Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gallbladder Removal Side Effects
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Gallbladder Removal Side Effects

  I had my gallbladder removed last year due to gallstones. Since that time I have had diarrhea on a somewhat regular basis as well as occasional nausea. Most recently I have started having some chest pain / palpitations and shortness of breath. Admittedly, I do not eat as well (or probably as often) as I should due to the nausea. In reading up on the matter, it is looking as though I should increase my fiber intake, decrease the milk,cut out the red meat, take a multi vitamin and vitamin E, and chammomielle tea supposedly helps along with increased water to dilute the bile. Is this accurate? I am only 23 and would like to get things back on track here so any help is appreciated.
Dear Molly,
Diarrhea that is related to gallbladder removal is called post-cholycystectomy diarrhea. It is thought to occur secondary to bile
acids being dumped into the large intestine. These bile acids cause the secretion of water and electrolytes into the intestine. Many
patients find relief with a bile acid resin binder such as cholestyramine (Questran or Prevalite). It is available by prescription only
and comes in the form of a powder. The dose is to start slowly with one packet (4g) once daily and increase the dose up to 3-4
packets per day. One should use the lowest dose necessary to control the diarrhea. Usual side effects include nausea and
bloating. Cholestyramine can also interfere with the absorption of other medications and some vitamins.If the other measures work for you, I would continue those as well. I hope you find this
information helpful.
This response is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation.
Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you wish to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment
to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
*Keywords: post-cholycystectomy diarrhea, cholestyramine
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