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Date Joined Apr 2006
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   Posted 4/18/2006 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I was reading a book by Heather Van Vorous page 3....if your IBS symptoms are diarrhea-predominant and began after gallbladder removal you may be suffering from malabsorption of bile acids....DOES ANYBODY KNOW ANYTHING about THIS.THANKS JEFF

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   Posted 4/18/2006 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think it's rightly a malabsorption problem, since your intestines are the same as they ever was. Really it's a problem with your bile duct leaking bile all day long, whereas when you had a gall bladder it only released bile when there was food for it to mix with and break down. When you leak bile when there is no food there to absorb it, and it runs through your intestines and pools up. Eating gets your digestive tract cranked up and it will suddenly say, oh look, there's a back up of stuff in here, we need to get it out. And that's when you go poop bile diarrhea even before you've finished a meal. Questran and Welchol and even calcium, to some degree, work by absorbing that extra bile that just hangs out in your intestines.

By all rights you and I and people like us don't have IBS: we have post-cholecystectomy syndrome. That's the proper term for having diarrhea and even acid-reflux problems after having your gall bladder removed. Some people may have constipation instead, and that's generally caused by not enough bile coming out and the food not getting digested enough to move through the bowels correctly. People with that problem can take bile salts or try eating more fat to stimulate bile produciton in the liver.

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   Posted 4/18/2006 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   

A couple of articles on how the body functions after gall bladder removal. The second confirms what my doctor told me, which is that bile drips out of the bile duct continuously. It also says that one theory for why people get diarrhea is from excess bile in the intestines caused by the drip.

But, there are other theories that the bile can intefere with water absorbtion and that's what causes the diarrhea, or that you don't break down your fat properly and it causes excess water in the intestines and that causes diarrhea. Sometimes I have non-bile diarrhea, but when I'm really tore-up, I'm pooping nothing but flaming-hot yellow bile. So it's quite possible that different people have different causes for their diarrhea, and even that they can switch between causes. But it's like I say, in the end, everything causes diarrhea. :-(
Keri - I made your links linkable.  :-)

Post Edited By Moderator (7Lil) : 4/18/2006 1:21:42 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/18/2006 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Is it possible that the spinchter of oddi is what lets bile in and out of the gall bladder itself and is removed when the gall bladder is?  I saw it mentioned on one website, but they didn't go into detail as to where it was and what exactly it did.   

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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 4/24/2006 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keriamon .... I was glad to hear (for me and not you) that you have flaming hot D..... and in my case, when things get really irritated, I inflame the skin (tissue) around the anus, that on occassion bleeds a bit when I wipe.

I was worried about this, but the more I read and hear from other people, the burning diarreha can be a normal reaction to the bile.

Funny how each of us react differently. My sister in law had her gall baldder out, and she never has any problems and she can eat anything. Me on the other had, if I eat something too fatty, man oh man do I burn afterwards.

I BBQ a couple of burgers over the weekend, they were very tasty and very juicy - I had two patties, and by Sunday, I was hurting.....yet other times I can get away with it - seems to depend on the day I guess....

Guess I have a question - do you ever get any bleeding (looks deluted on the paper)?

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   Posted 4/24/2006 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't ever had any bleeding after bile diarrhea, that I can remember, but I have after being constipated. I know that I have some small internal hemmroids, so it's not a big deal. But bile is such a strong acid that I wouldn't be surprised if it could make your hemmroids bleed. It may can cause ulcers from wearing down the lining in your intestines, but that would probably more than a little wipe of blood on the toliet paper. I think if you only get a little smear of blood when you wipe occassionally, then you probably have just aggrevated your hemmroids. If you had a colonoscopy, your doctor will know if you have them in there or not. I think most people, actually, do have them. Seems that way, at any rate.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 4/24/2006 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the post

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/25/2006 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been living with post gall-bladder D for 20 years. I take Questran for it, sometimes it
works and other times it does not. You get used to it and it becomes second nature for you
that the first thing you do when you walk into a restaurant is make sure you know
where the restrooms are. And, if it's a day when the Questan works and you can enjoy a
meal without running to the bathroom you say, " Thank You Lord" for allowing me to enjoy
this meal otherwise, you know in which direction you need to run when that urge strikes!

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 4/26/2006 7:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Janet, you may want to consider getting the Welchol. I really don't have problems like that with it. I do avoid apples and caffeine which can bother me even when I'm on it, and if I get a stomach bug, it does seem to take me longer than most people to shake it off, but other than that I don't avoid foods or find that I have to run to the bathroom suddenly. I eat pizzas and good greazy Mexican fajitas with full fat sour cream and stuff myself on the Chinese buffet and I am just peachy. If I ever get to feeling like my intestines are upset, I pop another Welchol and I'm good to go. But right now I just take one a day plus one calcium pill a day. In fact, I have actually recovered from a stomach bug better than my fiance--I think because of the calcium. He kept having bouts of diarrhea here and there, so I got him some Digestive Advantage to take and have made him take some calcium as well to get that cleared up. And he's the one with the good digestive tract (he ate the spicy food in India without a problem!).

