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i had gall bladder surgery about a month ago. prior to surgey, i had a very regular elimination pattern (you could almsot set your watch by my daily pattern).

HOWEVER, i am now experiencing extreme constipation (almost daily) and am very uncomfortable (lower stomach ache, bloated gut, and stomach is "hard" to the touch). I also notice that the texture of my stool has changed from "healthy, smoothe" to "hard and lumpy."

I take stool softener each day but this does not seem to give me the relief i seek. any suggestions???

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I just resently had my out a week ago and i also have bad constipation. I was woundering if you found anything out.
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Take lots of fluids. Try metamucil (but that would produce a lot of gas). Fiber is what makes your c**p normal.
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I also have constipation after GB surgery. Try eating prunes or drinking prune juice and drink plenty of water. My surgeon recommended high residue fruits such as pears and apples. The best fiber supplementation is Benefiber because it is more natural and so has less side effects. A "hard" stomach can be a sign of bleeding or infection.
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Don't worry about the constipation i had my gall bladder removed 5 1/2 weeks ago and suffered really bad with it. I eventually went back to the doctors after doubling over and bawling my eyes out in pain with it, I was prescribed co codamol 30/500 to cope with the surgery pain but it was that that was causing the constipation and pain. As soon as i came off the co codamols i had no trouble. check any medication that you are taking doesn't have codine in it because that it was causes it. Hope this helps.
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My Doctor told me to use Miralax...it works really well...for a few days...then I have to take it again. Hopefully this will go away with recovery. I'm on 3 and a half weeks.
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I've had my gallbladder out for about 10 years now, and constipation may be one of the on-going issues you'll have going forward. If you constipation before having it out, then you'll have it after. This is usually due to a sluggish liver not producing enough bile. Folks who have a normal liver will end up with diarrhea after having their gallbladder removed, since the steady drip of bile into their intestines can cause movement. But for folks with a sluggish liver and no gallbladder, the liver just isn't producing enough bile as it is. This could be why you formed stones in the first place...the bile your liver produced was perhaps too little and too concentrated, so it formed stones easily.

Since you're probably not producing enough bile, you eat food and it just bunches up in your system. Bile coming out of the gallbladder after a fat-laden meal is eaten acts like a huge flushing mechanism for the body. It not only digest fats (along with lipase), but also stimulates the digestive tract (mainly the intestines) to move stuff along. Without that large dose of bile accomanying some of your meals (fatty meals), you no longer have the stimulating action. And since fat in nature usually goes along with protein, protein foods can have a constipating effect. So, for instance, you eat some sausage...it would normally go right through you with bile. But without bile the protein can constipate you and the fatty acids aren't getting digested/absorbed as well. What you'll notice is that fat in your food will still make you fat, but you'll start to develop a fatty acid / vitamin deficiency over time.

So, how to resolve this. First start with a digestive enzyme. You can get a generic digestive supplement at most wal-marts or grocery stores that sell vitamin supplements. Look for something that has pepsin, HCl (hydrochloric acid), lipase (fat enzyme), etc, etc...but more importantly make sure it has bile in it. Take several of these pills 5-15 minutes before eating. It'll prep the stomach for digestion, and it may have enough bile in it to work out.

Likewise, you might want to get vitamin supplements to cover your fat-solulable vitamins, A, E, D, K. If you get plenty of sunlight, then skip the D...folks usually get enough D in their diet, and adding too much will give you a headache. For vitamin A, be sure it's a Vitamin A Palmitate, which is the usable form our bodies use. Don't do beta carotene. You want to provide your body vitamin A that is easy to digest/use. Vitamin K is a "maybe". If you have thin blood, then don't take it. But you may want to. Research it. Vitamin E is a fairly safe one to take. Take these vitamins like once a day with your digestive supplement, to ensure there's bile available for digesting and assimilating them.

If you still find yourself having constipation, then you can order actual bile supplements by themselves online from vitamin stores. Most digestive supplements will have like 25mg/bile/pill, but a bile supplement by itself will have like 300mg+/pill. You can start with 1 pill/meal, and see how that goes. You don't want to do too much, because then you might end up with diarrhea.

When I said bile is a flushing agent, I meant it. When eating a fat-laden meal that elicits a large bile response, the bile creates an environment in your digestive tract that helps flush out and keep in check bad bacteria. Without that going on anymore, bad bacteria and microbes might start to cause digestive issues, such as odd-smelling stool and such (EG: if your stool starts smelling like mothballs or mildew). The digestive/bile supplement can help simulate this flushing action, but including a probiotic in your diet can also help ensure your beneficial bacteria stay colonized and can crowd out anything from taking over. I recommend either taking a probiotic supplement, or perhaps including naturally fermented foods in your diet, like kim-chee, saukraut, komboocha, yogurt (unpasteurized, which is hard to find, since most stores pasturize it and thus kill off the bacteria), etc.

