post gallbladderectomy soft-serve

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Dani asks:

I had my gallbladder removed some years ago. Since then, all I have are soft/runny poops, with hardly any warning beforehand. My life revolves around being near a toilet after each meal and it's driving me nuts! The doctor said this is normal after gallbladder removal, but I can't believe there isn't something I can do to stop the flood out of my rear. Any suggestions?





Dear Dani,

I can't believe you have had this problem for years without some sort of treatment being offered.

Here's why it happens:

Bile acids are normally stored in the gall bladder and released with eating. After gall bladder surgery, the bile reservoir is gone and the bile acids constantly circulate through the small intestine, being absorbed by the ileum and then returned to the liver from which they are secreted into the intestine. A small amount of acid is not absorbed by the intestine but instead enters the colon. In the colon, the bile stimulates water secretion by the colonic mucosa, causing diarrhea.

While it is not uncommon to have some digestive or bowel disturbances after surgery, these should not exist to the point of impairing your daily activities.

There are medications such as Cholestyramine, which absorbs the bile acids, thereby preventing the stimulation of colonic secretion. There are other medications available, too.

You might try a brief trial of Imodium to see if it helps; but you really should go back to the doctor. If your symptoms are severe and interfering with your life, don't take "this is normal" for an answer!

Good luck, and thanks for asking Poonurse!

Please be advised that I am only a Poonurse. I am NOT a medical doctor. Any advice I give should be taken moderate skepticism. Please consult a REAL medical doctor if you feel you have a serious medical condition.

-- Poonurse

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.

Got a question for her?












38 Comments on "post gallbladderectomy soft-serve"

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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Man. All I can say is I'm glad it's not me.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

HILLARY's picture
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WHEN I HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT LATLEY THERE HAS BEEN MUCOS IN MY STOOL!!!! DOES THIS MEEN ITS CANCER????

Sh-- 4 Brains's picture
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Like Hilliary I have been having a lot of mucos in my stool. In fact no stools just mucos. Needless to say... I'm scared sh--less.

Sans Gallbladder Too's picture
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I too, have had my gallbladder removed, so I thought I should pass on this advice. According to my doctor, when you have your gallbladder removed, and then eat fatty foods, this can lead to lots of runny poop, as there isnt enough bile to digest fatty foods, so they basically go straight through. Maybe you could try cutting out fatty foods and see if this helps. :) Good luck!

Fecallia's picture
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My gallbladder's been out for a year now, and the excruciatingly painful diarrhea is getting worse, I even have to get up DURING meals and make a run for the nearest unlucky toilet... I work at a dental office and I have to run around with a roll of toilet paper and a can of air freshener *so embarrassing*. I'm scared because I recently learned that after the gallbladder is out you can still develop stones in the common bile duct, which is the one that connects the liver w the intestine, and the aftermath of that surgery is worse than the never ending river of sludge. Has anyone had this second surgery or know someone that has and know of its effects?

Anonymous Coward's picture
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i have mucos in my stool and also sometimes it is just mucos what can it be

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points
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I believe that would be the indication that you should make an appointment with your medical practitioner.
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Fecal Matters.

Ashley's picture
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Im so glad i found this...I too started having the same symptoms and most of the time its just bile. My stomach hurts really bad sometimes when i eat and im almost afraid to leave my house because like mentioned above you don't have much time at all to make it to the bathroom. Thank you for posting this i will try and see a doctor as well It's not much of a life being affraid to leave your house due to a bathroom issue

pdgrau's picture
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Dear poo-nurse, I'm 25 years of age and lately I've been having frequent loose stools that secrete alot of strong, burning stomach acid. It burns my anus. It seems like this happens after a night of drinking and the wrong foods. What foods should I stay away from and do I have to quit drinking to get rid of this problem.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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HAVE NO GALLBLADDER CAN ANTTHING STOP THIS DIARHREA

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points
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A call to your doctor, maybe.

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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30 Lb test line stitches, or an industrial strength cork, perhaps?

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

Di Verticula's picture
m 1+ points - Newb
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I have "silent" gallstones. After reading these posts about gall bladder removal and diarrhea, I am going to be very diligent in maintaining a low cholesterol, low fat diet, in the hopes of preventing further stones from forming in my gall bladder. I don't want to end up with my gall bladder removed for the very reason you've all described. I do know that after the gall bladder is out, you have to really lay off the fat because the extra bile production into the small intestine is what causes the loose stools. **sigh** ... It seems after the age of 45, It's always something. My spleen is gone, my uterus is gone. The bastards are NOT taking my gall bladder!

Di Verticula's picture
m 1+ points - Newb
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Question: Has anyone tried the gall bladder flush with true success? (re: fasting, fresh pressed apple cider, olive oil & lemon juice) Some people online are swearing by it, others say it's just a crock. I think the only sure way to know if the flush really worked is to have a follow-up CT scan done to see if the cholesterol stones are really gone from the gall bladder.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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i had my gallbladder taken out 11 months ago i still get occasional daihreah and recently iv'e thrown up a couple times and my stomach gets really upset when i eat someone please help i don't want to live the rest of my life like this i'm always sick all i wanna do is sleep i'm only 25

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Before gallbladder surgery try this.

