Taking Bile Salts as Supplements

Have you had your gallbladder removed, and you have digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, and bloating? Are you experiencing a slow but constant downward spiral in your health? You may have had your surgery a month ago or 30 years ago – you may suddenly have symptoms, or you may have been living with them for years. Doctors offer little assistance in dealing with these problems, because according to them, “you don’t have to change what you eat.” Unfortunately, having your gallbladder removed only treats the symptoms, not the underlying causes of the gallstones in the first place.

However, with thousands of patients suffering indigestion, bloating and a slow decline in health post-surgery, naturopaths have done their own research, and a lot of evidence points to a lack of bile salts.  Find out about this supplement below and how it can benefit you.

biliary system

Why Bile Salts?

Because the gallbladder aids in the digestion of fats, removal of the gallbladder can result in such symptoms as indigestion and gas due to improper absorption of fats. This is because bile, which includes bile salts, is no longer gushed into the intestines in adequate quantity to digest the amount of fat found in a large meal.

Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. When the gallbladder is removed, bile will continually trickle into the digestive system, whether you are eating or not.

Normally when you eat a heavy meal, the gallbladder responds by forcing a large amount of bile to efficiently digest the fats – not just fats from greasy foods, but healthy essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.

So, without a gallbladder, you are not only inefficiently digesting your meals, but your body is missing out on some of the healthy fatty acids and oils needed for your heart, nervous system, absorption of sugars and a healthy brain. Over the years, your body will wear down faster than it should be.

Bile Salts as a Solution

Much research has pointed to the use of bile salt supplements as an effective means of dealing with the digestive disorders common after gallbladder surgery. Ox bile benefits:  Taken with a meal, bile salts help to digest fats and aid in absorption of the fat soluble vitamins. They may also help with occasional constipation.

When shopping for bile supplements take into consideration that the best way to take them is to vary the dose each time. That is difficult to do with a 500 mg capsule. Therefore, many prefer 110 or 125 mg capsules and they can take 2, 3 or 4 tiny capsules per time. And since one of the functions of bile acid is to move the bowel, 500 mg or more on a regular basis could result in diarrhea

Bile Salts Booster

Bile Salts Booster

or loose stools.Taurine is used in the body to convert bile salts to the more water soluble form which is the less toxic form of bile. Therefore, taking taurine along with bile salts would be supportive to healthy bile formation. Also, cholic acid is a more water soluble form of bile acid than most, so look for a supplement that is has cholic acid in it.Any ox bile supplement is purified. Purified essentially means sterilized. Ox bile is the same thing as bovine bile. The bovine family includes bison, ox, bull and cow, etc. and therefore, there is no such thing a vegetarian ox bile extract or supplement. It doesn’t exist.

How to Take Bile Supplements

  • Rotation of Dosage – Randomly alternate your dosage with each meal, using 1, 2, 3 or 4 capsules per meal. While it makes sense to take more with a high protein/high fat meal, in general be random about your dosing.
  • Dosage – the dosage of bile salts will depend on the brand, the type of bile salt, and the milligram content of the supplement. Also, many people find that adjusting the amount of bile salts to their own comfort level is ideal. Bile salts are best taken with a meal, as they provide the acids needed to digest your food.
  • Brands – a number of brands offer bile salts. These include Good Apple Nutritionals (Bile Salts Booster – 110 mg Ox Bile with 40 mg Taurine) Standard Process (Cholacol, collonsonia with ox bile), NutriCology – bovine bile (500 or 125 Ox Bile), and Dews (Bile Salts, 432 mg per capsule).

Side Effects of Bile Salts

Although many people experience help from bile salts, there is one main side effect some people experience: diarrhea. Bile moves the bowel. After gallbladder surgery this can be a common problem as there is no longer a gallbladder to store the excess bile. Supplemental bile salts can add to the excess and cause diarrhea. If you have constipation, you can get away with more bile salts. If not, it is better to get a supplement with smaller milligrams such as 110 or 125.  You need just the right balance of your body’s production and the supplement. Everybody is different.

On the opposite side of the coin, if you experience constant diarrhea after you have had your gallbladder removed, you may have the opposite effect – bile salt diarrhea, where your liver is producing too much bile salt. This spills over into the colon, where it acts as a laxative.