Adding some spicey foods to your diet can also help. I've found that ever since I started tossing chipotle Tabasco sauce on lots of stuff, my bowel movements have normalized a bit even without bile sometimes.

As a final mention, you should perhaps do a liver flush once a quarter, too. Folks who have constipation after gallbladder removal tended to have a sluggish liver. The sluggish liver can start to form sand-like grit in its ducts, and these can turn into small stones that can block up the bile ducts coming out of the liver. If it gets bad, you can actually have another gallstone attack even though you don't have a gallbladder (it would be the stone moving out of the liver). Google up "liver flush" online, and you'll find various methods to do so. Basically, it involves eating no fat for 1-2 days, and perhaps taking some malic acid supplements while you're at it to soften up any grit in the liver. (Some recommend eating a lot of apples or drinking a lot of apple juice since they contain malic acid, but it's easier to just get a malic acid supp from the store and take 1 pill 3x/day). On the last day, you drink this nasty epsom salt concoction, then before bed, you drink 1/2 cup olive oil mixed with lemon juice. You go to sleep and lay on your right side. Grit, stones, etc should flush themselves out of the liver's bile ducts since the malic acid softens things up, the epsom salts opens the ducts up, and the olive oil provides a stimulus to get the bile going.

What I find sad is that doctors are prone to just hacking out the gallbladder these days without figuring out why the patient caused them, and without giving the patient any kind of prep as to what life without a gallbladder could be like.

After having mine out, I've had really bad allergies during certain times of the year which used to just be an occasional annoyance. I had to figure out the hard way that I was suffering from fatty acid deficiency after a few years of declining health. Just all these things sort of add up, and the doctor never warned me.
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GB removed 40 years ago. Constipation gets worse with age. Doctors laugh at it being caused by GB removal. Cholesteral evidently is used by the body to create bile. This may explaing why I don't have extremely high cholesteral readings and good cholesteral is too low. In 20 years medical practice may figure it out. At 66 I don't think I will be around. Thank you for some information.
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Thank you so much for this response. I have been searching and searching for an answer. I will try the probiotics and the liver flush.
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it seems that constipation is common after any surgery. I had my 2nd son in Nov 2010 c section and was sick w/ constipation for over a year and a half. I was desperate for help as I too had NEVER had a problem like this... I had colonoscopy, ct scan, mulitple dr visits. it was unreal I'm happy to report that I am SO MUCH Better now. 


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VERY INTELLEGENT AND WISER YOU HAVE MADE ME!!! I RESEARCH EVERYTHING! TO COMPLEX-THE HUMAN ANATOMY - METABOLIC AND IMMUNE SYSTEM ETC... HALF OR SHOULD I SAY 85 % OF DOCTORS ARE NO SMARTER THAN MYSELF OR YOU!!! AND THEY DON'T CARE AND WON'T EVER! BARELY MADE IT THROUGH PRE-MED NOT TO MENTION FULL MED SCHOOL - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I'm learning more about constipation than I ever wanted to know. I hope I'm making progress but it keeps coming back. Many medications cause side effects. Only the pill book told me that foam medication inserted in the anus can cause skin to crack and be irritated. Then I learned the alcohol in the foam is to blame. Also learned too much laxative of any kind can cause you to depend on it. Any laxative. But the good new is a new practice of Pelvic physical therapy is now used to help break the cycle. It is becoming more recognized. Even Oprah has heard of it. Constipation has many causes usually involving weak pelvic muscles. This has been known but recently has grown in knowledge and practice. After a year and a half I have started getting answers. Also getting away from medicine and surgery. One thing I learned in the last year is a lot of the pain is hemorrhoids. Also that hemorrhoids are varicose veins. Not much of a reach from pregnancy to varicose veins to hemorrhoids to pain. Be careful in the medicines used to ease the pain. Look at the ingredients as well as the brand name. Applying too much will cause side effects and even some wipes contain the same medication as ointments and foams. Do not assume you are using something new just because the brand name is different. It can cause pain.

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thanks for your infromative, intelligent post. it really helped
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Thanks for your infomrative, intelligent post. it really helped

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I feel your pain.  It has been 9 months since I had my gallbladder removed and the constipation has been terrible.  I have tried everything.  About two weeks ago, I added more water to my diet, stopped all sweeteners, except sugar.  I started a highly recommended probiotic and added carrot juice with a little olive oil (1/4 cup carrot juice and 1/2 tsp olive oil).  That did the trick.  I have been regular every day starting about 1 week into the changes.  I feel great.  

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