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dumping syndrome after gall bladder removal

I had my gall bladder removed last year. I have talked to several people who seem to have the same issue of having to run to the bathroom shortly (usually within 5-15 minutes) after a meal with some fairly explosive results. I have tried changing my diet. Even ate completely vegetarian for two months. This has not seemed to help. I ate a snack on the way home one day and had an accident in the car (sorry TMI). I am scared to eat out. I can't seem to find which foods trigger it. Just when I think I have figured it out, I will eat the food in isolation and nothing happens. It is like my bowels have taken on a mind of their own.

Anyone else have the same issue? If so, what have you done that has helped with the problem. I am currently almost 11 weeks pregnant so, I am interested in hearing about less invasive ways to deal with the issue. However, I won't be pregnant forever, so if there is something prescription or otherwise please let me know.
16 Responses
Avatar universal
It can be the ingestion of fatty foods that can trigger some of the problems. So if you can maintain a low fat diet it might be of help. After the baby, you may want to talk to your doc about using a bile-binding resin like questran to see if it's of help.
Avatar universal
I, too, am pregnant. I empathize with your situation. I had my gallbladder removed in 2004 and began taking Questran about 3 months later (after living a miserable life for those 3 months!). I took my vitamins while trying to become pregnant at opposite ends of the day from the Questran. Questran has been my lifesaver! However, my Ob-Gyn does not want me to take the drug while pregnant, but my family physician and fertility doctors okayed it. So, to be safe, I stopped taking the Questran  the day after I found out I was pregnant. I have not completely conquered the situation, but I found a "diet" from the University of Pittsburgh Hospital. The diet mainly asks you to avoid sugar. However, the big help comes from some basic common sense info: (1) immediately lie down for at least 20 minutes after eating and (2) do NOT drink liquids with meals. I wait 1 hour. My stomach still gets upset, sometimes, but not as urgently and violently as before. The key, for me, has been SLOWING the emptying of the stomach contents. Gravity and liquids are the enemy, as they speed things up waaay too much. Here is the link:


I hope this helps. Everyone is different, but this is helping me manage the problem better. However, as soon as I finish nursing the baby next year, I will immediately go back to the Questran!
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago,  I am having sever issues ever since also.  When I am eat, I am so in the bathroom.   Stopped eating messy except for chicken and fish. Go a few days then starts up again with diarrira. My tummy is in knots all the time.

What can I do than stop eating all together.
Avatar universal
   I had my gall bladder removed in 2012 and it has been a nightmare ever since! I can relate to all of your pain. I have no cure or suggestions sorry
      However, my gastro doctor tested me for Chron's disease stating that the symptoms were extremely similar.
   If anyone comes up with anything that will help lease email me the info.

Avatar universal
Hi Laura I have a low fat, no meat diet and that helps.
Avatar universal
hey, I take welchol everyday.
3 625mg tablets in the morning, wait 30-40 mins and I can eat whatever I want worry free
I find I don't have to take that many,  just one tablet in the morning, before food (like you said 30-40 minutes)  and I can live like a normal person.  Taking 3 tablets is the dose for Cholesterol control, and can cause constipation.  Yeah, I know, folks like US don't even know what that's like anymore!  LOL.
I find I don't have to take that many,  just one tablet in the morning, before food (like you said 30-40 minutes)  and I can live like a normal person.  Taking 3 tablets is the dose for Cholesterol control, and can cause constipation.  Yeah, I know, folks like US don't even know what that's like anymore!  LOL.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder out in the 1980s and I've had this problem often on. Mine is not so much caused by fats, unless I eat a lot of nuts, and seems to because if I miss meals. If I go for more than 12 hours between meals I and up with dumping syndrome, usually 15 to 30 minutes after I eat something. I have found the best thing to do is to eat small frequent meals , avoid fats, or at least curtail fats, and eat healthy. Everybody's body reacts differently. Find out what triggers it for you, start with the fats, and keep a food diary. Your figure it out. In the meantime, healthy eating.
Avatar universal
Same problem here but I am 7 years post surgery. Had a horrible incident last night, thought I was dying, heart attack or stroke or something while having the worst diarrhea and nausea ever!! Sweating profusely rapid heart rate and sinking feeling! Scared me to death. Called my mom who freaked out and called ems. They came and checked me out and all was normal. They didn't do ekg or check blood sugar but knowing my vitals were fine helped me relax. After looking at symptoms of dumping syndr9me, even though I only had my gallbladder out, I believe that's what it was.
Avatar universal
My dr put me on welchol.  So expensive works wonders.
Avatar universal
I am currently 15 years post gallbladder removal. Beyond using cholestramine, I had to sit down and keep a food journal of what triggered it and what didn't.
Triggers for me are as follows: salads, fiberous leafy greens, even iceberg lettuce (but not spinach), fried foods, foods that normally encourage bowel movements like raisins, dates etc,...
What worked for me was eating a diet that was full of lean meats, veggies, fruit, cheeses, full fat dairy, quinoa and other starches that have protein sources like pasta made with lentils. I also realized that I could eat certian trigger greens like kale and celery as long as they were in green smoothies. My vitamix did a good bit of the digestion/mastication ahead of time and I make sure there is protein so it slows the dumping into the small intestine.

Eliminated all artificial sweeteners, added
sugar/corn syrup, bread and overprocessed
I hope this helps someone. It's miserable always locating the bathroom as the first thing you do when entering anywhere, planning for accidents if stuck in traffic (I still keep a few grocery bags in my car for this reason - to line the seat under me), not going out because you are afraid of another attack.

Sorry this was a novel. Best of luck to all.

