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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,In 2002 I had severe problems with my gallbladder and had it out. Prior to that I developed really bad D. I finally read about Questran again and people with thier GB out and got my doctor to let me try it. I normally would suffer several bouts of D each morning, with maybe more in the afternoon depending on what I ate. With Questran I have not had one D movement in 2 in a half weeks. It seems like an answered prayer. I wonder now if I never truly had IBS and just have suffered from the bile issue.Anyway, I have read through some Questran threads here. I too am having the bloated/stuffed feeling all the time. Also taking the Questran has its challenges. I'm wary of changing things since it is working so well, but I'd like to improve the experience if possible. I have read the following in some threads:- That a pill exists, but it is big- Mash it up in applesauce, drink it in apple juice or orange juice- Reduce dosage to halfI am taking the powder form, Cholestyramine (I think Questran is a private label form of this basic version?). It is a 9 gram dose, once in the am and once in the pm.I began using Orange juice with it, and OJ seems to work the best, you barely notice it. Water is the worst. But I found that much OJ (you have to use a bit more than half a glass, at least) gave me some heartburn. It seems as though "thicker" drinks work best. So questions:1. What has worked best for suspending the Questran? So far for me it is OJ, but tough to drink that much OJ and not get heartburn.2. Have many of you had luck in reducing your doses? I wonder if 1 dose will do, but it works so well now I'm worried about reducing.3. Does the pill work as well as the powder? I have never had trouble with pills.4. I do take a couple other meds (allergy, beta blocker). My doctor nor the pharmicist said nothing about Questran absorbing medications - is that true?5. Any other tips?I'm extremely happy this is working so well - I almost cannot believe it. I'm resigned to taking this the rest of my life if that is what it takes, it would be a small price to pay considering what I was going through with the D. I'd just like to make the experience as good as possible.Thanks!Tom
 

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does this sound crazy? the questran helps me greatly but I am prone to blood clots in my legs ( superficial ones) and I swear my legs ache more when I take the questran? could it thicken your blood do you think? I see on the precautions that your not to take it if your taking a blood thinner. I WONDER?????????
 

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I think the issue with the blood thinner is that if it absorbs the blood thinner in the GI tract that can really mess up the dose.With a lot of blood thinners there is a whole range of things you can't take because they either absorb the drug or they alter the metabolism. Often any time you have a medication change you have to get tested to make sure you are getting the right dose given the new set of circumstances.It might be it absorbs CoQ-10? That is one nutrient that can cause aching muscles when it's absorption or metabolism is messed with.K.I did some checking and it doesn't mess with that one, but
quote: Questran (cholestyramine), a drug used to reduce elevated blood fats and cholesterol, can hamper the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, causing a host of problems, including dry eyes, rough and scaly skin, increased vulnerability to colds and skin abscesses, muscle weakness, anemia, and easy bruising.
it can mess with other ones and the weakness might show up as aching??It might be worth taking a good multi vitamin and a CoQ10 (as many multi's don't have it and even though it wasn't mentioned, it might not be as it isn't as well studied as some of the others) at a time when you don't take the Questran and see if it helps.
 

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Wow, Tom - I was just going to post a topic exactly like this one - you sound like you are having the same exact experience I am right now. I had my GB out about a year and a half ago. The D was bad before I had it out - and it didn't really get better, but my pain went away. Since the surgery, I have tried lots of things to help with the D. I finally got my doctor to prescribe the cholestyramine (he was reluctant until I described in great detail what my days were like
).I've been taking it for about two weeks and I agree - it is some pretty amazing stuff for controlling the D, but there are drawbacks. I feel so full all the time, and am actually feeling a bit constipated (!) at times. I am supposed to take one scoop a day, but I have reduced that to about 3/4 of a scoop and it seems to help a bit with the bloating and fullness. I was wondering if that feeling gets better over time, because it is really bothering me. I sometimes don't feel like eating. That's okay for now, 'cause I could use to lose a few pounds (like 10) but later on, that could be a real problem.As for what to mix it with - water is the worst, OJ is the best I've tried yet. But I have the same problem - too much OJ gives me heartburn. I was thinking of trying the low acid OJ to see if that helps. I mixed it with part OJ and part gatorade today - not too bad. I thought about trying it with applesauce, too, but I don't really like applesauce.So if anyone out there has ideas for what to mix it with that would be great.Tom - keep me posted on your progress and I'll do the same! You can PM me if you want.Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Glad to hear it is helping you too Marty
So here is my update - I'm a bit surprised there have not been more comments though.Yep, taking it with water is horrendous. Basically it seems that is because it does not dissolve in water, obviously - so it's like drinking sand water. I have the peculiar talent of being able to chug liquids, so I can literally down about 10oz of the mixture in about 2-3 seconds, which helps - but it's still bad.I tried mixing it with applesauce, and I almost threw up - no kidding. Do NOT try that. It does seem like over the last week I have gotten more used to the fulness - maybe the body adapts a bit. I am still taking one packet in the morning and one at night - still afraid to cut it down. I did split a packet one day between the night/morning does and did not seem to affect me adversely - I may try that again.I just went back to OJ last night. Not only does it seem to cause a bit of heartburn, but for me it also seems to loosen my stool - I just made that connection today. I'm thinking the gatorade might be a good idea.I also tried orange kool-aid and it was no different than water. I wonder what it is about the orange juice that masks the taste and texture so well, that really is the key. I don't think it dissolves, but it's covered somehow. Funny, my doctor was also reluctant to prescribe it. His point was that since I had the D beforehand, there was no cause and effect. But here you have it, working like a charm.I still think that the cause beforehand was the malfunctioning gallbladder, so there is indeed cause and effect.Let me know if you have any other successess and I will share mine. Please, if anyone else has experiences that they can share to help us, it will be greatly appreciated.Tom
 

