10-15 percent of individuals experience upper abdominal pain after gallbladder removal. This pain can happen either in two weeks or appear a few decades after gallbladder removal surgery. This stomach pain can irradiate to left ribs cage, back, and be accompanied with gas, bloating, nausea, fullness, little appetite, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.
LUQ pain can vary in intensity or duration, but usually it arises after improper food combining or alcohol consumption. Stress and depression typically aggravate abdominal pain and, vice versa, abdominal pain can make a person be depressed.
There could be three situations in which the pain may appear:
The first one is the beginning when all of the tests look normal. Patient gets OTC painkillers, schedules an appointment to a pain management clinic, or has a referral to a psychiatrist for possible stress, depression, and anxiety. Usual advice “Do not eat fat and do not drink alcohol!”
The second situation is when the tests reveal an increase of the pancreatic or liver enzymes. That is followed by many visits to the doctors, gastroenterologists, hospitals’ ER, and taking all sorts of tests and a variety of medications. Visual images of the stomach, pancreas, and bile ducts may show dilatation of the common bile duct, pancreatitis, scarring, gastritis, hepatitis, duodenum’s deformation, etc.
And last but not least is the third reason, many tests have exposed severe structural changes in the bile duct, pancreas, liver, and sphincter of Oddi. This leads to numerous doctors’ visits, medications, ER admissions, professors’ consultation in specialized laparoscopic centers, and endoscopic surgeries. All this leads to a long-suffering, mental and physical exhaustion, and personal and financial problems.
All these situations are not separate disorders. These are the three stages of chronic biliary pancreatitis.
1. Functional stage
2. Structural stage
3. Advanced stage
Biliary is the medical term meaning relation to bile, gallbladder, and bile ducts. It is known; the health of the bile, gallbladder, and bile ducts is indistinguishable bound to the health of the pancreas.
In the beginning, let us focus on the first, widespread, functional stage of the chronic biliary pancreatitis after gallbladder surgery, when there are no abnormalities in the regular tests. This is a critical time for the natural, life-changed, non-drug, non-surgical approaches of the alternative, holistic medicine. It may be particularly beneficial to avoid potential, structural problems that are difficult to treat. Even in the structural or advanced stages, these methods are valuable to improve the quality of life and life span of the patients.
Probably, your gallbladder is gone because you had a typical gallbladder attack with RUQ pain, gas, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, fever, which was presumably related to gallbladder stones and inflammation. You believed that the pain after gallbladder surgery would be gone.
Unfortunately, your upper abdominal pain, started to spread out to the left and to the back. This pain after gallbladder removal often goes along with gas, bloating, nausea or vomiting, burning sensation, etc. It happens on a regular basis after unhealthy food combining of sugar, protein, fat, and starch or drinking of alcohol.
The functional stage of the biliary pancreatitis is very similar to type III of the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. If you are here and you are reading this article, you probably know that sphincter of Oddi is a muscle valve strategically located between bile and pancreatic ducts and duodenum-the beginning of the small intestine. The sphincter of Oddi controls the flow of the blend of pancreatic juice and bile into the duodenum.
Without food in the duodenum, the sphincter of Oddi closes. At that time, liver bile is redirected into gallbladder. Gallbladder extends like a balloon to accumulate and concentrate bile for future digestion. If food approaches from the stomach to the duodenum, gallbladder contracts, throws bile throughout the opened sphincter of Oddi into the duodenum for digestion of fats and fat-soluble substances’.
The pendulum effect linking gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi is necessary for healthy digestion. It also prevents the rising of pressure in the bile and pancreatic ducts and promotes the proper flow of the bile and pancreatic juice.
The Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction can be biliary, when pain locates in the right side, or pancreatic type when pain is mainly occurs in the LUQ with irradiation in the left rib cage and back. History of previous hospital admission with strong LUQ pain, gas, nausea, and increasing of the blood pancreatic enzymes makes clear of the pancreatic injury and development of a chronic pancreatitis.
I worked for decades with patients, who suffered from acute pancreatitis in ICU and the individuals with chronic toxic, alcoholic, or biliary pancreatitis in outpatient setting. This practice convinced me that even one attack of the pancreatic pain is a symptom of the pancreatic injury. Hence, health, life, and future of an individual depend upon recognizing the situation and persistent and insistent battle to prevent deteriorations’. Never say, “Never”; nor say “It is too late to do something!”
Yet we need to focus on what leads to complications and progression of chronic pancreatitis.
First and foremost, it is the acidity of the liver bile and pancreatic juice. Naturally, they are alkaline solutions. I will let you in on a top secret; normal alkalinity of the pancreatic juice and bile is a core of the correct digestion.
