, maybe Gallbladder?

Ugh, I'm so worried. Parts of this may be TMI, so just a warning in advance.

For the past 3 nights I have woken up in the middle of the night with intense stomach pain. This started right before I found out I was preggo but happened maybe only once a week. It is in the middle, upper abdomen, like where my diaphragm is. It feels like someone is twisting an ice pick in there. Last night I was dripping sweat it hurt so bad. I go sit on the toilet, and then after a little while I have a BM and then feel better pretty much immediately. After my BM last night, I felt ok, and then I got really nauseous and threw up. There wasn't even anything in my belly, it was just that nasty, yellow bile.

It only happens at night, and I don't have any discomfort or anything after I eat during the day. At first I just thought maybe it was from being pregnant or heartburn or something, so I've been taking Tums before I go to sleep every night. Then I thought maybe it was from taking my vitamins at night. Or maybe that I had eaten too close to bedtime... but now I don't know what the heck is going on.

I don't drink sodas at all, we eat primarily whole grains (rice, bread, etc), and lots of veggies. I'm also not a big sweet eater, so I don't typically have stuff like that either.

Anybody have any advice or anything? :help1:

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I used to get REALLY bad stomach pains that would land me in the ER once every 3-6 months. I had NO idea what caused it. I did find that one thing that bothered my stomach was broccoli so I don't eat it anymore...none. But that wasn't the only thing.

They never were able to figure out what it was but I always got pain meds (like the really, really good ones) that helped the pain go away. I haven't had any problems since Lexi was born *knock on wood*

Sorry I'm not much help but I do know how you feel and I pray it goes away soon. I would go to the doc just in case and see if they find anything.

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**Lurker**
I've had my gallbladder removed a few years back and the pain you describe sounds somewhat like mine. For me it started with moderate back pain (upper right) only at night when I was laying in bed, for a few weeks but not every night. Then I got an attack (gallstone lodged in bile duct) - and that felt like the twisted ice pick. It was in the same spot you describe, maybe a little off centre to the right. It would last about an hour each time and the pain was of the "curl-up-in-a-ball-on-the-floor" kind. It was truly awful and I knew right then and there that something was seriously wrong.

They diagnosed gall stones shortly thereafter with an ultrasound. The difference between what you describe and what I had was that I did not have any BM during or close to the attacks, I was not nauseous and for me once they started they happened every time I ate or drank anything for a few weeks.

However, gallstone attacks can come in many different shapes and an ultrasound can rule them out.

Good luck and sorry you have to deal with that kind of pain!!

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"science_gal" wrote:

**Lurker**
I've had my gallbladder removed a few years back and the pain you describe sounds somewhat like mine. For me it started with moderate back pain (upper right) only at night when I was laying in bed, for a few weeks but not every night. Then I got an attack (gallstone lodged in bile duct) - and that felt like the twisted ice pick. It was in the same spot you describe, maybe a little off centre to the right. It would last about an hour each time and the pain was of the "curl-up-in-a-ball-on-the-floor" kind. It was truly awful and I knew right then and there that something was seriously wrong.

They diagnosed gall stones shortly thereafter with an ultrasound. The difference between what you describe and what I had was that I did not have any BM during or close to the attacks, I was not nauseous and for me once they started they happened every time I ate or drank anything for a few weeks.

However, gallstone attacks can come in many different shapes and an ultrasound can rule them out.

Good luck and sorry you have to deal with that kind of pain!!

Yes, definitely this! I almost think the throwing up is just my pain response. I puked my toenails up when I had kidney stones, I puke in labor, etc. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning.

Did you have it while you were pregnant? And since you had your gallbladder removed has the pain totally gone away?

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I also had my gall bladder out (one month before I got married) so luckily I wasn't prego. The pain you describe sounds like what I had. However, the one and only "attack" I had came on SO fast I seriously thought I was having a heart attack. Looking back, I had been having some indigestion at night (leading up to the attack). Ever since getting my gall bladder out I have not experienced indigestion or any other side effects. GL!

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"krazykat" wrote:

Yes, definitely this! I almost think the throwing up is just my pain response. I puked my toenails up when I had kidney stones, I puke in labor, etc. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning.

Did you have it while you were pregnant? And since you had your gallbladder removed has the pain totally gone away?

Yes the throwing up could definitely be pain response. I did not have the attacks while pregnant. I had them quite a few years ago as a healthy, thin 23 year old! I do suspect in retrospect that it had to do with switching birth control a bunch of times (I couldn't find one that worked for me). I read that gallstones can be brought on by hormonal changes, so pregnant women (or those on birth control) are more likely to have them. I think I even read a warning on a birth control ad for gallstones, and there is a lawsuit in Canada against a manufacturer for (amongst other more serious side effects) bringing on gallstones in healthy young women.

I was told the attacks happen when a stone gets caught in the entry of your bile duct that drains your gallbladder into the intestine. The gallbladder then cramps to pump the bile through, and that's where the horrific pain comes in. My attacks ended up lasting for about 2 -3 weeks every time I ate. I was given percocet just so I could eat. It sucked, but after the 2-3 weeks the attacks stopped. The stone must have dislodged or moved. I still had to wait for another month for surgery as there was a wait list (healthcare in Canada).

Getting the laproscopic surgery was unpleasant but not nearly as bad as the gall bladder attacks! They sent me home the same day. I have 3 tiny (1/4 inch) scars and one that's about 1 inch in my belly button. I was back at work within 1 week and back to relatively normal within 2 weeks. And I have never had a single attack or any pain at all again. I can eat anything I want and have no digestive issues so losing the gallbladder really hasn't had an impact on my life at all. They say you can't eat fatty or greasy stuff after but I eat very little of that anyways so it's not a concern for me.

I am not sure if they do the surgery while pregnant.

Maybe try eating dinner well before you go to bed and then only eat small snacks before bed. I also heard for some people it stops if you cut out fat completely. It did not help for me but I lost a ton of weight.

I feel really bad that you have to go through this while pregnant - it was bad enough while not pregnant. I hope that if you do have gallstones they dislodge and give you a break, at least for a while so you don't have to worry about the surgery while pregnant.

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Ariel, I get this at least once every pregnancy. I get crazy constipated, extreme stomach pains, and I end up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor, sweating bullets and trying to keep cool so the pain doesn't make me puke. It has happened without fail at least once every time I've been pregnant, and always in the first trimester. Eventually after squirming and writhing on the bathroom floor long enough, I'm able to use the bathroom and after that I feel better. I hate it, and am not looking forward to it, and I have absolutely no idea what triggers it, but for me its unfortunately normal.