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denbabes 04-18-2003 06:21 AM

probs after having gall bladder out
anyone else having probs after having gall bladder out

Harry 04-18-2003 09:21 AM

About 5% of the people that have their gallbladder removed have diarrhea when eating some foods. Because their gallbladder does not control the bile and if the bile that is normally absorbed in the last part of the small intestine gets in the colon ---it causes diarrhea.

There is a medication --Questran that absorbs bile and fats that will reduce the diarrhea. Constipation is a side-effect of the medication for people that have gallbladders. It's used normally to reduce cholesterol.


denbabes 04-19-2003 12:04 PM

Thank you for your response, are the symptons similar or could it be have ibs as well, could someone tell me what the symptons are ??????? fingers crossed, hopefully my doc might listen to me now. Thanks

Katie G 04-21-2003 09:38 AM

Hi denbabes. Having suffered from IBS-D for 20+ years, and then with a worsening of the "D" after gall bladder surgery, hopefully I can provided advice for you. I had frequent bouts of diarrhea for many years due to IBS-D, but some formed stools as well. However, after gall bladder surgery in '97, my "D" worsened to daily after almost every meal or drinking liquids. Things seemed to level off to tolerable until GERD surgery in 2001, when all h*** broke loose.

Basically I had daily, explosive watery or soupy stools first thing in the a.m. after a cup of coffee, again at lunch or supper, and throughout the day. Eating seemed to trigger the need to have a BM, and it was always an urgent matter to find a bathroom. I often had accidents to my frustration and humiliation, and would have to call in sick to work or leave with the excuse of the "flu." The diarrhea was painless, but the urgency was most evident after eating or drinking. I found this board in 2001 after feeling almost suicidal because of the shame of fecal incontinence. I found out about Questran (powder) and Colestid (pill) on this site. I had already been taking increased fiber and calcium supplements to promote formed stools with no success. My doc had prescribed Bentyl for me as an antispasmodic, but my problem wasn't pain - it was uncontrolled BM's! I went back to my doc with internet info on bile salt diarrhea and people's testimonies about Colestid. He agreed to try it for one month, and if it didn't work, I was going to have to undergo colonoscopy to rule out IBD or Crohn's.

Thank the Lord - the Colestid was heaven-sent. I have been on it for a year, and have had only 3-4 fecal incontinent episodes total (versus everyday before) in that time. I have formed stools (1-3 a day) every day or every other. The urgency to go is still there due to my IBS, but I can get to a bathroom in time. I still take calcium supplements and increased fiber for my bowel health as well.

Some ways to tell if it's your GB removal causing problems - is this a change in bowel habits for you since GB removal? Chart when the diarrhea occurs - during or right after a meal? (up to one hour). Have you tried typical anti-diarrhea drugs like Immodium or antispasmodics like Bentyl that don't work? It didn't matter how much Immodium I took I would still have attacks of urgent uncontrollable diarrhea. Are the attacks fairly pain-free, and seem to occur as as act of the digestive process?

I can't tell you how much my life has improved since the onset of Colestid. Harry and I have corresponded for a quite a long time regarding my IBS, and he knows how much I swear by Colestid. I told one poster once that even I found out Colestid causes cancer (it doesn't), I would continue taking it - it gave me my life back. I can go to work, out socially, or to the mall and not have to be close to the bathroom at all times. I don't have to take extra changes of clothes with me anymore for "accidents." I was only about 40 years old when all this happened, so couldn't just call it old age. Colestid has been proven safe to take, and you will not need to take the high doses necessary for cholesterol reduction. I have normal cholesterol levels, and I take 2 Colestid each a.m. every day.

It is the wonder drug for me and I recommend anyone with GB related diarrhea to try it. Do some web searches on bile salt diarrhea, and see if the symptoms fit your problems.

I wish you well and keep us posted,
Katie G

BrendaB 04-21-2003 06:42 PM

I had my gallbladder out about 1 1/2 years ago, and it didn't solve my problems, and in fact, made some worse. I tend to have immediate explosive diarrhea - usually after 1st meal of the day, or eating fatty foods, or sometimes for no apparant reason at all. I have been diagnosed with GERD and IBS. Taking Prilosec, Cimetidine, Reglan and also a daily dose of Citracel. Too soon to know if these help.

NOTE TO KATIE G...Is Colestid a prescription, over-the-counter, or supplement? Where do you find it? Do you take it with other medications?

denbabes 04-22-2003 10:20 AM

Hi all
Just to let u know just back from docs and they will not prescribe me questran as i asked, as they say it does not deal with what i have and does not deal with bile,i did remind them that i had gall bladder out but u know what they like they close down after you have stated symptons, so they have given me Mebeverine Hyrochloride, ummmm so not a happy bunny today, as pain real bad today, any suggestions.

aneika 04-22-2003 01:33 PM

Colestid is a Godsend!! Like KatieG, I have had the identical problem for many years. There was no way I could go out to dinner with friends, without being in agony (unfortunately, I had the pain as well), a cold sweat and RUNNING to find the closest washroom. I've had many 'accidents' as well....and even when it happens in the privacy of your own home, it's just horrible!
I had been put on the Questrin powder, but couldn't 'stomach' it so my Dr wrote me a prescription for Colestid. To this day, I could kiss her feet!!!

