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.

hmmm. I don't think so. I'll try it but I am so tired of being with that label. I tried Compassionate Friends and just being in the room with so many people who had the same profound grief was too much for me. I felt all that pain "climbing on". It is like a horror movie. I tried therapy with someone who had experience the death of a child and my best friends daughter recently hung herself. My first husbands cousin lost both her children and she could barely speak for a very long time. What a horrible thing. We are just everyday people. I am an RN, retired now thankfully, braindead almost. I will say that I am cautious about how much I share because it freaks people out and they don't know what to say. There is nothing to say and nothing to do except face forward and not die. That has been my experience. I thought after Jeff died (the first of the domino cycle, if I just don't die I will get to the other side). Tim died of a heart attack at age 40 attributed to broken heart syndrome since he lived with his father and was in his "care". His dad died just 2 days before. Very sad. My biggest trouble is migraines from hell, daily ones. Unrelenting. My doctor upped my topamax and so far today it hasn't come back. Again, the same. I so whatever I can. Fortunately I have a great doctor who gets it that these migraines are second to labor pains in the level of pain. I have had them for years but nothing like the unmanageability that they have become. I suppose it has stacked up. A person can stand only so much. Interestingly, through all my gallbladder tests, CT etc, the doc stated that everything inside me looks very clear and clean. A priest told me after Jeff died, "You will never have to hurt this bad again."
Maybe I can give the Grief/Depression/Anxiety thing a go just to see. I am in most of the time which is not my strong suit. I remarried in 2013 on Xmas Eve then moved from Oklahoma City to New York City. I am so grateful. This man is crazy about me and he does so much. I was glad to be here and have a place I lived when my own condo in OK burned down. As soon as we built it back into a beautiful modern place I sold it. I never lived in it again. Maybe you can see a piece of why I don't talk much about what happened. It all runs together in to a big glob.

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@genocurt

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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well, I am very nervous. I have just been diagnosed with an enlarged gallbladder, no stones. I had 2 ultrasounds, a CT and lots of lab and I have had my first gastro MD – video. Appt with him in person in Jan. I learned of all this after 3 days of excruciating mid abdominal pain. I have been forever plagued with chronic constipation but more so in the last few years which I attributed to the many highly emotional and traumatic events that occurred in my life plus confinement in a tiny apartment with one bathroom with a relatively new husband of 7 years. I'd always lived in a larger house with 2.5 baths -was married previously for many years to a man who did not surveil my every move. ( we are addressing this/ he is still learning). In any event, I now have this gallbladder thing, the new MD called last night to say he was going to order a HIDA test. I am not familiar with that so I'll look it up. Now after reading all the posts except for the one posted by genocurt, I am more nervous. I have never eaten a lot of fats, never been overweight, have always exercised – I have done my part to stay as healthy as I can. I have lost 5 lbs in the last 5-6 months which for me is a lot given the fact that I never in my life lost weight without trying. I will have many questions for him now thanks to all of the posts and I am so grateful for the honesty here.

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I had all the tests and then some, including the HIDA scan. My doc's waited to long ( along story) I finally went into surgery under emergency conditions. My gall bladder at that point was infected and gangrene. All I can say is "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck" well you get it.

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oh dear. I have just been told I will probably have to have my gallbladder removed. I know 2 people who have not complained of diarrhea but people are weird when it comes to talking about their poop. I am scheduled for a HIDA scan. I don't know what to expect and I am getting pretty scared actually. I am going to read up. Any info would be appreciated.

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I had a HIDA test. They insert a substance that tests your gallbladder. It is not painful but it is a bit uncomfortable as it produces the same symptoms you should feel if your gallbladder is not working properly. They found my gallbladder was working at 13%. I have not had any side effects after the surgery, but I used to suffer from constipation (another side effect of a malfunctioning gallbladder) and the surgery has regulated it.

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my friend had the same after her gallbladder surgery. Her doc gave her Colestipol which she said worked really well and stopped the diarrhea she experienced.. She only took 1/2 dose until the diarrhea subsided then she quit taking it. She said she is OK now. I think I am facing a gallbladder surgery myself but all the testing isn't done yet and I am terrified. Set to have a HIDA test on Dec 29.

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@donnacarp

my friend had the same after her gallbladder surgery. Her doc gave her Colestipol which she said worked really well and stopped the diarrhea she experienced.. She only took 1/2 dose until the diarrhea subsided then she quit taking it. She said she is OK now. I think I am facing a gallbladder surgery myself but all the testing isn't done yet and I am terrified. Set to have a HIDA test on Dec 29.

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@genocurt, would you mind sharing your experiences with the HIDA test here?
– Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan: What does it tell you? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hidascan/

@donnacarp, you may also wish to post your questions about the HIDA test to that same discussion. The answers and tips you get on what to expect and how to prepare will not only help you, but also other members who will have the test in the future.

