Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Yellow Diarrhea and Gallstones
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Yellow Diarrhea and Gallstones

I have gallstones that were confirmed by an ultrasound. I've been attempting to delay gallbladder surgery until the beginning of next year. By lowering my fat intake, I have managed to avoid any gallbladder attacks since I received my diagnosis. I have not been lactose intolerant during this time and have included a lot of low-fat dairy products in my diet.

However, in the last ten days, something has changed. I've had a lot of digestive rumbling and diarrhea. The diarrhea has a lot of yellow liquid mixed in with the stool. There is no burning or red coloring, and no severe abdominal pain. Just gallbladder discomfort after eating, stomach rumbling, burping, and the diarrhea.

I've tried to cut back on dairy products because I wondered if they were starting to bother my gallbladder. I seem to have less digestive rumbling when I avoid them.

I was taking Imodium (immodium) AD to control the diarrhea, but now I've stopped since it seems like I need to let it clear my system.

I was wondering if you had any suggestions as to what is happening with my gallbladder since the upheaval in my digestive system seems to be gallbladder-related.

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Certainly gallbladder disease can cause some of the symptoms you describe.  A test for lactose intolerance can be considered, especially since the symptoms improved when you held the dairy products.  

If the diarrhea continues, you may want to consider a lower endoscopy (either flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscoy) for further evaluation, and to rule out infection or inflammatory bowel disease as a cause.  Testing the stool for fat malabsorption can also be considered.  

If abdominal discomfort continues, you may want to consider removing the gallbladder sooner rather than later, especially with the presence of gallstones.

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.
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