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    Old 05-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #1
    Caboclo's Avatar
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    Thumbs down I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    Greetings everyone.

    I will share my history in the hopes that someone here can give me some advices or maybe someone who went trough similar experience can give me some hope. I know most people here went trough many suffering, so if you think you can help me, I kindly ask you to read what I think will be a long text.

    Let's start with how my system used to work. I was the kind of guy who could eat everything. I could count with the fingers of one hand the times I remember having a diarrhea. I didn't use to have constipation either. My intestines were very regular. A movement each 2 to 3 days. I can say I had a perfectly working gastric system. No intolerance to any food.

    2 and a half years ago, my former doctor have diagnosed me with gallstones, when I started feeling extreme pain short after eating, specially fatty food. 4 months later I went trough a cholecystectomy, after a pancreatitis. (a stone went off the gallbladder and obstructed the pancreas, as my doctor said. I took massive amounts of antibiotics before getting into the surgery room.

    So I wake up and while I was still recovering in the hospital I experienced the first "D". I could feel something was wrong with me, even when I was not feeling the now known symptoms of IBS.

    The surgeon said I would totally recover in 2 weeks and would be ready to be back to work. I used to work with computer maintenance, and used to move all around the town and neighbor towns everyday. I started to have "Ds" shortly after lunching. I cannot express the humiliation I went trough and how miserable I feel until I gave up the job. I returned to the hospital, were the doctor said the symptom would "go away" with time. Well, it didn't. He started to blame my emotional state as the cause for the problem, but I say I just reached this state due the symptom I acquired after the surgery. Then he just seemed to ignore my case. Since then I went trough dozen of doctor who asked hundreds of test and I mean it. All of then prefered the "emotional" approach rather to consider the fact I started having these problems after the surgery, and it deeply offended me. I think they like defending themselves. I had colonoscopy, endoscopy, lactose tolerance, gluten tolerance tests, blablabla, you name it. I felt like being turned inside out. Only lactose intolerance were positive, but I didn't have it before going to surgery. No Chron's disease. I took medication to recover my intestinal flora, cause I took many antibiotics and were afraid they affected it.

    I started to avoid milk, it's byproducts and food containing milk. It helped a little but not much.
    Then I started taking loperamide myself, because no doctor showed interest in my case, they just asked tests over and over, until I realized they had no clue, no interest or were asking colonoscopies over and over just to make me give up and not return to their offices.

    With loperamide, my life began to look more like a normal life I had before surgey. Then, a year later something happened. After increasing amounts of loperamide, it simple started to not work anymore. I belive I became tolerant. I took 4, 6 a day and still had "Ds".

    I looked for an alternative and found lomotil. But to my surprise and disgust, the drug were recently prohibited from being sold in Brazil, all due economic interests as I see.

    I discovered myself that some people who have their gallbladders removed have problems with bile absorption, so the coletiramine stepped in.
    I found Questran were helpful, but not quite a solution. So I started having only a small meal a day. I lost 44 pounds since I had the surgery.

    So an year passed since I stopped taking "imodium" (here sold as imosec), and have "Ds" once in a while. But I got worse again. I almost lost my new job, I spent a month afraid of getting out of home. I love to travel, to ride my bike far away. I lost my would to be wife, and I can't blame her. Now I can barely move inside my "comfort" zone. I feel like I know every restroom in my city. Thankfully I found a job where I can stay in an office all day long, but I have to travel by airplane at leas once every 3 months. Only alprazolam and lots of loperamide can make me step in a car to the long trip to the airport and heavy traffic, where I fell more vulnerable.

    I developed panic disorders, and I experience panic attacks when I am on open or crowded areas.

    Nowadays my new doctor is giving me a mix of propanteline, dimeticone, bromazepam, amitriptyline... and loperamide, which started working again after an year without it.

    I tried the mix without loperamide and guess what, "Ds" are back. If I had lomotil, I could go from one to another and sleep in peace again. But now I fell like I am sitting in a time-bomb, and this is the best or worst metaphor I can think off at this moment.

    I tried to make some friend who travel to Usa and Europe to bring me some packs of lomotil, but they are afraid and I respect that.

