Help - IBS or Lack of Gallbladder

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TDMK
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/5/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here but am hoping I can get some info/opinions/help. I had my gallbladder removed in 2003. Since having it removed I have had on and off Diarrhea but nothing that caused me any major problems or concerns. about 4 weeks ago I started getting severe stomach pains, loud bowel sounds, and yellow loose diarrhea.
 
I had a colonoscopy last week which came back completely normal so my GI said oh you have IBS and gave me Bentyl and told me to take Fibercon and Immodium as needed and follow a strict IBS diet and sent me on my way.
 
I have been following a very strict IBS diet since almost week one per my GP's instructions and the sytems haven't changed at all. Still getting the yellow D and pains. The bently doesn't seem to be doing anything and obviously the fibercon and immodium isn't helping because I am still getting the D.
 
Any help appreciated.
 
Thanks

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/5/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Go back to your doctor and ask for Welchol. It's what I'm on (and my MIL and a number of people on this board). It is a cholesterol medicine, but it has the interesting side effect of binding up bile in the inestinal tract.

Guess what all that yellow diarrhea consists of???

Anti-spasmodics have never done anything for me either, because the D is not caused by spasms pushing your food through too fast. It's caused by the bile not being timed to your food deposits anymore, so it's floating around in your intestinal tract with nothing to break down--so it comes out.

Some people get okay results with fiber, but for me it makes me worse! Makes the D worse AND makes my C worse if I have that for some reason. No fake fiber for me; only what comes in plants.

You can also try Caltrate 600 w/ Vitamin D. That's OTC. Some people on here get enough relief with it, that's all they need, but I actually take it and the Welchol both. I recommend that you try it and see if it helps enough. At the very least, calcium is good for your intestines, which is really good when you have excess bile, because that's pure acid floating around in there. Calcium was the cure to some gut pains I was having several years back.
 
Oh, and while I don't have to be as strict with my diet as many on here, I do have a list of no-no foods.  Namely caffeine, fruit juices, raw apples and fried fast food.  Milk seems to be getting there as well, although ice cream and yogurt are still okay (figure that one out). 

lnape
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 5/5/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Bile Salts Diarrhea is most likely your problem.

This is what has helped me for more than 9 years with almost daily attacks of urgent diarrhea after having my Gall Bladder removed. Calcium is known to be constipating so if you are that IBS type do not take it. All calcium is not the same. Here is the what and how to take the calcium information if you suffer from diarrhea.

Calcium is an OTC supplement we all do not usually get enough of. No Rx is needed to purchase this.

When you take calcium about 40% of the dose gets to the bones the rest is eliminated in our waste. The calcium goes to the intestines and soaks up excess fluids and binds them together and they are gotten rid of in our waste.

This is a process that can be continued by taking the calcium carbonate on a daily basis thus giving a more formed BM.

There is calcium carbonate which helps us with diarrhea and there is calcium citrate which is more easily absorbed by the body and gets to the bones but is not as helpful in controlling diarrhea.

A lot of the calcium supplements contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Magnesium is not helpful for us with diarrhea only causing more in most cases. So, do not purchase this combination. It will only make things worse. Also if you are taking a multi vitamin with magnesium this may be a source of some of the problem if you are having diarrhea. Also for me vitamin C and E seemed to cause me stomach upset.

The dose to take is different for everyone. I must take 3 a day one at each meal and it does not make a difference if I take it before during or after just take it regularly. Taking them at least 4 or 5 hours apart is also necessary so the calcium has time to go through the system and soak up excess bile and water. Sometimes, because of the long number of hours between dinner and breakfast it may be necessary to adjust your timing to taking one at bedtime with a small snack to get better results if you are a person who usually suffers from diarrhea in the mornings.

The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with Vitamin D and Minerals in the purple and white box. This information is from the many users that have sent me emails and of the posters on the web site. I hope this will help anyone wishing to try it and I am always here to answer any questions for you. I have a lot of feed back form many users.

You must also have some testing done to be sure you are not dealing with anything more serious. This is most important.

There are other things to consider. If you take any other meds check the side effects and also check with the Doctor or Pharmacist to see if taking calcium will interfere with your other medications and how you might take them. I know if you take thyroid meds it is important not to take the calcium at the same time but maybe 4 hours apart. The calcium will soak up the thyroid medication and you will not be getting the benefit from it. You should also look at the side effects of any other meds you may be on this can contribute to the success or failure of using calcium to help to control your diarrhea. You may also consider if you are constipated and taking calcium this may be the reason for your constipation. You can most likely switch to another form of calcium to relieve this also.

