Gall Bladder Trouble in Teens

Posted in the Gastroenterology Forum

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Susan H

Capitol Heights, MD

#1 Oct 13, 2008
Gall bladder disease, come to find out, runs rampant in my family. We don't have stones, just a diseased gall bladder that won't "perform". Mom was finally diagnosed after 15 years of hell (no stones, to many docs, meant no GB problem). After her surgery, the doc told me to expect the same to happen to me. I took it with a grain of salt (ie: didn't really believe him).

Last fall, I had an attack, researched my symptoms on the web and came up with two possible culprits: heart attack and gall bladder. I remembered what the surgeon said and asked mom about her troubles. She told me to get a HIDA scan, which would show a diseased GB in the absence of stones. Bingo.

My daughter, now 17, has been having tummy trouble for 7 or 8 years and you know how kids can be....can't tell you where the pain is, what it feels like, etc. We tried lots of things and finally chalked it up to stress and poor "kid" hygiene. After my surgery, and with the knowledge that this is hereditary, I looked into the possibilty that my daughter could have the same issue.

We went to a GP, who referred her to a gastroenterologist. We have spent the summer doing a battery of tests for (it seems) every disease known to man, culminating with the HIDA scan (even though everyone says she's too young for this).

My question is this:
My "score" on the HIDA scan was 21. My surgeon told me that 80 is normal, 60 is bad, 40 is an indication for surgery but he's more conservative and waits until 35.
My daughter's "score" was 32. Her surgeon, however, tells me that this is on the "lowside of normal". He's agreed to the surgery (as well as removing the appendix at the same time), but the conflicting standards has me questioning my gut instinct to subject my child to this surgery....no matter how routine or low-risk.
Any thoughts? Why the disparity among opinions?(One doc, mine, at Ft. Belvoir Army Hospital; the other, daughter's, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center---if it matters)
cscott

Borger, TX

#2 Mar 29, 2009
My daughter is 14 and has an ejection rate of 16%. I too thought she was to young, no stones, just pain and nausea. She is getting her GB out Thurs.
I expereienced the same thing as to where her pain was, etc. she was vague, until it got worse,
In Dec. she was diagnosed with mono. and it seemed this was what escalated the pain. unsure?
I am very nervous about the surgery, but she wants to feel better.

I noticed the post was from Oct. Let us know what has happened since then
Dandi

AOL

#3 May 7, 2009
My gallbladder score is a 35 and I have had numerous attacks. I am not sure what to do either!!!
Laura

Burnsville, MN

#4 Jul 8, 2009
My daughter who just turned 13 had mono in January and has not felt herself since. She started complaining of pain high in her stomach in March right after a bought of antibiotics for strep. The pain kept getting worse until she finally in June had her gallbladder removed. She also had a HIDA scan which showed her gallbladder did not function at all but no stones. Her surgery was the next day and she felt better for a week and then some of her pain returned. She cannot eat ice cream, pizza or anything with high fat or she buckles over in pain. I too felt like she is too young to be having gallbladder problems and we have no family history on either side of our families. I am wondering if anyone else has a young girl or boy who had the surgery and is still experiencing problems.
mary hart

Redmond, WA

#5 Sep 3, 2009
I HAD BLOOD WORK WHICH CAME BACK NORMAL, AN ULTRASOUND WHICH SHOWED NOTHING WAS WRONG AND THEN A HIDA SCAN. MY SCORE CAME BACK AT 35 AND WAS AT THE LOW END OF NORMAL. MY DOCTOR DOES NOT THINK THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH MY GALLBLADDER AND DOES NOT WANT TO DO SURGERY. I HAVE HAD INCREDIBLE BLOATING, PAIN IN MY BACK,NOT TO MUCH OF AN APPETITE AND TROUBLE SLEEPING AT NIGHT. WHAT DOES LOW END OF NORMAL MEAN. DOES IT MEAN THAT MY GALLBLADDER IS FUNCTIONING AT 35% OF NORMAL AND IF THAT IS THE CASE WHY DOES MY DR. NOT WANT TO REMOVE IT>
mary hart

United States

#6 Sep 3, 2009
i also have a stomach condition which is called gastroparesis which is slow digestion and am on a very restricted diet. i have had bloating with this too but it is really bad now. i also have intense itching on my left arm and hand so bad that some nights it keeps me awake. has anyone else had this symptom?
karen