Some people never get rid of this; some people take years to get rid of it and some people have found that taking cholestyramine, a prescription cholesterol drug that also soaks up excess bile salts, stopped it quickly and stopped it for good. It could certainly be worth a try. For some who do not get help with cholestyramine, the natural remedies below sometimes help. It is estimated that 5% of people who have had their gallbladder removed will suffer from this.

Other Supplements To Take After Gallbladder Removal

Taking bile supplements can be one part of your regimen for digestive health, but there are several others supplements that may be helpful as well.

  • Apple Pectin – Research studies conclude that pectin fiber may help to control the symptoms of diarrhea, and may be a great companion to deal with the side effect of bile salt diarrhea. The are several choices for this product but this is the only one I could find with vegetarian capsules.
  • Medi-Clay – a bentonite clay product that may help to adsorb excess bile acids.
  • Fiber Supplement– not only will fiber absorb water and firm up the stool, it may also work as a digestive sweep; aiding in the digestion of fats and eliminating toxins.
  • Probiotics – another great key to digestive health is probiotics. Made up of “good bacteria” commonly found in the intestinal tract, probiotics help maintain balance in the intestinal tract. They have been found helpful in dealing with gas and other digestive issues.
  • Betaine – Betaine HCl stimulates digestive secretions, including bile and pancreatic enzymes. It is essential for the digestion of proteins. If you are experiencing constant diarrhea, swap the bile salts for betaine instead.
  • Choline – the bitartrate form is another aid in digestion. Choline supplements help absorb excess cholesterol and fats. They also help with fatty liver. Many take bile salts and choline together. In fact, the experts on natural solutions for gallbladder symptoms, put bile salts and choline together in a kit for Gas & Bloating. Check it out.

 

Bile Salt Supplementation and Bile Acid Diarrhea

There is no question about the countless benefits of bile salt supplements for digestion, gut health, and bile circulation. Bile salts support detoxification and stimulate fat burning, according to numerous research studies. Despite the overwhelming advantages, there are some people apprehensive about taking bile salts simply because they are afraid of bile acid diarrhea (BAD). But the truth is – bile salt supplements are not the cause of bile acid diarrhea!

Having loose stools or more frequent bowel movement over a short period of time is very different from chronic diarrhea and BAD. And although it is true that taking bile salt supplements may alter the enterohepatic circulation (bile circulation) and may change the schedule or frequency of elimination in some individuals, BAD is much worse and more complicated.

Bile Acids: The Basics

Before we discuss the details of bile acid diarrhea, we need to first have at least a basic understanding of what bile acids are and what they do for us.

Bile acids are products of cholesterol emulsification and utilization and are synthesized in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and reabsorbed in the small intestine. Bile acids induce the secretion of water and electrolytes, accelerate the transit of food and waste in the colon by stimulating contractions, and ultimately supports better digestion and metabolism.

Bile acids are considered “detergent molecules” because they break down fatty acids and monotriglycerides, making them crucial components of digestion and metabolism.

Below is the average bile acid kinetics in adults:

  • Bile acid secretion 12 g/day
  • Bile acid pool size 2-3 g
  • Cycling frequency 4-6x/day
  • Amount reabsorbed per cycle 95%
  • Fecal bile acid loss <0.5 g/day
  • Average half-life 3 days

Significant alterations of those quantities may cause irregularities in the frequency, quantity, and quality of elimination.

Symptoms of Bile Acid Diarrhea

There are a lot of possible reasons for diarrhea ranging from bad food to intestinal diseases. You don’t usually to go to the emergency room at the first feeling of discomfort, but if your diarrhea is severe, frequent, and long-term, then maybe it’s time for a check-up. Below are some symptoms of bile acid diarrhea, also referred sometimes as bile acid malabsorption. Many of these symptoms mimic those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other related conditions so it is really not advisable to self-diagnose chronic diarrhea.

  • Pale and greasy stools
  • Up to ten episodes of diarrhea during the day, sometimes also at night
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Excessive Gas

Diagnosis of Bile Acid Diarrhea

There are a number of different diagnostic tests that can confirm if there is abnormal bile acid amounts lost in the feces. However, before any test is done, a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history should be done to rule out all other possible causes of the diarrhea. Past procedures done like cholecystectomy, radiotherapy, or ileal resection definitely increase the risk of BAD. Patients with Chron’s Disease and IBD are also at greater risk of suffering from BAD.