The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium, you may have some gas or indigestion but this usually goes away soon after taking a regular dose for a few days as your body adjusts to the added calcium.

Starting with 1/2 tablet doses with each meal will lessen this problem and it may be enough to control the diarrhea attacks without making you constipated.

Constipation can be a problem so be careful not to take too much. It is safe for most of us to take 1800 mg a day as long as your body processes calcium correctly and you do not have some underlying problem. Check with your Doctor.

I had my gall bladder removed in 1976 and from that time on I had suffered urgent attacks of diarrhea. Went through a lot of test but nothing else could be found. I took many of the meds for bowel spasms and cramps over the years but nothing ever seemed to help. I started to take a calcium supplement to help prevent bone loss in later years and from the first day I felt relief. I was pretty much a prisoner to the bathroom or had to go without eating to be able to leave the house.

I must take 1 tablet with each meal and the diarrhea does not come back if I miss taking it I get diarrhea. It is a trial and error situation to find the right amount that may help you.

The way it works is the calcium carbonate it a binder and when you take it only about 40% of the calcium gets to the bones and the rest is gotten rid of in our waste. During that process it gets to the intestines and soaks up excess bile and water and helps give a more solid BM. Now that you have no gall bladder the bile fluid goes directly into the intestines and causes irritation and diarrhea. The calcium carbonate soaks this up and no more diarrhea. It works great for a lot of us and you just have to take the calcium regularly and do not miss.

I started with Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals and it does seem to make a difference in the ingredients of calcium... This one seems to do the best job for most. You can buy other store brands of calcium with the same ingredients that work just as well but they need to have the same ingredients. I get Member's Mark Brand from Sam's Club you get 300 tablets for 8.99. Let me know if you need more help. You won't be sorry if you try it.

I suggest starting with 1/2 tablet with each meal at first this may be enough to control the diarrhea if not in a few days up the dose to 1 tablet with each meal or any combination there of. The side effect is constipation so if you feel it coming on just cut the dose. It is important to use a calcium that is as much alike as the Caltrate brand from the feedback I have gotten.

Let me list the ingredients:

Vitamin D 400 IU (The sunshine vitamin needed to help the body absorb calcium)

Calcium 500 or 600 MG (This should be calcium carbonate form) (Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium is vital to muscle and nerve function, blood clotting and metabolism.)

Magnesium 50 MG (No more than this amount because magnesium will cause you to have diarrhea but because calcium is constipating the magnesium helps to counter act that effect) (Magnesium is essential to build bones and is needed for muscle function, energy metabolism, trans-mission of nerve impulses and to make genetic material and protein.)

Zinc 7.5 MG (Zinc is necessary for some metabolic processes, normal growth and sexual development, and proper immune system functions.)

Copper 1 MG (Copper promotes iron absorption and is essential to red blood cells, connective tissue, fibers and skin pigmentation.)

Manganese 1.8 MG (Maganese plays an important role in metabolism and is also needed to build bones and tendons.)

Boron 250 MCG. (Improves calcium and magnesium retention. Similar improvements can also be seen in Vitamin D deficient post-menopausal females.)

There are other brands with the same ingredients so get something as close as you can. Then start with 1/2 tablet with each meal and in a few days if this is not enough to control your diarrhea then up the dose to 1 tablet with each meal. If you feel you are becoming constipated then cut back on the dose. You may have to stop the calcium completely then start back after you have a BM at a lower dose.

It has been working since the first day I started taking it July 1998 and as long as I take 3 a day (this is the amount I must take it may be different for you) I remain diarrhea free. No cramps, bloating or diarrhea.
The dose you take with each meal is not the dose that is helping you at that meal it is the prior ones that have time to works their way through you system to soak up excess bile and water in the intestines.

It also works for those of you who still have the gall bladder.

Take Care,

Linda

LNAPENTS@netscape.net
Suffered Urgent Diarrhea Attacks After Having Gall Bladder Removed in 1976. This is now controlled by taking Calcium Carbonate.


TDMK
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/15/2008 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
SUCCESS !!!!!!!
 
I went to the GI last week and she agreed to let me try meds to see if it really is from not having a GB. She prescribed Colestid Pills, once a day and twice a day if after a week they aren't working. Well I started taking them on May 9th and had one bad bout of diarrhea on the 10th and nothing since. I have had one regular formed BM each morning.
 
