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Diet w/o gallbladder
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Diet w/o gallbladder

I have a couple of questions for those of you that have had your gallbladders removed:

1.  Is is true that you have to deal with diarrhea after heavy or fatty meals?

2.  How about weight gain?  I've heard your body cannot process the fat therefore stores it.  Anyone experience this?

I am to have a hida-scan this week and my doc is pretty sure my gallbladder will have to come out and I just want to know what to expect once it's out, diet-wise and symptoms.

Thanks you in advance,
Shawn
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Avatar_n_tn
I believe there is no one answer as everyone's body is different.  I'll give you the examples in my family's experience.  My mother, overweight had the classic gallstone attacks and her gallbladder removed twenty plus years ago.  She takes Questran to bulk up her stools because certain foods go right through her.  She is a pleasure oriented eater and doesn't restrict her food choices.  My sister, very overweight had the classic attacks with jaundice, surgery to remove gallbladder.  She didn't have the problems like my mother.  She also doesn't restrict her diet eats whatever she likes.  Myself, I had my gallbladder removed this June, I'm 40, due to Hidascan with low ejection score of 20.  My symptoms and presentation were quite different. I was 10 lounds overweight.  I'm still having the same pain as before surgery.  I now follow a lowfat diet to prevent the painful spasms under my ribs.  I also take an antispasmodic before meals.  My food doesn't go right through me.  I'm having an MRCP this week to evaluate the pancreatic type pain I'm having.  I believe you can control a lot of the pain by eating a lowfat diet.  I have lost 15 pounds this past month, however this may be due to possible damage to my pancreas.  No more ice cream, chocolate, fried foods,etc... for me.  This was very hard at first but now it just isn't worth the pain.  I would rather be pain free than self indulgent at this point.  This is a very difficult disorder to deal with because of the drastic lifestyle changes.  My comfort comes from knowing that I am not alone in this trial.  Good Luck with your healing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Chronic diarrhea is often a problematic side effect of gall bladder removal.  This problem is related to several things.  First of all, if others in the family have had this surgery and a problem with post-surgical diarrhea, then you may also get that problem.  Second how enlarged the gall bladder is at the time of surgery. and thirdly, your everyday diet at the time of surgery.  Normally, the liver produces bile and stores it in the gallbladder.  The size of the gall bladder determines the amount made.  If you normally eat a lot of fat, then the gall bladder empties and fills more often, which increases the amount of bile the liver is "used to" making.  When a high fat meal is eaten, the pancreas tells the gall bladder to release bile into the small intestines to help break the fat down.  When the gall bladder is removed that no longer happens. The liver doesn't "talk" to the pancreas, it just "sees" that the gall bladder is empty (doesn't know it is gone) and continues to make bile.  Without the gall bladder, the bile that would normally be stored now goes directly into the small intestines as it is made. This constant higher amount of bile present in the small intestines, combined with high fiber foods or foods that "make you go", like fruits, contribute to chronic diarrhea. The more bile present, the worse the diarrhea will be. Time and experimentation with diet can control this problem. With the constant diarrhea, the greater the risk of constant low level dehydration, so drinking water must be increased to remain hydrated.  Low level dehydration may lead to the body retaining water.  This may cause a weight gain based on the amount of water retained. You may want to discuss a potassium sparing water pill with your doctor. Weight gain due to increased fat storage is not a normal side effect of gall bladder removal.  No weight change is more common.  Hope this helps
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gall bladder removed and i feel alot better now.The pain before was terriable and now I feel great. I eat pizza and pasta which before it wasn't possiable because i would suffer the consequences and even if i had salad before my stomach was hurting sooo bad. i think i probably will gain more weight because now i can eat with out the pain and i won't be as causious as before i had the surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 27 and just had my gall bladder removed about 1 1/2 months ago.  Previously my diet was mixed, I would often go weeks eating very healthy fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water.  Then for a a few weeks at a time it was nothing, but fast food, fried, high-fat foods and sodas.  Since the removal, I have lost 11 lbs eating a very healthy diet, with a few days of high fat foods mixed in there.  Yes, even when I eat healthy for several days in a row, I still get chronic diarrhea.  Haven't quite pinpointed what exactly bothers me, but the only way is through experimentation. I have searched the net for a little more "organized" diet regimen for people who've had their gall bladder removed, yet found nothing.  Having the bouts of diarrhea, I can say it definitely happens after a heavy/high-fat meal.  My doctor says, "if its cooked in grease and has grease on it, don't eat it!"  Whether your body stores it or not, I'm no doctor, so I can't say if that's what actually happens, but what was explained to me was that since your body can't break down the fat like it use to, it flips out, causing diarrhea and you technically are immediately getting rid of the fat, since it can't be broken down it passes through in mass.  Sounds like a good thing, but the downside to this is that any nuttrients that your body needs, which happens to be in the "high-fat" foods, won't be maintained since the body can't break down the fat and take what it needs.  Hope this helps some, even if it is only for you to know that you aren't alone and that there is no "magic diet" for gall bladder removal patients.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gallbladder out because when I was pregnant I kept having pain. I am 22 and I never get diarrhea. But I'm having a lot of trouble losing my baby weight. So I'm also wondering if it causes weight gain.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had my gallbladder taken out one year ago i was never informed of a diet to maintain i have found nothing helps with the chronic diarrhea. as far as weight gain i have not found this to be an issue but high fat foods are really never good , stick to natures finest
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228936_tn?1249097848
I'm in the hospital and in a quandry about this GB surgery I'm scheduled to have monday. For a year I have lived in ER's and it's gotten worse. I can no longer take the pain and  devastration this has brought me. I had a ultra sound and HIDA scan today and the doc told me my GB is enlarged and blocked. I'm really fearfull about the consequences of this surgery and am scared of living a life always near a toilet with chrones like symtoms (symptoms). I also scared of getting hooked on dope to control the diareaha and discomfort as I'm an ex addict. Right now I've only been taking narcotics in the hospital and not getting hooked. All the docs say that this problem mostly goes away after a month or so and is rare. I've heard about 10% have problems after surgery but my surgeon disputs that. I wasn't told what my hida  ejection score was and will. I hope to get some more encouragement here that I'm making the right choice and know I can't take this pain anymore. all the best
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Aawww... mr.lucky!  You fought the good fight for so many months, but that gallbladder really has to come out.  You have every good chance of coming through this surgery in much better shape than you've been in for a long time.  Matter of fact, I'd bet you'll notice it's better about the time you wake up from surgery.  Post-op pain really doesn't last that long, so you shouldn't have any worries about your pain meds.  To help get that thought out of your mind, can you have a spouse or someone hold your meds for you and dispense only as prescribed?  That might take off some of the mental pressure and worry on that one issue anyway.

