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Old 08-15-2008, 07:56 AM   #1
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oldie71 HB User
Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I might cope with this post-gall-bladder-removal problem?

I had my gall bladder removed about 12 months ago. The surgery was simple - in and out in the day. But then came the diahorrea. And how! Even the merest suggestion of fat had me doing the under-10-seconds 100 metres within half an hour of eating. This continued for several months but gradually subsided to the point where things were pretty well under control except when whatever my fat tolerance had become was exceeded.

Then about 4 months ago, the problem returned with a vengeance for no apparent reason. This is sudden diahorrea - not something that can be put off until later. If you have to go, you have to go within 10 minutes - at most - so there'd better be a wc handy. Occasionally, I've had to excuse myself from a meal to make the pilgrimage at a trot. But usually 30 minutes of any fat ingestion is about my limit.

I've been in China for some months. Most food is cooked with animal fat of some kind so eating out is positively dangerous. I cannot travel on buses without starving myself or limiting myself to dry biscuits and bananas for a day prior to the trip. I've had no "accident" as yet but it surely is only a matter of time. That there has been no accident has only been a matter of luck.

I came across a product called "Enzyplex" in Singapore not so long back. I've started taking it a few days ago. It contains, among other things, "lipase" and, maybe, that seems to have had some success in keeping the diahorrea at bay - though it may just be that I've been very successful in avoiding animal fats in recent days.

However, I'd appreciate news of a medicine that might allow some certainty in dealing with this problem - assuming I work hard on limiting fat intake (which is somewhat difficult in the Chinese social scene where almost every dish at so many banquets comes floating in a fatty liquid of some kind).

I've coped with many indignities in life but an "accident" on a bus is not something I face with equanimity. It just seems that maintaining a mental picture of where every wc (of absolutely any quality - and many wc's here don't make the star-rating system) in this town is located is really insufficient to deal with this problem with total effectiveness.


 
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:46 AM   #2
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Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

I would definately talk to your dr. Have you lost weigh? They are alot of different problems that can occur after removing your gall bladder, they call it PCS. I would at least have some lab work done to make sure your liver funtions and pancreas enzymes are okay, maybe an ultrasound? I hope you feel better soon, I know my mom has dealt with this for about 10 years, she has chronic pancreatitis and refuses to see a dr. after years of no luck, I think her pancreas is no longer producing enough enzymes to digest fat in her food. She lives in a small town 20 minutes from anywhere, and if she eats anything she has to be sure there is going to be a bathroom around 20 minutes later, and even then sometimes she can't make, another thing is if you have problems getting your stool to flush, shows that the fat is not being processed and you can become malnurished even if you are eating right. Good Luck !

 
Old 08-16-2008, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

Thank you, jb000642, for your reply.

I recently had a full blood test in Australia. Everything showed up as perfectly normal. I mentioned the diahorrea to my GP, but it's a bit of mystery to him and so not of much interest, good man otherwise that he is. I'm left to my own devices on this one.

The mechanism seems to be simple - take in fat, the gut or bowel can't cope and lots of brown liquid is the result which demands to be flushed from the system with all speed. There's no procrastinating on this one.

I make the assumption that a good shot of lipase with meals might help. I've taken some lipase-containing tabs in recent days with meals and the problem has definitely improved. I wouldn't pig out on fat but maybe a couple of these tabs with lipase in them with fat-light meals might just get me by. Maybe they'll save me from embarrassment on the long-distance buses I must take here.

It's quite a problem and one that I would have thought occurs frequently enough after gb removal to have excited some sort of medical interest. But it seems that it hasn't. It's quite a pity since I am quite tired of doing a sort of duck at the wc imitation after just a hint of fat - and, boy, are there plenty of hints of fat here in China.

The interesting thing about the condition is that once the brown liquid is expelled after the rush to the wc, all is well then until the next hint of fat occurs. Steamed veges, dry biscuits and bananas - if these made up my entire diet, I'd never have a problem.

