Hello. I'm a 35 year old female who has gained approximately 30 lbs. since the removal of my gall bladder 6 years ago and I am wondering if the two could be related somehow. I'm 5'5 and now weigh about 155 lbs. My diet and activity levels have not changed. Does anyone know if this is possible and if it is, how I can compensate for the missing gall ballder in order to permanently lose some of the weight I have put on? Below is some of my history.
I was diagnosed with IBS several years ago and battle constipation on a regular basis. The constipation seems to be the only thing that is "regular". I try to control this by watching my diet. I avoid caffiene, and rarely eat fast food. My fat intake is less than 50 grams many days. I normally try to take in at least the minimum daily allowance of 25 grams of fiber a day. I love vegetables and fruits and when eating them always try to keep the skins intact to allow for maximum fiber and nutrient intake while avoiding the addage of butter, sour cream etc. Yet, I have gone as long as 6 days without a bowel movement and even then had to take a laxative to produce it. As you can imagine, my stomach distends and it becomes very painful. I gain relief almost immediately after the bowel movement is laxative produced, then to only "blow up" after my next meal as if someone had filled my stomach full of gas. By morning, my stomach seems to have settled backdown to normal size, but this vicious cycle repeats itself again with my next meal. It worries me, given my father died from colon cancer. I've had a colonscopy, upper and lower GI's and the IBS diagnosis is all I am told is the problem,for now, however it is the future I am concerned about if this negative digestion pattern continues. Do any of you have any suggestions or ideas?
I used to be on a cycle of constipation and diarrhea. Truth is, it wasn't diarrhea at all, but finally (as a doctor told me long ago) the intestines cannot stand any more and there is an "explosion" of sorts, with or without assistance of laxatives. I understand the discomfort, etc., that goes with this.
That said, for a number of years I relied on enemas. That worked pretty well and I stayed reasonably thin, but at age 38 I had a hysterectomy and started to gain weight. Big change! I knew I could not, at least for awhile, use the enema route because it would be too tough on the healing incisions, both inside and out. So... I started following a new routine and it still works.
Here's what I do every day to avoid constipation and I heartily recommend it (this routine has worked for others, too):
First, you must plan to allow a little time each day, hopefully at the SAME time each day (many people choose mornings after breakfast) because this is all about habit, to teach the bowels to move on their own.
Second, eat a VERY high fiber cereal each and every morning. I like Fiber One. It doesn't have to be a huge bowl of cereal, just small to average in size.
Third, I make certain to eat enough roughage at the evening meal and for me that means including a salad of romaine lettuce, raw carrots, etc. You can add or subtract other things, but NO HARD CHEESES, EVER. If you are the constipated type, one slice of pizza or cheese on a sandwich or in a salad can bind you up for two days.
Fourth, I take anywhere from one to three stool softener gels each night. The brand name is Colace, it's over the counter in any drugstore. The store brands are FINE, and much cheaper -- just don't get the ones that include laxative. Stool softeners are used in hospitals for everyone having any sort of abdominal or heart surgery among other things and they really ease stool passage, no more straining. The ingredient is DOCUSATE SODIUM. That's all -- no other "active ingredients." Other stuff added is just color, etc. Again, avoid the ones that add "laxative."
If I am really in need of help, I take a small juice glass of prune juice every night about an hour before bed-time as well. If it's slightly chilled it's not bad at all.
Sometimes, if stools have been very regular and seem to be getting a little too soft from the stool softeners and fiber and juice, I just cut back on amount of fiber/juice/stool softeners and it all evens out again.
You need to experiment with routines, types of foods, etc., and within about two weeks you should be on a wonderful schedule that is rarely seriously interrupted. Understand that there is no dire need to have a bowel movement each and every day and if you happen to skip a day or two it isn't the end of the world. But the discomfort of no result day after day will be a thing of the past.