You'll do more harm to yourself by waiting.  If your gallbladder is blocked and enlarged, it's possible it could rupture.  That is one BAD painful mess to recover from, and the risk of peritonitis is huge.  Plainly put, you're between a rock and a hard place right now and the only way out is surgery.

For now, try to think good thoughts.  Worry about the bad stuff only if it happens.  Focus on having a pain-free life back in a few short days.  That outcome is certainly more likely than the doom and gloom you're afraid of.  You will be in my prayers, and I hope to see a post from you very soon saying it's all done!  :-)
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228936_tn?1249097848
Thanks for your support and PM. I know feel better about getting my GB out towmorrow. I know it has to be done I was just worried about my diet after and the consequences. I love some fatty stuff once in a while and pray it all works out so I can lead a more normal life. all the best
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had my gallbladder out 5 days ago, I had a big change in the fraction rate in 5 month from 77% to 40% so they took it out. I was nasuea and had alot of acid in my stomach before and I thought I would be all set. Well I just got back the pathtology report and it said MILD INFLAMATION (inflammation), and the doctors can't really tell me if it was the problem in the first place (a little to late).  Anyways I am naseauos and have acid again just like before.  So now what.  
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228936_tn?1249097848
I now am eating what I want and sometimes having some fatty favorites. I have only gotten the runs a few times in almost 3 months, since the surgery. I do take nexium which may help but I think mainly I just had a good surgical outcome. all the best
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228936_tn?1249097848
I now am eating what I want and sometimes having some fatty favorites. I have only gotten the runs a few times in almost 3 months, since the surgery. I do take nexium which may help but I think mainly I just had a good surgical outcome. all the best
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400350_tn?1201715282
I also had my gallbladder taken out 9 years ago. Since then has been a rollercoaster ride, IBS, back pain in the middle of my back, chest ache's. Stomach woozy's...Of course the Dr told me I didn't need my gallbladder...i would live a normal life...Yeah-Right!!!!
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228936_tn?1249097848
It seems like lots of folks have had these type of problems after GB surgery. I think most do well but a lot have IBS problems and strange pains. I'm doing well since my surgery in nov. but am wondering if some problems could develop? all the best
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Avatar_n_tn
In addition to understanding which part of your body is ailing, it's also important to understand why. I was diagnosed with biliary dyskenesia after my hyda scan revealed that my gallbladder was only emptying 9% of its contents. The doctors didn't tell me what had caused it, but because I consider my health my own responsibility, I researched it. I found a newsletter from the Mayo Clinic that states that many birth control pills can contribute to this condition. The excess estrogen in the pills inhibits the gallbladder's ability to respond to the hormone that signals it to release, CCK. Soy, a food that is present in some form in most processed foods, is also high in plant or phyto estrogens. So if you are on birth control and eat a lot of soy products, chances are you are consuming enough excess estrogen to debilitate your gallbladder. Consider yourself allergic to soy. With or without your gallbladder, you will continue to have gallbladder attacks until you eliminate it from your diet. Even if you don't eat tofu or drink soy milk, you are consuming more soy than you realize. Start reading labels. Soy lecithin and soy protein isolate are in everything from lunch meat to chocolate to mayo to wheat bread. I had my gallbladder out a little over a year ago, and I still battle with the inability to empty my bowels.