My gallbladder started being "sludgy" while pregnant w my daughter...quite painful. The Dr's didn't want to remove my gallbladder untill 1 yr after my daughter was born.

So, I looked at health magazines and home remedies, and herbal supliments... everything I could find.

One home remedy stands out from the crowd as the most helpful I have found.

Parsley Tea. It helped a LOT! You just take regular parsley, either fresh or dried, and treat it like tea leaves, brewing a good strong tea that will be kind of a yellow/gree color. Drink as you would regular tea, sweeten to taste. A cup or 2 a day or when gallbladder pain first starts. It kept me relatively comfortable for the year and a half it too to get to the point where I could have my gall bladder taken out.

ASK your Doctor before trying home remedies...but I doubt he will refuse your request to try Parsley tea.

Poop Nurse, What can you tell us about this and other home remedies??

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Missing my gallbladder as well. I had mild IBS like (undiagnosed) symptoms prior to surgery that got much, much worse after. I talked to one doctor about the results and he was less than helpful. Wanted to draw alot of blood, run alot of tests, and failed at those - his nurse couldn't get blood. So I gave up on that doctor.
Immodium helps, if I catch it in time. Right now, I'm adding fiberpills (benefiber) and calcium (caltrate 600d) to meals morning and evening only. It's helped so far, but it's only been a couple of weeks. I'm also going to try the 5-6 small meals a day, that's supposed to help.

Doing fine!'s picture
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I had mine out - and I have no problems at all! DO NOT EAT FRIED OR FATTY FOODS! I never did, so its not a problem for me... I developed my stones during pregnancy - then after the baby came - I lost 70lbs in about 6 months and that's when the pain started...so I went to the ER and it was my gallbladder... anyway - I never had a single problem with pooping! Just stay away from all greasy fried fatty foods

Dinyell's picture
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I had my gallbladder out 5 years ago (when I was 20) I wish I would have had a choice on having it removed...I was informed that it had gone septic ( i began running a HIGH fever) and that if it didn't come out I would die... So I had it out and now 5 years later I don't know what I can and can't eat anymore... I've been eating plain whole wheat pasta (no sauce no butter nothing) for 3 days now. No matter what I do my stomach cramps up within 10 minutes of eating. THERE HAS GOT TO BE A WAY TO STOP THIS!!!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I'm lying in bed right now in the UK recoving from gallbladder removal. Its a 1-night keyhole, but so far I've been in for 7 days and had 2 ops.Feeling much better now though and should be out soon.

One thing occured to me while reading all the comments here. I have suffered terribly in the past with bad indegestion. Excrutiating pain in my belly and chest from acid reflux.Finally I was put on a drug called Lanzaprazole which is just awesome and completely fixed these problems.It stops the stomach producing as much acid. In the end I just took it infrequently, say before going out for an Indian meal or suchlike.

Then I got taken very ill with terrible pain. Different this time and much worse. Diagnosed as gallstones, gallbladder infection and jaundice. After antibiotices and a 6-day spell in hospital I was released to recover a while and get ready for the gallbladder removal operation.

In preparation, I was told to start taking the Lanzaprazole every morning, irrespective of whether I felt I needed it or not. I did take it but not religiously. I forgot to take it into hospital with me.

Once the gallbladder was out, I got a lot of pain from the op, especially where the oxygen they pump into the belly during the op starts to work its way up and out the body - through the shoulders. But I also got terrible stomach cramps. My belly would just seize up for 5 minutes at a time. Unbelievable. Crying out in pain. Even 10ml jabs of morphine was not stopping it.

They put me on Omnaziprole I think it was called. They described it as a more expensive verion of Lanzaprazole. Anyway, it worked.My stomach pains went, and I could manage eating again and gradually started to repair.

My point, in summary, is that stomach cramps and pains associated with specific foods could be linked to indegestion issues rather than gallbladder removal. I believe its all closely linked. On several occassions I've heard that gallbladder issues happen more frequently with people who have had bad indegestion problems in the past.

Hope that help!

Julik's picture
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I had my gallbladder removed a almost 2 years ago.
I did have the loose stools for a few months. As soon as I ate something I had to visit the bathroom right away.
I developed reaction like gas and bloating to the extreme from veggies almost all raw ones.
Last year I had my blood work done and it appears that I have high cholesterol.
could it be because of the surgery?

Anonymous Coward's picture
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i had my gallbladder taken out the day before yesterday and i havent managed to poop yet...is this normal????

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Questran is the key to stop the loose stools. Be careful with the dosages though, too much leads to constipation. I mix mine with Orange gatorade and now I can finally get back out to the golf course without having to worry about going to the bathroom.

