Peter Melamed, PhD.
After your gallbladder was removed you may start to experience stomach cramps and sudden “runs” to the bathroom with watery, yellowish diarrhea. You are not alone. Every year 700 thousand of Americans lose their gallbladders. This surgery has a medical term; cholecystectomy. By medical statistic, 15-20% of persons without gallbladder eventually experience pain and some symptoms of indigestion such as gas, bloating, nausea, heartburn, constipation. Ten percent of people without gallbladder in the long run have chronic diarrhea. Doctors call it postcholecystectomy syndrome. The chronic diarrhea after cholecystectomy is just one of the many issues after gallbladder removal.
The reason for diarrhea after gallbladder removal is not quite clear. Some doctors and researchers believe that it results from an increase in bile, and bile acids incoming into the large intestine. Doctors call the diarrhea after gallbladder removal a “Bile acids diarrhea” or “Bile acids malabsorption” They think that bile acids act as a laxative.
If a person after gallbladder surgery experiences diarrhea more than for two weeks, it is called chronic diarrhea. The symptoms of this disorder may vary, but most patients usually have four or more watery, yellowish stools throughout day, often, right after meals. Some patients experience cramps or pain right before having a bowel movement. Because of urgency and possible bathroom’s accidents, people recognize the location of every public restroom and commonly avoid long trips to unknown places.
The question is if diarrhea after gallbladder removal preventable? No, even prominent, experienced surgeons’ have patients with chronic diarrhea after gallbladder surgeries. This is due to the lacking of gallbladder. Just the fact that the gallbladder is removed can cause bile acids diarrhea. According to medical literature there is no cure for this disorder, there are just medications to control diarrhea.
Anyhow, doctors call chronic diarrhea after gallbladder removal as “bile acids” diarrhea because bile acids are the culprit. Bile acids are essential parts of the bile. Bile is produced by the liver and goes into the gallbladder for storage. When semi digested foods, come from the stomach into the first part of the small intestine-duodenum, gallbladder contracts. It pushes bile through the bile duct and sphincter of Oddi into the duodenum to digest fatty foods. Our body uses bile acids from the bile as natural detergent to make fat droplets smaller. It helps pancreatic enzyme lipase split up the fats on small particles, which can be absorbed throughout the gut wall.
This is a little complicated, but without understanding, it is difficult to realize how to get help. It is extremely important to recognize now that bile enters into duodenum normally when food is there. When bile releases in empty duodenum, it irritates gut walls, causes bile reflux, irritation, and inflammation. For hundreds of years, surgeons during the operations and doctors throughout endoscopes have seen the presence of bile in patients with stomach inflammation, gastric reflux, ulcers, and cancer.
In the normal situation, when bile is alkaline, bile acids are in soluble form. Any abnormal acidic changes of the bile pH lead to precipitation of the bile acids. The insoluble bile acids are extremely aggressive substances, which corrode and irritate gallbladder, bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi, duodenum causing inflammation, ulcers, and eventually cancer. Can you imagine what can happen if someone swallows the laundry detergent? The doctors found more incidence of the colon cancer in humans after gallbladder removal. Acidity of bile and precipitation of the bile acids is the main reason for the development of inflammation and gallbladder stones. There is a lot medical information about this issue, in my EBook: Healthy Pancreas, healthy You.
By the way, people lose their gallbladders due to acidic bile that causes inflammation and gallbladder stones. Gallbladder keeps concentrated bile for a long time; therefore, acidic, precipitated, aggressive bile acids have more time to cause damage and inflammation. No wonder, gallbladder becomes first and common target for surgical knife.
However, gallbladder removal surgery does not normalize the acid-alkaline condition of the bile. After gallbladder surgery irritation and inflammation persist into liver bile ducts, common bile duct, sphincter of Oddi, duodenum. Bile/pancreatic reflux can move this aggressive mixture up to the stomach causing gastritis, persistent heartburn, damage of esophagus, etc. Going down, the bile/pancreatic reflux may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Acidity destroys not only bile, but also the pancreatic juice. Whole body acidity and subsequent acidic changes in the pancreas lead to diminishing of actions of the digestive pancreatic enzymes, spasms of the sphincter of Oddi, decreasing antibacterial activity of the pancreatic juice with many digestive symptoms, pains and potential development of the pancreatitis.
Let’s stop here and think what can make human bodies acidic? Modern, processed food filled with acid-forming products. They are sugars, grains, meats, milk, and alcohol, trans-fat and other unhealthy fats. Besides that, antibiotics in the food and as medication kill friendly intestinal flora; therefore, allowing yeast and bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Absence of the gallbladder leads to other troubles that can worsen chronic diarrhea: indigestion of fats and dysbiosis (Candida-yeast overgrowth and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth; SIBO). In turn, this creates continuous fermentation and produces many acidic, toxic substances, creates precipitation of the bile acids.
