Uncontrolled diarrhea after gallbladder removal surgery: Any advice?

Posted by jfperrone @jfperrone, Aug 22 8:58am

After a very painful event I had surgery to remove my gall bladder. Surgery took 2.5 hours. Follow up seems ok except I have uncontrolled diarrhea. I am living on imodium . I am weak as a baby with no aid in sight. The doctors offer no real help except telling me what to eat or not. Any similiar experience or advice.

I'd like to invite fellow members @fourof5zs @astaingegerdm @annief @johnetteg @princessd and @claytamos into this discussion as they too have had surgery to remove their gallbladder.

@jfperrone, you may also be interested in this discussion:
– Complications/symptoms after Gallbladder Surgery: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nausea-pain-and-headaches-after-gallbladder-laparoscopic-surgery/

When did you have surgery? You said that you're feeling very weak. You may need to start to replace lost water and the salts you need called electrolytes. Have you been staying hydrated? Are you able to have things like soup broth, fruit juice or sports drinks?

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I have read the comments from a number of others who had their gall bladder removed and I guess my experience so far is better than most. I had the op 10 days ago and because it must have been difficult they kept me in hosp 2 more days. Currently I have a drain sticking out of my stomach which I empty twice a day. (Very difficult to sleep with that thing sticking out of you.) I have a little soreness but no actual pain. I have zero appetite but manage to eat the minimum. I have been drinking a lot of water; eating jello, toast fruit and a little cheese. Still the problem continues. I was told to drink Propel water which has the electroiytes you mention. Any suggestions dietary or otherwise would be appreciated.

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@jfperrone Diet is the main thing that will help. There is no one-fit-all diet. We are each different. Basics that seem to help everyone is to avoid greasy foods. That said you do need a little fat in your diet. Sweets are another thing to not eat too much of. Some people can handle chocolate and some not. Rich probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir.. or search for a probiotic supplement that works for you. I tried several before I found the one that helps me.. Align. Oatmeal can help.. it has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Some fibers can help firm the stool.

I think most people will tell you they still have a “dump day”. I do, but not as watery as they used to be, but I am on a opioid for pain that helps to firm too. I want to be off the the opioid. Not sure what will happen if I do, but I will deal with it. Before I discovered the probiotic supplement the diarrhea would usually hit me in mornings and I could go somewhere after 9 am. It would also hit me within one to two hours after eating, so I planned not to eat if I had an afternoon appointment. Dinner dates could be a problem. I have never been much of a going out to restaurant person. I was no longer working at an out of home job so that was not a problem either.

I and my husband did a cross country trip in 2008 and again in 2010 with out rv trailer in tow. We kept our clocks set to Eastern Time. and I was all good to travel by 9 am Eastern Time… except second trip when I had a stomach bug hit and my husband did too. We stayed put for 4 days. My doctor pre-prescribed anti-diarrhea med and antibiotic.. just in case I got sick, but we had to call home and get some for my husband. .. despite all we had fun. 🥳

Take your diet slow and easy to start with. .. sorta like when you have a stomach bug. Keep a food journal so you will know what works and doesn't work for you. You may want to increase your number of meals from 3 to 4 or 5. Avoid junk food. Right now you need good nutrition in you.. because you will lose it until you figure out what works for you.

Zee Gee

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@jfperrone – I did not have diarrhea after my surgery, but years later I developed chronic diarrhea. I was then told at Mayo that the bile acids now would flow more into the intestines and can cause diarrhea. One of treatments tried was bile salts to prevent the bile acids from being absorbed, called cholestyramine. It did not help me because my diarrhea had another cause. Otherwise, Imodium and diet plus electrolytes- Pedialyte is best.

