Are Gall Bladder Removal and Gout Related?

Stopping Gout Together Forums Help My Gout! The Gout Forum Are Gall Bladder Removal and Gout Related?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  nobody 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #2069

    Junior GoutPal
    Ŧallars: Ŧ -0.45
    GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer

    Gall Bladder Removal and Gout

    I had my gall bladder removed a few years ago and since then I have noticed the gout creeping in.
    Is there any significance with that? Because of the digestion changing (no gall bladder).

    That message from a lapsed GoutPal member started a long discussion about gout and gallbladder. Keith concluded:
    Is there a link between gall bladder removal & gout? You need to look at all the circumstances. Is it just surgery that is the problem, or is there a gout link?

    Several gout sufferers joined the discussion to say they had gout after gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy). But, nobody supplied any useful, relevant facts. We rarely got the time difference between surgery and gout symptoms starting. We never got any uric acid blood test results.

    One member introduced the related topic of gallstones. Lea and son both had a history of gallstones. And both developed gout. They wondered if they had done something to start their gout problems. Brian, a GoutPal regular back in 2008, responded:
    “The tendency to have gout runs in families so it is very possible that you didn’t have to do anything. There is no gout gene but there seems to be genes that predispose people to develop hyperuricemia, too much uric acid in the blood. For many gout sufferers, the hyperuricemia precedes the gout often by as much as twenty years. You and your son might have these genes.

    Though younger men do develop gout, it is far more common in men over forty. Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder. There it becomes more concentrated. The bile does several things including carrying substances (including uric acid) from the liver into the intestines where the uric acid is eliminated. About ninety percent of the hyperuricemics are termed “under secretors” because they do not secrete enough uric acid from their bodies. This lets the uric acid build up in the blood and contribute to gout attacks. About thirty percent of the uric acid is secreted through the intestines in the feces. The body guards the bile very jealously. When the bile has finished transporting the uric acid and other substances, the body reabsorbs the bile through the intestinal lining into the blood. The bile is extracted by the liver and then restored in the gall bladder. Any substance that the body guards jealously is important to the body.”

    Keith’s conclusion is:
    There is little evidence to suggest a link between gall bladder removal, and gout. Without detailed case histories, including uric acid blood test results, it is impossible to say. The significant points are:

    • “Cholecystectomy does not significantly increase the risk of fatty liver disease” has significant information, though it is not a gout study. Over 34,000 subjects were analyzed. People who had gall bladder removed showed no significant change in uric acid levels.
    • There are several reports of surgery increasing uric acid level, but this is short term, and not conclusive.
    • Where gallstones are present, they should be analyzed for uric acid content.
    • There are “between the lines” suggestions that some people who are susceptible to gall bladder problems, might also be susceptible to gout, through poor eating habits.
    • Uric acid deposits in the gall bladder might cause damage that necessitates surgery.

    As with all aspects of gout, gall bladder involvement has to be investigated on an individual basis. I’ve included this in the Secondary Gout Group, as there is a suggestion that gall bladder removal might cause gout. However, all the evidence suggests that a connection is unlikely. Therefore, gout sufferers who suspect gall bladder problems need to discuss their situation with their doctors. If problems that led to gall bladder removal have been resolved, but uric acid is still high, then they must decide which form of uric acid control is best.

    What is your experience with gall bladder removal and gout?

    Are Gall Bladder Removal and Gout linked?

    Are Gall Bladder Removal and Gout linked?

  • #2071

    Carolyn Poulter
    Ŧallars: Ŧ -4.27
    GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer

    I can’t say anything beyond my own experience I had my gall bladder removed when I was 31. I was Female but I as not ‘Fair Fat and Forty’ In fact I was red head, thin and 30 and a bit. But I had a whopping big gallstone – looked like a Suchard Easter Egg – and it had destroyed my gall bladder so out it went. Scroll forward 27 years and I had my first bout of gout though at the time it was not diagnosed because it wasn’t in the ‘normal’ place, the toe, but in my heel.

    I have a funny feeling all of this is somehow related but I am not sure how. Clearly my body has some issues with getting rid of various chemicals/compounds – uric acid, whatever the heck it is that turns into gall stone, etc. So yes, I do think that it could well be related.

