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Thread: Connection between bile salts and cholesterol page

  1. #1
    tomi's Avatar
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    Connection between bile salts and cholesterol

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    okay - without giving too much information - I'll just say that I've suffered with chronic diarrhea for the better part of the last 3 years. I've done a LOT of research and have come to the conclusion that I have what is termed "bile salts diarrhea". I also have HIGH cholesterol - for the past 20 years, if I don't take meds (which I am NOT currently), then my cholesterol skyrockets! Doctors have told me that I just have one of those livers that doesn't know when to stop pumping out the cholesterol. Even ON meds it runs on the high side.

    So here comes the connection.......... cholesterol is made from bile salts, correct? So I'm thinking -- if I have too much bile salts - resulting in chronic diarrhea AND I have high cholesterol - doesn't it seem natural that if I can find a way to reduce the bile salts, it will also lower my cholesterol?

    I read recently that taking calcium citrate (without the magnesium) will stop the diarrhea because it binds with the bile salts and does not allow it to be re-absorbed in the small intestine. So, I've started taking it. Here's my n=1 experiment.

    I was hoping for some intellegent input on my theory......... any thoughts? Can reducing bile salts result in lowering cholesterol?
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    I'm Googling~ everything I've read so far links bile salts diarrhea to having had the gall bladder removed. You don't say in your OP if you still have your GB~ Also, have you discussed this with your doctor?

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    tomi's Avatar
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    I had my gall bladder removed in 2007. And yes, discussed the high cholesterol and the diarrhea issue with several doctors! Not one has ever mentioned there could be a connection between the two. But there has to be......

    Edit:

    After doing a bit more reading I realize I have the process of manufacturing backwards - seems the cholesterol comes first, then the bile salts. So does that blow my whole theory? The Calcium should still help with the diarrhea issues - but most likely will not effect the cholesterol.
    Last edited by tomi; 05-14-2012 at 01:46 PM.
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    Nady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomi View Post
    I had my gall bladder removed in 2007. And yes, discussed the high cholesterol and the diarrhea issue with several doctors! Not one has ever mentioned there could be a connection between the two. But there has to be......
    You're right, there is~ uncommon, but very real.
    from Bile Salt Diarrhea

    How is this treated?

    There is no cure for this problem, but treatment is available. Once it has been established that bile salt diarrhea is the problem, treatment is usually prescribed to lessen the symptoms of diarrhea and urgency. The mainstay of treatment is a powder called cholestyramine resin (Pronunciation: kole ESS tir a meen). This medication is primarily marketed as a drug for patients with high blood cholesterol. It comes as a powder that is mixed with about 6 ounces of water. Several formulations are available such as Locholest, Locholest Light, Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light. It also comes in a tablet form called Colestid. Much like a chemical "sponge," this medicine lowers blood cholesterol by trapping and inactivating bile salts in the intestine, preventing their reabsorption. By trapping bile salts, cholestyramine also helps patients with bile salt diarrhea. The dose required to treat this condition is usually only once daily.
    Have you ever taken any of these medications? And if so, did they improve the problem?

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    tomi's Avatar
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    I read that just yesterday. So why has NO doctor ever offered to give me a script for one of these medicines? I'm really losing faith in the medical field! I wonder if they are available without a Rx. I'm going to check.

    Thanks for you input!

    Edit: nope - Rx only.
    Last edited by tomi; 05-14-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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    tomi's Avatar
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    Anyone had any experience with Colestid?
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    Noel's Avatar
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    Did you ever try the cholestyramine for your problem? I know this thread is old but I came across it and wanted to respond. I had my gallbladder out 10 years ago and have taken this medication ever since. Luckily the surgeon that removed my gallbladder knew of the medication and promptly gave it to me when I complained of having severe constant diarrhea. Over the years when I've moved and had new drs I've had to explain why I take it, some had not heard of it or the problem I have. Without this medication I'd be disabled! I have zero problems if I take it once a day. I hope you were able to find someone to prescribe it to you!

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