Gallbladder removal

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2009
Gallbladder removal
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 3:08am
My husband had his gallbladder removed 6/6/06 (should've known it was a bad day) and ever since he's had diarrhea. No matter what he eats, 20 minutes after a meal he's got to go. There has only been a handful of times in three years where it was normal. He's been to the doctor and numerous doctors about this, but all they do is a smear and take a sample and then that's about it. It's worrying me because it's been this long. He's even pooped out a whole noodle and a pill! He's always tired now, can't loose weight and I'm thinking that because his body isn't getting the nutrition it needs (because it's in and out) that his body is suffering. He also gets hemmroids (sorry about spelling) very easily. Has anybody else had this problem after the surgery or what should we ask the doctor next time. Thanks
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-20-2009
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 9:31am

I had my gallbladder removed but this was part of a much larger surgery, a multivisceral transplant. However, I can relate to having problems with diarrhea as this was one of my greatest problems posttransplant, in my case probably due to nerves that were cut and could not be reconnected due to its increasing the risk of infection. Has he discussed with his doctor and tried any medications to try and help him with his diarrhea? I was initially put on Lomotil, Immodium, and tincture of opium to help although I did not see a real difference until I tried once monthly injection of Sandostatin that slows down the intestines so that it is likely that more is absorbed. It was what helped me to have my closest to normal bowel movement since the surgery. It eventually became to strong for me but helped a great deal while it lasted. I can understand though if you would like to try other things first before trying medications. Here are a few things that I did outside of medication to help prevent the diarrhea. I tried to make sure to increase my uptake of soluble fiber which is the best type of fiber for those suffering from diarrhea whereas insoluble fiber is more likely to cause one to have diarrhea. Soluble fiber can be found in oatmeal, in the pectin of apples (although one might one to avoid eating the peels, and in the powder of Benefiber which I often add to my foods (these are just a few examples). Insoluble fiber is often in high number in foods such as raisin bran cereal or granola cereal for example. I also found that it helped if I separated the time between when I drank my fluids and when I ate my solids as the fluids would often make the solids come out too swiftly if taken in together. I also have to be careful to avoid fat or greasy foods. I also know that foods that are either too cold or too hot can upset the bowels and possibly cause diarrhea. I hope that some of this was helpful. I hope he may soon start to feel better. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Many hugs.

Warm regards,

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2009
Sun, 07-26-2009 - 10:04pm
Thanks for the advice. We had tried this medicine (don't know the name) but it was for cholesterol but doctors found that it worked for diarreah too. Anyways, it made it better for a bit, but then we began moving and it was sort of pushed off to the side. And while talking with friends and family they just said fiber; didn't mention soluble and insoluble; so we'll try the latter. Thanks and I'll keep you updated on what is happening.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2005
Thu, 07-30-2009 - 9:24pm

Hi, I'm helping out Becky and wanted to add something to your thread.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 07-31-2009 - 3:07am

I am sorry to hear that your husband has had so much trouble.

Diarrhea after gallbladder surgery is not all that uncommon. Here is

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2004
Sun, 08-02-2009 - 11:01pm
I had mine removed on 09/27/99, so almost 10 years ago.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2009
Sun, 08-02-2009 - 11:54pm
yes we have it to try and it seemed like it worked kind of. also my concern is that he is an energetic person, but lately mostly after working (he does construction) he's just beat and worn out. when he's off of work he gains about 20 lbs, and then when he works it takes about 2 months to get it off and he's back down to normal weight. well this time he hasn't lost the weight, only about 5 lbs. I'm worried that his body isn't getting the nutrition because of his diarrhea problem, and it's causing his body to maintain the fat because it isn't getting the nutrients. along with being tired because his body isn't given the energy. any ideas... anyone?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Tue, 02-28-2012 - 1:27pm

This is what has helped me for more than 13 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,