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@fourof5zs

@jfperrone Diet is the main thing that will help. There is no one-fit-all diet. We are each different. Basics that seem to help everyone is to avoid greasy foods. That said you do need a little fat in your diet. Sweets are another thing to not eat too much of. Some people can handle chocolate and some not. Rich probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir.. or search for a probiotic supplement that works for you. I tried several before I found the one that helps me.. Align. Oatmeal can help.. it has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Some fibers can help firm the stool.

I think most people will tell you they still have a “dump day”. I do, but not as watery as they used to be, but I am on a opioid for pain that helps to firm too. I want to be off the the opioid. Not sure what will happen if I do, but I will deal with it. Before I discovered the probiotic supplement the diarrhea would usually hit me in mornings and I could go somewhere after 9 am. It would also hit me within one to two hours after eating, so I planned not to eat if I had an afternoon appointment. Dinner dates could be a problem. I have never been much of a going out to restaurant person. I was no longer working at an out of home job so that was not a problem either.

I and my husband did a cross country trip in 2008 and again in 2010 with out rv trailer in tow. We kept our clocks set to Eastern Time. and I was all good to travel by 9 am Eastern Time… except second trip when I had a stomach bug hit and my husband did too. We stayed put for 4 days. My doctor pre-prescribed anti-diarrhea med and antibiotic.. just in case I got sick, but we had to call home and get some for my husband. .. despite all we had fun. 🥳

Take your diet slow and easy to start with. .. sorta like when you have a stomach bug. Keep a food journal so you will know what works and doesn't work for you. You may want to increase your number of meals from 3 to 4 or 5. Avoid junk food. Right now you need good nutrition in you.. because you will lose it until you figure out what works for you.

Zee Gee

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Thank you for sharing your experience with me; I learned a lot. I also have severe bouts in the am. I have given up coffee and other stuff to make changes. This am I had one half toasted bagel with a slice of american cheese followed by a banana with water. I am waiting to see the result. I dont know what to do about a probiotic yet. I don't eat junk food or sweets so I wont miss any of that. I'll look for supplements to try. Thanks again.

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@jfperrone

Thank you for sharing your experience with me; I learned a lot. I also have severe bouts in the am. I have given up coffee and other stuff to make changes. This am I had one half toasted bagel with a slice of american cheese followed by a banana with water. I am waiting to see the result. I dont know what to do about a probiotic yet. I don't eat junk food or sweets so I wont miss any of that. I'll look for supplements to try. Thanks again.

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Hello @jfperrone,

I'm sorry to hear of the bouts of diarrhea that you have had since your gall bladder surgery.

As you have probably heard, the basic diet for diarrhea is referred to as the BRAT diet. This stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. When the symptoms become very bothersome you might go back to this type of diet for a meal or two and see if it helps. Usually, dairy products, such as cheese, are not recommended. If you continue to have problems you might ask your doctor for a referral to a certified dietician who can help you develop an eating plan.

As @fourof5zs suggested, you might have frequent, small meals which are both light in quality as well as quantity.

Has your doctor suggested anything other than Immodium and Electroyle liquid such as Pedialyte?

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This may not apply here but in 2006 I had my gall bladder removed, emergency surgery. Starting in 2017 I started having nausea, diarrhea and this sounds awful, but terrible gas just prior to having to go.. often going in my underwear.Preceding the diarrhea was what I would call soft serve mushy BMs..embarrassing to write about such a personal thing. So in addition when I ate within about 30 minutes I had to find a bathroom..quick. Had two colonoscopies during this time the last one showed gastritis, esophagitis and one pre cancerous polyp. Put me on Pantoprazole and that did not work so they put me on Carafate.. did not work. So changed Gastroenterologists and had my first televisit just a couple of days ago.. he is one of the doctors in the large practice my first Gastroenterologist is in so he had access to my previous records. Said the issue was no bile production and prescribed Welchol which was way to expensive for me even with insurance so my daughter in law sent me info for a discount and I had my pharmacy use it and got a generic..Colesevelam 625, two twice daily.. so my question is does anybody take this drug? And so has it worked. Side effects? Thank you.