Initially, what diagnosis aims to determine is whether the chronic diarrhea has been caused by inflammation, the ingestion of an active substance that interferes with the normal function of the digestive system or the body as a whole, or if it is secretory diarrhea (the type of loose bowel elimination wherein electrolyte absorption is impaired). In cases where patients are suspected to have bile salt-induced diarrhea, a distinction must be made if it is a fatty type of elimination or if the electrolyte absorption is impaired.

Once other possible diarrhea causes have been eliminated, a number of tests may be administered. Until new and more advanced methods are developed, the SeHCAT test remains to be the gold standard bile acid diarrhea diagnosis.

Causes of Bile Acid Diarrhea

There are various causes of bile acid diarrhea:

  1. Chlorgenic diarrhea – This type is also called chlorgenic enteropathy, the type of diarrhea caused by ileal dysfuction such as in individuals with Chron’s disease.
  2. Ideopathic diarrhea – This is also called primary BAD. Unlike the first type, there is no clear explanation in idiopathic diarrhea as to why the colon does not fully reabsorb the circulating bile acids.
  3. BAD caused by gastrointestinal disorders that affect absorption of bile acids in the body like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Celiac Disease, Chronic Pancreatitis, etc.
  4. Excessive bile acid synthesis in the liver – There is no definitive cause for excessive bile acid production. Some studies associate it with some hypoglycemic drugs like metformin but there is also a plausible theory on the role of genetics and hormonal dysfunction with bile acid synthesis. Some studies show that it is due to the impaired negative feedback by the ileal (small intestine) hormone called fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19). The theories state that the bile acid absorption in the cells of the small intestine is not enough to generate the sufficient level of FGF19. FGF19’s function is to repress bile acid synthesis as it signals through receptors in the liver.

Treatment of Bile Acid Diarrhea

Once BAD has been diagnosed, then various treatments may be recommended by the doctor coupled with dietary changes. If there are underlying conditions causing the BAD such as in idiopathic diarrhea, then those gastrointestinal, pancreatic, or hepatic conditions must be addressed first. The following bile acid sequestrant medications may then be prescribed:

  1. Colestyramine and Colestipol
  2. Colesevelam

Bile acid sequestrants act by absorbing grabbing the excessive bile and removing it via bowel secretion. In general, these drugs work only on the bile and are not systemic drugs. Ask your doctor for the proper dosage and frequency of the medication.

Dietary Changes

If you have a confirmed case of BAD, dietary changes are a must. The body synthesizes and releases more bile acids when we eat lots of foods, especially fatty and greasy ones. Therefore, to lessen the amount of bile acids available, a low-fat diet is recommended. Low levels of bile acids in the colon decreases the chances of having diarrhea. And since fats are still required by the body, don’t waste your limited allotment on unhealthy choices.  Use good fats such as the following:

  • Omega 3 Oils like fish, flax or hemp
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Cold water fish – like salmon and trout

And you can also try C8 and C10 oils which are two type of medium chain triglycerides isolated from coconut oil which do not require bile for digestion. Therefore, not only are they readily absorbed, but may not affect the bowel. Note that you need to start extremely slowly as they commonly cause bowel issues if not taken in very small doses while your body acclimates.

Conclusion

Bile acid diarrhea or bile acid malabsorption is a condition; it is not caused by supplemental bile salts. You can get loose stools or diarrhea by taking too high doses of bile salts, but this can be easily modified to your comfort if you buy small capsules with lower milligrams. The ability of bile salts to move the bowel is one of its virtues and appreciated by many people.  Just use your common sense, and start slowly.

 

Ox Bile Weight Loss: Real or Hoax?

Bile Salts for Weight Management

A commercial research made by Marketdata LLC, a market research firm following the weight loss industry since 1989, confirms that there are about 97 million active dieters in the US alone. This huge chunk of the population is responsible for boosting the weight loss business to as much as $3 billion in 2017. Medical weight loss clinics, gyms, and other avenues for working out also abound. Sales for meal replacements, diet pills, low-calorie foods, and diet apps have also been steadily increasing in the last decades.

Ironically, CDC statistics states that 80% of American weight watchers try to do it by themselves and the majority fail. In fact, instead of getting thinner, they get fatter. More so, many of those who lose weight drastically are also expected to gain the weight back within a year or so.

But why?

The most popular reason is still the lack of commitment to a serious lifestyle change which requires making better food choices and engaging in regular physical activity. On top of that, other reasons why people on a diet do not succeed (or why those who lose weight eventually gain them back) include:

  • Poor digestion
  • Slow metabolism
  • Insulin resistance and abnormal glucose levels
  • Integration of something unnatural that cannot be sustained (diet pills, meal replacements, etc.)

