Posted 10/13/2005 8:05 AM (GMT -8)
When I first started having my gall bladder attacks, I got put off food and went from a hefty-sized 14 to a size 10... and I looked horrible. My collar bone jutted out and I looked pale and sickly; I had to get a smaller bra. Everyone told me I looked so much better since I had lost the weight, but I thought I looked horrible. I certainly felt horrible. I gradually gained it all back over the next couple of years as I learned to overeat when I was feeling good to compensate for not eating when I felt bad. After I got my gall bladder out and went on Welchol for the bile problem, I went on a diet and lost weight and went back down to a 10-12 again. This time around I look so much better. I'm not boney in places where I ought not be boney and my color is normal.
Losing weight does not equal being healthier/ feeling better. It's all in the manner in which you lose it. If you lost it quickly and because you're sick, you won't--in my opinion--reap any benefits from it, because you tend to lose fat in places you don't want to lose it (breasts) and/or lose muscle mass instead. Losing weight in a controlled and deliberate method makes you lose fat in all the right places.
If you're having too much bile (yellow stools, acid reflux), get your Dr. to try you on Welchol. Some people here on the board are on Questran (I think it's called) and it's supposed to do the same thing. Welchol works for me and my mother-in-law. You can take it daily if you need it every day, and you can take as many pills as you need (within reason, I'm sure) to control the bile. You can also take it before you eat something that you know will mess you up--like pizza--to prevent problems later on. You can also take it when you have an attack to stop the bile. It works better than Pepto Bismol and, for me at any rate, is less constipating than Immodium.
A low-fat diet also helps lower your bile produciton and thus your bile problems. I am learning from experience, however, that a low-fat diet will leave you hungry all of the time. I ended up upping my fat and upping my medicine to compensate. But until you get on some medicine and get yourself straightened out, try lowering your fat. Also, I have found that caffeine is a trigger food for me. No more cokes, no coffee (not that I drank it at any rate), not more than a glass of black tea. Green tea, though, I can drink by the pitcher because the caffeine content in it is very low. Also, try calcium supplements. I take 2-3 of those a day in addition to my prescription medicine. Calcium not only absorbs excess water, but it's supposed to help soothe the intestinal lining when it's inflamed due to reactions to certain foods or too much bile. Back when I was on a very strict low-fat diet, though, I didn't need to take any medicine unless I was going to eat a pizza or holiday meal that would upset me.
You definitely need to ask about some anti-anxiety medicines to help calm you down too. If you look back at some posts here, there are some people who take a certain medicine that has the added benefit of helping IBS problems in some people. Drs are starting to prescribe it for IBS, regardless of anxiety levels. For that matter, Welchol is a cholesterol pill that they accidently discovered helps people with too much bile in the intestines. I don't have anxiety attacks as severe as yours, but when I get the runs, all I want to do is go home. Namely because I'm embarrassed (always have been) about having a bm in a public place. If the bathroom is a single, I'm okay, but otherwise the bathroom has to be empty before I'll go. I just can't stand the thought of someone hearing! Isn't that weird, considering I don't care who hears me pee? Our culture is odd about that--it's okay to need to pee, but farting and pooping are taboo--whether it's doing them in public or talking about them. I wish we'd get over that, especially since G.I.s will tell you that holding in gas is bad even for healthy people. For people like us, it's really, really bad.