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Post-Gall Bladder Surgery Diet and Digestive Issues


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Hey, everyone...

So I had my gall bladder taken out five years ago. I was an anomaly to my doctor because I was only 21, and gall stones are considered an infliction of those "fair, fat, and forty." I'm fair, but I was neither fat nor forty.

Anyway, since then, I have developed extreme digestive issues. Really painful bloating and gas, constipation and weekly diarreah. Initially, I thought it was stress, but it's longevity made me reconsider. I removed dairy from my diet and it helped a little... then I removed wheat from my diet and it intermitently helped, but relief was so inconsistent that after about a year I relaxed on that one. Anyway, after some interesting pain after eating a pot roast, my husband recently suggested it may have something to do with the way my body digests fat. 

I've done some research, and it seems like the general consensus is that if I am one of the lucky few to experience significant digestive pain after a gall bladder removal, either a low-fat or low fiber diet or combination of both will relieve my pain. This intriques me, primarily because since trying weight watchers years ago I've been very focused to eat high fiber.... but I have ridiculous gas pain after apples, beans, lettuce and high fiber yogurt.

So my questions is this: has anyone else successfully dealt with this problem? How can I go low-fat/low-fiber and still maintain health? My weekly food grades are usually in the A- range, and that would change if I significantly reduced my fat/fiber intake.

Any thoughts are welcome!

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Hi did you mean the unlucky few instead of lucky??????? Or are you being sarcastic??? As I am one of the unlucky few, most people have there gallbladder and stones out and no longer experience any pain any discomfort, no ghost pain as I put it or any digestive probs after the op and have a normal life there after, me no I had to be the minority too, I dont find that fibre is the prob, I eat wheat and wholegrains regulary, none of the white stuff, in bread, flour, pastry or rice, so is it fibre with you as its a weird one if it is.

But hey we are all different, what I have found is I have to be carefully with spicing, hot or otherwise, tinned baked beans, have spicing, to pep them up and sometimes affect me. Spices that really do me in are ginger, cayenne, hot paprika, garam massala, ready made up curry spices and chilli pepper on bad days even too muck cracked black pepper does me in. So any spice, paste, pepper, seasoning or sauce with spice is to be avoided I find. Make your own so you can monitor what goes in them, Homemade beans are so much more delisious, email if you want the recipe!

Your husband is right, in the minority group, we will react to high fats, creams and so on as our body can not break it down, other people who are the lucky few, their bodies adapt to breaking it down in another way. But others like us can end up with diarrheorh and cramps and ghost pain, as it the gall bladder is still there. With us it means no fried food, cutting down to 1-2 eggs a week, or cutting them out all together, low fat yoghurts to no fat yoghurts avoiding cream and going onto half fat cheeses, Lescol is a great cheese alternative with only half the fat and is very low in salt. using skimmed milk is good, but if thats too drastic semi skimmed, mayos half fat and so on, My advise is its the fats and oils in food and saturated fats you must cut down, not cut out completely, just reduce by half in everything you prepare cook or eat.

And also chocolate, sad but unfortunely a no no really, but treat yourself like I do with a square of quality dark 70% chocolate instead of a whole bar of dairy milk or such like as dark has less fat, or have a dark chocolate wafer biscuits instead of a piece of choccy and crisps only eat the baked varieties, or the healthy varietes with low saturated fat. I hope I have not waffled on too much and I hope this has been useful, if you need to chat or share recipes, just email me. But by my experience, fibre should not be an issue. Let us know how you get on.

Ps I always hit the As even whe ive cut down the fat and if its not fibre after all, you wont have any real probs hitting the As still, it just means your fat levels are a lot lower that an average woman should eat which is not dangerous or bad for you.

best wishes Hope you feel better soon.

Lots of love astralhippy aka SueLaughing

 

I had my gall bladder removed during emergency surgery 6 yrs ago -never knew I had gall bladder trouble?!  I have never experienced one moment's problem with any foods, etc.  It sounds like you have IBS or something not related to the gall bladder surg.  Better discuss this with a doctor. 

Hi! I had my gallbladder out in 2004 and experienced bloating and pain and daily diarreah for the first 3 years.  Then I decided to lose weight and changed my eating habits.  I haven't had to cut out fiber in fact I super fiber myself.  I consistently get 50 grams of fiber daily.  The bloat and gasiness from beans is sometimes painful but nowhere near as painful as in the past.  As for fat, that still gets me.  I switched to a mostly lowfat diet and no longer deal with what I used to call "the 15 minute rule".  Before I went lower fat I inevitably would have to run to the bathroom within 15 minutes of eating.  It was embarrassing.  No eating in the car on roadtrips. 