Ox Bile Weight Loss – How are bile salts different from diet pills and supplements?

To explicitly define and classify what diet pills and supplements are would require one whole research article. But for the purpose of discussion, let us just describe it as any product ingested that aims to promote weight loss, curb appetite, provide nutritional or meal replacement, or block the absorption of fats, carbohydrates, or calories from your food intake so as not to affect your weight. Some of these pills work, and some don’t but to what extent?

Did you know that many of the ingredients used by common diet pills have already been prohibited by the FDA because of their side-effects? Some trigger symptoms that can increase risk for heart attack and other related diseases. There are even claims that diet pills contain addictive substances that may eventually lead to dependence on these drugs.

Having said that, the major advantages of using bile salts for weight management are as follows:

  • Bile salts are natural.

Our bodies already have natural bile salts. However, a number of factors and poor habits may affect its rate of production and release, thus affecting digestion and metabolism. Bile salt supplements simply aim to reinforce and support whatever naturally exists within each of us.

  • Bile salts pose no serious side effects

Numerous studies have already proven that bile salts pose no real danger. Aside from the rare discomfort due to diarrhea experienced by some, there are no major side-effects brought about by taking this supplement because again, they are natural. And that can usually be control by dosage, unless, of course, diarrhea is a pre-existing occurrence.

  • Bile salts do not aim to replace any nutrients or alter natural body functions.

Unlike many diet pills, bile salts won’t make your body do something it is not naturally designed to do.

How can Bile Salts help with Weight Management?

There are many ways that bile salts can help those who are trying to manage their weight or maintain the status quo.

First, bile salts can improve digestion by breaking down the large fat molecules and breaking them down into simpler fats. This is a natural process that happens as the liver and gallbladder releases bile. However, there are cases when fat intake is much more than what the body is prepared to handle. Some liver or gallbladder concerns may also affect the quality and quantity of bile released for fat digestion. This means that even fat-soluble molecules like vitamins A, D, E, and K are affected. Aside from the accumulation of fats, insufficient bile salts in the body may lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiency. That is how bile salts are necessary for digestion. Bile salts also make simple fats more water soluble, and the bile itself, less toxic.

Secondly, bile salts support thermogenesis. The metabolic effect of bile salts increases activity in brown fat. The thermogenesis prompted by the bile and bile salts help waste calories for fat loss. Bile salts also interact with the TGR5 receptor resulting in increased fatty acid oxidation. Through all these mechanisms, bile salt is able to support healthy metabolism.

Lastly, bile salts help with glycemic control. Bile salt supplements can support glucose regulation in the bloodstream. Aside from lowering the risk of diseases related to insulin resistance, this mechanism of bile salts can also control hunger pangs (when you’re really not hungry) as well as  sweet cravings.

So do I buy bile salts to lose weight?

Weight loss and weight management is not the primary purpose of bile salts. However, as explained earlier, the various effects of bile salts on digestion, metabolism, and glycemic control prove it to be an effective supporter for a healthy weight loss journey. There is no shortcut and alternative to a healthier lifestyle but it wouldn’t hurt getting the natural help available for you that supplemental bile salts can provide.

Bile Salts with Taurine

Bile Salts Booster

Bile Salts Booster

With all the available ox bile and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) supplements available in the market, it might be confusing and difficult to use. So if you need bile salts with a boost, get Bile Salts Booster with Taurine. Taurine isn’t just another additional nutrient. It does a lot more for your overall health. Moreover, research proves that taurine-conjugated bile acids are less toxic than glycine-conjugated bile acids, contributing to healthier bile.

Taurine supports…

  • detoxification
  • heart health
  • weight management
  • brain function
  • immunity
  • overall physical performance
  • digestion and metabolism

Symptoms That May Benefit from Bile Salts Supplements

Aside from people who have had their gallbladder removed, anyone with difficulty digesting fats accompanied with gallbladder-like symptoms,u could benefit from taking bile salts and other bile thinning supplements. Gallbladder symptoms may include:

* Pain in the upper right side of abdomen
* Pain in right shoulder blade
* Diarrhea and/or constipation
* Indigestion after eating, fatty food
* Full feeling
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Bloating
* Gas
* Burping

Gallbladder Supplements

There are other supplements in addition to bile salts that are supportive of both the liver and the gallbladder as well as the bile itself.

