Wife's multiple complications

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New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/3/2007 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure where to go with this. It's complicated. So I'll try as best I can to be brief.
    Wife has history of "IBS", severe GERD, and now Autonomic Dysfunction or Dysautonomia after Complete Full Fundoplication 360 Surgery.
    This was complicated during recent years with depression and anxiety over daughter's diagnosis at age 12 with severe systemic lupus.  My wife went slowly downhill from there. The results have been multiple problems after several years of stress. Two specialists evaluating Colonoscopy results suggestive she has Celiac Sprue differ in opinions. One says she does have Celiac, the other says No.
     The fundoplication surgery, was radical total fundoplication to relieve severe stomach acidity with reflux finally causing aspiration pneumonia. Thus the surgeon elected total fundoplication (stomach wrap around surgery to decrease opening of the esophageal sphincter into the stomach, thereby decreasing any more acid reflux into the esophagus.)
    Within 4 weeks of this surgery, she had pain that finally was diagnosed as a very large kidney stone. Thus she underwent full anesthesia again for a stent on a Sunday to relieve the pain. A week later, a 3rd anesthesia for the lithotripsy was done. Each time, the anesthesiologist said she had "precipitous" BP drop with a heart rate drop to 40 bpm. Thus she started the multiple problems with what was later diagnosed to be Neurally Mediated Syncope, or Dysautonomia, with Syncope and Bradycardia on each syncope event.
   3 cardiology work ups had 2 of one opinion possibly, and a 3rd electrophysiology cardiologist opinion after tilt table study of NO pacemaker as recommended at first by the other cardiologists. So who do we believe??
    The other problem is, while GERD seems much relieved, my wife has constant incontinence, a dropped or prolapsed bladder, and a rectocele that cannot be corrected because of the NMS, or neurally medicated syncope.  Putting her under again is potentially dangerous with this syncope problem.  SOOOOO, she is now home after all this over the past 7 months, and lethargic, but no more syncope at this point. The other point is, this previously energetic woman has to live a sedentary life style. She cannot do much. It was apparent, according to the last cardiologist, that she cannot have any more surgery until this current Autonomic problem is or is not resolved. There seems to be no treatment other than already- tried Florinef, switch from Effexor and Remeron briefly when Prozac seemed to be of no benefit. The side effects were so negative with all these meds, that my wife had to get off of them. She was put back on Prozac.
    NOW, my question? Anybody have such problems? Also her gall bladder was removed 2-3 years ago. It is very likely that she has decreased absorption due to decreased stomach volume. Her IBS is worse than ever, with incontinence due to prolapsed bladder, and also the constant problems of some diarrhea plus oozing fecal stickiness with no complete stool formation. Thus she is miserable. The last gastroentoerologist felt Questran could be of help, but she cannot tolerant this grainy med as a powder and liquid form.
   So, is Questran or possibly a capsule of similar bile effect called Cholesevelam going to be of any help in anybody's opinion? Any thoughts on vagal nerve damage from the radical stomach surgery to correct the GERD damage? I'm lost. Goliad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 5/3/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Goliad...

Wow, I'm so sorry that your wife is going through so much. I can only imagine having to deal with all of that. It sounds like you are very supportive of her which is wonderful to hear. We do have a few members on here that have had gallbladders removed and is either on or was on Questran. They will be much more helpful in this area than I am. Hopefully they can shed a little light for you. Again I am so sorry that your wife's condition has deteriorated and I hope that relief can come to her soon. Please know that you are both in my thoughts.

Take Care
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 5/3/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a friend who has dysautonomia, and GERD, and all sorts of GI problems, and an assortment of other symptoms (cardiac dysrhythmias, severe joint pain, severe fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, etc.), who was just diagnosed with lyme disease. I don't know about the Questran - she doesn't take that - but i do somewhat understand the frustration of seeing a once-vivacious, active person become incapacitated. i know that my friend takes a good number of herbal supplements, along with quite a few prescription medications - does your wife take anything "natural?"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/3/2007 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Get Welchol instead of Questran. They are in the same family, they both absorb excess bile (usually the cause of D in people without gall bladders), but the Welchol is in a pill. Also, a lot of people on Questran complain of gas cramps and/or excess gas, which Welchol has never given me, nor have I known anyone to complain of the same. I've been on it 3 years now and I can definitely say that it does help with the bile diarrhea. I also take a caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D supplement every day as calcium absorbs excess water in the bowels AND it seems to soothe the intestinal tract when it gets irritated for some reason. I find that it helps me get over a bad spell more quickly; I think it's because excess bile running through my intestines irritates them and the calcium helps repair that.

I can't help with the rest, except to say that auto-immune diseases run in familes, so if your daughter has lupus, it's like that your wife has an autoimmune disease of some sort as well: fibromyalgia, Crohn's, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Unfortunately, they can all cause overlapping symptoms (fibro can cause bad bowel problems, it can also hurt like arthritis, etc.), so it can be hard to figure out exactly what you have.

Oh, and sometimes having your gall bladder removed can cause bad acid reflux. My GI's NP put it this way: sometimes the bile goes up, sometimes it goes down. I have D, while my mother has acid relfux. I don't know if the Questran/Welchol will absorb extra bile in the stomach and help with that problem, but it won't hurt to try it.

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/3/2007 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for posting. I appreciate it very much. Yes, I think Welchol may be worth a try. An antibiotic type med that is used for Travelers Diarrhea, and other intestinal problems we are trying now, but she has some nausea with it. It's called rifaximin. The dosage varies from 200 mg 3X per day for 3 days, or larger doses for whatever diagnosis applies, such as diverticulitis, etc. The doctor called in a 3-day try out, but said it may not be the answer. Well, we had to try something. Thanks for the info. I've heard some of this, and maybe bile is a problem since she did have her gall bladder removed, and the fairtly intense surgery of total fundoplication. Then came the kindney stone, etc. We'll see if any of this helps. Thanks again, Goliad
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