Saturday, July 17, 2010


I've pretty much been languishing all day. Sounds quite Victorian, doesn't it? Or perhaps Edwardian, hard to tell. If it were either, though, I'd have to be wearing much better clothes. I had a little spell last night. I've had these spells infrequently for a couple of years. I am planning to get them checked by a doctor but in the mean time really who doesn't want to do a little playful internet diagnosing of disgusting digestive complaints, right?

Here's the scenario, I'll have a lovely time at a party where I might have a drink. No excessive drinking just one drink maybe 2 if it's wine. The meal will generally be one that's somewhat high in fat. The two memorable occasions were a couple of years ago at a lobsterbake when I was still allowing myself to dip my lobbie in butter and last night. I'm not sure if milk products have anything to do with it, there was the butter that time and this time I had small amounts of milk products throughout the day but the meal had other oils in it. We started with onion rings if that's any indication.

So then, relatively soon after ingestion I feel terribly sick to my stomach. Staying as still as possible helps to some extent but not much. Cold water splashed on the face or pulse points does not lessen the feeling at all. At the height it's about all I can do to keep from vomiting. It comes in waves. After a time of lying very still, maybe 30 to 45 minutes I generally get up, have a bowel movement and feel basically better but kind of peaked. Then sleep and I'm better the next day. Though I admit that today I've been a little reluctant to eat anything since last night I was away from home so the whole getting to some place I could lie still was sort of intense.

Some have said this could be a gall bladder issue. I've begun to wonder today if maybe it had something to do with the lactose since I had more milk products than usual. Sound like anything you've heard of? Have any home remedies other than "cut fat completely from your diet?" I'd really like to never do this again, please. Seriously, how embarrassing to end a really fun dinner with a friend by making her try to distract me from my own body and eventually hail me a cab to get me home safely and un-upchucked.

Thanks Kath!


  1. Does it happen when it's cool out or only in the summer? Heat + milk/dairy could play a big part in it all. Plus if you are having gallbladder issues, anything fried is going to aggravate it. You might try taking a lactaid or something like that before you eat.

    Best advice? Doctor. NOT GOOGLE! Feel better.

  2. I had my gallbladder out a couple years ago.

    Gallbladders act up if you eat oily foods or (in my case) spicy foods. Onion rings on an empty stomach could do it, I suppose. Depends on how sensitive you are.

    My gallbladder would act up three hours or so after dinner. I would have a burning sensation on my right side that would start out slight like onset indigestion, then worsen terribly and stay for several hours. The spells became worse, and sitting in a tub of hot water (while moaning) was my way to deal with it, to a point where I'd be able to get to sleep.

    The thing is that the spells will become worse. There is no real 'cure' for gallstones. You could be very careful and eat less oily foods, however I think surgery is inevitable. I think it's easier to navigate around oily foods than spicy ones, since often I would eat food with barely discernible spice levels (black pepper would qualify as spice for me), then suffer later on.

    Women have more gallbladder issues than men, and it runs in the family. Do not try the cures you read online involving lemon juice, etc. I tried one once and almost exploded.

    Take it easy. I agree on the doctor part. I think I had an ultrasound to confirm what was going on. If you need a surgeon referral, let me know. Mine was very good.

  3. definitely get thee to a GI specialist. i don't have personal experience with gallbladder issues, but i know enough to say it's something you don't necessarily want to deal with regularly.

  4. Yeah, I'm thinking gall bladder, too.

  5. Ok 4 people, including the one in your post, have said galbladder. I am going to add my recommendation. And here is why. There are two ways to have galbladder problems. One is your typical acting up in response to certain foods. Typically fatty foods. Although my mother can't eat pineapple, coleslaw or sausage for this reason. Weird combo, I know.

    However, there is also a secondary possible problem with a galbladder. Almost 2 years ago I "realized" i was lactose intolerant. Spent the next 6 months or so slowly removing more and more and more lactose-containing foods from my diet. Going so far as to read labels and not eat ANYTHING with any kind of milk warning on it. Couldn't seem to get it under control. Until one day I went to Burger King for lunch and had onion rings, french fries and chicken tenders. I had a ROCK in my gut until 10 pm. A friend suggested having my galbladder checked. Here is what I found out. It is possible for your galbladder ot simply stop functioning normally at all and the only way to fix it is to have it removed. It is a simple test, ultrasound followed by some sort of MRI type "picture taking" of your galbladder in action. A normal galbladder will 'react' to the hormone* they give you by squeezing 50% and releasing bile into your small intestine just past the stomach valve. Mine was squeezing at 2%. Which also means it was randomly getting overful and dumping bile into my system with or without food at random times. Thus making for a VERY MISERABLE 6 months. First thing I did after having the galbladder laprascopically removed (which was NOT a big deal, bad boy surgery AT ALL! I had surgery Weds morning and went back to work on Monday) I had cottage cheese. And it was LOVELY.

    So, I second the rest of the recommendations and suggest you DEFINITELY have your galbladder checked out. If nothing else maybe you can figure out that it doesn't like lobster, or butter.

    p.s. milk products tend to be surprisingly high in fat, thus making the galbladder react.

    *the hormone is the naturally occuring hormone that your body releases after eating that everyone has that is supposed to make your galbladder work.

    Good luck!!!!!!!

  6. Well, it was the least I could do. Sorry what was supposed to be a fun night out turned into a gastric nightmare! I agree with others, DOCTOR, not Google. You've done a good job documenting what happened so maybe a good gastro doc can give you some fun tests to try to figure out why this is happening. Lactaid wouldn't hurt in the meantime.

  7. Miflohny2:32 PM

    Whatever you do, insist on tests that will show what the problem is. Someone I know went to a surgeon, told the surgeon they thought they were having gall bladder problems, and the gall bladder was removed without the fancy test mentioned by one of the other commentors. Turns out it may have been an ulcer.

    When doing major stuff, it's always best to get a 2nd opinion (50% of original diagnoses are wrong) and give the symptoms to the doctor without saying what you think the problem is - if you say what you think it is, that ups the chances that the doctor will agree without fully considering other issues. Also, if you go to a surgeon, their solution is more likely to be surgery, which may not be the best solution. So make sure one of your opinions is from a GI doctor who is not a surgeon.

    Just my 2 cents :-)