Dealing With Bile Salt Diarrhea

Sometimes after undergoing gall bladder surgery, patients suffer from bile salt diarrhea. However, only about five percent of individuals suffer from bile salt diarrhea after gall bladder surgery.


The exact risk factors, responsible for the development of bile salt diarrhea after surgery, are not yet known. Bile salt diarrhea can be quite embarrassing. People suffering from this ailment are forced to rush to the bathroom always after a meal. This makes bile salt diarrhea patients reluctant to have a meal away from their home.

Bile salt diarrhea – what happens?

Our body receives a shock during any abdominal surgery. The same applies in the case of a gall bladder surgery. Fortunately, most of these shocks are temporary in nature. The side effects of the surgery subside within a few weeks.

Our liver manufactures bile. Bile is essential for food digestion. Our gall bladder stores the bile secreted by the liver. When the food, which we eat, reaches our small intestine, our gall bladder releases the bile salts in the small intestine. At the end of the digestion process, the small intestine reabsorbs the bile salts.

The bile salts are recycled and are again used for future digestion. After gall bladder surgery, when the gall bladder is removed from the body, no place is available for storing the bile salts. The liver therefore needs to produce greater amount of bile. The excess amount of bile salts sometimes could not be effectively reabsorbed by the small intestine. The excess bile salt moves into the large intestine or colon. Here the bile salts act as laxative causing diarrhea.


Symptoms of bile salt diarrhea might vary from person to person. The common symptoms are water diarrhea immediately after eating.


Bile salt diarrhea remedy

In case of severe diarrhea, patients are usually prescribed medicines, known as cholestyramine, which help to bind the bile salts that the small intestine fails to absorb. Regular consumption of calcium citrate supplements are known to cure bile salt diarrhea. Eating a handful of nuts every day can also reduce the severity of the diarrhea.