Post cholecystectomy syndrome & pregnancy / breastfeeding

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 10/13/2010 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Questions: Has anyone out there had Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome & breastfed or been through a pregnancy with PCS? Any advice on a plan of action based on my story?

This is my first post online ever. I am a 35 year old mom with two young children. I am desperate for help, here's my story...I was completely healthy until I had my gall bladder was removed laporscopically shortly after my daughter was born. Ever since then I have had daily diarrhea. A year after the surgery I developed upper abdomen pain radiating into my back at times. I have now lost 60 pounds over this summer as most foods led to worse symptoms but have had no loss of appetite. I am nursing my toddler daughter who has a dairy allergy. I have seen two gastroenterologists and both say I have PCS post chole. syndrome which I agree with. They also say I have GERD, I don't agree with this. I have had an EGD, only a small hiatal hernia has been shown probably acquired during my pregnancies according to my doctor. My CBC is normal. I have tried Prilosec with limited short term success ultimately ended up with head aches daily and needed to stop this. I also was prescribed Questran, but never took it because my OB/gyn said no to it case of pregnancy. I was then prescribed Welchol, had lots of gas with it and only took one pill a day because I am continuing to nurse my daughter. I have also tried Calcium Caltrate w/ D before bed as I have mostly morning diarrhea and this has only helped a bit. I am now trying Align (a probiotic) too, still waiting to see if this will help or not. I am not a fan of medicines in general so I am very much interested in natural ways to help with my symptoms but also desperate enough to have a medicine trial if it is a safe rating for breastfeeding / pregnancy.

I would love to have more children biologically but don't feel like that may be a possibility with daily diarrhea and malabsorption of fat soluable vitamins. I will see my OB/gyn in January 2010 to see what she says. First, wanted to know if anyone has been through a pregnancy with PCS and how it went.

Thank you in advance for any replies!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/6/2011 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   

I have have PCS and and currently trying to get pregnant. My main concerns have surrounded that I have also developed diverticulosis and don't want it to get any worse which could lead to the removal or resection of my large intestine. Coincidentally, the one thing that has worked for my diverticulosis has really eased my PCS symptoms (diarrhea and bowel movements occurring 5+ times a day). I am currently taking 2-3 times the normal amount of metamucil and for the first time in 10 years I am having normal bowel movements. Instead of one teaspoon and a glass of water three times a day, I have experimented with 2-3 teaspoons in a glass of water twice a day. I don't know if this would help you, but as someone with a similarly mysterious bowel disease, I thought I would reach out. Please let me know if you have made any progress or had any success.

All the best, Charlotte

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/6/2011 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Charlotte,

It's been quite a while since I've been on this forum. Good to hear of someone else going through a similar circumstance, makes me feel like I am not alone in this matter. Thanks for your reply! Some things have changed since this original post.

Things have improved. My weight has been stable, I have lost 65 pounds total. I realize now I really do have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and I think I have IBS that developed after my gall bladder was removed and the IBS got worse in stages. Though this is only my hypothesis. I had nothing but diarrhea since my surgery and then a year later things got worse with pain, then months later I had painful gas on top of it all...and one day after about one and a half years of diarrhea I had a real formed BM. I wondered "how is this possible?"

I found through trial and error certain things to be helpful:

* Eating a low fat diet.
* Eating small amounts often through out the day. My stomach is most sensitive if it's empty or overly full.
* No caffeine (ugh!), no juice.
* Drinking most of my water intake in between my meals.
* Eating "pre-digested" types of fruits I tolerated better: applesauce, canned peaches, canned pears, bananas.

Then I bought the "Eating for IBS" cookbook by Heather Van Vorous. This author has had IBS for much of her life and while I personally think there is some variation to what people can tolerate eating I found some of the above listed items to be listed in her book and also learned from her more pointers and have applied them and have actually found I can have normal BM if I stay disciplined with it:

* No dairy even if you are not lactose tolerant. This was the toughest part for me, I live in Wisconsin! I have now use almond milk on my rice Chex as an example.
* No red meat, I find I can have small portions of hamburger, low fat and be fine.
* No artificial sweeteners.
* Chew your food very well to help with the digestion. I put chicken in the crock pot to make sure it is very tender as an example to help with making things easier to digest.
* She says cut out wheat but I limit it rather than eliminate it.
* This is a biggie...sounds odd but I've found it has really helped a lot personally...eating soluable fiber foods mostly, limit insoluble fiber as it is more difficult to digest for those that have digestive disorders. I have old fashioned oatmeal everyday which has helped tremendously. I always start with my bread, or rice, or whatever then eat my low fat protein, eat my fruit or veggie last. I've found that the skin of a fruit is mostly where the insoluable fiber is and so the ripe inside is better tolerated if it's a type that has mostly soluable fiber.
* Pepperment Tea & Chamomile Tea are both supposed to be helpful to relax the bowels. Unfortunately, I can't do the peppermint tea on account of my GERD and I don't care for the taste of the chamomile tea.

So Metamucil is insoluable fiber. That's probably why it's helping you. Though you don't have IBS, I think relaxing the bowels is key for preventing diarrhea even in other digestive disorders. There has been research on IBS and found that insoluable fiber specifically psyllium is very helpful. I haven't tried a fiber supplement as of yet but I have purchased one that is pure psyllium without all the additives that states it's safe for pregnancy.

We have are not trying for a pregnancy but not preventing one either. It's been 2 months and so far no pregnancy. I am still breastfeeding and managing to keep off daily meds.

Sorry this is so long winded! Hope some of this information was helpful. Good luck, keep me posted if you get pregnant! :)

God bless.
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