Gallbladder Gone-di's picture
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Hey, poops and diarrheas.

I just had my gallbladder out on the 1st of October, 2009 and then had 3 different 5 hour torso attacks - super bad, couldn't breathe, eyes popping out of my head pain. Went in to the ER during the third massive attack and they did an ultrasound and found a rogue stone in my common bile duct. I stayed at the hospital for a couple days and they did an ERCP where they put you to sleep and go in through your mouth, down through your intestines and up into the duct to retrieve the stone.

Took me a bit to recover from the whole ordeal that ended on the 7th of October but I feel great now that it's the 12th and I have yet to experience the poo-run after eating. My friend has this 'dumping' issue after his gallbladder-ectomy, so I've been waiting for it to come, but so far so good. I really hope it stays this way. My surgeon told me that 'dumping' immediately after meals is not normal and anyone with this issue should be seen for a separate diagnosis.

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points
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Try a sack of white castles to determine if the source of the problem is fatty foods.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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Chili........A platter full of Krystal burgers is a much better test. This young man is preparing to consume a normal sized portion of this treat that originated in Chattanooga , Tennessee back in 1932.


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Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I had my gallbladder out almost 2 years ago now. I had the normal liquidshits and such but I was doing pretty good until a few weeks ago. Now I have this horrible searing stabbing pain in my side right where my gallbladder used to be all the time, especially after I eat or I lay down. What in the world could that be? I have also been getting this pain in my stomach after I eat that makes my back directly behind my stomach hurt and then I get the cold sweats, what's up with that?
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Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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You're pregnant....again.


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The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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What?! If I am then some doctor has some splainin' to do cause my tubes are tied.
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Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

sittingpretty's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Mabe it's an ectopic pregnancy! Seriously, MMC, you need to take these new pain symptoms to your doctor as I really have no idea what it could be excepting gastritis or something like that.
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...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I've decded to take the wait and see approach, that and not eating seem to be working for me.
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Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

sittingpretty's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Mrs. C. are you waiting to see if you land on a stretcher in the ER? I had pain and the shakes with my post turd turdlett yesterday, and I thought of you. I know why it happens to me and that it is normal considering my condition. Please call and make an appointment today. If you loose too much weight, you won't have anything to fight with.
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...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

shirl's picture
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been havin diarrhea,bad cramps,gas after eating. poop was dark gray, then started to clear up with streaks of dark gray and something that looked like a whitish membrane on one side of it. Cramps got better,poop looked almost normal and now I'm starting to get crampy again. whats wrong?

Anonymous Med Student's picture
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I couldn't help but comment when I saw your question.

You might want to go to the doctor and just get your liver and pancreas enzymes tested. What you're describing sounds like it could be acute pancreatitis. That or your bile duct might have another stone in it.

A blood test can tell you, though. That'd be the best precautionary measures.

5 months free of the GB's picture
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I had my gallbladder removed in January. For the first month after the surgery, I was very careful with what I consumed and did not have any issues, other than soreness from the surgery. When March hit, I ate a hotdog and mac and cheese for dinner at a cookout. Since then, I have had terrible issues. I'll get severe stomach cramps every morning and about every 20-30 minutes after I eat. I absolutely have to be near a toilet. I thought I had some sort of food poisoning for awhile,but that was not it. My husband had his gallbladder removed five years ago and he doesn't get the stomach issues that I do. We have amazing insurance, but I absolutely hate going to the doctor! Anyone know of any natural remedies? I'm eatting a low-fat diet and taking fiber supplements -- but I still have these terrible cramps and the runs.

Lora's picture
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I had my gall bladder out by laparoscopic surgery. Since then I have had runny poop and need to be near a toilet if I eat something. There is no real time to find a bathroom when I have to go it goes. I have found a few people who have had this surgery the "new way have have this problem. People who had it the old fashion way seem to be ok. I am used to living this way and it kinda sucks. I have been caught with my pants down on the side of the road I just couldn't wait. I am glad I found this site and there are obviously more of us.

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points
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I will never look at soft serve the same way again ! That is espcially true at the places where it is self service and toppings are optional !

Anonymous's picture
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wow, I have all the same symptoms. I had the surgery down the throat to get the stones out of the bile duct, that was 6/06/2011. I started to leave the doctor's office and started throwing up. I thought I needed something to drink because I didn't go to surgery on time. I threw up after I walked to the chair, I threw up getting into the wheel chair, and threw up going to the elevator. I threw up again going down in the elevator.

I basically threw up till 6/07/2011 at 4:00 PM when I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I needed to be rehydrated because I threw up so much. My regular doctor said I was close to kicking the bucket.

So nine days later I had gallbladder surgery and another four days in the hospital because I had Pancreatitis. The Dr. hit the pancreas doing the first surgery.

The moral of this story, the damned doctor has charged me 2x for the botched surgery and I am still sick with the squirts!
Good luck to everyone who has this surgery. Oh yeah the first doctor never called or came to see me in the hospital.