  • Bile Salts – 110 mg purified ox bile with taurine.
  • Organic Beet Root – beets contain betaine which aids digestion and supports healthy bile flow.
  • Choline – assists digestion of fats and when taken with Bile Salts Booster may help with gas and bloating.
  • Fos Formula – supports bile thinning as well as sludge. Also helpful in relieving symptoms of discomfort.

Actually, the foremost authority on natural solutions for gallbladder problems is GallbladderAttack.com. You will find everything there from a good gallbladder diet as well as answers to all of your questions. There’s a section on what different things can go wrong with the gallbladder as well as the largest list of causes of gallbladder disease. They make it easy by providing a Gallbladder Starter Kit – everything you know in one package. And you’ll find they have great customer service with an online chat so you can get your questions answered.

 

Dealing with Bile Salt Malabsorption

Bile salts are produced in the liver. They are included in the bile and sent to the gallbladder, where the bile is concentrated and stored. When the stomach empties its contents into the upper intestines (duodenum) for further digestion, the gallbladder releases the bile into the duodenum to aid in the digestion of fats in the food.

If bile salts are not absorbed properly, they are passed into the intestine where they can cause diarrhea. If your gallbladder has been removed, bile constantly trickles into your duodenum and small intestine – while this is not usually a problem, a percentage of people without a gallbladder will have digestive problems – either because of too much bile (causing diarrhea) or too little (causing improper digestion of fats and indigestion – a bile salt supplement is recommended).

The diarrhea may be watery, and frequently occurs after meals. Testing of the diarrhea specimens will reveal excess amounts of bile salts (acids) present. While the disorder is not life-threatening, it can disrupt normal life due to the number of trips to the bathroom.

Causes of Bile Salt Malabsorption

woman stomach ache bile acidBile salt malabsorption is connected to two primary diseases: Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, it is difficult to determine if the malabsorption causes the diarrhea in those diseases, or if the diseases themselves trigger the malabsorption.

The lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum, is responsible for absorbing bile salts. In patients who have had part of their ileum removed, bile salt malabsorption is common.

Another possible cause of bile salt malabsorption is pancreatic insufficiency. In other words, improper function of the pancreas. This can be the result of alcoholism, but can have other causes as well.

If you have had your gall bladder removed, you may experience this as well – about 5% of patients report painful diarrhea after surgery, which does not abate. Studies show that the liver sometimes produces extra bile salts to compensate for the lack of a storage area for bile. This excess bile overwhelms the small intestine and spills over into the colon, where it acts as a laxative.

How Intestinal Bacteria Relates

Recent studies show that the malabsorption of bile acids may also be due to improper balance of intestinal bacteria. The body normally maintains about 400 types of good bacteria (called probiotics) in the intestinal tract. These flora can be killed off when antibiotics are taken for infection. The resulting imbalance of intestinal bacteria may contribute to failure to properly absorb bile salts. (Whenever I take antibitotics, I always take a probiotic supplement afterward.)

Treatment for Malabsorption

The most common treatment for bile salt malabsorption is bile salt binders, called sequestrants. The most common binders are cholestyramine and colestipol, which are both available by prescription. Even though these drugs are effective at stopping the diarrhea, they are often hard for patients to tolerate. Side effects can include abdominal pain and bloating. Other possible treatments may include:

  • Welchol (Colesevelam) – a newer drug called Welchol – generic name of colesevelam, is said to be 4 times more potent than traditional binders. This drug has shown fewer side effects and greater likelihood of success. It is available by prescription.
  • Medi-Clay – a purified bentonite clay product that adsorbs excess bile salts in a similar way that the drugs do. Although not as potent, every body is different and some may get better results with this.
  • Apple Pectin – also helpful for binding excessive bile acids
  • Probiotics – because some research points to an imbalance of intestinal bacteria, it may be helpful to supplement with probiotics. These supplements are natural, have few, if any side effects, and can be beneficial for dealing with other digestive disorders. They help gas, bloating, and diarrhea in certain cases. Because of their safety, probiotics may be an excellent way to support the digestive process and correct the cause of bile acid malabsorption. (Probiotics are also found in yogurt.)
  • Pancreatic Support – because some bile salt absorption is linked to poor function of the pancreas, treatments that support the pancreas may help the problem. Pancreatic enzymes are readily available over the counter and help the digestion of proteins and fats.

