Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Cholecystitis/Biliary Colic

10-29-2013, 04:04 AM   #1
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lsgs's Avatar
Cholecystitis/Biliary Colic

I hope it's okay to post about this since it's associated with IBD.

Has anyone had gall bladder problems? I had an acutely painful belly with radiation to my shoulder which was diagnosed as 'cholecystitis with diaphragmatic irritation'.

Just before this episode and still to this day I am having ermm... very pale poops. Has anyone experienced this? Is it a bad sign?

What's the plan if you have ongoing symptoms? Is it always surgery?

I have been waiting to see a gastro on the NHS since July and and I'm going away in 4 weeks - not much hope of getting things sorted before I go
Sjogren's syndrome - 2009

Presumed IBD - 2012

Cholecystectomy, liver biopsy and lymph node excision - 2015

Primary Biliary Cholangitis - 2016

Bile Reflux Gastritis - 2016
10-29-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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Hi lsgs, I've heard that gallbladder issues can cause pale stools. I don't know much more about it than that. I only know this because a couple years ago, I was having sharp pains in my upper abdomen, a couple inches above my belly button, and my stools also turned frighteningly pale (like the color of sand). My GP was worried it could be my gallbladder, as my pain was in the area of my gallbladder and pale stools can indicate gallbladder issues, so he rushed me in for an ultrasound. My gallbladder turned out to be fine, my issue was acute gastritis, and fortunately antacids help in my case. (Just wanted to put that in case anyone else reading this has questions about pale stools - apparently gastritis can cause pale stools too!)

I know you went to A&E or an after-hours clinic for this biliary colic issue once already - did you tell them about the pale stools? Did they do any type of scan, x-ray, ultrasound, etc to take a look at what's going on? Given that my GP put a rush on my ultrasound, it seems to me that it's something you should have looked at sooner rather than later (I'm not sure if it was my pain or the pale stools or the combination of the two that caused my GP to put a rush on things). I would say either call your GP and see if they can get you in quickly, or if he can't then perhaps go back to A&E/urgent care clinic and let them know the situation. Better safe than sorry!
11-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
Jennifer's Avatar
From what I read about cholecystitis, hospitalization and surgery seem to be the common treatment. They need to figure out what caused the inflammation in your gallbladder and then they can treat it properly.

As far as I'm aware pale stools can be linked to issues with the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. I'm not sure you need a GI before dealing with this honestly.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.
11-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2013
Gallbladder issues are not uncommon with CD and of course you can also have them if you do not have CD. Very pale stools mean the bile is not getting into the stool, indicating blockage or not much bile getting through. A total blockage would have you in the ER fer sure, and even med school students can diagnose it, but small gallstones or "grit" that are passed hurt like the devil but then they are gone. Can't take a picture of a gallstone that has gone.

If your gallbladder does eventually need to go, nowadays it is by laparoscopy and is a breeze compared to the old long incision and recovery period. A friend had it done the old way years ago, then 6 years later our neighbor had the lap---you would not believe the difference.
11-15-2013, 01:17 AM   #5
jason d
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: toronto, Ontario
I actually just had my gallbladder removed last week. I spent 4 years of ridiculous pain that was text book for gallbladder attacks,even getting the refferred pain through my back and into my shoulder. I have had numerous ultrasounds which always came back with no stones so was told it's not my gallbladder. Finally they sis a hida scan and it showed my gallbladder only working at 3% so revomed it the next day. The surgeon mentioned to me that people with Crohn's have a much greater chance of having a "lazy gallbladder". They took mine out via scope and it went great. The first few days I had alit of pain but within 5 days I was back to work and I do door to door sales so 8 hours a day of walking and was o ly a little tender. I'm at the 9 day mark now and have no pain. Plus now I can eat without pain again and no nausea or vomiting : )

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