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Sounds very similar to what I am beginning to experience, especially the BM description. Please publish the result of your medication. We are long past embarrassment.

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@jfperrone

Sounds very similar to what I am beginning to experience, especially the BM description. Please publish the result of your medication. We are long past embarrassment.

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After two days the new prescription seems to be helping. Prescription calls for 2 pills three times a day.. but I prefer to go slowly when introducing new meds.. so I started taking 1 pill at breakfast lunch and dinner and today the same.. seems to cut down on the number of BMs and the nausea.. its only three days so will be interested in how much this prescription (Colesevelam 625) stops three years of pain and nausea..tired of having to hunt down a restroom 30 minutes after a meal when out in public.. I had just about quit being social because of it..

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No food or drink I quit in the AM seems to stop the painful urge to go.I just took 2 immodium again. I have been drinking a bottle of Propel to restore electrolytes. Is this better than pedialyte? Don't know. The interesting thing each BM is preceded by powerful gas; is this the problem? Don't know.

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I had surgery for gallbladder removal , 5 years ago. I was told my gallbladder was what is called porcelain gallbladder . Needed to be removed because these types of gallbladder can turn to cancer. I wish, I could have kept my gallbladder. I have had Nothing but issues since it’s removal. I’ve had nausea,loose bowels,constipation, weight lost, weight gain , heartburn and just stomach issues. I’ve been diagnosed with Gastro paresis and upper GI problems.My surgeon took 2.5 hrs to remove my gallbladder and he told me it feel apart upon removal. So here I am still feeling the same and seeing a gastroenterologist.

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I was also told my removal was a 2.5 hour emergency surgery. The description among other things was Gangrenous. Since then the recovery has been exhausting; I have no energy. Plus non stop diarrhea. I have found some relief from taking constant imodium tablets. As soon as I hear my stomach making all kinds of noises, I took a shot of Pepto bismol ultra. I had a much less explosive BM and no second act. Sometimes the old remedies are the best.Time will tell if this continues to help. I repeat Help; it's not a cure. You may want to give it a try.

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It's now about 3 months since the emergency removal of my gall bladder. I am still plagued by bouts of diarrhea. I was told early on that i should drink those sports drinks with electrolytes (which I have) and take probiotic pills (which I have). Since I have not seen any noticeable improvement I'm wondering if I should continue or in fact are these pills and drinks making things worse. I'd appreciate any ones input with similar experience.

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Hi @jfperrone, As you will notice, I moved your discussion to the conversation you had previously posted. The benefit to keeping like conversations about gallbadders and diarrhea together is that everyone experiencing the same medical issue can follow your progress in one place. I would like to invite @astaingegerdm back to the conversation. I would also like to invite @marshabittinger, @genocurt, @blueve97 to share their experiences.

Your intestines produce a lot of bile acid which is normally held in the gallbladder, so when that is removed the bile has nowhere to go except out.
@jfperrone Have you discussed with your physician about alternatives to sports drinks that may help decrease your symptoms?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @jfperrone, As you will notice, I moved your discussion to the conversation you had previously posted. The benefit to keeping like conversations about gallbadders and diarrhea together is that everyone experiencing the same medical issue can follow your progress in one place. I would like to invite @astaingegerdm back to the conversation. I would also like to invite @marshabittinger, @genocurt, @blueve97 to share their experiences.

Your intestines produce a lot of bile acid which is normally held in the gallbladder, so when that is removed the bile has nowhere to go except out.
@jfperrone Have you discussed with your physician about alternatives to sports drinks that may help decrease your symptoms?

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Hello, as I stated in a previous post, this December will be a year after my gallbladder surgery. I have not had any complications at all and all the symptoms are gone. I always had issues with constipation, but now my BMs are fine, sometimes on the soft side, but I am fine with it. I am interested in learning from this group as these symptoms may appear sometime.

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