The change didn't happen over night, once I switched to high fiber and lower fat, it took about 4 maybe 5 months for my body to adjust and now I am regular and only get the "15 minute rule" when I eat something especially fatty, like deep fried most anything. 

 

Lap

I'm beginning to think we-the-gallbladderless-and-unable-to-eat-fat are not so rare :)  I have a host of digestive issues - IBS, chronic pain, GURD - and I am only 27!

My GB was removed a year ago, and I still have stabbing pain, gas, cramping etc. when I eat rich food. I've had a lot of houseguests in the last month, and they always want to go out to eat ( I live in San Francisco, and the cuisine is phenomenal.) So I've been wincing along for the last few weeks, eating tartines and quiches and all things tasty, but deeply regretting it later.

The way I feel best: eating very low fat food, in small amounts, every two hours or so. Think snacks rather then meals. If the pain is overwhelming, you might consider getting checked out for stones in the bile duct, problems with the sphincter of the odi (a weird little valve before your colon), colon / bowel issues... there are a lot of organs involved in digestion, and any of them could be the culprit of your continued discomfort. You might consider getting a check-up :)

 

Original Post by mel_e_mel:

I'm beginning to think we-the-gallbladderless-and-unable-to-eat-fat are not so rare :)  I have a host of digestive issues - IBS, chronic pain, GURD - and I am only 27!

My GB was removed a year ago, and I still have stabbing pain, gas, cramping etc. when I eat rich food. I've had a lot of houseguests in the last month, and they always want to go out to eat ( I live in San Francisco, and the cuisine is phenomenal.) So I've been wincing along for the last few weeks, eating tartines and quiches and all things tasty, but deeply regretting it later.

The way I feel best: eating very low fat food, in small amounts, every two hours or so. Think snacks rather then meals. If the pain is overwhelming, you might consider getting checked out for stones in the bile duct, problems with the sphincter of the odi (a weird little valve before your colon), colon / bowel issues... there are a lot of organs involved in digestion, and any of them could be the culprit of your continued discomfort. You might consider getting a check-up :)

 

Can relate with you lots, I as you know had my gall bladder out, as above, but I still have problems too, it makes me happy not that you all suffer at times, but that I am not alone in my suffering. I live on gaviscon and pariet drug to lessen acid reflux as I have been diagnosed with GERD, they thought it would all go away when I had my gallstones and gallbladder out, but it wasnt to be and I know have to be cautious with such rich fatty food. They also told me a very small minority carry on suffering, so its highly unlikely, but heh, I had to be this so called minority, I am only 33. They had to flush my stones out the bile duct I had 30-40 small ones, trapped and blocking it. Lifes a bitch to some, constantly think why me!!But you just have to plod on regardless and live with it.Frown

Lots of love to you all.

Sue aka astralhippyKiss

I have the same issues, but no answers either!

 

If it's gotten this bad, I'd go back to a doctor if you haven't already, and go to one other than the one who performed your surgery, or who recommended you for it. Your gall bladder and the bile it stores shouldn't have anything to do with your having problems with digesting fibrous things, as I understand it.

The fiber could be unrelated. Fiber is just naturally difficult to digest, oftentimes it's not digestible at all... I'm more interested in the low fat thing.

Hey!

I had my gall bladder removed 31 years ago and was originally told that all would be well after surgery and I could eat anything I liked. So not true!! Admittedly milk and butter and cream all tasted different, but my gosh I had a cream cake and it was as if i had never had the surgery.

I struggled for years with what seemed to be IBS and repeated attacks of stomach pain that left me drowsy for 12 - 24 hours. So donlt listen to anyone who says there are no affter effects - so untrue

Hi. It's called post-cholecystectomy syndrome, and I have had it for 14 years now.   This is what is happening: You gall bladder used to store bile and squirt it into your intestines when you eat a fatty meal to aid in digestion.  Now, without a gallbladder, the bile trickles out at a constant rate.  This can cause irriation to the intestines, especially if there is no food there (like overnight).  Then as soon as food or fluid hits the now irritated system, it causes pain bloating and diarrhea.

It usually has nothing to do with WHAT you eat.  For me, some days a sip of water will set it off.  But hormonal cycles and stress can make it worse. I'm worst when stressed and right before my period... and heaven forbid if I've got both at the same time!