Why these liquids are becoming acidic and what is wrong with it? I medically make things clear in my EBook and articles. If the bile becomes acidic, quantity of aggressive, precipitated, corroded bile acids in it is increased. Bile acids start irritating bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi, duodenum and stomach, esophagus and even colon. Irritated, corroded bile acids are the culprit of the stubborn heartburn, gas, bloating, stomach inflammation, bile acids diarrhea, and, definitely, biliary pancreatitis.
Supposedly, your gallbladder was gone because the concentrated, aggressive, acidic bile corroded and irritated, as an active detergent, your gallbladder, which leaded to its inflammation. Acidity is a major causative factor for precipitation of the bile acids, cholesterol, calcium salts, and bile pigments. As a result, it forms bile sludge and gallbladder stones. Hence; collected in gallbladder acidic, aggressive bile leads to damage of its walls and makes gallbladder the first target for surgical knife.
Moreover, acidic changes in the pancreatic juice cause premature activation of the pancreatic digestive enzymes. Activated within the pancreas, enzymes digest their own pancreas causing pancreatitis. It is known, pancreatic digestive enzymes require alkaline milieu to digest the foods actively. On the contrary, in an acidic situation, they absolutely stop working. Not completely digested foods are fermented by bacteria and yeasts with creation of toxins and gases, which then cause cramps, pains, bloating, heartburn, burning, itching sensation and internal toxicity.
When gallbladder is gone, aggressive, acidic liver bile begins irritating bile ducts and sphincter of Oddi-the muscle valve in the wall of the duodenum. Spasm of the sphincter of Oddi raises pressure within the bile duct causes its dilatation and pain.
In the worst case scenario, this gives the possibility to throw out the bile into the pancreatic duct. Scientists validated that even the small amount of bile acids occurring inside the pancreatic duct could activate pancreatic digestive enzymes; as a result creating damage and inflammation of the pancreas that is called as biliary pancreatitis.
What has to be done here?
Restoring the normal alkalinity of the liver bile and pancreatic juice is fundamental. How do we naturally do that? Eating of the alkaline-formed foods, using cellular magnesium-potassium and drinking healing mineral water can physically restore correct acid-base balance; hence, alkalinity of the liver bile and pancreatic juice. Healing mineral water sounds weird for the majority of Americans, but numerous Europeans spend healthy vacations in the health mineral spa. European medical doctors have recommended drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water to their patients with digestive and pancreatic disorders ever since XV century.
After the first cholecystectomy; gallbladder surgery that was done in Berlin in 1882, this operation became extremely common in Europe. Afterward, European doctors encountered complications after gallbladder removal surgery as well as pancreatic disorders. For many years, European doctors suggested to their patients with the liver, pancreas, and digestive problems after gallbladder removal surgery to drink Karlovy Vary mineral water. Water may be used either from the thermal springs in the Karlovy Vary or by drinking healing mineral water that is prepared from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt at home. European doctors demonstrated favorable action of this healing mineral water in the postcholecystectomy syndrome.
For a person without gallbladder to drink Karlovy Vary healing mineral water that can make pancreatic juice and also liver bile liquid and alkaline, it is a perfect solution. In my personal experience of care for patients with postcholecystectomy syndrome or the chronic biliary pancreatitis, this action is the basis of the healing success. By medical study of the European doctors, drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water lessens pain, cramps, gas, bloating, diminishes heartburn, and improves the lab tests in persons with postcholecystectomy syndrome and biliary chronic pancreatitis.
What else can be useful in the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction type III after gallbladder removal?
Customized healing diet, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition supplementation can make bile liquid and alkaline; reduce spasm of the sphincter of Oddi, trim down pain, inflammation, and indigestion. European whole body cleansing, abdominal massage, colon hydrotherapy, restoration of friendly intestinal flora, may reduce numerous unpleasant symptoms of biliary pancreatitis.
Many individuals without gallbladder have a history of using the broad-spectrum antibiotics, drinking alcohol, craving sugars. This, consecutively, diminishes an amount of the friendly (beneficial) intestinal bacteria, which are responsible for the proper digestion, metabolism, immunity, and suppressing the overgrowth of the unfriendly, opportunistic infection such as Candida-yeast, harmful bacteria, parasites. Regardless of the common belief, drinking “yogurt” and taking probiotics cannot restore beneficial intestinal flora, particularly in person with acidic bile and pancreatic juice.
Without proper quality of bile and pancreatic juice, together with the unhealthy balance of the beneficial bacteria in the intestines, individuals suffer from numerous nutritional deficiencies. These symptoms are very far from the abdominal area. It can be depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, allergy, low immunity, skin rashes, muscle pains, neuropathy, etc. Habitual taking painkillers, fasting or insensitive “liver cleansing”, may bring additional severe problems to pancreas.
Everything that I’ve mentioned above also makes sense in the structural and advanced stages of the biliary pancreatitis. Alternative medicine, holistic, natural non-drug methods can be well combined with conventional medical treatment. The purpose is to find knowledgeable, licensed practitioner who will involve you in the intensive healing process.
The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional.