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Diabetic Patient. On metformin. Gall bladder removed. Having stomach pain. Continue with metformin for diabetes?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 1583 Questions
I am a 53 year old female who is Diabetic taking Metformin(500mg) twice a day with 10 mg of Diamicron in the morning. In 1999 I had my Gall bladder removed due to stones.Since the surgery I have been following a strict diet plan with reduced fat and leading a fairly trouble free life. But since I started taking Metformin 4 years ago, occasionally I experience stomach pain around the belly button and sometimes on the right side of the belly, especially after having oily foods. All my recent blood tests for Liver functioning were normal. I notice that after having oily food sometimes I have constipation for 1-2 days and the 3rd day my stools are dark brown in colour. Do I need further tests to check for Liver damage? Can I continue with Metformin to treat Diabetes?
Posted Wed, 6 Nov 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Basheer Ahamed 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Oily fat and metformin.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to XXXXXXX Thanks for your query.

Bile acids are needed to digest the fatty food in the intestine. It is stored in the gall bladder and secreted into the intestine as and when fatty food is taken.

Because of removal of gall bladder the amount of bile acids secreted to the intestine may not be sufficient to digest the fatty foods.

This is causing you indigestion, abdominal discomfort and constipation.

In this situation oral bile acid with fatty food may help easy digestion.

Secondly metformin is known to cause gastric intolerance in many patients.

But in your case it is most likely due to reduced bile acid secretion because it is usually associated with intake of fatty food.

So you may continue metformin.

No need to repeat the liver function test in the near future.

Hope the answer helps your.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diabetic Patient. On metformin. Gall bladder removed. Having stomach pain. Continue with metformin for diabetes? 11 hours later
Thanks Dr. Bashir. I think you answered my questions. I also had a feeling that I was not supposed to have heavy/greasy meals. But some of my friends who had the same Gall bladder surgery don't seem to have this problems as they claim and I thought all my problems were due to the Metformin medication. I assume that I can continue with Metformin and also please tell me where I can buy the oral bile acid medication and under what name this medication is sold.
Answered by Dr. Basheer Ahamed 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Bile acids generic name is ursodiol. It is available in the brand name as Actigall.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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