I take 4 pills each morning and have fairly normal bowel movements (compared to what they were like before, even the problems I still have are nothing compared to what they were!).
Denbabes, I hope your Dr will put you on the does wonders :)

Katie G 04-23-2003 08:13 AM

Hi there to all again. Denbabes - I could kick your doctor - how do they know that Colestid/Questran won't help you? Find a good GI doc who understands the problems with bile salt diarrhea and is willing to attempt Colestid/Questran. Try bringing in internet articles about bile salt diarrhea too - that's how I got my doc to agree to prescribing it. Fortunately, he was very sympathetic about my incontinence, but still kept saying it was all IBS. When I brought in articles about bile salt diarrhea, and made him read them, he decided to try the Colestid. He was willing to give it a month to "work" and if it didn't I had to agree to a colonoscopy to rule out some form of inflammatory bowel disease. Needless to say, he is now a firm believer in Colestid after my situation (it took only 2 days to control my diarrhea); there's another doctor in the same office who says he prescribes it ALL the time for his patients who have diarrhea after GB removal. Some docs need a little assertiveness from their patients to get off their high horse and learn that as IBS patients we know what may work for us. Keep pushing for the right treatment - I wish you well.

Hi BrendaB - yes Colestid is a prescription-only drug and based on your description it sounds like you have bile salt diarrhea too and may do very well with cholestryamine resin (the chemical name for Colestid/Questran). Do some 'net research on bile salt diarrhea for additional information. Some docs don't believe in it - but I know it works for me and many others on this board. My own surgeon didn't believe in it, but I was able to convince my GP/family doc and I am no longer suicidal or desperate to find the nearest bathroom. The urgency to go is still there due to my IBS (along with occasional cramps/discomfort), but at least I know I can hold it now. Don't suffer for the 5 years I did until I found out what was happening to me. I thought I'd end up wearing maxi pads or adult diapers for the rest of my life before I found out about Colestid.

And aneika - I'm with you! Life is SO much better since the start of Colestid. I only take 2 pills every a.m., but that's enough for me to control things. I've only had diarrhea a few times since starting it a year ago - compared to several times every day before Colestid, I can live with the occasional loose stool! I now have 1-3 formed stools every or every other day and my bowels are no longer the focus of my daily existence.

I send good thoughts to all of you - keep me posted on your progress and denbabes - keep pushing for what you need. Print these board messages along with medical information you find to show to your docs so they know that you are only trying to find what works for you. Be a self-advocate - no one else can do it for you.

Good luck and keep me posted,
Katie G

Katie G 04-23-2003 08:18 AM

Hi again BrendaB. Went back to read your post and realized I didn't answer all your questions. You will have to time your medications when taking Colestid since it can reduce the effectiveness of other meds. I too have IBS and GERD (had anti-reflux surgery in 2001, so no longer take Prilosec). However, I do take blood pressure meds, Elavil (at bedtime) and various vitamin/nutrition supplements. In timing your meds, you will need to take your other meds ONE HOUR BEFORE or FIVE HOURS AFTER you take Colestid so it doesn't interfere with the effectiveness of your meds.

For example, I take my blood pressure pill and acidophilus capsules in the a.m., then Colestid 45-60 minutes later, my multivitamin/calcium pill/vitamin E/green tea extract capsule at lunchtime, another calcium supplement at supper and Elavil at bedtime for my fibromyalgia.

Hope this helps,
Katie G

denbabes 04-25-2003 03:28 AM

Thank you all for your replies it has been great, i am keeping fingers crossed, please can anyone tell me if my yellow coated tongue is related to my bowel probs or something else. thanks den

denbabes 04-28-2003 03:50 AM

Good news saw my own gp today as he been on hols, he prescribed Questran and appt with gastro man so fingers crossed, it tastes so awful but hey if it works, maybe can start getting confidence back and get out soon. thanks den

Katie G 04-28-2003 07:18 AM

Hi denbabes. So glad your GP was willing to prescribe for you. It was my GP who was willing to prescribe Colestid too, not my surgeon.

If the Questran is too awful (I know I don't do well with powders mixed in liquid), ask for Colestid instead. Although the pills are quite large, they are fairly easy to swallow. I take 2 every morning; I know some posters here are able to get control of their diarrhea with only 1 pill per day. I take mine in the morning and some take theirs at night. You may have to experiment with the time of day that works for you.

Good luck to you and keep us posted - I'm sure you'll be very pleased with the results of Questran.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you ~
Katie G

olsonkl 06-11-2003 10:34 PM

I don't understand why doctors are hesitant to prescribe Colstid, it sounds like the perfect and only solution. Are there side effects we should know about?

Katie G 06-12-2003 06:27 AM

Hi there. The only side effect that I found in all my research was constipation with possible bowel obstruction. Constipation is NOT a problem for those of us with bile salt diarrhea. I would have welcomed constipation back when I didn't take Colestid.

I think docs are reluctant to prescribe it for bile salt diarrhea, because it was first prescribed for high cholesterol (in higher doses than needed for bowel control). Also, it should not be prescribed if you just have occasional, but controllable diarrhea or any problems with constipation. But if you have true bile salt diarrhea, you will know it. The urgency and explosiveness of the stool during or right after meals is the MO for this disorder.

Katie G

olsonkl 06-12-2003 11:32 AM

Thank you so much for responding, Katie. I am relatively new to this, I just had my gallbladder out a week ago, but I am having all of the symptoms of bile salt diarrhea. I have been trying to control it with my diet, (eating only dry steamed vegetables, bread, pasta and some fruit), but today I have had problems without any food and after simply having dry wheat toast. Did you have these symptoms immediately after your gallbladder surgery? Did it matter what you ate? I am wondering if it is too soon to start Colestid. I am supposed to go back to work next week, and I don't know how it will be possible without some help! Thanks again!

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