Diarrhea: Dealing with the Unpleasant Side Effect of Bile Salts

man with bile salt diarrhea

 

If you are one of those people who are dealing with diarrhea while taking bile salts, you are not alone. Bile salts may help many people find relief from indigestion and other symptoms related to gall bladder removal, but they may face a few side effects. Diarrhea is one of them.

Nothing is more frustrating than taking a supplement to help one issue, only to have another one develop. However, there are steps you can take to combat the diarrhea and allow you to continue reaping the benefits of taking bile salts. The first one is to get a bile salt supplement in a small capsule, with 125 mg or less. That amount rarely causes side effects. Secondly, take some taurine along with it, especially if you have had gallbladder surgery. The body’s own bile composition after gallbladder removal tends to be more fat soluble and toxic. Taurine is used in the formation of water soluble bile salts. Adding that to your bile salt pool may help and certainly can’t hurt.

Why Do Bile Salts Cause Diarrhea?

woman with bile salt crampingSome people who take bile salts begin having issues with the loose, watery stools normally associated with diarrhea. These symptoms can also appear after gall bladder removal (called a cholecystectomy) in people who are not taking supplemental bile salts. The reason for both of these situations appears to be related: a more constant, less concentrated flow of bile into the intestines. In order to understand this, it is important to know a little about how the gall bladder functions.

Normally, the liver secretes bile, which is made up of bile salts, cholesterol, and phospholipids. When a person is not digesting food, the bile is directed to the gall bladder where it is concentrated and stored. When food enters the area below the stomach, called the duodenum, the gall bladder begins to pump bile in to break down fats in the food. This is an important part of digestion.

If a person has had their gall bladder removed, there is no storage for bile. Instead the bile runs continually into the intestine. This is caused by too much bile salts, which act as a laxative. About 5% of all patients who have their gall bladder removed will experience this. Unfortunately, there is not often help with this, but there is medication. Talk to your doctor.

Taking a bile salt supplement also increases the amount of these substances entering into the intestinal tract, which may produce a similar laxative effect.

What Can be Done to Help?

Loose, watery stools for any reason are not pleasant. Doctors sometimes prescribe medication that attempts to control diarrhea caused by the removal of the gall bladder. However, there are some natural steps that can be taken to help regulate diarrhea, whether it is caused by gall bladder removal, bile salt supplementation, or both.

  • Apple Pectin – Research studies conclude that pectin fiber may help to control the symptoms of diarrhea, and may be a great companion to deal with the side effect of bile salt diarrhea. The are several choices for this product but this is the only one I could find with vegetarian capsules.
  • Medi-Clay – a bentonite clay product that may help to adsorb excess bile acids.
  • Fiber – the addition of fiber in the diet can add more bulk to the stool, helping with diarrhea. Patients will want to add fiber slowly to the diet, to avoid additional gastrointestinal discomfort. Fiber works by soaking up excess water and firm up the stool. Everyone one needs at least 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day, but extra will not hurt, as it will be eliminated from the body. Soluble fiber, such as the inside of beans, peas, apples, and pears, as well as oatmeal and oat bran may be better for the control of diarrhea than insoluble fiber. Fiber supplements are also available.

Other Thoughts

Other ideas for dealing with diarrhea include limiting fat intake, and eating smaller, more frequent meals. Eating more frequently will put food in the digestive track more often, using up more of the bile salts.

Also, some people trying to find a right balance of supplements to enjoy proper digestion have also tried choline and betaine. Read this article for information.

Bile Salts – Can They Help?

A common concern after gallbladder surgery is frequent indigestion, gas, and bloating. If you experience these symptoms, you know the discomfort they bring. You may not have found a lot of help from your doctor but understanding the cause of these issues may help find solutions. One possible solution is taking bile salts. But do they really help?

Those Awful Symptoms

Many people think that all their digestive problems will be over after their gallbladder is removed. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. There are several reasons for this. One is the fact that gallbladder difficulties are often related to diet and obesity. Unless these factors change, a person may continue to have digestive issues, even without their gallbladder.

bile salt abdominal painAnother issue is how the body responds to the removal of the gallbladder. When the gallbladder is intact and functioning properly, it releases bile into the intestines to aid in the digestion of fats. The timing of this release is coordinated with the digestive process.

After the gallbladder is removed, bile flows in small, but steady amounts into the intestine. This may cause diarrhea in some patients, due to bile not being mixed with sufficient food. However, another, more common side effect can occur: gas, indigestion, and bloating. The reason for this is because there is not sufficient bile available to mix with the stomach contents when a large or high-fat meal is consumed. The result is improperly digested fats, which results in digestive upset.