I'll ask my GP to organize an ultrasound scan next time I'm home.

Thanks again.

 
Old 08-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #4
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lucylucy HB User
Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

Can you see a doctor where you are? Just in case it's not related to gall bladder, a local doctor might know if it's something that visitors often get. I had something similar once. It turned out to be a side effect of a medication. Before they figured it out, they tested me for parasites and such. Maybe you've been exposed to something your system can't handle.

RICE is another food that usually helps with diarrhea. A doctor once recommended a BLAT diet = Banana, rice, applesauce and toast.

In the meantime, I'd look for a product like Depends to protect your pants in case of an accident. Good luck!

I'll be curious what you find out later. I'm a candidate for gall bladder surgery and it never made sense to me that you could lose an organ and not miss it. I know that's how it is for many people, but I'm still hesistant to let them cut it out.

 
Old 08-20-2008, 04:01 AM   #5
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oldie71 HB User
Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

Thank you for your reply, Lucylucy.

I would not have had the operation had my circumstances not been as they were. I had a mass of small stones which had the potential for some problems - and China is not the place suddenly to be taken with ducts blocked by small stones. Had I been in Australia, if such a problem had arisen, it would have been dealt with quickly. Sadly, I've not as much faith in the country hospital system here. A medical friend offered the opinion that he'd not opt for gall bladder removal unless he had been faced with problems, the appearance of stones via a scan being of no great significance to him.

Maybe I'd have done better to take his advice. Maybe not.

But having had the operation, the plain fact is my stomach has no idea what to do with fat and sudden, irrestible diahorrea is its answer within 20 to 30 minutes of eating. As an example, today I had to have lunch in a dumpling shop. Inevitably they contain fat. I had no lipase tabs with me so I had to warn my companions that we'd better keep within easy reach of a wc in the next 30 minutes since a sprint would be on. I had planned several wc's in advance but a great downpour had me stuck in the supermarket complex. And sure enough, the signal arrived on time and off I sprinted to the far end of the complex and fortunately several stalls were free. You can imagine the watusi that is danced when one arrives in a busy location only to find each stall occupied by a ruminating local. And ruminate they do - at length.

I have mentioned my problem to my GP, my pharmacist, etc. but what I say seems to float over their heads. They have no answer, it seems, and so what is of great moment to me just passes them by and they move on to matters of greater interest to them. No solutions for me.

I've taken to some internet reading on the matter. I'm in no doubt the problem comes from my body's inability to cope satisfactorily with (probably) animal fat. The best solution I can come up with is to ingest something containing lipase with food. (But you can't carry lipase tabs with you to cover every eating situation - hence to day's unexpected lunch and the inevitable diahorrea.) So long as one doesn't make a pig of oneself with animal fat containing foods, a couple of the lipase-containing tabs seem as if they might keep things under control at least to the point of sociability.

But you never can tell here. I had a cup of cappucino the other day. Given the aftermath, I assume that the "milk froth" at the top of what was claimed to be cappucino was some sort of Chinese fatty concoction meant to add glamour to their coffee creation. The aftermath was no less than wc shock and awe.

I'll ask my pharmacist about the trousers-protection product you mentioned. Anything that protects against embarrassment is worth a try. To have an accident in Australia is one thing but to be the westerner in this town having an accident would be enough to make the National CCTV news.

Approach any suggestion of gall bladder removal with great circumspection would be my advice.

 
Old 08-20-2008, 10:38 PM   #6
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lucylucy HB User
Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

I'll definitely take your advice and hold off on surgery as long as possible.

Depends are a cross between sanitary napkins and diapers. My mother needed them for awhile and I couldn't tell. But she wears fairly loose clothes.

Don't they have a lot of rice in China? Or is it all soaked in fatty sauces too?

Good luck! Are you in China for the Olympic games?

Last edited by lucylucy; 08-20-2008 at 10:40 PM.