Ps. Muscle relaxers like flexeril worked to alievate my symptoms for a while when I threw out my back.

Avatar universal
I suffer the same living hell. My gall bladder was removed in January 2005. It's been over 11 years and nothing has helped me, I have just come to deal with the fact that me and food have a love hate relationship. I can generally tell when I'm not going to tolerate food, mornings are a big problem for me, also large meals, I eat little and often and that seems to work to some extent. The worst times are on the first day of my period, the pain is horrendous and I have been so close to passing out completely. My temperature soars in the height of the pain and I sweat profusely whilst holding onto the toilet walls, eventually I vomit which I don't know is from the pain or my bodies method of ejecting whatever has upset it. The diarrhoea is explosive, which generally begins as soon as I have began vomiting. Simultaneously which is not my idea of fun but is always a relief from the agonising pain I experience prior. I have weeks where it happens daily and then weeks where it is only once or twice, today has been a bad day. How am I supposed to go to work like this? It is beyond embarrassing to be in the office toilet for hours on end groaning in pain with other staff and customers a few feet away. When will it end
Go to a gastro doc and ask for cholestryamine powder.  Take once per day in juice. You will never have issues like this again. The reason you are having this issue is too much bile in your system, which floods your system after you eat, causing diareha. The powder soaks up the extra bile and solves the problem. You will be AMAZED with the results and you will wish you did it sooner. I had the same issue and have been on this powder for 5 years and have never had an issue since. (Powder is inexpensive and has no side effects...except lowering your cholesteral because that was its original intention when it was made...)
I took the cholestorymine powder today for the first time and was left with hours of agonizing stomach pain and nauseasness - worse than the pain of my gall or kidney stones.  So there ARE side effects to that powder.  I will never ever take it again.
Have you tried Welchol. I take two with breakfast and two with dinner. It has been a life saver. They are like horse pill size but to me they work. Ask the dr if this could be an option for you.
Avatar universal
Same situation as many of you.  Gall Bladder was removed over 10 years ago and cholestyramine (Questran) every day, has been the only thing that worked to stop the diarrhea...UNTIL..4 months ago, when my son convinced me to go on a low fat, low added oil, Vegan Diet.   I have since found that I no longer need the cholestyramine packets. I have gone weeks without them...unless i have food with added oil. A few weeks ago, I had a salad that was drenched Italian dressing. Rather than sending it back, I ate it and guess what...a few hours later, my old friend was back.  So, for me, changing my diet has made a tremendous difference...I also used to fluctuate between stools that were too soft and then take the Questran and have stools that were painfully hard.  All of that is behind me now (pun intended)....also I'm down 30 pounds in 3 1/2 months, have abundance of energy and I'm reducing my risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer...great side benefits.  My son had me watch a documentary called "Forks Over Knives" which was my impetus to change my diet. The fact that it has controlled my horrible diarrhea issues is just an incredible side benefit.  Anyone interested can check this diet out by Googling "Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn" who is a cardiothorasic surgeon at The Cleveland Clinic.
Avatar universal
I had dumping syndrome for 20 years after my Gallbladder surgery in 1991. Could not do anything or go anywhere where there was only 1 bathroom, or God forbid, no bathroom, ruined my life. 2 things can help in my experience.  1 - get Cholestyramine powder from your doctor. Works wonders, 1 packet first thing in the morning in 4 ounces of juice. no running, will change your life. or 2 - Go on a low carb, high fat or Keto diet.  Seems that carbs, and possibly carbs and wheat may cause the running. I do not have a problem with fat. Prior to Low carb, I tried many years of low fat dieting, it did not make it any better, fat is not the issue. I did not need the Cholestyramine after going Low Carb HF - no more running.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
I have had the same thing. Thankfully I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy. When I went for my visit to talk about maintaining my sugars I told the doctor about what I had been living with for 5 years. She told me it was dumping syndrome. Years later went to my doctor and she put me on Colestipol. It is a bile binder and acts like the gallbladder. After suffering for years I finally have relief!!
Avatar universal
Its been 20yrs since I had my gallbladder removed from having gallstones the problem is the first thing I eat it runs right back out of me it don't matter what time of day I can't hold it must be by bathroom scared to eat at work what can I do please help
Have you tried getting Welchol. They are bile-binding pills prescribed by your dr. I currently take two in the morning with breakfast and two with dinner, and eat lean dinner, and low calorie foods. I find two much fatty foods and too much sugary foods set off my dumping syndrome from gallbladder surgery in 2016.
Avatar universal
I had my gallbladder removed in 2006 after having gallstones filling my gallbladder. Initially after my surgery I had severe bouts of nausea vomiting and diarrhea in this continued for 4 years very violently. Once a month I would be hospitalized for nausea vomiting dehydration during that four-year period. All the while seeing gastroenterologist from several different practices telling me that nothing was wrong or that I was crazy! I was literally told by one nurse that what I had could not be treated at the hospital I was in. I was treated as a drug addict saying that I wanted pain medicine when all actuality I needed something for nausea intravenously. Phenergan suppositories, Phenergan tablets, Zofran dissolvable tablets none of those worked. Endoscopy, colonoscopy, food digestion studies, several hospital admissions etc. and I was still told I was nuts.  I would never eat away from home and would have panic attacks when I was away from home if dumping was experienced away from home. This blog actually makes me feel like I'm not crazy and I'm actually sitting here in tears reading all of this because I knew that there was something wrong with me you know your body.  I can't tell you of anything that works other than eating small meals several times a day to keep your bowels moving constantly.  diarrhea will be in lifelong battle for us and it really sucks.
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