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@genocurt

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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I had 2 TKRs 3 yrs. apart. One perfect; one a bit less than perfect. Then, to my surprise, had gallbladder removal. I am not suggesting they are related. I believe I am doing quite well. But I do have to plan some activities around the situation – especially in the morning. Not sure if i can take an extensive vacation ever again? I am and have always been basically "regular". I eat basically everything. In fact, am about to start Jenny Craig diet. Even though I am very active physically, weight has become a concern (not too bad yet!). I have been on Synthroid for 38 years and Buproprion anxiety med for 20 years. Both can lead to weight gain. I was on Jenny Craig for 2.5 months a year ago and was VERY pleased with the food; lost 9 lbs. I want to go back on it again but am concerned about the reputation of FROZEN/PROCESSED foods. I felt fine and really want to get back on it (fresh veggies, fruit and water are part of the DAILY diet). Any problem with a diet such as JC? I ate healthier when I was on it than I do now and loved portion control. For me, the biggest problem . post gallbladder surgery 1.5 years ago is 'forceful" gas all day long. Sorry to be graphic, but it seems to be odor-LESS – not what I would call typical unpleasant gas from pre-gallbladder surgery. I have ALWAYS had gas issues, but this is different. (Also tried Nutri-System for a few months once, but food not as tasty.)

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@tennisgolf

I had 2 TKRs 3 yrs. apart. One perfect; one a bit less than perfect. Then, to my surprise, had gallbladder removal. I am not suggesting they are related. I believe I am doing quite well. But I do have to plan some activities around the situation – especially in the morning. Not sure if i can take an extensive vacation ever again? I am and have always been basically "regular". I eat basically everything. In fact, am about to start Jenny Craig diet. Even though I am very active physically, weight has become a concern (not too bad yet!). I have been on Synthroid for 38 years and Buproprion anxiety med for 20 years. Both can lead to weight gain. I was on Jenny Craig for 2.5 months a year ago and was VERY pleased with the food; lost 9 lbs. I want to go back on it again but am concerned about the reputation of FROZEN/PROCESSED foods. I felt fine and really want to get back on it (fresh veggies, fruit and water are part of the DAILY diet). Any problem with a diet such as JC? I ate healthier when I was on it than I do now and loved portion control. For me, the biggest problem . post gallbladder surgery 1.5 years ago is 'forceful" gas all day long. Sorry to be graphic, but it seems to be odor-LESS – not what I would call typical unpleasant gas from pre-gallbladder surgery. I have ALWAYS had gas issues, but this is different. (Also tried Nutri-System for a few months once, but food not as tasty.)

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What really seems to help is Metamucil in the am and colestipol 1gm twice a day. The big "D" has calmed down and I have taken to drinking Gatorade to restore electrolytes (I don't know where they went but I found them). The gas thing can be problematic but that has calmed down as well. I don't worry about my weight, its there, and I look at it as an investment. Sorry to be so flip but it seems that this subject will take over your life if you let it. Happy new Year!

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@tennisgolf

I had 2 TKRs 3 yrs. apart. One perfect; one a bit less than perfect. Then, to my surprise, had gallbladder removal. I am not suggesting they are related. I believe I am doing quite well. But I do have to plan some activities around the situation – especially in the morning. Not sure if i can take an extensive vacation ever again? I am and have always been basically "regular". I eat basically everything. In fact, am about to start Jenny Craig diet. Even though I am very active physically, weight has become a concern (not too bad yet!). I have been on Synthroid for 38 years and Buproprion anxiety med for 20 years. Both can lead to weight gain. I was on Jenny Craig for 2.5 months a year ago and was VERY pleased with the food; lost 9 lbs. I want to go back on it again but am concerned about the reputation of FROZEN/PROCESSED foods. I felt fine and really want to get back on it (fresh veggies, fruit and water are part of the DAILY diet). Any problem with a diet such as JC? I ate healthier when I was on it than I do now and loved portion control. For me, the biggest problem . post gallbladder surgery 1.5 years ago is 'forceful" gas all day long. Sorry to be graphic, but it seems to be odor-LESS – not what I would call typical unpleasant gas from pre-gallbladder surgery. I have ALWAYS had gas issues, but this is different. (Also tried Nutri-System for a few months once, but food not as tasty.)

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just to say this…….I haven't had gallbladder surgery however I do have a handle on the dietary stuff. My husband began to have blood sugar issues and he began to watch Michael Gregor MD / nutrition action videos and he also watches 2 guys who are diabetic both of which have kept their blood sugar in check with plant based diets. He already had been subscribing to Dr. Gregors nutritionaction.org newsletter paper edition and I read when it came. We changed our diet to a plant based diet because the data is just so so convincing. He has proof and research that he shows to back his studies. I didn't have trouble changing at all / my husband may have had more trouble than I did. I gave up milk products after figuring out I had a lactose issue when I was churning in my belly all the time. My mother and daughter are both lactose intolerant so it came as no surprise. I gave up lattes and began drinking my coffee black. After about 6-9 mo. I also tried vigorously to give up sugar and I have cut way way down. After the sugar decrease I am not stiff anymore. Anyway, my weight has not been a problem at all since changing my diet. I have never eaten a lot of fat….my fats came from sweets when I ate them / cookies or chocolate or ice cream. Now those things are rare. I have never been really overweight but I struggled to be a weight that I was comfortable in my skin. I began Weight Watchers many years ago when my summer capri pants were too tight……….that was a lot of pounds ago that it is hard to believe. I am a Lifetime member now. I would encourage anyone struggling with dietary stuff to check out Dr Gregor. All his website and you tube stuff is free. Give yourself 5 minutes to find out why he started his work. He provides a real practical dedicated service.

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