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Thread: Can gallstones give more problems in pregnancy?

  1. #1
    jules30 Guest

    Default Can gallstones give more problems in pregnancy?

    Hi,

    I have gallstones and get regular attacks that are not always directly related to my diet as i have quite a low fat diet. I think they could be more hormonal than anything as i notice the attacks at regular time of the month. I haven't been on the pill for over 2 years now and we are considering starting ivf in the next few months.



    Sorry for the long background! Anyways...... I am debating whether i should ask to have the stones taken out before starting ivf. The pain is quite unbearable sometimes i hate to think how uncomfortable it would be to have an attack during pregnancy.

    Anyone experienced worsening symptoms during pregnancy? Your opinions/advice?

  2. #2

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    I would talk to a Dr. I knew someone when I was pregnant with my first and she had really bad problems, and they did cause her lots of grief towards the end of her pregnancy. Might be better to be safe than sorry iykwim?

  3. #3
    Ben01 Guest

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    Hi jules,
    firstly im sorry i cant help you with the issue of having gallstones and being pregnant, but i can possibly give you a bit of advice.
    Ive had gallstones, and i can totally relate to you. It is the most painful thing i have ever experienced, and i have even worked with a mother who also had gallstone attacks and said her attacks were worse than child birth.
    Anyhow, the problem with "asking for the stones to be removed" is that, im pretty sure they wont just remove the stones, they remove the gallbladder itself.
    I was referred to a surgeon and told this was my only option, and as you may or may not know, gall stones CAN be fatal.
    There was no way i was going to have surgery, way too scared. It is keyhole surgery for gallbladder removal now but it is still classed as a major surgery.
    Although skeptical, i decided i would look into naturopathy. I found a guy who has a business right near galleria shopping centre in morley who seemed adament he could get rid of the problem. I took a small shot of tonic twice a day for about 3 or 4 months, and from the day i started to now (about 3 years later) i have not had a single attack.
    I could give you the details if your interested, although being pregnant you may have to inquire as to whether or not a tonic of sorts would be okay for you to take. Im not sure what was in it, but i can tell you it was FERRAL!!!
    You could always give a call?...

  4. #4
    jules30 Guest

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    Cai, i thought as much. I think ive read somewhere that pregnancy can exacerbate the problem due to hormones. Which is what im a bit worried about. I have asked just my GP about it but they didn't seem to think it would be a problem. Although maybe they have never experienced the pain of an attack!

    Ben, ive never considered that naturopathy might help. Thanks for sharing, its worth a try. Whats the name of the shop near Galleria? do u have his no. ?

    I will ask around my area too, Im down Kelmscott way which is bit of a hike to Morley.

  5. #5
    Ben01 Guest

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    The place is called Morley Natural Therapy Centre.
    Located at 6B wellington road, morley.
    Its directly opposite the galleria.

    The guys name is Chris Whiter - really nice guy you could try call
    Number is 9375 3414

    Good idea call around and ask, i didnt live very close to morley at the time either, but he was the only one i spoke to that seemed to know anything about them.

    Good luck

  6. #6

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    Hi jules30

    I can say from experience that gallstones will have a likely hood of rearing their ugly head during pregnancy. I had never had an attack before I fell pregnant, but one horrible night I was in sooooo much pain and I didn't know what the heck was going on till I was in the emergency ward under observation on pain meds and buscopan and by the end of that most horrible night of my life I was told that it was indeed Gallstones and that they can be brought on by pregnancy.

    They said that might be the only attack I ever have or it might not be. I would just have to wait and see. But that if I had more than a few that they would consider removing the G.Bladder altogether quickly after Birth. But as far as I am aware they don't remove only the stones. But like others have advised, talk to your GP first for the best possible advice. It can be a very traumatic thing to go through when you are pregnant as you are already very on edge about the pregnancy as it is without extra problems occuring. All the best to you!!!!

  7. #7
    jules30 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherii View Post
    Hi jules30

    They said that might be the only attack I ever have or it might not be. I would just have to wait and see. But that if I had more than a few that they would consider removing the G.Bladder altogether quickly after Birth. But as far as I am aware they don't remove only the stones. But like others have advised, talk to your GP first for the best possible advice. It can be a very traumatic thing to go through when you are pregnant as you are already very on edge about the pregnancy as it is without extra problems occuring. All the best to you!!!!
    So cherii did you have to get yours out during pregnancy or straight after? My mum has said she recalls that sometimes they do take them out while pregnant if it is really bad. But of course that is something i would want to avoid.

