Excessive Diarrhea After Gastric Bypass

Question Below Submitted By:  

Debbie (a patient from Wabash, IN)

I had gastric bypass surgery in 2006 and I have had severe diarrhea ever since. I later found out that I only have about 11 inches of intestines and I have diarrhea to the point of never having a normal relationship should I find someone since my husband passed away.

The smell is ungodly and the toilet bowl is like a big pile of pudding every time I have a bowel movement.

Please help me. I don’t want to live like this and I have not lost a pound more since this revision.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Excessive Diarrhea After Gastric Bypass

by: Alberto Aceves, MD

Hello Debbie,

You are experiencing chronic diarrhea because of your shortened intestine as you have pointed out.

You need to work with your doctor to help control diarrhea with the help of medication and diet. The key to having a quality of life will be to learn which foods to avoid, fats and specific carbs usually need to be avoided.

You can improve this situation or get it under control, do not think you need to living with this forever. There are also things you can add like probiotics, yogurt, enzymes, depending on your particular situation.

Your Dr can order tests to determine what the proper course of action is for you.

Dr. Alberto Aceves

(click here for Dr. Aceves' full bio & contact info)

Dr. Alberto Aceves

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Gastric Bypass

by: Dorothy Thompson

I had a gastric bypass in 2011 and my quality of life sucks every since. I have chronic diarrhea and horrible smelly flatulence no matter what I eat and when I eat. My bowel movements are like pudding and water piled up in the toilet.

I hate living like this. Social outings are out of the question.

I have tried all OTC products, nothing works in solving the problems. I would opt for a reversal but research states they are too dangerous.

Please help.

I hate that part of my small intestine was cut and rerouted. The living with smelly flatulence was not stressed.

Having a meaningful marriage or relationship involving sex is so out of the question.

I always experiment on myself. Why should the doctors have all the fun?

by: Peggy Vargas from Aurora, Illinois

I had my Rou-en-Y surgery May of 2003. I suffered from the same symptoms as you. I was literally starving to death while the doctors talked about it for a year. My tested protein was listed at "1".

I was put on a daily TPN pack (feeding tube) for four months by having a catheter put into the ascending aortic vein. This had to be done to save my life. In 2011 I decided to take matters into my own hands. After 8 years of every test, the doctors could think of I had no diagnosis or relief.

So I decided to do a pill purge to see if anything was a result of the combination of things I was taking. I did find that the ferrous sulfate was a problem but not anything else. I reintroduced the rest of the meds and supplements under the guidance of my GP. However, in 2016 I developed cellulitis and had to take clindamycin. Antibiotics can cause constipation so I didn't get excited of the cessation of diarrhea.

I had been scheduled for an excision during the next two weeks and was also given the same antibiotic. Ten days after I finished the second dose I still wasn't having diarrhea. I immediately started a regimen of probiotics. I have since purchased different types, strengths, and brands of probiotics.

I have a theory....I believe I had a bacteria culture and having the two doses of a very strong antibiotic so close together killed it long enough so my body could process the probiotics. I'm doing it on my own but I have let my GP and Oncologist know what I'm doing.

I still have bad days but it's 75% better than it was in 2011, being on a fixed income sucks because probiotics can be costly.

Severe Diarreah 1 1/2 years after gastric bypass

by: Tonya

I was lactose intolerant before surgery now I am even more so. Lactose pills do not work and I have found other things trigger my bowels as well, like yeasts any kind, or bread, plus any dairy.

The diarrhea is so severe I wear diapers to bed because I can not control my bowels while I am sleeping. (The first time this happened I woke up horrified having to wake my husband up because I had a BM in bed!!) I feel terrible, self-conscience, and miserable most of the time. It's taking a toll on me mentally and physically.

I have tried over the counter stuff but nothing seems to help. I have even tried Devron several times just to help with the never ending gas.....I am open to any suggestions.


by: David

I remember getting my first diarrhea attack after the surgery. Dr. Chae was specific that it is because we are severely dehydrated.

I am not sure how active you are but I am going 7 days a week with running a concession stand along with my full-time job. My body had signs a good month ago, been feeling weak could tell my body was shutting down. Now, unfortunately, I'm writing this response in bed as my body finally gave up.

I am not sure how much fluids you drink in a day but I would suggest after me having this attack tonight which I'm weak and have extreme diarrhea I will stay drinking more water. I have found out that Gatorade or Powerade really helps with diarrhea. I have to drink the Powerade cause I feel the Gatorade is too sweet for my stomach to handle. I would try and drink a Powerade or Gatorade daily it helps me a lot with controlling diarrhea.

Hope this helps you out.

Severe diarrhea

by: Christine

I will be having gastric bypass in a couple if months but I want to share my problem as it may help others. In 2009 I had my gallbladder removed and that's when my diarrhea problem started.
I suffered for 2 weeks until I saw my surgeon again, he'd seen this problem in a few other patients. Some people had the problem for a few weeks, some a few months, some years and then there's me....8 years later.

While I was pregnant my problem went away but came back once the baby was out, this happened for both my boys. The medication I've been given is called Cholestyramine, now it's called Olestyr
I live in Canada so the product might be called differently elsewhere. Easy to take, think powdered koolaid, add in water, mix and drink.


by: barbara

I had surgery a few days ago. I am home now and I have diarrhea like pudding. It doesn't smell or anything, it just happens I am following my diet and all my med and vitamins. Is this going to stop or am I going to have issues with this now?

Extreme loose bowels

by: Eleanor

I Had the gastric bypass in September 2016. Lost an amazing amount of weight and felt amazing. Then in September 2017 I collapsed resulting in having my gall bladder removed.

Now in January 2018 I am having persistent loose bowels. Every time I eat or drink within 20mins I am on the toilet with what I can only describe at brown water. I wake up several times in the night with urgency to go.

As a result, I am now feeling extremely weak, I can barely walk up the stairs without feeling short of breath, dizzy and feel like I'm going to pass out. I have a constant headache which I am convinced is because of dehydration. I don't know what to do.

by: Patrick Furlong

This is worth a visit to your surgeon or primary care physician.

What is the cure for the diarrhea?

by: Len Ford

Hello, I have had diarrhea for over a year. What is the cure the diarrhea?

by: Patrick Furlong

It's hard to know without assessing your diet, but you could start with an elimination diet and see how your digestive system responds.

After the bypass, the body doesn't tolerate fatty/sweet foods well. This encourages patients to eat well, so focusing on finding foods your body tolerates should be a priority.

You're also recommended to speak with your surgeon or primary care doctor for more advice.

Gastric bypass

by: Blanca Reynoso

Hi I just had my surgery 31/2 months ago I just started experience diarrhea very watery.

I go every 5 to 10 min but when I also go I feel that I'm constipated.

What can I do I feel also so weak?

diarrhea after gastric bypass

by: Chantelle

Hi. I had my surgery way back in 2000. I thought it was a personal previous issue because I have always had to rush to the restroom, even as a child, but never like this. I continuously have accidents, and at the age 43, this is horribly embarrassing and definetly limits my life and relationships.

I have to plan EVERYTHING, and am very limited to what and where I can go and do. The worse part of it is that i have maybe a 5 second warning. Its happens in the stores, at work, at home, anywhere.

I live on imodiums and currently take probiotics. Nothing is working. It has lessened the severity but nothing really fully changes. I have gone for colonoscopy, and test after test. IDK, what to do. I basically for the most part drink nothing but water. Its affecting my jobs, personal life, self esteem, and emotionally.

long past Rnyy

by: Donna Bauer

Sometimes, my poop is kinda normal. Sometimes, it's lose and like like I am passing what looks like "dirt."

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