Gallbladder removal in 2010 and still having issues... Anyone else?

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I had my gallbladder removed in June 2010 so it's been almost 7 years now. I have so many digestive issues now. It sucks. Is anyone else like this? Mine are specific to lettuce, dairy and any high fat food (ex: fast food/fried foods). I purposely stay away from fast/fried food because it makes me feel the worst. Dairy is a close second though. Anytime I have dairy (sometimes it just sounds so good so I'll have a little bit.. like this morning) and my stomach hurts for at least a few hours after eating/drinking the milk. I had the dairy this morning around 8 am, it's almost noon and my stomach is still hurting. And then lettuce. Lettuce doesn't necessarily bother my stomach right away but the next day it will cause diarrhea (at least 2 or 3 times) and it's like my body doesn't even digest the lettuce at all. I'm hoping to see if anyeone else has issues like this? Or if I should maybe see my doctor to see if a bigger issue (IBS/Lactose Intolerant, etc.) is causing this. What do yall think?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kara,

    Sorry that you're still dealing with this.  I had mine out in 2009, and still have to be careful about eating low fat.  I can eat ice cream and cheese and use grass fed butter and coconut oil for cooking.  But, I have to use lactose free milk. You might want to try that, just to see if it helps.  I think that every one is different. 

    I have read that lettuce can be very irritating for some foks.

     IBS-D is a catch-all diagnosis for lots of symptoms, so, if you get diagnosed with IBS-D, you won't really find out what's going on, if that makes sense.  Before I had my gallbladder out, I was diagnosed with IBS-D, but what I really had, and still have, is bile acid malobsorption. 

    I had a colonoscopy (all was fine), endoscopy (small hiatal hernia), and got diagnosed with IBS-D.  I did my own research and found out that I had bile acid malobsorption, meaning that my intestines can't reabsorb the bile secreted during digestion.  I take medication for it. There are plenty of sites that deal with IBS-D that can suggest diets for you, too.

    By all means go see your doctor, but if you want to explore what's going on in depth, ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist.

    Best of luck to you, and please let me know how you get on!

       

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    • Posted

      That does make sense about getting an IBS-D diagnosis and still really not having in depth answers. Not having your gallbladder can sure be tricky and quite frustrating. I'll have to have a discussion with my husband about going to see a gastroenterologist. Thankfully with our insurance I don't have to have a referral so I'll have to start looking around for a good dr.

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    • Posted

      I thought that getting my gallbladder out would fix everything.  I assumed my excess bile was caused by my faulty gallbladder.  No such luck.  I'm glad I had my gallbladder out, though, because if they are diseased,  they can cause all kinds of problems, pancreatitis and cancer among them.

      I really like my gastroenterologist.  I see him every 5 years for a colonoscopy and endoscopy (I'm in the US).  Of course, I can see him if I have any other concerns.  They really know how the digestive system works.  GP's, sometimes, not so much. They know what tests to perform, and how to diagnose, which is invaluable.

      Please let me know how you're doing! 

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    • Posted

      I thought the same thing. I thought as soon as my gallbladder was out that I'd go back to normal and not have anymore pain. Wrong. Ha ha. The weird part is that my mom had her gallbladder out too and she doesn't have these issues like me. I'm also in the United States so I would imagine that once I find a good gastroenterologist that I might be set up with similar appointments like you to monitor everything.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kara. Sorry you're having issues for this long. That really does suck. I can only speak to having my gallbladder removed 5 weeks ago so I know that's not long but already I'm sick of the digestive issues. I cannot eat cereal of any kind, it doesn't digest and I feel terrible for hours after. Fat free milk so fat is not the problem. Tied lactose free milk just in case but that wasn't it. It's the cereal. Nothing sounds good to me to eat. I have apples that have been in the fridge for a week that I can't even bring myself to try because I know it will hurt. I hope you find answers. I know you must be so discouraged. Sorry I couldnt be any help. Let us know what you find out.

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry that you're having so many issues. Have you gone back to see the doctor that did the surgery? Hopefully you'll be able to start eating soon. sad

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  • Posted

    I had mine out in 2011, still have lot issues, dairy is problem, anything high fat. Have dizzyness particularly if I go to long without food and blurred vision. It's altered my balance when I close eyes. Can't drink beer or spirits, salmon, quorn and bolognaise sauce, eggs plus many more. Get panic attacks and pains from adhesions as well as gas, but the worst is when the whole right side burns and I can't even rest my arm against my side which happens when I eat the above, may be from over taxing the liver. ? Who knows, my doctor just says this happens sometimes and its life changing!

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    • Posted

      It's definitely life changing! It's so hard when traveling too. We don't travel too often but when we do I feel like I can't eat all day until we get to our destination because I don't want to end up with diarrhea and not have a bathroom around. I'm sorry you're going through the same issues. sad

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    • Posted

      Hi Kara, Travelling is a problem, I have to plan it so I can find food that I can eat and I take fibre sachets and need to drink a lot of water with it, so the toilet thing is an issue. It seems some people just can't do without the gall bladder!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kara

    I completely sympathise with you and understand what you are going through too.  I am 3.5 years post op and apart from around 9 months of no pain and very little symptoms, I have been quite miserable for the rest of the time.  I have been back and forwards to the GP since November and whilst the GP thinks it may be IBS, he took more bloods as he wanted to see how my Vitamin D levels were.  These were undetectable so now I am on lifelong Vitamin D supplements.  Lack of vitamin D can cause many problems and when you get your gall bladder removed, you cannot absorb vitamins the same.  I am in the UK and I was not made aware of this and it was only by researching and  forums like this that the penny dropped.  I could have been taking supplements if I had known this so pretty annoyed at this.  I am also going for another scan today to rule out any other problems.  I had to stop eating high fibre foods and I now feel that dairy is a problem as I need to run to the toilet about an hour after having milk or mayonnaise.  I can't absorb some fruit and vegetables either and try to stick to FODMAP foods but not always easy.

    I have never lost time from work but I really get anxious about going anywhere and had a really awful time in France recently with food, walking and lack of public toilets.  I just made it back to the hotel in time and I was really upset with it all.  I have friends who are going through the same but I also know other people who have had gall bladder removed and have never had any issues. 

    Go back and see the doctor and request more blood tests, investigations etc.  My next stop is a colonoscopy if scan is normal.  Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Treezy,

      Sorry to learn you're having these problems.  I am wondering if you have bile acid malobsorption, for which I take medication.  

      Could you please let me know what's going on with you? xx

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