  8. #8

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    jules, if i were you i would have my gallbladder removed before starting IVF. I have personally experienced serious gallbladder problems after giving birth. I was only 21 when this all happened and i would honestly say that i would rather have the labour pains than gallstone pains, hands down! Complete and utter agony.

    My doctor told me that it was probably years on the pill + pregnancy hormones that caused the attacks... they planned on taking out just the stones, but had to take out the gallbladder because it was extremely infected. I was very lucky it didnt spread to my liver. All that happened about 6 months after DS was born, so i was very lucky this happened after i had him.

    NOT WORTH THE RISK! Let me tell you!

    You want to have a wonderful pregancy experience, and worrying about gallstones/having attacks will take that good experience away from you. As the girls have said, any doctor that plays it down hasnt experienced an attack at close range - probably just read about it. They said that my stones werent that "big", but after they took them out they told me that they were the biggest they have seen in a woman my age. haha. Please get more than one opinion.

    VERY VERY best of luck.
    Last edited by Kaydee; March 17th, 2008 at 11:14 PM.

  9. #9
    smiles4u Guest

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    I was told I had two gallstones two weeks before I was due to give birth to my first baby. I started getting the pains around my right ribs (back to front) about one week before that

    The Ob said it's common to get when pregnant due to hormone change

    He said the pain will most likely go away when I give birth & it did moments after I gave birth to my daughter.

    My GP said there is no need in removing them unless I start to feel discomfort or pain again, which I have not since I gave birth.

    ... Like you, though my situation might be different to you, ...I am unsure whether to get them out before hopefully falling pregnant soon.

    I'm thinking of taking the chance & just hope if the pain re-occurs that it happens at the end of the pregnancy again & not at the beginning

    So I'm not much help to you, BUT if the pains are that bad for you now (where as I some how was ok with it) ... Yeh, I would get them out !!

  10. #10

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    Jules - I haven't had my baby yet. The OB who was looking after me the night of that attack, said that they would wait till after I gave birth to take it out and they prob wouldn't take it out unless I had a couple more attacks. It might be different with other docs or hospitals, but I don't want to have one more attack let alone a couple before they consider removing it. So I just pray I don't have another one at all let alone whilst I am still pregnant.

    I would look into doing something before you fall pregnant. I just make sure I keep a box of Buscopan at home with me and I still have the pain killers they prescribed me too.

  11. #11

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    I developed gall stones 5 weeks after having my DD. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life!!! I had my gall bladder removed when DD was 8 weeks old. I then continued to have problems and had an ERCP and sphincterotomy when she was about 5 months. I've not had problems since. After I had mine out, I asked the surgeon if I would have problems if I got pregnant again as I have a friend who had her gall bladder removed 2 years before getting pregnant and she developed pancreatitis during her pregnancy which then caused problems for the baby (as well as her). I was assured that it is not the norm and I could expect a normal and healthy pregnancy.

    Gall stones are very common during and post pregnancy. Having your gall stones (or gall bladder) removed does not mean you will not continue to experience the pain from time to time. Your body will continue to produce gall stones anyway (which can be just as painful at times). They will remove the stones if they are very small because they are a risk of finding their way into the pancreas which can cause inflammation and infection.
    Pain felt aftera gall bladder is removed is often due to the size of the stones you pass. This can often be fixed with a proceedure called an ERCP as well as a sphincterotomy. This is a proceedure where they widen the canal the stones travel through and snip a bit on the bottom to make the opening extra wide so the stones don't get stuck there.
    Having your gall bladder out is done laproscopically and it is an overnight proceedure. The surgeon makes 4 1cm incisions; 1 at your belly button (which is where the gall bladder is removed), one near the bra line and inline with your belly button, and two to one side, usually lateral to the belly button and the other is slightly higher up. Depending on which side of the patient the surgeon prefers to stand on will determine which side those other two incisions are. Post proceedure a patient can expect to have a little discomfort in the left shoulder which is a result of the gas they use to pump your belly up so they can see what they're doing. People typically experience some discomfort for a couple of days post proceedure.

    HTH

    MG

  12. #12
    jules30 Guest

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    thanks for all your replies. I will go get a second opinion. I also had another thought of just keeping to a strict low fat diet to avoid attacks but im sure that when i have got attacks it is not always after eating a fatty meal. I think eostrogen level had something to do with it also.

  13. #13

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    just wanted to let you know,my sister had gallstones discovered 3 weeks after having her DD..she said the pain was excruciating and i said she may have had an infection after her c Section..It turned out to be Gall stones and she had her gall bladder removed 6 weeks later..She still does get the pain associated with it so is very careful about what she eats..I would seriously be getting another opinion...and look into the option of having it removed ...