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OK, I won't try the applesauce! I didn't really want to anyway.I have a tough time chugging liquids, so this is really a problem for me. If I could just get it over with, it might not be so bad. The first day I took it I tried mixing it with just water and downing it - and found myself gagging over the sink. I have a pretty fragile gag reflex anyway and this stuff is truly a gag-maker. I can tolerate it if I sip it slowly mixed with OJ and thinned with water or gatorade a bit. Gatorade alone is just like water or kool-aid. Hey - I wonder if tomato juice or V8 would work? Might taste a little weird because of the orange flavor of the questran itself but that might be worth a try. It is a thicker liquid, which I agree is the key to masking the texture of the questran. I have some V8 at home - I'll try that tomorrow.As the GB problems causing the D. I'm almost convinced that is the case for me - my D got gradually worse for years, while at the same time the pain I was experiencing in the upper right quadrant also got worse. After I had my son, things deteriorated quickly. I had an ultrasound for stones, which showed nothing, so I was sent on my merry way with the docs dismissing my insistence there was something wrong with my gallbladder. I suffered for another 6 months, and along the way did some research of my own. I found out about the HIDA scan and decided to ask for that. My HIDA scan that showed my GB was working at a rate of 9% - very poor indeed. No stones - just inflammation and disease.So I was pretty sure having my gallbladder out wouldn't affect the D much - but the doctors were sure it would help and in any case it had to come out because of the pain. I figured that if my GB was barely doing anything, having it removed would, if anything, worsen the D a little. That turned out to be the case.Anyway - the questran seems to be working, supporting my theory that my D is mostly a bile issue.I'll try the V8 tomorrow and let you know how it goes.Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
V8 - good idea. Let me know how it goes, and I may try that myself. Lord knows I could use some vitamins in me too. I wonder if it still might be too acidic though, but worth a try.My issue was in fact stones, although the diagnosis was confused with IBS so my gall bladder issue went untreated for some time, but it ended up I had a gall bladder *full* of stones. My bile would back up and I would get pancreatitus attacks - very painful!Again, let us know how it goes. I may try the gatorade too.Tom
 

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I have the pill form of Questran, Colestid. It is big, but no worse than swallowing a fibercon pill. Doc prescribed 2 a day but it was too constipating so I cut it down to 1 a day and, knock on wood, no D since I started taking it. I did get a little squeemish working in the hot sun all day yesterday but still no D.
 

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I was going to PM you Marty, since I hadn't read more than the first couple of items on the thread and wanted to see if you had some comments.Just out of curiosity, did either you or Tom try the Caltrate? While I know it doesn't work for everyone, that would, at least, eliminate the problem of getting it down.Still, glad to hear of your continued success.Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the pill just as effective as the powder, Brett? It seems like they always say the pill is not as good, but I'd rather take the pill if it works. I have no problem swallowing stuff.Mark, I don't know what Caltrate is... can you elaborate? Going to try V8 this morning, just waiting for the Deli to open
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ugh, well V8 was a little...weird. Similar to orange juice but definitely a strange mix of orange and tomato/veggie juice. Can't say I enjoyed it. I don't think it's a long term solution at least for me. Going to try the Gatorade next. Really thinking about trying the pill too if it works...
 

