It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Gallbladder Message Board

Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Location: orlando,fl,usa
Posts: 1
ktintrouble HB User
Post Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

I am a 41 year old woman and last year a cancerous tumor was found on my liver by accident. I had the tumor removed and it was determined that it was Pheo Chroma Cytoma which is cancer usually found on the adrenal glands even though mine was not found on the adrenal glands. The tumor was removed along with about 5% of my liver. I found out post surgery that my gall bladder was also removed (still not sure why since I had no problems with it). Ever since the surgery, I have had explosive diarrhea every 3-4 days and it has continued since the surgery. Sometimes the diarrhea comes on very quickly after eating and sometimes when I haven't eaten for hours. There is generally a large amount of material coming out of me. It blows my mind sometimes. It has affected my quality of life dramatically since I must now plan things keeping my problem in mind. It is now 9 months later and no relief is in sight. I have seen several doctors and one dietician. I have been put on a low residue diet, given stool samples and provided 3 sets of blood tests and no one can seem to figure out what is wrong. The doctors seem to be reluctant to recognize that the gall bladder removal is the source of this problem. I have done some research and it seems that this is the most logical cause of this diarrhea. Through this and other websites, I have taken a half of a caltrate pill for over a week with no results. At my urging, another doctor I just saw prescribed me Cholestyram (sub for Questran) and I began taking that 8 days ago with no improvement. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this and could help me with this problem. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sponsors Lightbulb
Old 05-02-2008, 11:03 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,544
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed


Having your type of surgery is not simple and I would be surprised if the quality of your life has not changed. I think you are a very fortunate person as you well know.

Removing part of your liver along with your gallbldder in combination is not an easy recovery procedure. Your liver has been assaulted big time and has to regenerate to resume it's normal functioning. And, digestion w/o a GB is sometimes not a simple operation by itself.

About 5% of people that have their gallbladder removed -- just put out too much bile that is now not contolled by a GB -- especially when eating certain greasy foods. Normally the last part of your small intestines re-absorbs your bile for reuse but if there is too much bile and it reaches your colon -- you will have explosive diarrhea.
The normal treatment is to take Questran to absorb the bile. For normal people ---taking Questran with a gallbladder ---the side-effect is constipation but for you your bile salts output from a partially functioning liver -- may take some time to become normal.

Your condition w/o liver surgery is called Bile Salt Diarrhea and for some people it by itself is difficult to deal with.

My only suggestion is that taking a water soluble fiber supplement like Metamucil slows down your intestines but it also adds water to your stool and bulks the stool up--that just may help to make your BMs more regular.

Insoluble fiber is the fiber that is contained in all fruits, all veggies except the root veggies, bran from grains, nuts and seeds-- although not a complete list insoluble fiber will cause the stool in your intestines to move faster.
You need a combinatin of both types of fiber to ever have normal BMs -- 25 to 35 grams daily along with 6 to 8 glasses of water.

The diarrhea just after eating is usually cause by some form of trigger foods or drink-- that may have come about and occurred w/o a gallbladder. A half a cup of coffee after a meal does it to my wife after many years of marriage.

I certainly hope you figure all this out and don't have mal-absoption problems with loose stools.
Also, some form of stress control would help-- because this entire procedure has come with alot of that -- I am sure!!

God Bless---Harry

Last edited by Harry; 05-03-2008 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Typos

Old 06-22-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 108
AlanPi HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

Normal liver can produce 2~5 cups of bile (.5 ~ 1 liter!) per day, so without gb absorbing all that water in the bile, diarrhea can result.

Without a gb controlling the flow of bile, it just drips into your intestines, so you will need frequent meals and especially not skip any.

Have you tried not drinking too much fluid during and 2 hours after a meal? It may help with the digestion and absorption.

Old 06-23-2008, 07:57 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,544
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed


Sorry but I don't agree with your desciption of GB diarrhea.

This how I understand it works.
The gallbladder does not absorb water but releases the bile that is made by the liver to digest fats. The bile is reabsorbed in the illium part of the small intestines for reuse. So, the GB controls the bile and puts it out when fatty foods are eaten.
After a GB is removed, there is no control of bile from the liver to digest fatty foods. And 5% of people that have their GB removed just put out too much bile since it is uncontrolled --- if the bile is not absorbed in the small intestines and some of it reaches the colon --the colon secrats fluids resuting in diarrhea. The amount of diarrhea is determined by the amount of Bile Salts that reaches the colon.

