Advice on the dreaded D's after gall bladder removal

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Hi All

Just wanted to ask a bit of advice or see if anyone else has experienced the same problem, my sister had her gallbladder removal 5weeks ago though everything has healed well ,she seems to have these painful screaming pains mainly lower bowel which then turns to explosive Diarrhoea (sorry it's a bit gross) which stinks to high heaven of old garbage with bile mixed in, she's still experiencing a lot of acid reflux/pain even though she's on Lansoprazole x2 and ranitidine x2.

She seems to have a few weeks break without pain and then it hits, and is left with pain from chest down to her bowels, could this be due to bile build??

She's on a low fat diet/ gluten free and dairy free.

Kind regards

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  • Posted

    Hi Ruthie I'm sorry your sister is still suffering. Diarrhea is common after the operation and does settle down for most over time. Doctors usually don't prescribe bile binders until 6-8 weeks after the operation. I also had the diarrhea and the bile binders made me vomit so I've been taking psyllium husk fibre which does the same thing as the binders but no side effects and natural. It soaks up the bile and acid in your tummy and bowel. It was actually recommended to me by someone who had the diarrhea and vomiting for over 6 months after the operation but they fully recovered and can eat and drink normally now. I would recommend it as it sounds like your sister has a sensitive system like me. The other thing that a lot of people take is calcium carbonate as it also soaks up bile too. Hope she feels better soon. Take care xxx
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    • Posted

      Thanx for the reply Ace,

      We are taking her through to A&E as the docs want her checked out, she's got a hospital Tuesday 15th September to see the gastro doc so fingers crossed they will try her on at least something to help with bile just to see, surly it can't make anything worse, my sister has said she can deal with the D's it's the pain she gets with them, also she's not putting any weight on which is a big one as she's down to 7st 6lbs which she's normally around 10st, I have heard a lot of people mention digestive enzymes do you rate them if only to help with breaking down the food more??

      Kind regards

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    • Posted

      Hi Ruthie the psyllium husk powder I take has digestive enzymes in them. Yes they are very helpful after gallbladder removal as they help break down the fats. Make sure she gets one with hcl Betaine as it helps the stomach too. Has the diarrhea got worse since she started the ant acids as they can cause diarrhea in some people too? God love her. I know what's she's going through. It's terrible and we are not told of these side effects. Please tell her to keep positive as it will settle down. I've spoken to do many people that experienced symptoms for up to a year afterwards and it then settled down. For most it's usually 6 months but a lot of people say it took them a year to feel better. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace,

      I will definitely be writing down all the things you've mentioned to take with us Tuesday, the diarrhoea was bad for 4 days after the op and the acid burn in the chest was fine for 7 days after her op also, she's been on the anti acid meds for about 4mths and counting the docs did mention it could be them but I'm doubtful, as they then upped the dose, she seems to have soft to loose stools with loads of orange bile stuff for a few weeks which don't cause her to much problems but then all of a sudden she gets the acute pain and then explosive diarrhoea/bile after the pain where she can't be far from the toilet for the next 5hrs!

      I think if it was the diarrhoea on its own she would be fine but it's the pain that gets her, I have heard a lot about people suffering with the Ds but not mentioning the acute pain?

      She has had 3 pain attacks over 5weeks which are nothing like gallstone attacks, 1st -stomach area 2nd -right rib cage/bowel 3rd- left lower bowel, she then gets an afterburn and discomfort in chest to lower bowel, she also says that it dont feel like her food gets digested, so it's just fingers crossed time for Tuesday to see what the doc says!

