One year after gallbladder removal, still having diarrhea. Any suggestions?

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I had my gallbladder removed in August 2016. I fought the idea of even having it out for more than a year before that - Feb 2015 was my first bout of what I thought was acid reflux but it was really a mild attack. After about 8 more serious attacks (and about 50 bottles of apple cider vinegar), two of which landed me in the hospital, it was determined that my gallbladder was giving me problems. August 2016 I finally had it taken out. My doc said it was inflamed to the point where it wasn't doing anything anymore (I have the pics). Fast forward to a year later - I'm still having diarrhea every day I go to the bathroom. I was on cholyesterol (sp?) for two months with no change. I'm taking Benefiber in the mornings & Digestive Advantage probiotic 4x a day now. Still no change. I cut out full caffeine coffee about 4 months ago, thinking the caffeine or creamer might be a problem (I stopped drinking coffee altogether). I drink tea in the mornings now. I'm so tired of having diarrhea for almost a year now. What else can I do? Am I destined to be the 1 out of 100 that has this for the rest of their lives? Please god, don't do that to me! Any advice, please!

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  • Posted

    Sorry you're struggling with this.  Are you seeing a gastroenterologist or a gp? May I ask what your dosage of cholestyramine was? What is your diarrhea like?  

     

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  • Posted

    It could be caused by excess bile. The liver still produces bile, but with no gallbladder there's nowhere to store it, so there's a constant stream of bile passing through the bowel. I was recommended to gradually increase fibre in my diet as this helps soak up excess bile. If it is bile related, it will be obvious from the colour and consistency of your stools.

    Hope this helps!

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  • Posted

    Have you asked your doctor about taking a medication (Even occasionally)That slows down MOTILITY? Some OTC meds for diarrhea can be used (to slow things a bit)I think he gave you fiber to add bulk to your poo but fiber & water are what people have to use to GO regularly, I wonder if cutting back on fiber may help? The yogurt has probiotics which is good but it is dairy & can be high in fat which can be counter productive, too much dairy fat/lactose can give some people diarrhea, they make probiotics in pill form to avoid dairy, there is a small percentage of people who have diarrhea after sugery long term...another thing is you might ask (with diarrhea)you may not be getting all the nutrients (as your food isn't staying in long enough to absorb them)maybe a vitamin supplement...sorry I can't be of more help and pls ask your doctor before taking meds(Even supplements) adjusting the yogurt first for one week keep it there & then next fiber for a week also(so you can see if ONE makes a bigger difference)won't hurt, you can go back to it anytime Best Wishes, Hoping you feel better soon💟

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  • Posted

    I am really careful to monitor how much fat I have in my diet - aim for 3% or less. Dairy, especially high fat dairy can play havoc with my digestion and give me diarrhoea - it's so unpleasant, I know where you are coming from. X

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    • Posted

      I am 5 months post op and am suffering the same. I have cut out the coffee and creamer I thought it was that, and all other fats and dairy. But I still suffer from two urgent water bowl movements in the morning and possibly more. I tried a fiber psyllium husk cereal for breakfast, I keep reading the fiber will soak up the bile if it is but it seems to have come out of me quickly (looked undigested?) I am seeing GI in a few weeks. I tried a super enzyme, they helped for a few weeks but am getting some headaches and  weird throat taste pain from them (either the Ox Bile of HCL in them) Any new advice?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jenn!

      I am about 2 years post op.  I have tried to eliminate coffee, cream, dairy, etc.  Never found a trigger.  I had a bad morning recently after drinking cranberry juice.  I will tell you that I am having fewer emergencies at the 2 year mark.  I try to avoid fried foods, and I only use vinaigrette salad dressing, etc.  

      Hope you see improvement soon.  

      E

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  • Posted

    Short version: you have too much acidic liquid in your intestine. eat rice! Immodium saves lives!(and slows digestive system allowing food to catch up to dumping bile). Cholestramine binds bile to a solid(but needs dumping when there's too much stored on intestinal walls). Activated charcoal stops bloating and eliminates toxins. METAMUCIL IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING YOU CAN DO!!!(it makes liquid into gel and makes everything normal). Probiotic yogurt drinks are also helpful. DO NOT DO CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS! YOU WILL DEVELOP HEART PROBLEMS.