But really, you should look into the Welchol; I have been very pleased with the results from it. I told my mother-in-law about it and now she's on it too. She used to go all day without eating when she had a lecture to give in the afternoon because as soon as she ate, she was in and out of the bathroom all day long, but now she takes two or three a day and she never has to skip meals and can travel and do her lectures without a problem. A couple of ladies on here switched off the Questran because it was causing them excess gas and they said they liked the results of the Welchol better. For starters it didn't give them gas.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/24/2007 12:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon thanks for all your posts on this thread. I still have my gal bladder and am trying to understand IBS and GERD and a sludgy gal bladder and how to control them. I see you made this post a yr. ago, so I'm not sure if you will see my post or not, but if you do would you post where I can learn more about malabsorption of bile? It's looking like that may be the source of my IBS, GERD and a sludgy gal bladder. If it is and if I can find out what to do to control it or stop it entirely that would be just wonderful, especially after 7 years of being homebound and diarrhea 3-4 times a day for 8 years now. I am so glad I found this web site! I only wish I'd found it years ago! Thanks

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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 6/24/2007 12:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Keri is the Gallbladder Queen around here.  She'll have lots of good advice for you.  So you still have your gallbladder?  If you do, and it's sludgy, that could be causing some of your issues!

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 6/25/2007 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Welchol is the drug of choice for absorbing bile. It works with or without a gall bladder, although if you are pooping sludgy, gritty or sandy-looking material, I don't know how much it can help. It won't help pain or nausea or anything else related to a bad gall bladder, so if you're having those things, you will need to have it taken out to relieve them. Also, I don't think Welchol works anywhere but in the intestines, so it won't help when you have bile refluxing up into your stomach.

Welchol is a prescription drug, which you can only get through a GI doctor (because they're the only ones that know about it), but, in the meantime, start taking two Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D pills a day. Some people can get by on just those alone, and, of course, they're OTC.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 6/28/2007 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering if my gallbladder is mess up.  I was diagnosed with IBS back in April.  He gave me bentyl and some anitdepressent which I never took.  Now when I poop or even diareaha its like a golden yellow or a orange tint.  I went to Florida a couple of weeks ago on vacation and didn't have one problem except for a little burning in my left back side.  It seems like gas rolls around in there.  My bowel movements were fine.  Well. since I've gotten back I have had some diareaha and its still a bright yellow orange tint.  Does that sound like gallbladder?

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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 6/28/2007 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, although there is always the likelihood that you're not absorbing your bile for some other reason and it's coming out in your stools.  But the on-again, off-again thing with D is not unheard of with bad GBs--I had that a lot, actually--but, of course, even IBS can sometimes do that.  You need to ask your doctor to perform a hida scan on you when you're in the middle of one of those yellow-D spells to see. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 7/3/2007 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   

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,


Liz V.
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/5/2010 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon said...
Welchol is the drug of choice for absorbing bile. It works with or without a gall bladder, although if you are pooping sludgy, gritty or sandy-looking material, I don't know how much it can help. It won't help pain or nausea or anything else related to a bad gall bladder, so if you're having those things, you will need to have it taken out to relieve them. Also, I don't think Welchol works anywhere but in the intestines, so it won't help when you have bile refluxing up into your stomach.

Welchol is a prescription drug, which you can only get through a GI doctor (because they're the only ones that know about it), but, in the meantime, start taking two Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D pills a day. Some people can get by on just those alone, and, of course, they're OTC.
I know this is a very old post. I'm hoping for some help. I might have posted somewhere else about this but I can't remember. I have bile reflux due to my gallbladder being removed. I have tried everything. I have Welchol and tried probably 2 pills months ago and then stopped for whatever reason. I sometimes get the bile diarrhea but not very often. I was thinking of trying these again to see if it will help at all. My throat, mouth, stomach, intestines always feel like they are on fire. PPI's make things worse.
Any other suggestions? I'm losing wieght (already thin) due to this and super depressed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 1293
   Posted 7/5/2010 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Liz, when was the last time you saw a doctor?

also what about questran?

This is kind of out of the ibs issues, as this is a different problem then IBS.
Forum Moderator
I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/30/2010 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
OMG! I am SO glad to have found this! I am a 53 YO Woman. I have been having stomache troubles off and on for years.Diarrhea mostly. Yellow and nasty like described. Sometimes I just wanted to be able to sleep at night without trouble. I suspected a GB problem. The day before Christmas eliminated all my doubts. I felt like somebody had punched me HARD under my right ribs. Intractable vomiting..shudder..I have had high power Chemo and not been so sick! They got things under control (more or less) and sent me home on the 24th. On the 25th things returned with a vengence. BACK to the ER via Ambulance. IV Dilaudid and Zofran..Abdominal CT..drinking contrast for it was HORRIBLE. They had to really medicate me to get it in me.I spent Christmas in the Hosp. praying for death.
I am waiting to hear about the CT. I am SURE it was my GB, not a GI virus. Normal blood work, no fever but chills that shook me. I am, after reading this thinking of asking for a HIDA scan SOON.
I have no appetite, and am kind of afraid to eat. I am starting with Pudding, Ice cream. Stuff with some calories easy to digest.I have lost 10 pounds since my attack.
What do you voices of experience think should be my next path? I sure need to get some calories in me. I am getting weak.

artist guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 12/31/2010 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   

my husband is artist guy and i am on to road to having a pesky gallbladder out due to 8 plus years of off and on severe pain that has been called sludge. I stop eating for several days and soon it passes. I recently over the holidays have been sick with it. and now on the way for another ultra sound and to see a surgen. I am depressed, scared of the procedure and worried about a life of bile problems after. I 'm not sure what else to post. I would really appericate any input............artist guys wife


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