      Sorry for the long reply!smile

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    • Posted

      Ruthie if the ant acids aren't working I personally would stop them. If it's bile they won't help at all. Also they stop the stomach producing acid which she needs more than ever now to break down the food. The diarrhea is common. I had it too and at first there was no pain and then I was getting terrible cramps and had to run to the loo. I also got a horrendous taste in my mouth at about 6 weeks that lasted a few weeks. Has she any taste in her mouth? I slept on propped up pillows for a few months. Get them to do an Mri to check there's no rogue stones floating around. I also got stabbing pains a number of times in my liver area which were horrendous but it all stopped. I was also on ant acids prior to the operation and afterwards too. I stopped taking them at about 3 months and I've been fine. You can get a rebound effect when you stop them buys it just your own stomach producing acid again and it doesn't last long. I was on them many years ago and I did get diarrhea from them. Digestive enzymes with ox bile and hcl Betaine would help her tummy and bowel. Tell her to try not to worry. It will settle down. Having a good gp and gi doc is very important. My gp has been brilliant and kept telling me it would settle down. She has seen all this before she told me and has only seen one patient who had the diarrhea long term. She said she's seen lots of this surgery and every one got better. The doctors will probably prescribe the bile binders for the diarrhea. If they do make sure she takes a multivitamin as they inhibit the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. Also meant to tell you get her to start taking a probiotic too. That should also help her. I hope she starts to feel better soon. Let me know how she gets on. Take care xxx
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    • Posted

      Thanx Ace

      Yeah I'm hoping they will take her off at least one of the acid tablets, I have also been on these meds for a year one time and then recently over all the stress of this horrible gallbladder, I was even getting the bad chest feeling sickly on the meds so I stopped them.

      I think this is why her food don't feel like it's digesting as there's not enough acid, I was thinking that maybe she gets a build of of bile on the way out and that's why the pain has moved around her body (just a theory) I did read that to much bile released irritates the intestine and the body procduces water and that's why you get the diarrhoea.

      You mention probiotics what form do you get these in I'm not to sure she should be having the yoghurt ones yet??

      Thanx again it really is nice to disscus these things with people! smile

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    • Posted

      I think most people have been on ant acids at some stage but it's been recently documented that there's a link to heart attacks from taking them for too long and also they did some trials on healthy people to see how it affected them and all of them suffered reduced gallbladder function from taking them for 8 weeks. It's funny but I used to take mine in the morning and within an hour would have the burning pain in my gallbladder but I didn't make the connection! There are a number of probiotics she could take udos choice do a super 8 probiotic which is good. It's in tablet form. Does she get the diarrhea worse in the mornings? A lot of people get bile dumping which is a build up of bile in the body that pours out as diarrhea. Some people get it when they eat fatty foods. I didn't have it like that. I had it all the time for the first few weeks and then in the mornings and then I would be constipated in the evenings. The liver has to learn how to function without the gallbladder and it can take time. You should take digestive enzymes yourself! They would probably help you too! X
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    • Posted

      Saying that when I take the PPIs this time I had a few twinges in my side though I don't know whether that was because I was more aware of it with my sister, but since I stopped them alot of my symptoms have gone too, Iv suffered with acid on and off for years mine is mainly hoarseness in my throat a sick feeling and the odd reflux, also
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    • Posted

      .....pain in my back like being thumped, mine is down to stress.

      As with my sister she's gets a metal taste in her mouth a lot, on the normal days without the acute pain, she has soft to very loose stools on waking about 3 times over the morning but not excessive it normal has a lot of jelly orangey bile stuff, which smells.

      Do you know if the bile dumping causes pain?..as when it turns to the explosive stuff after the pain she passes a lot of the jelly bile stuff that comes out like water

      Yeah I was looking at that for myself the other day as I am someone who drops weight very quick and struggles to put weight on so i got thinking stomach burns my food to quick before sucking up the good stuff.

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      Metal taste could be bile. That's like what I had and I had a scope and there was a small amount of bile in my tummy. But it settled down and my surgeon wasn't concerned about it. Tell her to try to sleep on propped up pillows to stop it coming up her throat. They will probably put her on questran sachets to see if it helps soak up the bile. It comes in tablet form colestid. If she can't stomach them the psyllium husk powder is natural and might be easier on her system. See what the doctors say first. They might say hold off another few weeks until it settles. Hopefully it will start settling soon. Also see if they can prescribe her ensure drinks so she doesn't loose any more weight. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace,

      Did get really bad heart burn/chest with the bile being in your stomach?

      At the moment she always sleeps propped up as she's had the bad acid reflux the whole way through the gallstone attacks, which was better as the acid symptoms would settle down where as now it seems constant but peaks to really bad a few days before a pain attack, I'm hoping they will just try her on something just to see if she can get a bit of relief from the acid.