    Explained version: I have had extreme difficulty after my gall bladder removal years ago. I became quite the expert on dealing with the symptoms and I hope this information helps anybody who might need it. First off, understanding what's going on in your intestine now that you don't have a 'bile gate'. There's not enough to break down lots of fat but there's always a trickle that adds liquid to your intestine and colon and causes diarrea. First step to felling better. Eat lowfat for a while. Duh, you know this part, but of course it is very important. Eat rice!! It blocks you up and helps with diarrea too. Next, Imodium is your best friend! It slows your digestive system giving food and liquid a chance to bind and catch up. Imodium is excellent in a pinch and you can take a good amount per day without consequence. Cholestramine powder is also great because it binds bile to the intestinal walls. Theoretically, you can use the bile later and it won't constantly dump. But you will occasionally have to dump the excess storage(so I've found).

    Next is Metamucil. PROBABLY THE REAL LIFE SAVER HERE. I take it every night before bed. If you see what it does in water, it does the same to liquid in your intestine. It clears everything out everyday and I haven't had a problem since. Some people say that calcium supplements help with diarrea. The reasoning is that only 40% of the calcium gets absorbed and the rest becomes waste and clumps liquid together. I did this for 6 months taking twice the daily recommended dose. It helped a bit, however, I began to have severe heart palpitations because too much calcium causes clogs in blood stream and calcium build ups in the heart. DON'T DO THE CALCIUM TREATMENT!! Lastly, activated charcoal works wonders too. It stops bloating and neutralizes toxins as well as stopping diarrea. (Don't forget to add probiotics to your diet) I take a swig of highly populated yogurt drinks daily. One of my doctors also told me that the 'tube' where your gall bladder was connected to will eventually create a ball like end and store bile like a call bladder does. This takes time. It all takes time so be patient! I live a completely normal life now and a year ago I was afraid to go to the corner store and back. I was going to the bathroom up to 20 times a day and had severe panic attacks if I left the house. Now, I'm going to France next month wink

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the Metamucil suggestion!  Is there a particular reason you drink it at night ?  I have been struggling with these issues since having my gall bladder removed 2 years ago.  I never know what will “like me” and what will keep me in the bathroom all morning. I have noticed that I have very few issues at night.  Have fun in France!
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    • Posted

      Also wondering the same about the Metamucil, what’s best form to take powder or pill. For the yogurt drinks I’m mostly dairy free, but I can try some Kefir ? I just started a probiotic yesterday. I started developing some hair loss and dry skin from this all, and found out my ferritin levels low. I am worried about malabsorption. Going to ask dr about this in a few weeks. 😢

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    • Posted

      Yes -checked my TSH is 2.2 and t4,3 are in range. I’ve been on thyroid medicine during pregnancy but since stopped about 2 years now and my TSH has stayed around 2.
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  • Posted

    Update on my situation. First, I didn't know people were responding to my original post! Second, I'm 4 days away from being two years post-op...and I'm still having diarrhea almost every day. There may be two days a week I don't go at all. But the other five days, diarrhea.

    I'm sorry, I can't remember what the dosage was on the Cholyestralamine (sp). I followed doctors orders and continued to increase it until the max he said to take. Then I ran out & didn't renew the prescription bc it wasn't doing anything anyway. -- A side note, my sister is a nurse that worked with my GI doc in the hospital who did the surgery, I would pass along messages through my sister to get answers (I did actually have follow up appointments), he told me taking it longer wouldn't make a difference if it hadn't already worked. He said to try cutting out caffeine, and taking probiotic pills & fiber supplement. -- Another side note, my doctor who did my surgery & follow up is one of the top docs in my area, I trust him, and he's not a quack for anyone who might go there smile

    As I said in my original post & to update, I was on a low fat diet in the beginning for months, I was and am currently trying to keep my fat intake low (nobody's perfect), I took Digestive Advantage probiotics pills 4x day for months (bc im lactose intolerant), I cut out caffeine for months, and I was and am still currently taking Benefiber, two heaping teaspoons every morning (I stopped this for about 6 months to see if it would change anything, then started back up about 2 months ago). Other stuff I take is a daily multivitamin and Nasacort & Zyrtec for allergies (have been on for many many years so not new). I have diarrhea after my first meal, no matter what time that is, 9am, 3pm, same deal, it's after the first meal. Usually I'm ok for the rest of the day, but sometimes I go 3 times a day. I have not found even a single category of food that affects me the same way each time. I can eat the same thing a week apart and have different consequences.