Now what to do about it?  Keep stress to a minimum.  A couple months ago, I heard of a recent study showing a drug that is effective for this, but I cannot remember what the drug was or where I even heard it.  I don't have time to research it now.

I had mine taken out about 10 years ago and i still deal with it. The diarhea i'm sorry its a long term side affect. I'd watch your fat intake. I've noticed since i started watching mine, it's not nearly as bad. Oh and i don't know if you drink at all, but that can make it worse the next day.

 

Two words, FIBER SUPPLEMENT!!!! The last thing you want to do is cut the fiber out of your diet. In fact, what I consider my "savior" is a daily fiber supplement. The fiber will coat the lining of your intestines and aid in digestion. I take a powder form, but brand probably doesn't matter so whatever you prefer. I noticed a world of difference within a day and can tell immediately if I've been neglecting my intake for a few days. 

Also, try cutting out onions. I find them to upset my stomach the most, especially if I eat them on a hamburger. 

 

I had my gall bladder out 7 yrs ago - went through the ER -thought it was heart attack.  I had never experienced any symptoms.  I have never experienced any problems since then, either.  Being normal weight and never eat fat foods, it was a big surprise to me that I had gall stones. Just a heredity thing I guess.  What does your doctor say about your problems?  I hope you get relief. Good luck.

I had the same isues and was given at least 10 different diagnosis.  Finally I found a doctor who explained that about 5% of Gall Bladder surgeries result in whats called dumping syndrome.  Your bile instead of being stored in your gall bladder drains directly into your stomach and causes all kinds of problems.  He prescribed Welchol which is normally for high cholesterol.  All it does is sit in your stomach and bind to bile and kind of regulating the system.  Since taking this medication I have had no problems at all.  

Pakko - have you gained weight? I have heard from others that cholesterol meds have caused weight gain.

i had my surgery in 2002 and i havent really had any problems but i am curious to know how your bowels are suppose to work and upon reading the above comment i can kinda relate. most foods do not bother me my weight has been up and down since the surgery. but i do notice i cannot digest flax seed whether its ground up or whole. i do notice i rarely have a solid bowel movement and i have had severe gas pain on occation to the point of it lasting days and days. i also have heartburn if i do eat things that are high in fat ie donuts and chips( reason why i usually stay away from it) or very creamy dairy ie icecream sometimes coffee and sometiimes yogurt. just wondering if its related to not having a gal bladder.

Stay away from the donuts and chips!! I continued to be ill after the surgery for about 10 years and then got a hernia in the operation scar. I seemed to have a blockage somewhere that was making me even worse and when they fixed the hernia they also fixed whatever else was wrong as I have not had the same level of problems. I have found that I can eat some fatty or creamy things as long as I don't overdo it or have it day after day. If I get heartburn or pain then I take my trusty gaviscon or eat an apple. Trial and error - it will settle. Good luck!!

After reading all the above posts I feel better that I'm not the only one with problems.  I had my gallbladder out a year and a half ago and at first all was fine.  And then the diarrheahit.  I've had it a few times and I noticed I can't eat deep-fried fish and chips anymore.  Luckily I can still enjoy my milk, but I think I might have to cut down a bit on that.  And highly fatty meats makes me feel ill.

My problem was that a lot of times my diarrhea hit the same time as general stomach bugs were making the rounds, so I don't know if I'm just more susceptible to those than before or if I just have horrible timing.

I have phantom pains in my side too, like the gallbladder is still in there and acting up.  Now that is truly creepy on a whole new level!

I try to eat as healthy as I can. I try to get my fruits and veg in and keep it low-fat and keep the caffein low, but I still have problems.  Are there any fruits that I should perhaps avoid?  Does watermelon give anyone problems?

I guess it will just take some trial and error to figure out what I need to avoid and what I can eat.

 

Hi everyone I had gallbladder surgery with internal bleeding after surgery approx 5 yrs ago. Since then,  I have extreme pain in my mid waist spine, however when I press the gall bladder area - the pain in spin disappears - I also have bad gerd with relux issues too. Does anyone else have these symptoms.

heres hoping I'm not on my own!!

 

kind regards

#20  
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Hey all,

I had my gallbladder out about 2 years ago. I felt fine for the first 7 months then felt like my gallbladder was never removed. Fast forward to 3 GI docs, 10, 000 in unnecessary tests and my Primary care doc finally diagnosed me with post-cholecystectomy syndrome. He put me on a bile binding med called "Welchol" and I feel so much better. Still need to stick to lowfat but no more burning pain in my stomach. Hope this can help someone out there.

Karen

 

 

 

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