    I considered going into law measures and find a way to legally have the right to buy/import lomotil. But justice system in brazil is chaotic like anything else here. And I have no doctor to back me up. They don't have the gall (pun intended) to get involved. And I don't think I have the time and money to put it forward. That was a law approved in favor of drug lobbyists, in a 3td world country. Fruitless, expensive, frustrating. Would take years with no results. It would be like fighting a bureaucratic behemoth with a slingshot.

    Is that possible that I acquired IBS from the surgery's shock on my system, and also bile absorption problem at the same time, with no lomotil option? Wow, lucky me!

    I feel tired, hopeless, miserable, and have considered suicide many many times. Sometimes in an everyday basis. I even gave up at the very last moment. Thankfully my new girlfriend is giving me breath to keep on, and my bosses are sensitive to my situation. But the clock is ticking and maybe you can help me find a way to solve my situation.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Old 05-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    I don't know how much this will help, but after my grandmother had her gall bladder removed, she had terrible years of vomiting. Now she did not have diarrhea, but her vomiting got so bad, she was hospitalized for it. She now takes bile salts and it has worked wonders for her. Here in America, you can buy them at your local health food store.
    Good luck to you.

    Old 05-06-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    All information is welcome, thanks

    To be fair, i don't know if that applies to me. In fact, I feel better when I take bile sequestrants.

    Changing the subject a bit, I would like to know if you need a prescription to buy lomotil there in USA?

    Old 06-05-2008, 05:28 AM   #4
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    Hi everyone!

    I'm a newbie too, been lurking for a while but had to reply to this thread.

    I, too, suffer from IBS, since having my gall bladder removed, due to gallstones, 16 years ago at the age of 23.
    It started a couple of weeks after surgery with chronic D. I NEVER had any problems before with D, probably just the opposite in fact.

    There seems to be no pattern to what foods cause my attacks, one day i'll be fine, then eat exactly the same the next day and I'll be running for the loo. Stomach cramps usually set in within about 15 mins of a meal, followed by that embarrassing swift walk to the toilet. I dreaded the attacks happening at work. Luckily, I fell pregnant with my first child within a couple of years, so left work. But like you, feel i know every public toilet within a 10 mile radius of home!

    I am now a mum at home so minimal stress, but still get just as many attacks, if not more. If I'm out for the day, I just dont eat all day and hope for the best. If I'm feeling overly stressed before, say, a doctor or dentist or other appointment, i don't even drink if I can help it, as even water has gone straight thru! (Sorry tmi!) If eating is unavoidable, I take immodium, but that usually means that the next few days are a nightmare with constipation and stomach pain.

    Its getting to the stage now where the kids are old enough for me to go back to fulltime work, but I'm dreading it.

    In the early days, i did see my GP about the problem, but he scoffed and said it could not possibly be caused by the gall bladder surgery, "as the body can cope perfectly well without a gall bladder". However, I think I know my body a little better than him, and have always believed that this WAS the cause.
    Your experience definitely backs this up.

    I hope you start to feel better soon.


    Old 06-19-2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    In the United States, Lomotil is not only a prescription drug, its actually a schedule 4 controlled substance. Anyone trying to procure it in the US and send it to you in Brazil could face very serious consequences.

    I too have had diarrhea predominant IBS since having my gall bladder out about 20 years ago. Over the years I have found a few things to be helpful. Probably the most help has been eating a high fiber diet. I make sure I eat a high fiber cereal for breakfast each morning, and I try to get several servings of fruits and vegetables in daily. It also seems to be important to eat regular meals at the same time each day and avoid snacking between meals. For some completely unknown reason to me, my symptoms improve greatly when I take a chewable vitamin c supplement daily. Your gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver and is supposed to contract to release bile for digestion in response to eating food with fat in it. When your gallbladder is removed, the bile duct from the liver is connected directly to the small intestine. Since there is no gallbladder to store the bile until its needed, its trickled into the intestine in a steady stream continuously. The trouble with this is that bile is actually irritating to the GI tract, so after having their gall bladder removed, some people develop what is basically a continuously irritated GI tract. Fiber is actually soothing to the GI tract in this scenario. It slows GI transit time, helps your GI tract work more efficiently, promotes the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria, and absorbs excess fluids in the GI tract. The eating of 3 regular meals daily with no snacks in between seems to help because it teaches one's body when to relax and rest its GI tract, and when to send it signals that its mealtime and therefore time to get busy and do its job. And as I mentioned earlier, I really don't know why the vitamin c helps. I just noticed when I was taking vitamin c to fend off a cold one winter, my stomach problems improved. When I quit taking the vitamin c my problems got worse again. After a few times on and off the vitamin c with the same results I just decided to be greatful that something was helping and now I take one each day.

