I wish I could help you but I'm wondering about the same thing. I've been having problems since last summer (nausea, burping, RUQ pressure, burning, aching, at times, irregular bowel habits.). First they said I had GERD (confirmed with 48 hr. Bravo pH). I never felt any heartburn. I've been on double dose of PPI's (first Zegerid, now Aciphex) - they haven't done anything for me. Now they think it's my gall bladder, which I thought all along. I had a HIDA scan last fall which came out 32% ( supposedly below 35% is abnormal). They didn't think that was low enough to cause my problem. Well, now since the PPI's aren't doing anything, they think I DO have gall bladder symptoms. I had another HIDA scan last week and am awaiting the results. I'm having more and more discomfort in the RUQ. I've never had any "attacks" that are downright debilitating, but I don't have gall stones, either, only 2 polyps. They said that if it comes out any lower than the first one, that I should have the surgery. I want the surgery because I feel like **** 90% of the time now. These forums are scary to read, but I know 7 people who have had gall bladder surgery and don't have any problems. I guess you don't hear from the success stories. I'm wondering how surgery will affect GERD (if I really have it).
What are the symptoms for a lazy/inactive gallbladder specifically?
@tompalatine: None, really. In fact, I'm guessing a large part of the time it isn't discovered until there are stones in the gallbladder already, and then only when they're causing trouble. That said, lazy gallbladder does (from what I've read) lead to eventual stone formation, what with the not moving of the bile and all.
That said, the symptoms are the same as gallstones, including nausea after eating (up to 3 to 4 hrs later, if you've eaten heavy), heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain (usually in the upper/right quadrant, usually a few hours after eating, but sooner if the meal's fatty or fried), bloating, pain in the back around the area of the right shoulder blade, stools which are either clay or gray-ish in color (and possibly green if you have lazy gallbladder AND eat a lot of fiber or purple-colored foods), undigested food in the stool, and constipation. I might be missing a few, but those are some from the top of my head. And if you're taking something like Prevacid or AcipHex, then another side effect could be bad breath coming from your stomach a few hours after eating, caused by food not properly digesting because there's not enough acid in the stomach and not enough bile is being created to liquefy the stuff and allow it all to go through. Nasty taste, really.
If you're concerned, go to a doctor (gastro) and see about getting a HIPA test done. It's a very, very boring test in which they inject you with some radioactive stuff then lay you under a Geiger counter for an hour while you lay in an uncomfortable table, then inject you again with something to make your gallbladder squeeze (which will make you feel like projectile vomiting) while you lay even MORE still under the geiger counter for another half hour.
Overall, lazy gallbladder really isn't something to be concerned about, and if it ain't bothering you and your diet's OK, then it's usually safe to ignore, from what I've read.
@sciencelady111: Regarding the symptoms, everyone I've talked to has said the same thing: after removing the gallbladder their heartburn and stuff went away. 'Course, I ain't quite been meeting many people with GERD and gallbladder issues. Anyway, the way I figure -- and this is why I asked the question -- it stands to reason that it could considering a gallbladder problem can lead to poor digestion and poor digestion can lead to GERD. With food getting in the stomach and not properly digested, it could lead to indigestion which would, over time, weaken the LES to the point where GERD and LPRD show up. Of course, under this hypothesis, I'm guessing that weight loss, very controlled eating, and medication, the LES will re-strengthen and the GERD will correct itself enough to not cause all that many problems. If the gallbladder isn't there, since the bile is getting to the stomach the way it should (sort of, or at least in the volume it should) then digestion should return to normal. This, of course is just a guess, and it's at the heart of my question.