Help – I need it!

People often wonder if it is possible to find relief from these difficult symptoms. Thankfully, the answer is usually yes. Sometimes these issues can be caused by other disorders such as peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and pancreatitis. But many times they are easier to treat. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eat a low-fat diet – reducing the amount of fat your body has to digest is an easy to understand solution. The more fats you consume, the harder your body has to work to digest them. Because you do not have a gallbladder to dump larger amounts of bile, you can help your body by reducing fat intake.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals – eating smaller meals means that your digestive tract has less content to deal with at a time. This means that the smaller, but constant amounts of bile can be mixed with the food better.
  • Use probiotics – certain studies show that adding probiotics to the diet helps with digestive issues such as gas and indigestion. Your body normally maintains around 400 different strains of these “good bacteria” in the intestine, but they can be killed off by the use of antibiotics. Eating yogurt with live cultures or taking probiotic supplement may be a great help for your symptoms.
  • Bile Salts – because the bile normally contains bile salts, these substances have been found to help break down fats. When the amount of bile salts is reduced due to gallbladder removal, supplementing the diet with bile salts can be helpful. Many suffers have found that Bile Salts Booster (ox bile salts plus taurine) works better for them. Taken with meals, bile salts assist the absorption of the fats.

More on Bile Salts

Bile Salts Booster

Bile Salts Booster

Bile salts occur naturally in the body and are produced by the liver as part of bile. They are intended to help the digestion of fats in the body, and aid in absorbing fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins E, A, D, and K.

If these fat soluble vitamins and fatty acids are not absorbed, they are passed onto the colon, where they can contribute to diarrhea.

Most people produce adequate amounts of bile salts, but when the gallbladder is removed, fewer bile salts are available when food is digested. This can lead to indigestion, gas, and even deficiency of fat soluble vitamins. For these people, supplementing the diet with bile salts may improve their quality of life.

Other functions of bile salts include:

  • Breaking down and eliminating toxins – the liver is the body’s primary toxin filter and sends most of the filtered toxins into the bile to be eliminated. In addition, bile continues to break down the walls of viruses and other substances in the digestive tract. When the body fails to properly break down these toxins they can cause skin problems, such as those found in psoriasis. Some research reveals successful treatment of psoriasis with bile salts. This demonstrates the powerful effects these substances can have on the body.
  • Re absorption – bile salts are reabsorbed into the body for re-use in the liver. This ensures continual supply for optimal digestion.

The Good and Bad of Bile Salt Supplements

As with any supplement, it is important to evaluate the benefits and any negative effects of bile salts. Rather than quickly taking something and wondering about the results later, an informed decision will help prepare a person to observe how the substance effects their body.

  • The Good – many people find relief from their digestive discomfort, indigestion, gas, and bloat while taking bile salts. In addition, some people have found other, seemingly unrelated symptoms clear up, including skin conditions, and toxicity of the blood.
  • The Bad – a reported side effect of taking bile salts is more frequent diarrhea. This would be similar to the malabsorption of bile salts found in some people with conditions like Crohn’s and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While diarrhea is never pleasant, steps can be taken to minimize it, allowing patients to find digestive relief without unpleasant side effects.

Since the main drawback to bile salt supplementation is diarrhea, it may be helpful to address how this can be managed. Two simple solutions have been found:

  • Fiber – increased fiber intake bulks up the stool by absorbing excess water. Bile salts produce watery stools, so fiber is often an adequate solution. Fiber can be taken as a supplement, or may be acquired in the diet by eating high-fiber foods such as whole grains and vegetables.
  • Calcium Carbonate – a common ingredient in medications for diarrhea, calcium carbonate has proven success in slowing diarrhea. It can be found in supplement form, and may help to reduce the diarrhea associated with bile salt supplementation.

If you are considering taking bile salts, it is recommended that you start slowly and add more as needed. Monitor your symptoms and only take as much as is needed to regulate digestion and provide relief. Too much can cause painful diarrhea.

Welcome to Bilesalts.net!

After my gallbladder surgery, my doctor said I would have no troubles eating normally. However, this hasn’t happened. After continuous upset stomach and digestive problems after every meal (even eating healthy), I tried a bile salts supplement. What a difference! Stay tuned for more information on this product and what I did to help my digestion.

 


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