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GI Specialist or Just Wait and See
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An_249235 posted:
I had my gall bladder removed in May of 2012. Since then I have to watch that I do not over eat, eat anything fatty. Yet now is doesn't matter what I eat I end up with diarrhea 20 min after a full meal. If I eat very small meals its ok. I experience pain just under the rib cage and then cramping, feeling bloated and then diarrhea just minutes after my last bite. Its getting to the point I am hungry but afraid to eat. I am watching what I am eating, but it doesn't seem to matter. There is no blood in my stools. So my delima is do I go to the Doc's or is this normal after surgery even 6 months later?
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calgal37 responded:
It's unfortunate, but what you're experiencing can and does happen to some after removal of the gallbladder. Why it's happening isn't quite understood. But you might be able to find some relief by checking into two things. Google lnape and calcium. Linda was apparently able to control the unregulated release of bile that is suggested to be the cause of the diarrhea with the use of calcium tablets. You have to use a specific form of calcium and use it at certain times of the day, but many have tried it and found it works.

The other thing to try would be to ask your doc to prescribe either a bile-binding resin like questran, or use a medication like welchol.

You're probably still going to have to watch what you eat in the way of fatty or greasy foods, but both methods might make you a lot more comfortable.

Hopefully in time the situation may resolve itself.
 
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KittyA replied to calgal37's response:
Thanks so much for the information. I will try this and get back to you to see if this works.
 
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Moonchild61 responded:
I also experienced this after having my gall bladder removed laporoscopically in 2000; it started just a few months following surgery, and like you, resulted in diarrhea 20 minutes after a meal. I attempted to cut out all fried foods and fast food, and then reached a point where I had the same result no matter what I ate. I had a battery of tests run including a colonoscopy, and was told that I had a rare response to gall bladder removal. I eventually was prescribed Lomotil (prescription strength) and took one before every meal for over ten years. This resulted in a cycle of diarrhea followed by constipation followed by diarrhea. Not pleasant. It had a significant impact on my life, my work, my family responsibilities, etc., as I found myself running to the bathroom and staying there for extended periods of time.

Fast forward 12 years: I had a regularly scheduled colonoscopy at age 50 and was told that they needed to do a virtual one, as my colon was twisty. The result of the virtual colonoscopy was the discovery of a small tumor on my ovary, but no problems with my gastro-intestinal tract. When the tumor was removed, also laporoscopically, the surgery had to be delayed until another surgeon removed adhesions which had formed at the belly-button incision of the original gall bladder operation.

Long story short: immediately following this second surgery, my decade-long problem of diarrhea and intense stomach pain (sometimes so intense that I would vomit) ceased completely!! When I looked up adhesions (here on WebMD, in fact), I discovered that indeed, one of the symptoms of adhesions is diarrhea! Why none of my gastroenterologists ever considered such a thing as a cause of my problems in beyond me.

Good luck!
 
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saltdogs responded:
Another sufferer:

I had my gallbladder out in the early 70's and I still have the same issue after 40 years. I'm in my late 60's, I tried the questran in the begining didn't work the best, so went to welchol and have been taking it for a long time even now, but you have to watch how much you take as it can be very binding and you'll end to constipated and cause other problems. Do Not take more then 4 a day, my doctor had me taking 4 and using my own judgement to what I take now. I only take 1 in morning and 1 at night drink plenty of water, otherwise they can get stuck half way down they are big pills you know.
Sometimes my welchol doesn't work as well as it should, but they are my
Number 1 best of all.
I also use over the counter Adimodium(sp) 2 in morning and 2 at night, no more than 8 in a 24 hour period, I also use Pepto-Bistmol, which for me works the very best. This is the only thing I can take that will let me be relaxed and not worry I'm going to have an accident, when shopping, traveling etc. Spouses and family members just don't understand why you always have to have a bathroom close at hand.