  14. #14
    MUMMY4LIFE is offline .: ~ Don't regret anything that ever made you smile ~ :.

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    I was told I had gallstones in my 38th week of pregnancy, back in April 06....the pain was unbearable and I was told that possibly after my c-section the procedure would be performed and the stones and gall bladder would be removed. This ended up not being necessary and after the birth, pain disappeared and didn't return until the middle of last year...I had the stones all 13 of them and the gall bladder removed in December of last year.

    They generally don't just remove the stones as in most cases the stones will develop again. If you get gallstones, and they can take years to form you have what my Surgeon said, a faulty gall bladder. Gall stones are not natural and are not something that the body will continue to produce after the gall bladder is removed...and most pain should disappear after the procedure.

    The liver makes bile and the gall bladder storages that bile until it is needed, generally, after you have eaten as bile helps with digestion. Without a gall bladder you can live a relatively normal life, the bile from the liver just drains directly into the stomach as there is no longer a storage place. The gall bladder contracts when it is expelling bile, stones form when this doesn't happen correctly. The pain comes from the gall bladder contracting down on the stones. If you eat fatty foods it makes the gallbladder work harder and increases your pain.

    Gall stones can become dangerous and fatal if they get out of the gall bladder and block the bile ducts into the liver or pancreas...you can become sick very quickly. I have heard about a girl at 20 weeks pregnant, having to have her gall bladder removed...that sounds very unpleasant to me.

    HTH's Good luck with your decision...hope everything works out.
    Last edited by MUMMY4LIFE; March 21st, 2008 at 09:14 PM.

  15. #15
    jules30 Guest

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    thanks for sharing your experience M4L. Im beginning to wonder why my both my doctors (2 that i regularly use) haven't mentioned taking the GB out before getting pregnant.

    U would think since it is a pre-existing condition for me that it could definately be possible that it rears its head during pregnancy!!

    Will ask specifically ask the doc and get all the pros and cons etc.

  16. #16
    jules30 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben01 View Post
    The place is called Morley Natural Therapy Centre.
    Located at 6B wellington road, morley.
    Its directly opposite the galleria.

    The guys name is Chris Whiter - really nice guy you could try call
    Number is 9375 3414

    Good idea call around and ask, i didnt live very close to morley at the time either, but he was the only one i spoke to that seemed to know anything about them.

    Good luck
    Ben, just getting back to the topic of gallstones. I haven't got in touch with Chris Whiter yet but i have been researching on the net and some people swear by the lemon juice and olive oil flush.

    Im just wondering whether you actually passed the stones or if you know whether they dissolved? Sorry if that is getting too personal...

  17. #17
    Ben01 Guest

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    Hi jules,

    sorry i dont subscribe to the threads i post in so have only just seen this now...
    Not too personal at all..
    Im pretty sure the stones i had dissolved. The idea of the stuff i had to drink was to break them down, however i do remember him telling me that he has better outcomes with patients with small stones - as they break down much easier.
    I read about the oil flushes etc as well, the problem being they can be dangerous. If your ducts are trying to flush the stones out and they get stuck, you can be in real trouble - it can be fatal like another poster has mentioned.
    I personally wouldnt go down that road.

    Interestingly enough, when i first found i had them i did some research.. and apparently up to 60 - 70% of people have gallstones. Majority however never know about it!!
    The larger stones arent the ones that cause big problems i dont think, as they cannot pass through the bile ducts. Its the small ones which can get inside the ducts and get stuck, or block a duct that creates the agony (or so i remember)..

    Hope whatever you choose helps though!!
    You could always give the guy a call... nothing to lose really

    Goodluck!

  18. #18

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    Mr Kazz
    Thanks for this thread.
    My wife is still in hospital a week after being admitted. She is 6 weeks pregnant tomorrow and has only eaten once in the last week. She had never had gallbladder problems until this.
    When pregnant they can't use a lot of the normal drugs if you get an infection. Today we were told they are going to remove the gall bladder when she is between 3 and 6 months pregnant if they can get the infection under control and her liver functioning properly. Her condition went from there there take these pills to get yourself to the regional hospital now in under 24 hours (We live in country NSW and the local hospital is not equiped to handle a lot of things anymore) .

    I would talk to your doctor as yes if the stones get stuck in the wrong place things get bad fast.
    She is now being transfered to another hospital as today they confirmed that the bile duct is also blocked as well as the gall bladder.

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