Uncontrolled diarrhea after gallbladder removal surgery: Any advice?

Posted by jfperrone @jfperrone, Aug 22, 2020

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.

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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@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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No I thought I was doing what I was instructed to do. If there are alternatives I wouldn't know. Also where do probiotics fit In to the scheme of things? Help or hinder.

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@jfperrone

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.

Jump to this post

@jfperrone You may have to experiment with the probiotic supplements. I tried several before I found the one that worked best for me. I felt like I was pouring money down the toilet. .. I tried many brands of probiotics. My husband's cousin told me about Align and it is the only one that has worked well for me. I tried store brands that were cheaper and said compare to Align and they did not work.l just missing the secret ingredient to help me. Probiotics basically balance the bacteria in your gut. Really watch what you eat.. limit greasy foods and sweets. I found artificial sweeteners also increase watery bowels. I could not eat foods like salads or those that had lots of spice in them.. or heavy on onion or garlic. Soluble fiber tends to firm the bowels like contained in bananas and oatmeal. Foods high in insoluble fiber tend to loosen the bowels. A search through your internet browser about fiber should help on choosing foods.Eat probiotic foods like yogurt with live culture… kefir. I highly suggest a food diary. That way you can tell better which foods give you problems and which do not. Although our bodies have the same basic components we are all different and react differently to foods. So there is not a one diet fits all. .. nor pills .. medications that fit all.

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@jfperrone – I agree with Zaroga that our bodies respond so differently to the same event and respond differently to medications.
Did the doctors explain why you have diarrhea now? They should be able to explain what is happening now after the gallbladder is gone. It could be a reaction to more bile ending up in your intestines. There may be certain medications that will deal with that. Probiotics are good. Align and Florastor have been recommended to me.
Are you still seeing the surgeon or your internist or gastroenterologist? At this point you should see a gastroenterologist.
I think it is fairly common to have digestion issues after gallbladder surgery. You are not alone.

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I've got nothing scheduled in the immediate future.Frankly this website is more informative than most Doctors.

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keeping hydrated helps, the Pedialyte type of Electrolyte Solution helps me…Pedialyte is higher in sodium than the typical sport drink.. I have Gastroparesis so it is a continuing battle… I have to use Gas-X and a probiotic that was prescribed for me to counteract the effects of an antibiotic used once when sick.. This site and those of us on it raise issues that really should prompt taking notes to make the list of questions you should ask your doctor… The recommendation of a single person or even a few doesn't come close to meeting the standards of clinical trials.. I use the Clinical Epic Software "My Chart" to pose non-emergency questions to the doctors I trust.. they have credibility…

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@ken82

keeping hydrated helps, the Pedialyte type of Electrolyte Solution helps me…Pedialyte is higher in sodium than the typical sport drink.. I have Gastroparesis so it is a continuing battle… I have to use Gas-X and a probiotic that was prescribed for me to counteract the effects of an antibiotic used once when sick.. This site and those of us on it raise issues that really should prompt taking notes to make the list of questions you should ask your doctor… The recommendation of a single person or even a few doesn't come close to meeting the standards of clinical trials.. I use the Clinical Epic Software "My Chart" to pose non-emergency questions to the doctors I trust.. they have credibility…

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@ken82 – You are correct. We should take notes on information found here referring to your condition and then discuss it with your doctor.
Doctors are different-
One type may hide ignorance by denying anything is wrong with you and even recommend therapy for anxiety.
Another type will admit that they are not really up on what you ask and leave it at that or prescribe something different.
My type of doctor reviews your records to see what findings there are already, if tests have not been ordered and what specialists have reported. This doctor will also admit he/she does not know enough, but will make phone calls or similar with experts to get a better picture of the illness and possibly then refer out as well as schedule follow up so patient doesn’t get lost in the system.

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@jfperrone

I've been reading your post about post-gallbladder surgery problems. How long ago was your surgery? Here are some diet recommendations that you might find helpful. This is from the Mayo Clinic website, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cholecystectomy/expert-answers/gallbladder-removal-diet/faq-20057813.

Also, as @ken82 suggested you might discuss this problem with your doctor (or his nurse) through My Chart.

Have you kept a food journal to see if there are any particular foods that increase diarrhea?

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@astaingegerdm

@ken82 – You are correct. We should take notes on information found here referring to your condition and then discuss it with your doctor.
Doctors are different-
One type may hide ignorance by denying anything is wrong with you and even recommend therapy for anxiety.
Another type will admit that they are not really up on what you ask and leave it at that or prescribe something different.
My type of doctor reviews your records to see what findings there are already, if tests have not been ordered and what specialists have reported. This doctor will also admit he/she does not know enough, but will make phone calls or similar with experts to get a better picture of the illness and possibly then refer out as well as schedule follow up so patient doesn’t get lost in the system.

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I usually educate myself before I go to the doctor. I even bring articles and the research I have done. I had stomach problems with typical symptoms of gallbladder disease for years but because the doctors would not be able to find stones or any other cause, I was diagnosed with IBS. Last year I was talking with a friend and she said to ask the doctor for a Hida test. After they did this test, the doctor found that my gallbladder was working at 13% of normal. Do not ever hesitate to do your own research and advocate for yourself. In fact, when the doctor was going to do the endoscopy I asked him to test for H.pylori and Barret's esophagus. He told my husband I come very well prepared for the medical visits:)

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@jfperrone

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.

Jump to this post

I had emergency surgery to my gallbladder as well back in 2014. The whole thing was plaque with complications from beginning to the present. That included contracting C-Diff while I was on strong antibiotics to treat one of the other complications, an infection. I was in the hospital for an extra two weeks just for the C-Diff. Every time I have to take an antibiotic, and I have to take them as a preventative measure because of my artificial heart valve, I can see the early signs of a reoccurrence of C-Diff. Most people don’t know they they may be carrying a C-Diif colony that’s being kept in check by the person’s immune system. It might not ever become active and the person never knows that it’s there. A weakened immune system regardless of the cause is the signal for that colony to become active. It doesn’t have to be full on to cause diarrhea. In fact it’s common while you take any antibiotics. I think that if you haven’t been tested for C-Diff yet, you should ask to be. C-diff can be deadly!

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