Monday, November 13, 2006

One (of MANY) concerns

With the liver donation, comes the removal of the gallbladder.
According to my sources, the gallbladder stores bile to help in the digestion of food in the small intestines.

After gallbladder surgery (or in my case liver donation) the liver still creates bile, but there isn't anywhere to store it. It will go straight to the intestines and stomach.

"As many as 20 percent of people who have surgery to remove their gallbladders (cholecystectomy) develop diarrhea. The diarrhea may last for many years. But it often improves over time — even without treatment.

The cause of diarrhea after gallbladder removal isn't clear. Many experts believe that it results from an increase in bile, especially bile acids, entering the large intestine.

The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver. After a meal, the gallbladder empties bile into your small intestine to help break down fats.

When the gallbladder is removed, the bile is no longer stored but goes directly into the intestines. The small intestine absorbs most of the bile as it passes through. But some bile still reaches the large intestine, which interferes with its ability to absorb water. As a result, the excess bile acts as a laxative.

Treatment of diarrhea after gallbladder removal may include:

  • Antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide (Imodium)
  • Medications that impair absorption of bile acids, such as cholestyramine (Questran, Prevalite) or aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel)
  • A high-fiber diet to give your stool more bulk

There's no evidence that additional changes to your diet will improve diarrhea due to gallbladder removal. But you may want to limit foods that typically worsen diarrhea, including:

  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Certain medications — such as antacids with magnesium and tegaserod (Zelnorm) — also can increase diarrhea. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications."
-source the Mayo Clinic

Not that I need any help in the flatulence department. The rest are pretty disturbing. Throw them all together. I can be one hell of a discussion at the next annual stock holders meeting. Of course, no one can predict the actual outcome of the surgery so it's a hit or miss with each person. I can probably predict my results now and they ain't pretty.

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