Allen, TX

#7 Nov 21, 2009
My daughter is 13 and was diagnosed with mono a month ago. She has been having severe mid to right sided abdominal pain for the past month. She vomits everyday. She also has some blood in her stool. She has had a CT scan,UGI, Endo. and colonscopy. We are waiting for the results of her biopsies of her colon. All tests have been negative so far.Our next test is a Hida scan. I had gallstones at 16. Does this sound like GB disease? What pain meds have worked?
Linda

Frederick, MD

#8 Feb 3, 2010
My 17 year old daughter had mono in the summer of 2009 and antibiotics for a tick bite in December. Shortly after she started complaining of nausea and abdominal pain, especially on the right side, after eating and in the morning. An abdominal ultrasound showed nothing unusual. She had a HIDA scan today which the doctor said was normal except that she reacted to the CCK. He is now referring us to a GI doc because he doesn think a surgeon will consider removing the gall bladder with out a GI consult. This mono/antibiotic/gall bladder link is odd, don't you think?
haily

Cranston, RI

#9 Apr 3, 2010
I'm 15 years old and have been diagnosed with gallbladder disease. It started in december about a month after I was diagnosed with mono. The nausea and pain have taken a toll on me. For about 5 months it took them to diagnose me with this. I suffered from loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain. They sent me at least 5 times for blood work to test for celiac, chrons, collititest , h-pylori, everything came back normal except for my bellirubin, sorry for the spelling, But then they got more evasive with the test to make sure that they checked for everything. They sent me for a hida scan which showed that my gallbladder was working at only 16%. They sent me for a consult with a surgeon who never should be able to have any teen or child as a patient because she outwardly said to ME not to my mom but to me that if i get this surgery because my ducts are so small from my liver that she could mistaken one and accidently cut it leading to liver failure for me. So that was a no to her. My doctor has tried me on several medications now because he sent me in for a egd. and colonoscopy which showed some swelling and scaring in my stomach and colon. the medications arent working anymore so they also just tested me for ibs and set up a appointment with another surgeon. So far I have lost about 20 pounds due to this. But I have sort of the same question has linda...Is there a connection between mono and gallbladder disease?
makari

Swansea, SC

#10 Apr 7, 2010
I am the mother of a fifteen year old who also had mono and since then has complained of stomach, abdominal pain, chronic fever, and great fatigue. We have had the rounds as well with immunologists, CT scans, MRI, and going for endoscopy and colonoscopy this Friday. Depending on those results we will go for gallbladder nuclear testing. What IS going on? How many received the flu shots? I am wondering about those and if there is a connection.
Laura

Burnsville, MN

#11 Apr 7, 2010
Hi, My daughter has had flu shots every year since she was an infant. I don't think there is a flu shot connection, however i truly believe the mono plays a huge role in your daughters troubles. My daughter (14 yrs old) had mono 15 months ago now and it did havoc on her body. She had on and off fevers, swollen glands, chronic fatigue and stomach pain until she had her gall bladder removed. After her surgery her pain returned and she went to numerous specialists until we were finally told she has mono induced hepatitus and her liver would have to heal on its own. We are still waiting. She is a lot better than she was but still not totally herself. Im not sure what was worse watching her in pain or dragging her to all the doctors and putting her thru all the procedures she went thru. I pray your daughter gets well soon!
Mama K

Vermilion, OH

#12 Apr 14, 2010
My daughter has also had mono recently. She just turned 15. After about 5 weeks of mostly sleeping she was still complaining of pain in her ribs & back. She has only attended a dozen half days of school in five weeks because of the mono and pain! Her doctor did more blood work and an ultrasound which were determined to be inconclusive by the lab & radiologist. She was referred to a GI specialist who ordered another ultrasound, an endoscopy and a HIDA scan with cck. The HIDA scan with cck showed her gallbladder function at 18%. She will be having her gallbladder removed in a few days. My daughter only weighs 100 pounds (at 5'2") is athletic and eats healthy meals most of the time. Will this surgery "fix" the problem? My question is: what's up with teens having mono & then developing gallbladder malfunction? The doctors say there is no correlation but I think that I beg to differ.
Laura

Burnsville, MN

#13 Apr 14, 2010
I also beg to differ! These girls are too young to be needing their gallbladder out. My daughter also is around 120 lbs - 5'5" and very athletic. All her trouble started after she got mono. My daughter is now 10 months past her surgery and her pain stopped briefly and then returned but not as severe. She still has a lot of GI problems we are hoping will eventually subside.
Good Luck with your daughters surgery! I hope its a total cure for her!
Mama K wrote:
My daughter has also had mono recently. She just turned 15. After about 5 weeks of mostly sleeping she was still complaining of pain in her ribs & back. She has only attended a dozen half days of school in five weeks because of the mono and pain! Her doctor did more blood work and an ultrasound which were determined to be inconclusive by the lab & radiologist. She was referred to a GI specialist who ordered another ultrasound, an endoscopy and a HIDA scan with cck. The HIDA scan with cck showed her gallbladder function at 18%. She will be having her gallbladder removed in a few days. My daughter only weighs 100 pounds (at 5'2") is athletic and eats healthy meals most of the time. Will this surgery "fix" the problem? My question is: what's up with teens having mono & then developing gallbladder malfunction? The doctors say there is no correlation but I think that I beg to differ.
Susan