      Luckily the dietitian when she was in hospital put her on fortsip juice which is fat free but has 300cal and 8g protein which she has twice a day, until she sees the dietitian again in October the doctor won't prescribe her anything else, it's hard for us to know what we can give her at the moment as we are not sure if it's food causing her problems or just her body having a hard time settling, fingers crossed the gastro doc is a good one and can up with a few ideas of what could be going on, only 2days to go!!

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Ruth sorry to hear she's still suffering. The poor thing. Yes I got that bad heartburn and pain and I would vomit bile sometimes too. It's awful. The doctors will be reluctant to prescribe anything until she's 6-8 weeks post op. It will settle but unfortunately it's not going to happen over night and if she can accept that it's half the battle. it's a gradual process as her body adjusts but I've heard of so many who had vomiting diarrhea nausea heartburn and pain like attacks and they did settle down. Did she have stones and was her gallbladder inflamed? Is she still taking the ant acids? They will probably tell her to stop taking them if there not working. I know they won't work for bile. How's her diarrhea now? I couldn't stomach those drinks and like your sister didn't have any weight to loose. Went down to 6 and a half stone after the operation. Up to 7 now. I didn't fit the profile for gallbladder problems although I am 43 am not fair fat am female and probably still fertile. Unfortunately a lot of these problems are linked to hormone drugs like the pill and hrt. I was on a hormone drug for a few years which caused increased estrogen which is the main cause of gallbladder problems. I hope the gi doc is good and honest too as I saw one when I ended up in hospital who told me side effects were rare! Yeah right I now know this is rubbish! Have a list of questions ready. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace

      She has had a good couple of days, well good enough that's she's been able to get up and move about more and have a walk outside, I think she is nearly 6wks post op now, so I'm hoping they will look at her and want to help her, like you my sister doesn't fit the bill either to the 4 Fs the only thing is she's fertile, she's never been on the pill either, as for the drinks yeah there not nice.

      Yeah she's still on the anti acid meds I don't think she will come off them unless they tell her to, the A&E doc told her to take her paracetamol every 4 hours again so she's back on them though she was still taking them to try and help the pain in the chest, she's not complained of Ds so I think she's gone back to soft, she's not been feeling hungry as she says it feels like her food is still in her stomach from previous meals so I think she's definitely needs something to help with that.

      Well as for the gallstones, she was told she had 2 small 1cm stones and a polp, after surgery we didn't get no feed back apart from the "surgery went well"..but the hadnt opened her gallbladder up it got sent straight to the lab and so far we haven't heard anything even the local gps haven't had a write up, so we are a bit annoyed that we haven't been able to find out how bad it was or what they found, maybe the gastro doc can pull the notes Tuesday as surly they have to send a write up out!?

      I think they need to rethink the gallbladder procedure through and the side affects of surgery, when a organ has been removed the chances are something's going to be affected, I mean my sister hasn't even had a follow up appointment they just take it out and send you on your way, even my other sister who had a cyst removed on her ovaries had a follow up after surgery and the chances of anything going wrong with that must be smaller that an organ being removed, sorry rant over lol.

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      I agree Ruthie. Removing the gallbladder is a quick fix they need to find the cause of the stones developing. You know many years ago they just removed the stones and then came up with this revolutionary new procedure were they removed the organ. They can remove stones stuck in the bile duct so why can't they do the same in the gallbladder. Nelson Mandela had gallstones and they just removed the stones. I believe in China they have come up with a new way of getting the stones out but it isn't be available for a while yet. I suspect a lot of people have had their gallbladder removed unnecessarily. I feel mine was removed unnecessarily. I did have pain under my ribs however I also had a large cyst on my ovary which they neglected to tell meabout until after my operation. My gallbladder wasn't inflamed just one large stone and I only had the pain for a month when my surgeon said it was best to take it out. I was actually a lot sicker after the operation. I'm glad your sister is doing a bit better. She will be fine. Give her my best and tell her she's not in her own. Let me know how Tuesday goes. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace

      Thought I'd give you an update of the very disappointing gastro doc appointment, sadly we saw the same doctor she saw at the first hospital that didn't want to treat my sister for anything, he didn't even have notes of gall bladder surgery, so was looking at notes where they said she had a pain condition and even said she didn't have gallstones!!!... Well that went down like a ton of bricks with me, he mentioned visceral hypersensitivity then back tracked and said she's got IBS, apparently she's just sensitive in the stomach rather than any acid problems but didn't say anything about stopping PPI, then he prescribed her a bile binder it was all very confusing, if she's got IBS then it is to do with her digestive track rather than pain signals, they are concerned about her weight loss but did not want to listen when she said her food ain't digesting so god knows how they expect that to get better, I have mentioned a few of the natural remedies like binders and enzymes, he said to give them ago and il see you in 6wks.

      Overall very poor treatment, I find it hard that at the other hospital where they did treat her and not leave her to suffer did not mention once about a pain condition, and she saw at least 20 different doctors the only thing they was concerned about was the heartburn not getting solved from the op, my sister has booked a GP appointment to complain and to see if they will send her to the right gastro doc from the right hospital.

      We are now going to try the natural route so I'm going to do a bit of research on the things you've mentioned as I'm not sure the prescription meds are suitable as she's going through a constipated stage stool wise, so anymore advice or help on the natural route to take would be very appreciated!?

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Ruthie I'm sorry to hear this. The Lepicol psyllium husk powder I take actually has digestive enzymes in it. Its good for both constipation and diarrhea and also soaks up the bile and acid in the tummy and bowel. It's definitely worth trying first. I take 1 heaped teaspoon twice a day 10 minutes before I eat. Also probiotics might help her too. Udos choice do a good one. Unfortunately once you have the operation and you start experiencing problems they don't want to know. But it will settle down. I met a woman today in the park who told me she had hers removed 18 years ago. She had vomiting and nausea and heartburn for 3 months afterwards and then it settled. She can eat anything now except cream! It just takes time to adjust in some people. I hope she feels better soon. Keep me posted. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace

      I think we will give that ago, and if it is IBS I read the husk can help as improves a more natrual bowel motion, I think this option maybe better for her as its natural and not a chemical, my only concern is the PPIs she's on and how you should take it with them,?

      she has to have 2 lots in the morning before food and also 2 lots in the evening, hopefully when she sees the GP they can lower the dose as there not helping as she's had a pain attack and heartburn since the increased doses.

      I hoping this husk can at least lessen her symptoms.

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Ruthie the psyllium takes at least a week or two to Work fully but it's great stuff and natural. I'm not sure if the psyllium would interact with her antacids. It may lessen the effects of them. I was taking ant acids and anti nausea tablets and calcium as well as the psyllium and it didn't seem to interact or lessen the effects of them. I've had no heartburn or acid for a long time now. I hope it helps her. God love her. It's a terrible way to be feeling and awful for you to be looking at her suffering. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Ace

      I thought it may take a little while to get in the system but I think if it can help to control her bowel movements that's something, do you mix the teaspoon with a glass of water, does it get really thick, and how does it taste?

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    • Posted

      Yes you mix the heaped teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it straight away and then you drink another glass of water. It thickens quite quickly. I would start on 1 heaped teaspoon a day for a few days to let her body get used to it and then increase to two spoons. At first it doesn't taste great but you get used to it quickly. It's not horrible though! X
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    • Posted

      Thanx, I did wonder as when it stated could cause choking that was a bit worrying, il pick some up and she can decide if she wants to try it now or leave to after her GP appointment on Tuesday.

      Thank you for the help and advice it's really helped discussing things and getting ideas of other treatments to try specially healthy ones, I'm hoping we can start getting some improvements soon as I'm sick of researching about gallbladders and removals, I'm sure Iv picked up more knowledge than most of the doctors we have seen lol!

      Ruth smile

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    • Posted

      No problem at all. I've never had any choking with it and I only take a small amount of water as I had diarrhea but am taking less now. You'll definitely be an expert in gallbladders after this! Let me know how she gets on. X
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