Bile diarrhea or diarrhea due to bile acid malabsorbtion is a common complication after gallbladder surgery. Gallbladder surgery or cholecystectomy is when the gallbladder is removed. Other gastrointestinal surgeries can also act as a cause for bile diarrhea.
Bile is a secretion of the body that occurs when fat is digested. Bile is stored in the gallbladder. This bile is also slowly released into the small intestine to aid digestion. When the gallbladder is removed, the body continues to generate but now there is now no place to store the bile. Sometimes this bile spills out of the body in the form of bile acid diarrhea or abnormal bile bowel movements because the intestine cannot absorb it.
The degree of bile diarrhea can vary with every patient but patients often feel the urgency to use the restroom even while mid-way through a meal. This condition is not fatal but can be embarrassing and inconvenient. It usually corrects itself after a few months of the surgery.
Diagnosis of this condition is done with the help of patient history. If the patient has not had any gastrointestinal surgery, then the doctor might do a colonoscopy to identify if there the source of the bile diarrhea. This is especially true if the bile diarrhea is very acute and for no apparent reason.The instances of suffering from bile diarrhea if you have not had gallbladder surgery could imply that there is something wrong with your gallbladder.
Treatment For Bile Acid Diarrhea
There is no way to stop the bile diarrhea once it starts. You cannot assume that you will suffer from attacks of bile diarrhea after you get the surgery done. If you suffer from this condition for more than three months after your surgery then there is a high chance that you will suffer bile diarrhea all your life.
If you do start suffering from this condition, bring it to your doctor’s attention. He might give you a powder called Cholestyramine resin. This powder is available in branded forms as a cholesterol drug. This drug traps the excess bile in the intestines and prevents the body from re-absorbing that bile. It is usually prescribed once a day.
Diarrhea medication that paralyzes the colon can also be taken in such cases. In fact, this medication can be taken several times a day depending on the severity of the symptoms. These drugs do not cure the diarrhea but prevent it from ruling your life. It can reduce your dependency and anxiety.