Bile absorption test

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having a bile absorption test and a CT scan of pancreas. Can anyone tell me what is involved in both procedures ?

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  • Posted

    Hi Alexi

    You will be given a capsule to swallow, which contains a synthetic bile acid. The capsule gets absorbed in the bowel within a short time of swallowing. As the capsule contains a small amount of radioactivity it can be detected from outside the body using special camera called a gamma camera. A picture known as a scan will be taken 3 hours later. You will be given a capsule to swallow, which contains a synthetic bile acid. The capsule gets absorbed in the bowel within a short time of swallowing. As the capsule contains a small amount of radioactivity it can be detected from outside the body using special camera called a gamma camera. A picture known as a scan will be taken 3 hours later.   The pictures are taken with you lying on your back on a narrow bed. Two cameras will be placed close to you; one above your stomach the other behind your back. They will not touch you. The pictures are taken with you lying on your back on a narrow bed. Two cameras will be placed close to you; one above your stomach the other behind your back. They will not touch you.   You will not need to undress, although you may have to remove some loose change or metal objects from your pockets. You will need to lie still for approximately 10 minutes while the scan is completed. You will not need to undress, although you may have to remove some loose change or metal objects from your pockets. You will need to lie still for approximately 10 minutes while the scan is completed.   Once all the pictures have been taken, you can leave the department and resume your normal activities. Once all the pictures have been taken, you can leave the department and resume your normal activities.   7 days later you will need to return for some more pictures to be taken

    They will then be looked at by a specialist and you will make another appointment with your gp and your results can be discussed  then

    You wont feel anything its just like going for an x-ray

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  • Posted

    Thanks for this info. I think the consultant has arranged this to confirm what he already suspects. If it does prove malabsorption what happens next?
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  • Posted

    I had the very same test beginning of 2015. I was subsequently diagnosed as having bile acid malabsorption & put on daily questran sachets (generic drug name is cholestyramine). At first i took one sachet in morning & one at night. not enough... still got stomach ache & diarrea. went upto 2 in morning, 1 evening- better. I settled on 2 in the morning & 2 in the evening after trialling doses(my gastro consultant suggested start on 2 a day for week to minimise any poss side effects like more tummy ache, & then try 3 or 4 a day until symptoms improve), which resolved my symptoms dramatically & i returned to work few weeks later. the sachets are mixed with water-it looks a bit like wallpaper paste & tastes a bit like junior disprin!! its fine & you get used to it. what you do have to make sure of with this med is you take any other meds or vits at least 1hr before or 4hrs after. this is important as other meds will get "stuck" in your system if these times constraints aren't adhered to. its fine & you get used to a routine in a short time. i chose the sachets as opposed to the tablet form( chose with my gastro consultant) as the tablet form have even longer time constraints when you have to take other meds. i do have to take alot of other meds so the sachets are better for me & i have no side effects, except 1st wk to 10days - tummy ache, but this subsided once i got the right dose. i also suffer with colitis (which is currently moderately flaring this last week), but i would say this med made so much difference quickly following diagnosis of bile acid malabsorption(bam). bam is often overlooked in people with colitis & ibs, as it often mimics symptoms. i wish you luck with your scan - nothing to worry about at all. xx
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    • Posted

      Can you please tell me what your symptoms were before you were diagnosed with the absorption? Nausea? No appetite? Bloating? Weight loss? I'm thinking I have this. Thank you! 
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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie/Alexi. before i was diagnosed, i actually thought it was my colitis continuing, but biopsies on colonoscopy showed up inflammation "within normal limits", so my gastro consultant had me tested for bile acid malabsorption(bam) as the symptoms are very similar to colitis but without the blood/mucus. i suffered from bloating, nausea, terrible stomach pain in colon area, prickly stinging sensations in colon area of stomach, very sore rectum/anus constantly, frequent urgent diarrea, & tiredness. urgent need for diarrea often during/straight after eating & randomly through day like at work or supermarket!! dreadful condition often overlooked, but easily treated with medication. i have the odd blip with it, but 90-95% controlled with meds. i also have other bowel conditions to contend with ibs-d well controlled with diet alone, fructose malabsorption - well controlled with diet, & colitis which has been well managed last 16mths up until this last week when i have started a moderate flare & have had to up meds to try & get it in remission again. i normally manage all these conditions quite well with diet, rest & meds & am normally able to work part time, but like i said, alot to keep under control, & do get blips from time to time. when everything under control i do find giving myself 3hrs from getting up to going anywhere helps, as when "well" my bowels are most active in that 1st 3hrs until I have taken all my timescaled meds! but normally good to go for rest of day after that. hope this helps xx
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