    I hope some of this is helpful to someone.
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    Old 06-24-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal


    About 5% of people that have their gallbladder removed put out too much bile that causes diarrhea.

    When the bile salts reaches the colon, it causes diarrhea -- the amount of diarrhea is determined by the amount of bile that is not absorbed in the small intestines and reused by your liver.

    This condition is treated with a medication that you have used already -- called Questran that is normally used to treat elevated cholesterol problems since your liver also puts out cholesterol. And, with people that have a gallbladder--- Questran causes constipation but w/o a gallbladder -- there is no bile control and too much bile does results in bile salts diarrhea.

    I think you should Start using Questran again. It just may solve your problem until your body adjusts to not having a gallbladder.

    Also, I suggest you do a search about Bile Salts Diarrhea.

    I wish you well---Harry

    Old 06-25-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    Don't know if this will help or not, however, it is helping me and I have only used it for 2 days.

    I had gallbladder removal April 3, 2008 and have IBS problems. Miserable from bloating and gas.

    Monday my internist suggested I take "Citrucel" (is bulking) which would bind the bile. Citrucel is a fiber called methylcellulose. Citrucel does not cause gas or bloating. It is used for constipation and diarrhea. Don't understand how it helps both but it does.

    There are several other fiber laxatives but they will not bind the bile.

    I was already taking Miralax which is a fiber laxative (bulking) and thought that I did not need a different one. Talked to the pharmacist and he did not think I needed to change either.

    Decided not to buy the Citrucel right then. Started researching Citrucel on the internet and learned more about it. It does bind the bile and prevents the body from re-asorbing cholesterol.

    Took Citucel after lunch and did not have bloating or as much gas. Took again after dinner and had no bloating. I am taking it again today and my IBS symptoms are almost gone.

    Citrucel might work for you. Maybe if the bile is bound you will not have the diarrhea.

    Last edited by Misty800; 06-25-2008 at 01:25 PM.

    Old 07-07-2008, 10:58 AM   #8
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    Thanks again for the answers.

    greeneyes2005, I am sure that my problems started after and because this surgery. I know how you feel about having to return to work, I had nightmares and panic just thinking about leaving home in this condition... I wish you the best, and I hope you find a way to deal with your IBS. There is no turn back right? We gotta shake the dust and move on somehow. I did, you will do it too.

    Laenini, your post confirms what I was fearing. I don't want to get anyone in trouble. I am waiting my doctor to confirm if I can get the drug on a manipulation pharmacy, and we well test some other substances (like antropine, causes contipation, goes in lomotil too, but is not prohibited) and see how I react. I have also notice that regular, small meals are much better than eating bigger meals fewer times.

    Harry, I am back to questran, it doesn't solve my problem, but I think it helps a little bit. I wish you well too!

    Misty800, I will discuss your tip with my doctor (also looking for methylcellulose on google for sure ). However, I must confess that something called "fiber laxative" sounds dangerous to me
    I use Questran for the bile absorption issue, but it causes a gassy drawback. If citrucel can do what questran can do without it, it is worthy a try.

    Last edited by Caboclo; 07-07-2008 at 11:00 AM.

    Old 08-21-2008, 02:05 PM   #9
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    hi..i am on week four after gall bladder surgery,,,i have taken questeral and lomotil and as soon as i dont take it the diarherra comes back,,,now i am being treated with an antibiotic and welcore,,,what finally helped you?

    Old 08-22-2008, 08:49 PM   #10
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    Time helps, but it does not totally go away.. I had my gall bladder out 2 years ago and I still have issues.. I still suffer with great nausea and IBS.. I hope with time and diet changes you will feel better.

    Old 08-23-2008, 08:11 AM   #11
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    Re: I need some serious help/advice. IBS after gallbladder removal

    hi the dr gave me welcore which is helping with the diarherra,,,but have terrible heart burn and still no appetite,,,did you lose your appetite?

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