Quote from cazajacks:Hi Katie, you are spot on it seems to be when i have eaten that the diarrhea kicks in, i went out friday night and drunk wine and had a meal and that is when i had my first accident and didn't make it to the loo quick enough, i notice if i have a heavy meal or a curry or something i know within an hour or so i will be dashing to the loo with bad rumbling noises coming from my belly (and the noises can be really loud) i get a sort of dull cramp in my lower back and front then i go to the loo, then afterwards i get the ursge to sort of bear down, go to wash my hands and then have to run back again and go a loo again. Mine is also tan in colour and is so explosive if i am in a public loo i flush the chain first so no one can hear the explosion, then i have to clean the loo up afterwards. I only have to go at night if i have had a late meal or a heavy meal (which isn't that often). Please tell me more if you can i would be very interested to hear of what symptons you had, did you have you GB removed. Thank you for your help.
Hi again Carolyn. Yep, your symptoms sound very much like bile salt diarrhea. Check out this topic on [url]www.gihealth.com;[/url] that's where I got some useful information along with posters who responded to my pleas for help a year and a half ago.
Basically, my story is this - I began having digestive problems back in 1996, and eventually severe and chronic pain from an inflamed gall bladder - had it removed in March '97. I've had a 20+ year history of IBS-D, and after GB removal, my diarrhea began to get worse. Daily attacks of urgent cramps, and need to find a bathroom NOW! Sometimes I made it, sometimes I didn't. I didn't know about bile salt diarrhea back then; I just thought my IBS was getting worse, and I would just have to live with it. Sometimes antidiarrheals helped control the problem. Then my bowels seemed to straighten out somewhat, until I had Nissan fundoplication in 2001 due to severe GERD/Barrett's esophagus. Then life was over for me. Every time I ate or drank anything (especially my morning cup of coffee and at lunch), I would have the sudden urge to go and rarely made it in time. I didn't always have cramps or any real warning, just suddenly the stool was there and on it's way out! It was always runny (soupy or watery), bright yellow or tan, and explosive. I can't tell you how many times I wore a sanitary pad to work hoping I wouldn't soil my clothes or if I did have an "accident" I would use the excuse that I had the "flu" and needed to go home. Or in the a.m. I would have 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom in 20 minutes times, and then I'd try to avoid eating again until I knew I could be near a bathroom.
I found this board in August 2001 when I was about suicidal. My life revolved around my bowels and how would I get through a day without an accident. I posted a question about my problems with incontinence/diarrhea and responses were so helpful. First I tried increasing my fiber with Metamucil and taking Caltrate + D (some people report calcium can be constipating), with a few weeks of relief. However, the diarrhea returned, and anti-diarrheals couldn't even stop it. My doctor tried Bentyl, but it really did nothing to control the problem either. Someone on this board posted to me about "bile salt diarrhea" and described my problems to a "T". I did some on-line research too, and took articles into my doctor about bile salt diarrhea and the use of Questran or Colestid to control it. These drugs are usually given for high cholesterol in higher doses than what's needed to control chronic diarrhea. My doctor was willing to try me on Colestid for one month, and if my diarrhea did not stop, I was to agree to colonoscopy to look for inflamatory bowel disease or Crohn's.
I started on 2 Colestid every a.m. and the dosage could be adjusted if needed. Carolyn, within 48 hours (I kid you not!) I had my first formed stool in several years. And it has been heaven since, let me tell you. I no longer have the explosive diarrhea related to eating, my stools are solid and a typical brown color (sorry to be so graphic), and I no longer have to worry where the nearest bathroom is. I have not missed work due to diarrhea since starting the Colestid over a year ago. I will never give it up.
Basically, what happens when your GB is removed is that the liver dumps bile directly into the small intestine during digestion - for some of us unlucky ones, this process acts like a laxative thereby causing significant diarrhea. The Colestid is like a sponge - it is not absorbed into the bloodstream like other cholesterol-lowering drugs (like statins), and it basically "soaks up" the bile being dumped into the intestine. Your body still digests and all, but now the bile is in a controlled amount since the Colestid has soaked up the excess. Most people do not need to take more than 1-3 pills a day to help with bile salt diarrhea. Usually 4-8 pills are recommended for cholesterol control. One side effect of Colestid is constipation, but for those of us with bile salt diarrhea, constipation is not an issue!
Sorry my post is so long, but it may be worth researching and going back to your doctor. Not all doctors believe in this method of diarrhea control, so take articles into him/her for backup. I know if you posted a survey related to how many have received help for bile salt diarrhea by taking Colestid or Questran, almost all would report relief.
It doesn't work for everyone (unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed), but I know it worked for me. I still try to intake adequate fiber and calcium supplements too, but it was the Colestid that got my life back.
Keep me posted,