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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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I have previously been diagnosed with IBS, however, a few

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I have previously been diagnosed with IBS, however, a few months ago, at the age of 45, I suddenly started to get bad diarrhoea (having to go 3-4 times with pain and very watery) after eating butter or cheese in particular. Have always been sensative to fatty foods and eggs but not so that it has caused such a violent reaction. My doctor seems to be focusing on my liver function, due to the fact that I am alcohol dependant, but, even though I am accept that my liver is not as good as it should be due to my drinking, I can't find any evidence that this would cause my apparent intolerance to cheese, butter, etc. Can liver damage cause this, or is it something else?
mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

mysticdoc :


mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

mysticdoc :

Pancreas and gallbladder problem can cause these symptoms.

mysticdoc :

You need to get CT scan abdomen with contrast.

mysticdoc :

also see a gastroenterologist.

mysticdoc :

you can take a digestive enzyme supplement with each meal to hep with your symptoms.

mysticdoc :

Eat smaller, more frequent meals. This may ensure a better mix with available bile. Include small amounts of lean protein, such as poultry, fish and nonfat dairy, at every meal, along with vegetables, fruit and whole grains.

Go easy on fat. Avoid high-fat foods, fried and greasy foods, and fatty sauces and gravies. Instead, choose nonfat or low-fat foods. Read labels and look for foods with 3 grams of fat or less a serving.

Gradually increase the fiber in your diet. This can help normalize bowel movements by reducing incidents of diarrhea or constipation. However, it can also make gas and cramping worse. The best approach is to slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks.

mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

mysticdoc :

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.

I hope I can help you here. Please understand that no one on line can state anything with certainty, all we can do is give a best guess based on what you've written.

A few possibles come to mind. As Mysticdoc stated, pain after eating fatty foods like cheese and butter can indicate that there is a problem or blockage within the gallbladder or pancreas; the pancreas makes the bile that digests fat and the gallbladder secretes it; if there are stones or other blockages, the bile cant get to where it needs to be, and yes, pain is a result, often on the left side, and can radiate into the upper back. Usually, however, its not so much associated with watery diarrhea.

Another possible is that you are developing lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy, cheese, and butter, and if your body can not process the lactose, diarrhea and cramps can occur. Its not uncommon for this to develop in middle age, especially among certain groups such as Ashkenazi Jews.

Liver damage can cause pain on eating as well. The liver does allot of things in addition to being a "filter" for the body's toxins. One of these things is breaking down proteins. Cheese, at least, is rather high in protein. So if your liver is damaged for any reason, and can not process this, it can cause pain as those products of protein metabolism are not able to be cleared from the body effectively.

This is a good website on alcohol and the liver:

Its possible you may have more than one thing happening here...the effects of a damaged liver and a lactose intolerance. Blood work to see if your liver function and pancreatic function are increasingly impaired may not be a bad idea. If you have gallstones, a CT of your abdomen can detect that and there are several treatment options dependent upon the size and number of the stones. If you have lactose intolerance, there is medication you can take to mitigate that effect. I suggest you discuss all this with your doctor and together come up with an approach that works for you both.

I hope I was able to help, and that you feel better soon.
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1091
Experience: RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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