Therefore, keeping alkaline bile is extremely beneficial for people without gallbladder.
There are three natural ways to do that: eat alkaline diet, take alkaline minerals, and drink alkaline healing mineral water. Drinking healing mineral water is very popular in Europe.
From the 1860s, cholecystectomy; gallbladder removal was the typical surgical method of treating a diseased gallbladder in Europe. Since that time, European doctors knew the side effects of the cholecystectomy such as pain, indigestion, and chronic diarrhea. Thus, doctors have advised their patients without gallbladder, drinking healing mineral water for hundred of years.
The little town Karlovy Vary in the middle of Europe was a well-known place for people with liver, gallbladder, and pancreas disorders. Europeans drank this water from the thermal springs or water that was prepared from vaporized geyser salt at home for 250 years. Many medical articles and books in Czech, German, and Russian support the therapeutic action of the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water in patients after gallbladder removal.
Healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt has some beneficial actions. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water:
- Provides human organism with alkaline minerals, bicarbonate and trace elements, which are essential elements of bile and pancreatic juice
- Makes bile more alkaline and liquid, so it will be less aggressive
- Alleviates the sphincter of Oddy dysfunction; especially spasms of this valve
- Supports the normal digestion
- Reduces bile/pancreatic reflux
- Regulates the stool
This is safe and effective natural remedy for people with pain, indigestion, and diarrhea, although it needs time to reach the positive results. Drinking the healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt can increase the pH (alkalizing action) of saliva and urine. It can presume alkalizing action on liver bile and pancreatic juice, as well. At Biotherapy Clinic, we can see alleviating of the digestive symptoms after saliva and urine pH’s are going up.
I also recommend combining healing mineral water with Cellular Magnesium-Potassium. People are surprised when they recognize that their saliva and urine pH are less than 6.6 (acidic state). Whole body acidity, its medical term is chronic metabolic acidosis, is widespread now. A number of the nutritional experts believe that metabolic acidosis is the culprit for various digestive and metabolic disorders, for instance, obesity, diabetes, gout, even cancer.
As I mention before, concentrated bile from the gallbladder has antibacterial properties to stop harmful microorganisms to reside inside the small intestine. Without gallbladder, bacteria, Candida-yeast, and parasites take over the small intestine causing SIBO-small intestine bacterial overgrowth. It also creates constant pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. According to medical research, it leads to precipitation of bile acids that consequently worsens chronic diarrhea.
Contrary the common believe, eating yogurt and taking low quality probiotics cannot restore the proper balance between friendly intestinal flora and opportunistic infection. Using antibiotics and antifungal agents cannot restore the natural balance in the gut. “Find and destroy” approach is not for this case. Restoration of the friendly intestinal flora is a time-consuming process that includes a healthy diet, colon hydrotherapy, drinking healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt, taking a proven high quality probiotics, herbs and nutritional supplements. Colon hydrotherapy can eliminate bile acids by flushing colon; establish an environment for beneficial bacteria to reside there. Biotherapy anti Candida program with colon hydrotherapy and restoration of the friendly intestinal flora is suitable for chronic diarrhea.
Chronic diarrhea is not a new thing. People have suffered from the chronic diarrhea for thousand of years. For now, the scientific research and the clinical basis evidences support the efficacy of herbs in digestive disorders particularly in case of the chronic diarrhea. Herbs can promote releasing of the liver bile; make bile liquid and alkaline.
Another, ancient treatment of chronic diarrhea is acupuncture. Using acupuncture can alleviate abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, urgency and diarrhea. Researchers found that acupuncture can decrease spasms of the sphincter of Oddi, normalize secretion of the bile, gastric and pancreatic juices, regulate the peristaltic; gut movements, lessen anxiety and depression, reduce abdominal pain.
Chronic diarrhea after gallbladder removal creates problems with digestion, pains, loss of fluid, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and essential fatty acids. In turn, it can cause various symptoms, which are very far from the colon. These problems may include depression, anxiety, low immunity, neuropathy, disorders of the adrenal, thyroid, skin, eyes, bones, heart, and vessels, produce additional symptoms and other treatments. To help a person with chronic diarrhea after gallbladder removal, it requires restoring the deficiency of the vital nutrients. Paying attention to where the bathrooms are, where to buy water-resistant pads, and diapers is not the solution for chronic diarrhea after gallbladder removal.
Non-drug methods of the alternative medicine work not against the body but to support it. By our experience, in the chronic diarrhea after gallbladder removal, the best result can be achieved by close cooperation between a patient, his or her relatives, and knowledgeable, experienced medical practitioner.