    • #3965

      GoutPal Victim
      Ŧallars: Ŧ 1.84
      GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer

      My situation is very similar to Carolyn’s. My gall bladder was removed in 1983, and I too was 31 years old. I had my first gout attack in 2016 – 33 years later – but I did not know it was gout because, like Carolyn, it started in my heals. When I was finally diagnosed last year with gout, I was told to cut out meat and alcohol, (I don’t use either), so it’s been very confusing.

      Now, of course, I better understand the nature of purines and uric acid. From the very beginning though, I felt it was connected to not having a gall bladder. I still believe that to be the case. I have an almost permanent discomfort/soreness in my heals, and I’ve had two gout flareups just recently. I hope more study can go into this – and other effects of gall bladder removal.

    • #3967

      Carolyn Poulter
      Ŧallars: Ŧ -4.27
      GoutPal Carer Badge Rank: Carer

      Hi Christine, I haven’t been here in ages, life gets in the way! Interesting that our expierience is pretty much identical. I veer between that pain you mention in the heels and then again a strange kind of numbness. Drives me nuts at night.

      I just got out of hospital and unfortunately it would appear I am heading back early next week. I was popping pain pills because of the arthritis and gout like Smarties and of course I paid the price with 3 whopping ulcers – 2 bleeding for ages apparently – and a thing in my oesophagus. #3 ulcer and the oesophagus thingie decided to burst and I was fairly spectacular at home, and in the ambulance, but the third event in the Emergency Room I aced the audition for the Linda Blair part in the Exorcist – OK without the head spinning but the rest, over a litre of black blood down me, across the gurney, the floor and over the poor nurse who was in the line of fire.

      I was bunged in another ambulance to another city for emergency surgery, then back to the first hospital and after 5 days of whining and complaining was sprung from Alcatraz. Unfortunately the gains I had made during the stay seem to be dropping. Last Tuesday my haemoglobin was 101 (in Canada we measure it that way, in the US I think there is a decinimal point) but by Thursday it was down to 95. I have to call my GP first thing Monday to try to get in for another blood test and from what he said Friday probably into hospital again for a transfusuion and try to find out what’s going on.

      Apparently my heart is skipping a beat too and I promise it has nothing to do with the thought of George Clooney, naked, dipped in chocolate and carrying a nice glass of Benedictine…… where was I again? Oh yes…. anyway I have to have a stress test and of course have been battling yet another gout flare up, this time in my knee, so that’s going to be interesting. Perhaps they will write me a pop song

      Hopping on the Treadmill!



    • #3976

      Ŧallars: Ŧ 421.08
      GoutPal Scholar Badge Rank: Scholar

      I hope these ulcers will heal well. But what were those “pain pills” if I may ask? It sounds like they were anti-inflammatories (the Irfen type of drug) but if other drugs can have that effect as well, others here taking the same pills might want to know.
      In case they were indeed anti-inflammatories and you never tried colchicine, that drug doesn’t hurt my stomach in that way.

  • #2073

    Keith Taylor
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1010.87
    GoutPal Scholar Badge Rank: Scholar

    I think that “funny feeling” is possibly early stages of “confirmation bias”.

    But, what do I know? 🙂

  • #2412

    Keith Taylor
    Ŧallars: Ŧ 1010.87
    GoutPal Scholar Badge Rank: Scholar

    An interesting addition to the gout-gallbladder debate was published a year ago. “Сhronic cholecystitis and gout -an unfavorable tandem with dangerous consequenсes.” is an investigation into bone degeneration when gout sufferers also have inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis).

    Unfortunately, the published gout research is a translation from Ukrainian. However, I think the meaning is clear:

    Due to common pathogenic mechanisms of both diseases, one of the dangerous consequences of such a tandem can be osteodeficit. Both the chronic
    diseases of the gallbladder and gout arthritis significantly associated with
    osteoporosis. The negative impact of osteoporosis on quality and duration of
    life, significant economic costs of treatment and social adaptation of patients make this problem as topical for doctors of any specialties.

    Don’t ignore gallbladder or gout problems. Both can lead to significant bone loss, if not treated early enough.

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