The Gallbladder's Days are Numbered, but it Stays for Now

June 15, 2009

Ultrasounds picked up what Dr. Gravitas calls “sludge” in my bits. Let me try to rehash what he explained. Later I’ll fact check this. For now, heck, it’s the Internet, anything goes. There is no real “truth”, anyway, right?

Bile apparently act as a kind of emulsifier, keeping cholesterol (a fat) in suspension in water-based liquids (I guess in your tubes?). Although it’s not a particularly stable emulsion, it usually suffices for the length of time all the gook is in your body.

Due to my non-existent Ileum–the place where bile is normally reabsorbed and dealt with–my solutions are breaking down. Little glittery magical crystals of bile salts are winking back at radiologists from my scans. My bile is starting to get gunky like it’s overdue for an oil change.

What this means is that, due to my known inability to reabsorb bile correctly (missing parts for that and all), I will, at some future time, get gallstones, and, unless there has been a revolution in medical science, need to have my gallbladder out. Technically this precipitate matter is microscopic gallstones already. When the stones will be big enough to matter is anyone’s guess: months? Years?

The astute reader might pipe up at this point and assert: “But wait? I thought you felt like crap, and had felt like crap for a few weeks now. But all your tests came back OK?”

And I would concur. Who knows. It could be from the bait-and-switch my insurance pulled on me recently with respect to my acid-reducing medicine, or side effects from Remicade, or complications from a virus, or a new food sensitivity, or–well, it is currently a mystery for the ages. I am slowly feeling better, but have been getting frustrated of late at how often I feel generally blah. I would describe my day-to-day experience as feeling always mildly-to-seriously hung over. Ickiness: A kind of woozy, queasy, grating feeling. Sometimes bile sludge can make people feel a bit off, and maybe this is a piece of the puzzle.


  1. Aileen says:

    Any tips from the doctor on how to get the organic equivilent of an oil change?

    I see cleansing, honey ‘n’ wheatgrass diets and ardent crystal-gripping in your future.

  2. Christie says:

    Dear Gunky: You truly are spectacular. You know?

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