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Hey there.I have been on Questran and Colestid since GB removal in 1997.I in fact was home bound till 2000 because no one ever told me that after GB removal you could have bile acid diarrhea. So finally a gastro did a colonoscopy to find nothing wrong and percribed this for me.I have been on the pill form since 2001.I take two sometimes three a day. It saved my life and allows me to live. If they quit making this stuff I don't know what we will do.Vamplady
 

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Hi Tom,It is "Linda's Calcium Information." It has helped (at least) hundreds in much the same way as Questran.Cheers.Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Vamplady - I may just try the pill then. "Bile acid diarrhea" - has such a nice ring, doesn't it?Are you completely D free from it now?Thanks for the tip as well Mark.Tom
 

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I tried the V8 this morning too - I didn't mind the taste so much - but I only used about 3/4 scoop and I mixed the powder with 2 oz water first and then poured in about 6 oz V8. I'm still going to try the low acid OJ, too, when I can get to the store.I'm reluctant to try the pill because I like the fact that I can control the dose. I seem to be doing fine with less than a scoop a day, and the bloating and fullness are not as bad as they were when I started with a whole scoop.Pill users - is the pill such that I could break it in half easily?As far as the caltrate goes - I tried it for over a month about a year ago - it worked somewhat, but it made me nauseous sometimes and I could never figure out when to take it to avoid that. I might try again now and add it to my daily arsenal of supplements and meds.Marty
 

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Not going to be much help here Marty and Tom. I have not tried to break a pill in half but it's big enough to try. It's not real long, just big and round. Tom, I've only tried the Colestid so I don't know if it works as good as Questran. Sorry...
 

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Tom,I am not completely free of D but I can do more things without worrying everytime I eat. In fact I have been having a flare up and I am trying to figure out why. I think it might be a new blood pressure pill.On these kinds of days I take another pill and I am okay.VampladyPacker Fan,These pills are not suppose to be broken and I have never been able to get one broke. They are tough big cookies. I don't have a problem swallowing them. I personally can't take too much calcium supplement as I did the calcium and didn't drink enough and ended up with kidney stones. Dr. told me to back off of the calcium supplements and get it more from foods. So please be careful. Some people are more sensitive to this.Vamplady
 

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After over two weeks on the Questran, I can say that it is working wonderfully. I have not had 1 D attack. I'm only taking about 3/4 of a scoop per day, and the bloating and full feeling I had at first seems to be better now (or I'm just getting used to it.) I have 1 or 2 normal, formed BMs per day, as opposed to my old pattern of anywhere from 5-8 loose urgent stools per day.I mix it with about half water and half low-acid orange juice and that seems to prevent the heartburn I would get from straight regular OJ.I'm even going to go to an amusement park tomorrow, and I'm not worried a bit. Hooray!!!!!Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great News Marty! I'm at nearly a month now, and also not 1 D attack. My anxiety issues have been steadily declining as well, which is a big thing. I had a weird day yesterday (went 4 times, soreness, TMI as it is) and so this morning I was a bit apprehensive, but nothing happened.I too have a show to go to tonight, and I am not worried about it. It's for my kids, so thank God.And my stool pattern was almost identical to yours.I tried orange gatorade, and that works really well for me. Trick is keeping enough of it around. I simply cannot do OJ - that might have actually been my problem yesterday.When you say "Scoop" do you mean you have some kind of container full of the stuff and measure by scoop? Mine came in packets, so it's kind of hard to do a half-dose.One thing I wanted to share was a good way to mix the powder. I've been doing this since I began and it works great.Get yourself a small whisk that will fit inside the glass you use. Pour in liquid, then powder. Stick the whisk in and twirl it a bit with your fingers to get it spread out.Then, drop the whisk all the way in, put it between your palms and twirl the whisk back and forth and mix it up real good. It's waaaay better than trying a fork or something. I swirl it around after that and I am good to go. Then I just rinse the whisk and leave it in the clean side of the sink.Tom
 

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Tom- Yes, mine came in a can with a little scoop. I have the "lite" version, and it mixes quite easily (no sugar in it - aspartame). So all I have to do is mix it with a spoon. I really like having it in the can so I can control the dose. I'm a small person (5'4" and about 120) so a lot of the time a full dose of medication is too much for me. My kids are thrilled that I am able to go to the park with them tomorrow. My husband's company takes us every year but last year I did not go because I was in a bad stretch and could not imagine being in a setting like that for a whole day. I think this might really be the answer for me! I'm glad it's working for you, too!Marty
 
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