I also eat small meals and try to avoid really spicy or fatty foods, I do eat out and have family meals I just watch what I eat. Another thing I have learned is to make sure you eat 3 meals a day to curb the diarrhea bouts, you've got to have food in your stomach especially if your drinking a lot of fluid or otherwise your in big trouble with the diarrhea bout. Good Luck to everyone it takes lots of learning and doing. Doctors think they know but its your body and only you know what going on. Happy 2013!
 
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gs8684 responded:
I had my gall bladder removed several years ago and would constantly have diarrhea after eating. I recently changed my diet up trying to eliminate foods with gluten. Sense I've done that I do not experience that nearly as often as I did. Before it was every time I ate, but now maybe once every couple of weeks. I also take a digestive enzyme supplement with every meal which with the digestion of the food. You also might google Great Taste No Pain and check out the eating plan there. They also have a gluten free diet as well. It helped me.
 
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clipper1956 replied to Moonchild61's response:
WOW! Just learned something from you moonchild61, I've had 3 abdominal surgery's (appendectomy, partial hysterectomy, and C-section) and had these before a colonoscopy at 26 years old, was diagnosed with IBS and all the surgeries were done before the colonoscopy. I am very sure I have adhesions because I have diarrhea almost every day, I'm 56 years old.My colon is twisty too (seen from a CT scan). I think I've found out my problem. Just wish there were some way to get rid of the adhesions without surgery!
 
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VinnysMommy responded:
The short answer to your question is ANY time you have a health problem that is impacting the quality of your life, *especially* when it relates to care or services (surgery) you had previously, you should **definitely** call or go back to the doctor who is handling that particular issue or care. If they don't know about it, they can't help you! Even though its been six months, its likely related to this surgery and should be addressed by your surgeon. Six months is more than long enough to be a 'patient patient!' S/he may want to refer you to another specialist like a nutritionist or s/he may surprise you with suggestions or further care or investigation they can do for you. But please don't wait and continue to suffer!

I've been down this road myself, (gall bladder removed April 2008) and finally learned on my own to adjust my diet to be less unconfortable. I, too had adhesions that were removed in a second surgery, which had been scheduled for other reasons. If I hadn't complained to my surgeon, he wouldn't have known to go after the adhesions (would probably have just 'assumed' it was no big deal) and I would still be suffering today. Instead, he 'cleaned me up' thoroughly - adding another 90 minutes to the surgery but well worth it - and now I'm mostly pain free with just occassional bouts of IBS form this.

Hope this helps. Good Luck
 
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anita532 replied to VinnysMommy's response:
@Vinny'sMom
Just because you were fortunate enough to have a caring and compassionate doctor, please be informed that the majority of doctors are not caring or compassionate enough to fix "their mistakes" or "adhesions". Why do you think all these people posting on here are complaining of adhesions for 10-20-30 years after the fact.
In today's world many doctors and hospitals are claiming that they can't find your files (a lie), that you were never there (another lie), that it is your imagination that is causing the pain (another lie).
Please show some compassion for the other people posting here and recognize they have not been as fortunate as you have been in resolving long standing problems.
 
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KittyA replied to gs8684's response:
Thanks for the information. I have tried taking the calcium and eating less or smaller meals. It works when I do this. I avoid the greasy fatty stuff. I do not eat gluten very often. Bread and wheat is not part of my daily diet. Its only when I dine out or am at other peoples homes to I indulge. I never really thought about it, but will look out to see if problems arise. Knowledge is power and I thank all who have shared.
 
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KittyA replied to VinnysMommy's response:
Thank you for your response. I will look into this and make an appointment with my surgeon.
 
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a_raygo responded:
I had my gallbladder removed in 2002 and have had the same problem. At first it wasn't as bad but over the last 7 years it has gotten worse. I tried to change my diet to cut out fatty foods and it was still happening. I went to the doctor and was told it was IBS on several occasions and basically was told I had to deal with it. After doing research on my own I asked my doctor to put me on Questran and it has been a lifesaver. I don't use it every day out of fear of constant constipation but it is helpful on days where you will be in social situations and will be away from the security of your own bathroom. I have read a lot about this and they claim that it is a rare side effect but every single person that I know that has had this surgery has this side effect. Good luck, I know how horrible it is.


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