 
Old 08-31-2008, 05:41 AM   #7
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oldie71 HB User
Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldie71 View Post
Thank you for your reply, Lucylucy.

I would not have had the operation had my circumstances not been as they were. I had a mass of small stones which had the potential for some problems - and China is not the place suddenly to be taken with ducts blocked by small stones. Had I been in Australia, if such a problem had arisen, it would have been dealt with quickly. Sadly, I've not as much faith in the country hospital system here. A medical friend offered the opinion that he'd not opt for gall bladder removal unless he had been faced with problems, the appearance of stones via a scan being of no great significance to him.

Maybe I'd have done better to take his advice. Maybe not.

But having had the operation, the plain fact is my stomach has no idea what to do with fat and sudden, irrestible diahorrea is its answer within 20 to 30 minutes of eating. As an example, today I had to have lunch in a dumpling shop. Inevitably they contain fat. I had no lipase tabs with me so I had to warn my companions that we'd better keep within easy reach of a wc in the next 30 minutes since a sprint would be on. I had planned several wc's in advance but a great downpour had me stuck in the supermarket complex. And sure enough, the signal arrived on time and off I sprinted to the far end of the complex and fortunately several stalls were free. You can imagine the watusi that is danced when one arrives in a busy location only to find each stall occupied by a ruminating local. And ruminate they do - at length.

I have mentioned my problem to my GP, my pharmacist, etc. but what I say seems to float over their heads. They have no answer, it seems, and so what is of great moment to me just passes them by and they move on to matters of greater interest to them. No solutions for me.

I've taken to some internet reading on the matter. I'm in no doubt the problem comes from my body's inability to cope satisfactorily with (probably) animal fat. The best solution I can come up with is to ingest something containing lipase with food. (But you can't carry lipase tabs with you to cover every eating situation - hence to day's unexpected lunch and the inevitable diahorrea.) So long as one doesn't make a pig of oneself with animal fat containing foods, a couple of the lipase-containing tabs seem as if they might keep things under control at least to the point of sociability.

But you never can tell here. I had a cup of cappucino the other day. Given the aftermath, I assume that the "milk froth" at the top of what was claimed to be cappucino was some sort of Chinese fatty concoction meant to add glamour to their coffee creation. The aftermath was no less than wc shock and awe.

I'll ask my pharmacist about the trousers-protection product you mentioned. Anything that protects against embarrassment is worth a try. To have an accident in Australia is one thing but to be the westerner in this town having an accident would be enough to make the National CCTV news.

Approach any suggestion of gall bladder removal with great circumspection would be my advice.

 
Old 08-31-2008, 05:50 AM   #8
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oldie71 HB User
Re: Quickly, where's the nearest loo?

I thought as a matter of politeness I should offer some follow-up that may be of some use to anyone trotting quite as quickly and desperately as I have been after meals.

I diagnosed my system's inability to deal with fat as the problem - with the aid of the internet, of course. Further reading led me to the ability of LIPASE to deal with ingested fat. So I gave some stuff, ENZYPLEX, a try that contained lipase. I took 2 tablets with each meal and it would appear that so long as I know moderation in my intake of fat, these tabs. will keep things under control.

The ones I used initially I got in Singapore. These are definitely for human beings but when you google the product name on the internet, it generally defines itself as veterinary medicine. Still, when you're running to a wc, who cares.

I thought that when you're on a good thing, stick to it but I can't find anywhere to purchase the tabs except at the airport pharmacy in Singapore. For this reason, back to the internet and I found a product Nature's Own "Dietary Fat Metaboliser". It's said to contain a fair quantity of lipase so I sent off to Australia for several bottles. I can't offer any judgement on them as yet - but if they're effective, I will.

But, in the meantime, it does appear that any product that boasts a goodly quantity of lipase would be worth trying. It seems to be working for me - hence, my Enzyplex bottle comes with me each time I leave the house. And in the house, 2 tabs with each meal.

 
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