I suggest you look up Bile Salts diarrhea.


Last edited by Harry; 06-23-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Typos

Old 06-23-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 108
AlanPi HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

Hi Harry,

Thank you for the info and I appreciate it. Please do correct me if I am wrong, I do want to get the facts straight also. I myself am about to have my own gallbladder removed, without the evidence of gallstones (ultrasound, CT).

From the researchs I have done and the info I received from my doctors:
*Liver produces 500 ~ 1000 ml of bile daily, with 3~5g of bile acid circulating the body 6~10 times daily, with about 0.5g lost in faeces
*Gallbladder's volume is about 50ml. It absorbs the fluid in the bile 5~6 fold, and controls the release of this concentrated bile.
*After gallbladder removal, ones body may adjust by having the common bile duct taking over the function of the gallbladder. But it cannot concentrate the bile, so bile leaks into stomach or intestines.

It is interesting to know colon secrats fluids and turns into diarrhea, I didn't realize that before!

I am planning to take some bile salt supplements (Bile Acid Factors), could this result in diarrhea as well?

Old 06-23-2008, 06:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 160
Lizardwoman85 HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed


I'm am sorry to say that I had my gallbladder removed four years ago and still experience these bouts of extreme diarrhea a couple times a week. It is usually so bad it ruins my plans for the day. I must say I am starting to do better now that I am taking fiber and Acidophilus daily. My mom experienced the same thing after gallbladder removal and still has GI problems (over a decade later).

It makes sense to have diarrhea after gallbladder removal. The gallbladder helps to digest difficult dairy and fatty foods. Without it, it makes it harder for the body to digest those things, thus resulting in your body pushing it out quickly.

I would seriously recommend taking some Acidophilus (or eating a couple yogurts a day) and try taking lots of extra fiber to bulk up your stools and make them more solid. Those are the only things that have helped me at all. I hope maybe they will help you too.

Good luck, if you have any more questions....I can try my best to answer them for you

Last edited by moderator4; 06-24-2008 at 11:10 PM.

Old 09-05-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8
NHow HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

Originally Posted by AlanPi View Post
Hi Harry,

I am planning to take some bile salt supplements (Bile Acid Factors), could this result in diarrhea as well?
Hi, Just read your posts. I'm curious to know why you would consider taking bile salt supplements if you already have excess bile salts that cause diarrhea? I also had my GB out a few years ago and have had chronic diarrhea since. I take questran and imodium to control it. It makes me a bit constipated but if I cut back I get a bout of miserable, crampy diarrhea. I'd love to find something that works better but haven't yet. Tried calcium and fibre supplements but they didn't help. What results did you have with the bile salt supplements?

Old 09-11-2010, 10:37 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4
debsav63 HB User
Re: Chronic Diarrhea after Gall bladder Removed

Coming into this topic a few years late, but after having my gall bladder removed, I too had the same problem. The only thing that helped me was Caltrate. The Caltrate pills nearly choked me, so I started taking the chewables, one tablet twice a day. After awhile, they worked so well that I had to back off to just one tablet per day. Haven't had any real problems since then.

Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Chronic Constipation after Cholecystectomy. Anyone else? Kiwilily Digestive Disorders 3 04-28-2012 06:03 AM
Pain/Gas/Diarrhea after gall bladder removal - WHAT HELPED ME hannahsmom101 Gallbladder 33 05-29-2011 11:26 PM
Abdominal Pain, Gall Bladder Polyp & Blood test results ooSTEVEoo Gallbladder 10 08-25-2010 02:26 PM
gall bladder gone and chronic diarhea kat p Gallbladder 3 09-14-2008 10:02 PM
Gall Bladder Surgery and Chronic Diarrhea dl0985 Gallbladder 5 10-15-2006 09:32 PM
Gallbladder and diarrhea? Anon1 Gallbladder 6 04-30-2004 09:30 AM
Diarrhea without warning!!!!!! Budko Bowel Disorders 3 01-19-2004 03:26 PM
Daily diarrhea 2yrs after gall bladder removed HondaGirl4Life Gallbladder 3 12-23-2003 05:44 AM
diarrhea from gallbladder removed?? or ibs sickallthetime Gallbladder 21 07-04-2003 09:08 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:35 PM.

Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2016 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!