So far so good, I hope it stays like this. Thank you for the suggestions.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/15/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so glad you found something that helped! I still have to be a bit careful about what I eat--no caffeine or fruit juices and fried foods only on very rare occasions--but compared to most everyone else on here, I'm practically normal--thanks to my medicine!

KornRoachChick
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/16/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I started taking the Caltrate a couple months ago, along with Welchol (I've been on welchol for over 2 years). I'm still not where I want to be digestion wise. I still have bad days. And I still go just as often. It has helped considerably with the D, though. But after you take the caltrate you might want to drink a glass of water about 45 minutes after you take it just to flush out the kidneys. Too much calcium can cause kidney stones.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/16/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Korn, you may have to modify your diet, as I did. Like I said, there are still a few things I can't eat, even with the Welchol and the calcium both. Btw, how much Welchol are you on? My doctor told me to take as many as I needed to get the D to stop. Right now that's two pills, although I think I may have to downgrade to 1 pill; I'm starting to get constipated a bit most mornings. I think my MIL does three pills. Some people on here have done 6 a day.

KornRoachChick
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/20/2008 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I take one at breakfast, one at lunch, and two at dinner. And I've changed my diet... But there are still things I can't have. I have a "close to severe" case of hypoglycemia now. And what I have to eat for one, I can't eat for the other... It's very difficult.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/21/2008 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, I think it's hardest on diabetics to have IBS because starch is such a staple around here--it's mild enough to eat.

KornRoachChick
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/28/2008 6:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, tell me about it. I'm very at risk of type 2 right now. I have to be extremely careful. I'll soon be planning my wedding... And I'm so afraid that I'll be having a bad digestion day on my wedding day. We've already decided to take a motorhome around the states for our honeymoon... That way I'd have a bathroom with me at all times.... *sigh*... When did you guys start having problems? I started when I was 19. I am now 22.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/28/2008 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I was 18 when my gall bladder started to go bad. Didn't get it out until I was 23. That was 5 years and a bit ago. So 10 years all told of problems.

I found out talking to my mother that not only did she have a dysfunctional gall bladder (same thing I had), but her grandfather had the same thing, and either his sister or one of his daughters actually died from gall bladder cancer (very, very rare). My mother wonders if she didn't have a dysfunctional gall bladder for so long that it eventually mutated into cancer. Dysfunctional gall bladders are marked by inflammation; imagine having something inflamed most of the time for years. I can see how that might lead to development of cancerous cells.

KornRoachChick
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/29/2008 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow. That's too bad. I haven't heard of really anyone in my family having their gall bladder removed... Other than one of my Aunt's on my Mother's side.

TDMK
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/8/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I think I posted way to soon to say the least. After a week of success with the Colestid I went right back into my old ways.

For the past two months I have eaten the following things and only these things. Plain rice, plain chicken, plain pasta, sourdough, french bread. Only water, no juice or no soda. Eating strictly IBS diet foods in hopes to calm my system down with no success at all.

I am taking 2 probiotics a day, 2 fibercon twice a day, a multi-vitamin, and now 3 Librax a day.

I am Constipated for 2-4 days then on the 3 or 4th day I get hit big time with a bad bout of diarrhea/loose stools. I spent several hours in the bathroom. After this I don't go again for 2-4 days and the cycle keeps on going.

HELP !!!! What is this? I have had a colonscopy and every blood and urine test imaginable and everything comes back normal with the exception of there being small amounts of white bloods cells in my stool sample. I am scheduled for a ct-scan of my stomach and small intestine next friday but have no idea what they would be looking for or what it could be.

7Lil
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/8/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you had a thorough blood work up? Sometimes there are vitamins and minerals in a multi-vitamin that you don't need, and that excess can be making you feel ill. For example, I had high iron levels but low folic acid and B12. Had I taken a multi-vitamin, the iron in it would have put my tummy in a frenzy. So instead, my doc just prescribed what I was lacking.
You might want to talk to your doc about your vitamin.
And please, keep us posted on your ct-scans. Good luck!
Co-Moderator IBS Forum
 
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Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/9/2008 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm weird in that fiber supplements make whatever I have worse--make D worse and make C worse. Have you ever tried going off the fiber to see if you regulate a bit better? You may also need to adjust your Colestid. Take less when you start getting constipated and more when the D comes back. I have to adjust my Welchol like that sometimes (although, thankfully, I'm much more consistent).
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