IBS after gallbladder removal: Are there any IBS... - IBS Network

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IBS after gallbladder removal

Beckybecks1
Beckybecks1

Are there any IBS sufferers on here who have also had their gallbladder removed due to gallstones?

Have your IBS symptoms improved since surgery?

I'm 9 weeks post op now. For a few weeks I was free of IBS symptoms and was hopeful that removing my gallbladder had been helpful.

But lately all the bloating, gas, gurgling and pain from spasms has returned.

Even though I stick to a healthy diet, gluten-free, low fat and almost no dairy, the symptoms continue to flair up every few days.

Ive heard that the digestive system can take some time to settle after this surgery so I'm really hoping that's the case with me and not that it's caused the IBS to return full time.

Any comments, advice or suggestions would be so welcome.

Thanks

Becky

14 Replies
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Hi Becky. I still have my gallbladder but I have bile acid malabsorption - BAM for short, and a lot of people get it after they have their gallbladder removed. Basically when you eat you release bile and what’s not used gets re-absorbed and reused by the body. Without your gallbladder the bile drips constantly. The bile that’s not used and not re-absorbed comes out in the form of watery diarrhoea. When I eat, I get the pain the gurgles and then the urgency to go. This can happen lots of times a day, mostly at night though. It doesn’t matter what I eat although some things, particularly anything fatty, makes it worse. Bam is diagnosed with a sehcat scan although your doctor may offer you a ‘binder’ anyway. The binders are in short supply due to manufacturing issue but some are available. I take questran. But it also comes with side effects like bloating and pain so to be honest I live on loperamide (any anti diarrhoea tablet contains it). I was told I had IBS for years and it is possible to have both, but when my symptoms got really bad they did discuss removing my gallbladder but the consultant said it shouldn’t cause diarrhoea like that so referred me to gastro who said straight away it was bam. So had a the test. It is the most misdiagnosed thing. I suggest you keep a diary for a week, what you eat, when you’re going to the toilet etc and then ask doctor for referral. Good luck.

sweetsusie
sweetsusie in reply to jbrking

I take 2 tablets, twice a day of Colestipol. It causes none of the gurgling, painful symptoms. Might want to tell your doctor to switch you over to that....

Hi Becky, I have had IBS for about 20yrs. Over the last couple of years it seemed to get worse and then I was up all night with constant pains in my upper stomach. Felt like a heart attack at times. It turns out I had very bad gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed just over a year ago. Like you I was hoping that this would also get rid of the IBS but sorry that is not the case. I do feel much better though and I can eat a more varied diet than before. I don't get the horrible upper stomach pains anymore. I was told that I could have very bad D for the first six months but that didn't happen either. I can say that things have improved a lot over the last twelve months but the IBS has not gone away but is more manageable. I am afraid that anxiety is a major contributor to IBS and I still suffer with that so then the IBS rears its ugly head.

Beckybecks1
Beckybecks1 in reply to SueMount

Thanks Sue. I too have quite bad anxiety which certainly aggravates IBS.

I've had IBS for about 40 years but not continuously, there's been years when I was fine. I suppose age and anxiety have been the culprits in recent years.

Ive hardly ever had diarrhoea except since the gallbladder removal but I was warned about that. I take Loperamide which sorts it out quickly.

Your post is encouraging and I hope that with patience and careful eating I'll improve too.

Just tired of watching what I eat and constant belly ache 😕

SueMount
SueMount in reply to Beckybecks1

Yes, it does take over/control your life. Good luck and I hope things improve

sweetsusie
sweetsusie in reply to SueMount

I had my gallbladder removed many years ago and couple years after that I developed horrid chronic diarrhea. I had no gurgling or pain, though. What stops diarrhea in its tracks are drugs called "bile acid sequestrants." Three of these are: Welchol, Colestipol, and/or Questran. I take 2 tablets twice a day of Colestipol, and I now have my life back! Tell your doctor to prescribe one of these for you.

Having the gall bladder removed is one of the classic reasons for developing Bile Acid Diarrhoea. The medication is very effective. I take Questran and personally don't get any side effects. You may have had BAD all along, it is misdiagnosed as IBS in many people. See bad-uk.org

Ive had IBS for years but never diarrhoea and even now after gallbladder removal I dont have too much problem with it.

Its just the usual bloating, gas and stomach cramps. I had so hoped that things would improve after surgery and now that my anxiety has calmed down.

Hopefully I'm just being impatient and in time my system will calm down.

Thanks for your reply.

Hello! I had mine out a few years ago, it was a sludge, not stones. But I also have IBS for years so I suffer the same. I was told by a homeopathic to take OX BILE after each meal because after the GB is out, the fat has no where to go and digest. It goes straight into intestines and causes pain, gas, bloating and the stools are worse. I buy 500mg on amazon. It saves me! I stopped taking for a while because just forgot and haven’t had time to reorder. Believe me I’m feeling it! Good luck

Beckybecks1
Beckybecks1 in reply to rmlski

Thank you, I'll look into that. Any side effects to taking ox bile?

rmlski
rmlski in reply to Beckybecks1

None!!

Yes...I had my gallbladder removed many years ago and couple years after that I developed horrid chronic diarrhea. I had no gurgling or pain, though. What stops diarrhea in its tracks are drugs called "bile acid sequestrants." Three of these are: Welchol, Colestipol, and/or Questran. I take 2 tablets twice a day of Colestipol, and I now have my life back! Tell your doctor to prescribe one of these for you.

Hi I had my gallbladder out about 6 years ago at least the terrible pain has gone, but it hasn't cured my IBS I didn't really expect it to. Also I started with Gerd which is very unpleasant acid coming up my throat I now take Omeprazole which seems to do the trick.

Yes I had my gallbladder out about 6 yrs ago but it didn't cure my ibs although the pain hasn't been as excruciating since it was removed. I still get pain associated with Ibs and I now also have gerd which I didn't have before .

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