I had my follow-up appointment at the doctor's last week and we went over the whole deal with my gallbladder. Basically, it goes like this:
- Gallstones (cholelithiasis) are caused primarily by four things: family history, being female, being over 40, and dietary/weight changes. I guess I fit two of those things, as I learned that my grandpa had to get his gallbladder out.
- There are two kinds of gallstones: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Mine were cholesterol stones, the more common ones. They aren't related to having high cholesterol because bile is naturally made up of cholesterol.
- The gallstones had probably built up in my gallbladder for several months, but only started causing symptoms when they started to pass through bile ducts into my digestive tract. The terrible heartburn I was suffering from probably wasn't acid reflux, but a type of referred pain called biliary colic, caused by a gallstone getting stuck. The pain is allegedly comparable to a kidney stone.
- My gallbladder problems had gone on long enough that my gallbladder had begun to necrotize - meaning it was slowly dying. When I heard this, I was shocked. Not good at all.
- According to the doctor, 30% of people without a gallbladder have difficulty digesting fatty meals. I've been fine so far with all meals, so I'm probably not in that category.
It's been two weeks since the surgery and I haven't had even a hint of heartburn or stomach problems, nor have I had any trouble digesting the few fatty meals I've eaten. Let us hope things continue like this.
4 responses to "Reflections."
© 2017 Greg Hendricks