Baltimore, MD

#14 Apr 20, 2010
My daughter is 15 and is being worked up for gall bladder disease and ulcers. Her pain started a while ago, not sure exactly when, but it was mild and we just chalked it up to the maturing process, irregular periods, etc. Then she had a bunch of vague symptoms and through blood tests found out she had had mono. I am wondering if the mono was a result of the gall bladder disease that was just awakening. Mono is a disease of the liver. The gall bladder stores the bile from the liver and empties into the duodenum (small intestine). Our pediatrician said that there is a syndrome in young girls where the gall bladder fails to empty, thus a reduction in GB function. Perhaps it is the poorly functioning GB that causes bile to not be processed properly that results in liver problems, i.e., mono. Also to be considered is that mono is a very common disease in adolescents. How many kids have had mono that never develop GB disease? Lots and lots. More than you know because often the mono is so mild it isn't even detected until it's over, as was in our case. So there is probably no correlation between the 2 problems. It's probably coincidence. We go for the HIDA scan in early May - first available appointment. Must just suffer til then. What meds helped the pain?
Robin

Maryville, TN

#15 Apr 26, 2010
My daughter is 11 years old. She just had a HIDA scan done and I was told her gallbladder is functioning at 16%. No gallstones. Shes been nauseated for months and now is having frequent episodes of vomiting. No mono that I know of. I'm worried her symptoms wont be gone with surgery and her diet will be strongly impacted.
Susie

Lewes, DE

#16 Apr 30, 2010
Gardasil vaccine anyone?? My daughter is showing a lot of GI symptoms, all tests negative so far, HIDA is next... Her stomach issues started a month after the Gardasil vaccine. She has not had Mono.
Mitzie

Lindon, UT

#17 May 14, 2010
My daughter was 15 when she had to have her gallbladder removed. She went through months of being sick, before doctors diagnosed her with a diseased gallbladder only functioning at 15%. No mono, no problems prior to this. It's like it happened over night. I think it was very strange, and the disease does not run in our family. She went through hell before the surgery and it has taken her almost 2 years to fully recover and back to her normal life. I hate that any young girl have to go through this. It was a hard time for her and our family.
Marian Calhoun

United States

#18 Jun 20, 2010
Susie wrote:
Gardasil vaccine anyone?? My daughter is showing a lot of GI symptoms, all tests negative so far, HIDA is next... Her stomach issues started a month after the Gardasil vaccine. She has not had Mono.
GARDASIL VACCINE?

Your post caught my eye. My daughter is 18 and had the gardasil vaccine 48 hours before she developed strong stomach pains, vomitting, etc. She can't eat due to the pain which led to dehydration. It's only been one week and we are going to the Dr. tomorrow to start running tests to determine the cause.
Miami

Miami, FL

#19 Jul 5, 2010
I received my second shot of the Gardasil vaccine and had horrible abdominal pain within 24 hours. After a series of tests, it came down to the last one (they told me if it was negative it was purely psychological)....my gastric emptying study came back positive. I have GASTROPARESIS. Continue to have flare ups (have one right now). I'm a nursing student did my own research...very little information on the disease, I've seen four different gastroenterologists, all with different opinions and advice. I'm in South Florida if you need specific advice on docs. I've found additional VAERS reports (for adverse reactions to vaccines) in which a healthy 14 year old was diagnosed with gastroparesis after receiving Gardasil also. I'm 24 and had to take a semester off of school to get treatment.
caroline

Middlesex, NC

#20 Jul 6, 2010
i think i may be having problems with my gall bladder. im 23...is that too young? it been goin on for about a year, symptoms slowly increasing over time and i didnt kno it. i feel tired all the time, my head hurts costantly, light headed, pain right under my rib cage,get worse after i eat, i always feel like im going to be sick and i have gained about 20 lbs with the last 6 months (not sure if that is related). my mom had to have hers taken out about 10 years ago and my grand mother also had hers removed. i have no insurance so i hate to go to the doc and have all the test done (they are very costly) and it be nothing major! someone please give me some advice! thanks!

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