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Author Topic: Gallbladder, itching?  (Read 186 times)

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Offline InTheMoment

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Gallbladder, itching?
« on: April 07, 2014, 06:22:48 AM »
So I don't usually let my HA extend to my family (well, sometimes   :spineyes:)

My husband has had a few spots of itching over the past few months.  Started on his chest, but stopped after a week. Now there's a spot on the back of one of his legs, a spot on his hip, a spot on his side, and some areas on his ankles.  He thinks it's dry skin in those areas, though he can't see anything (I did feel some dryness on his hip and side, but I don't know if it's dry from itching or itchy because it's dry). 

Here's why I'm worried -- about a year ago, he had an ultrasound to confirm a hernia and they found his gallbladder was slightly enlarged.  They didn't think much of it at the time, just told him to come back if he ever had pain or discomfort in the area.  I now have it in my head that his itching could be caused by elevated billirubin, secondary to gall bladder cancer.  Insane, I hope. 

He feels 200% fine.  No pain, discomfort, fatigue.  Just the spots of itching.  How panicked should I be?  Anyone have any experience with gall bladder/billirubin/itching?   
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Offline InTheMoment

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 07:29:15 AM »
I just remember his gallbladder was described as having a "thickened wall", not as enlarged.

Has anyone ever had, or heard of this as an incidental (and non-important) finding on an ultrasound?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 07:57:37 AM »
So I don't usually let my HA extend to my family (well, sometimes   :spineyes:)

My husband has had a few spots of itching over the past few months.  Started on his chest, but stopped after a week. Now there's a spot on the back of one of his legs, a spot on his hip, a spot on his side, and some areas on his ankles.  He thinks it's dry skin in those areas, though he can't see anything (I did feel some dryness on his hip and side, but I don't know if it's dry from itching or itchy because it's dry). 

Here's why I'm worried -- about a year ago, he had an ultrasound to confirm a hernia and they found his gallbladder was slightly enlarged.  They didn't think much of it at the time, just told him to come back if he ever had pain or discomfort in the area.  I now have it in my head that his itching could be caused by elevated billirubin, secondary to gall bladder cancer.  Insane, I hope. 

He feels 200% fine.  No pain, discomfort, fatigue.  Just the spots of itching.  How panicked should I be?  Anyone have any experience with gall bladder/billirubin/itching?

You are a "hero" member, whatever that means, and you are this upset?  Many people get reports back on enlarged GB's, or GB's with stones, and if they have no symptoms of GB illness it means nothing. 

I'd say your husband has drawn a bead on his problem: dry skin.

How panicked should you be? Not at all.  Do you really do anything for your anxiety?  I mean, counseling, Cognitive Restructuring, graded exposure?  Anything? I have been where you have been and it's not easy, but it's not healthy (in so many ways) to not address this issue so you will at least recognize anxiety symptoms in yourself and not project to a family member.
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Offline InTheMoment

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 08:14:17 AM »
I sometimes wonder why I bother to come here for support, when I see such snarky responses.

To answer your question -- yes, I have had extensive therapy and take significant steps to manage my anxiety.  There are some extreme stressors going on in my life right now:  not the least of which,  we are planning a cross-country move and my husband has already moved away to start his new job while I stay behind so the kids can finish out the school year -- basically I am a (temporary) single mom, dealing with preparing 2 kids and a household for a major life disruption.  I'm feeling a little more vulnerable and anxious than usual -- so shoot me.   Jeeze.
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Offline Rob783

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 08:44:12 AM »
Sorry some people have to be condescending on this forum. If we're on this site than we have some anxiety problems and even if it is in check flare ups can still happen.  One persons health anxiety may be different than another depending on their own personal history. I think if your husband had a gallbladder problem he'd be having horrible abdominal pain.  My sister had to have hers removed.
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Offline InTheMoment

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 08:55:38 AM »
Rob783, that's exactly what's going on right now -- a flare-up.  In general, my anxiety has been TONS better than it has ever been -- but the various stressors in my life have tapped my reserves and I'm just losing my grip.  I like coming here, because I can (usually) have a little freak-out and know that 1) people will understand where I'm coming from and 2) not judge.  Thank you for understanding.

His thickened gall bladder was discovered over a year ago,and the itching started a few months ago.  I am trying to tell myself that he'd have some other symptoms if something was wrong and that the gall bladder thickening was just a meaningless incidental finding (though, of course google tells me otherwise!!  Sigh.).  He's fit and active and says he feels better than he's felt in years, so I suppose I need to focus on that.  He is due for a physical, so maybe his blood work will be offer more reassurance. 
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Offline Gemmal

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 10:05:05 AM »
Sorry your going through such worry in the moment ! I totally get it , my family members innocently complain of an ailment and I spiral out of control wondering why they don't seem as concerned as me !

It could be something as simple as psoriasis ! I itch a lot but I think it's due to stress and anxiety over my fears . He could maybe have an allergy . I hope it gets resolved soon !

If he feels great and I'm sure his bloods will be spot on you have nothing to fear from :) ( I know easier said than done )

I hope your feeling better

Gemma xx
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Gallbladder, itching?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 05:20:17 PM »
I owe the OP an apology.  This is the first chance I've had to get back.  I've been where you have been, and have seen some of the same snarky replies to comments I made reaching out.  It was a bad day an I should have held my tongue and put myself in your place.  Hope you accept this apology.  I know these problems are not a cakewalk.  Anxiety is an illness and there can be relapses.  Nobody is ever quite "cured". 

I wish all the best to you.
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