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Post Gallbladder Removal and Alcohol
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Post Gallbladder Removal and Alcohol

Hello.  I had my gallbladder removed laparascopically in Feb 2006.  After the removal, I was told by my surgeon he also checked for stones in the bile ducts and took a look at whatever else he could see at the time and everything looked fine.  I had some horrible post-op pain, which was suspected to be a gas bubble that settled into where my gallbladder was (yes, OUCH).  

Shortly after surgery, I would seem to have fluid build-up.  I was told this was my body adjusting to the new flow of bile, and it would take a short while for everything to normalize.  Well, it hasn't.  I usually always try to be sure to eat my fiber and I can also seem to handle higher fat foods in small doses.  I can actually have the occasional spicy buffalo wings again.  I'm finding the biggest trigger to be excessive amounts of alcohol.  Over the past month, I've taken care to start limiting my consumption (which was 4-5 days per week, 4+ drinks each time, female).  When I have overindulged, it usually meant I cannot be far away from the toilet.  I would only take Immodium or Pepto Bismol if I actually needed to go somewhere, as I know I needed to let this work through my body and get out of there. I would also get pains in the gallbladder area as well as a bloated feeling in the same area.  Usually by afternoon/evening, this would go away along with the diarreha.

Well, this weekend was very different.  We hosted a birthday party for my dad where I completely overindulged.  No hangover headache.  However, this time I had a small amount of diarrhea in the AM and was constipated the rest.  I know I needed to go, but I couldn't or it would come out in very small amounts.  I finally went a few good times yesterday.  The pains are worse than "normal" and would follow shortly after eating.  It's 3 days later, and I still feel that full feeling along with a little 'reflux'...not sure if it's acid or bile, but my throat is a little sort.  I actually lost my appetite (which never happens), but I felt like I had to eat to keep that stuff from creeping in my mouth.  I'm still experiencing some sharper pains, this time a little further down and closer to my belly button.  I have the general oogey bloated feeling in the GB area.

This has definitely been enough to put a quick curb on my drinking.  I have no desire, even after years of drinking.  I was told I have a fatty liver, but whatever bloodwork they did pre-op was fine.  The strange thing is that I have been working with a personal trainer and I have not lost any belly fat over an 8 week period.

I've tried doing some research on my own, and I see 3 things emerging...SOD, pancreatis (pancreatitis) and IBS.  What are your thoughts based on the above?  I've already made an appointment with my family physician for next week, who has all of my records from my surgery.  He knows there is a family history of alcoholism and liver issues stemming from it, pancreatis (pancreatitis), stomach cancer and perhaps a couple GI issues I'm missing.

Thanks in advance!
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The possibilities you mentioned are possible.  

To evaluate for SOD, an ERCP with SO manometry can be considered.  Pancreatitis can be evaluated via pancreatic enzymes as well as a CT scan.  IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, and can be considered if the tests continue to be negative.  

In addition, I would consider looking at the upper GI tract with an endoscopy.  Ulcers, inflammation of the upper digestive tract, or GERD are all possible.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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I had my gallbladder removed 8 years ago, and my body never 'adjusted'.  I take Colestid now that helps with most of the symptoms.  But when when it comes to alcohol, I'm always sick with a mixture of diarrhea, gas and constipation the next morning.  And as the years go by, it gets worse. It used to be only when I drank in excess, but now just 2 drinks will do it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks all.  Just saw my family doctor today.  I get the joy of having more bloodwork done, this time for pancreatic issues, liver function tests and celiac disease, just to be sure.  I am still tender in the upper right quad and a little in the left.  

I also get the joy of going for another ultrasound.  If this and the bloodwork don't show anything, it's time for more invasive tests like a HIDA scan.

In the meantime, I get to eat a bland, bland, bland diet, which isn't going to be easy. I'm obviously not going to be drinking alcohol for a while either.

Thanks again!
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