    I will apologize, bc this next part is gonna get into the nitty gritty. The morning/first movement is usually light tan, semi-soft and easy to move out, it kinda just falls out and it's usually pretty urgent. Sometimes I have a 'plug' of a much more solid stool, but following it will be loose. When I have the 'plug', it'll tear my anus and there will be blood on the outside of the solid poop and a little bit of blood when I wipe. I know this is from the tearing bc I haven't had consistently good solid poops that make my colon work. There are times I finally have a good solid poop and it's a healthy brown color (maybe, maybe? once a week). There are other times I literally pee out of my butt, and that will be small little brown pieces (shavings almost) and bright yellow liquid at the same time.

    Another note, not really sure if this has anything to do with the gallbladder, extra bile, too little bile, not absorbing nutrients, etc... In the months before I had my surgery I gained a lot of weight inexplicably, up to 165 pounds, my normal was around 140-145, easily maintained for about 10 years. After surgery I lost a lot of weight and went down to 135 (oh to be there again!) Over the last two years I have packed on more pounds, I'm now at 170, the heaviest I've ever been. Yes, it's in my thighs and butt (I am a woman after all) but more of it is in my stomach and rib cage, where I've gone up three bra band sizes to a 42 and that's now getting tight (normal was a 36 & I'm only a B cup). I do have to say that I just turned 40 so I can't rule the age thing out either. Just wanted to note that in case it has anything to do with anything.

    This whole ordeal is having a serious effect on my life in general, but more so on my sex life with my fiance bc I never feel clean. I've tried to switch to showers in the evening before he gets home, but I need a shower in the morning to get moving. I've recently moved from my hometown so I haven't established a relationship with a new GI doc in my area; I could drive an hour and a half to go see my old doc. I know I should see someone, but I also feel like the only options are diet, fiber, probiotics and Choleyestralamine. Any help from anyone who has been going through this is definitely appreciated!

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    • Posted

      I have finally found someone else who has the EXACT symptoms I do! Everything you wrote about the “nitty gritty” stuff is my problem exactly. I had my gall bladder out 5 years ago. Deal with this on the daily. It has hindered my life so much. I’m terrified of not being able to reach a bathroom in time. Traveling is so stressful for me I hardly go anywhere  at all. No more breakfasts or lunches out, I’m usually ok after dinner, but so much gas. I have not tried the choleyestralamine as I keep thinking I will find a natural way to allev the problem. I’m on several blood pressure meds and hate to go on more prescription drugs. I’m in my late fifties, my husband just retired and wants to travel, my daughter is always asking me for brunch, lunch, it’s always no from me. I want my life back, after 5 years I don’t think this is going to resolve on its own. Buying Metamucil, but actually I’ve tried lots of product like that in the past (maybe that too, can’t remember all). Psyllium husk, calcium, charcoal, Imodium. Nothing has worked. I might have to bite the bullet and get a prescription. I hope for your sake and mine we can find a solution! Thanks for writing, helps to know I’m not alone.
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  • Posted

    I'm sorry, I should've also mentioned that I take an anti-diarrhea pill each morning upon waking up, similar to Immodium to try to bind everything up

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    • Posted

      Since your other post is being moderated, I can't read what else you posted.  Please read the postings on this thread.  A pill will not bind the bile.  The pill stops the contractions in your bowels until it wears off, which varries for each person.  The bile, however, needs to be bound with some other substance, either a prescription or by Metamucil, which is a trial and error process.

      Diet modification helps, but you can end up eating not very healthfully--which can be a problem, too.   

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