One thing I did do, though, was a gallbladder cleanse before my surgery to ensure that I didn't have any stones in there at the time of the procedure. You can find instructions for the cleanse online, though be aware that you risk getting a stone lodged in your bile duct if you don't do it properly. It involves drinking apple or grapefruit juice for several bays before drinking olive oil to lubricate the bile duct, allowing the contents to flow out freely. It's not a fun process, but if you have stones (which won't show up on an ultrasound if they are made of cholesterol rather than calcium) it will afford you some temporary relief and maybe even prevent an open surgery in the event that you indeed have stones.

I'm not a doctor. I'm speaking from personal experience.    
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1092854_tn?1292623951
I to had my gb out 9 yrs ago this month and was told i would be just fine and all i was told that some foods my not agree with me. yea iv found out the hard way... fatty foods and spicy food do it to me and with the spicy foods like if i eat it for dinner i would wake in the night with unbearable pain that would only go away when i had milk. iv still have prob with loose stool and for yrs had lower right side pain or pain with the stools now finding a gi dr. i go for colonoscopy 12/14 he thinks i have Cronh's my pain he thinks is inflammation in my ilium. I have been thinking it was due to cysts that i get on my right ovary that rupture. my mom was just told she has Celia's and with lot of my prbs i to thought i had it till the other day. i just wonder if i would have had all this with still haveing my gb.. If having my gb was the start of all this of has anything to do with it..If anyone else has this please let me know all help is needed thanks
nikki
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 30 year old male. I had a GB attack almost 3 years ago when I was 27. my ultrasound was normal and CCK Hida was 22%. My GI doc didn’t really recommend surgery. In the beginning I tried controlling my diet and the problems went away. Now recently I started having GB attacks after Christmas and I was told by my primary care Doc it was time to get the GB out. I am a nuclear medicine tech and have talked to people who have had their GB removed. I’ve talked to couple of ladies who had theirs removed 40 or so years ago and have no problems now.
I’m really confused as what to do now? I want to be able to eat normal and live a normal life. Any Suggestions.?
I would like to hear more from people who had their GB removed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my gallbladder out only yesterday and I can already feel a difference in my digestion. First of all, the pain from the surgery is not even half as much as the pain from a gallbladder attack. I have not even had to take any pain medication since I've come home. I started on normal (but low-fat) foods today that include cereal, wheat bread, and peanut butter and have no digestive problems so far. My digestion feels much "cleaner" now if that make sense. Besides the obvious missing gallbladder attacks, I have not been having my old regurgitation of food, burping, stomach gurgles, etc. I have not had any diarrhea yesterday or today although I haven't had a BM yet either. I hope this helps some.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had GB out ten years ago. All ok can eat any kind of food- no problems with bowels whatsover. What I did find is certain medications can make you have a Galldbladder like attack- called bilary spasms. I have to stay away from codeine- as well as DM found in cough medicine. One tiny drop of those meds will put me back into emregency with severe pain. Also foudn that alcohol in excess can do it as well. So if you get pains- maybe check what drugs your taking- do not take codeine found in Tyenol 3's!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I was 16 when I had my gallbladder out and didnt have bowel problems until I was well into my mid 20's. anytime I hadn't eaten for a long period of time, and then ate a large meal, I'd barely make it to the restroom. I'm 31 now and have learned to have a small snack 15 to 25 min before my meal. Something like a few saltines or ritz crackers, Maybe even a slice of toast. It sort of gets my intestines something to get "warmed up" with before my meal. I do this regularly and it has helped so far. When I don't have my snack, the pain will come and I'll be in the restroom very soon after my meal. Idk why but it works for me and I thought I'd share :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I recently had an ultrasound & was told I have a fold in my gallbladder. Dr recommends a Hida scan but I'm afraid of the radiation/IV etc. My pain is above belly button & comes & goes. Pain does move around to left side. Pain is annoying but not severe enough to go back to doc. Cannot link pain to certain foods. Belly feels bloated & right side hurts right now because of the way I'm sitting. If I adjust position it does help. I also have endometriosis pain now and was wondering if all of this pain is related in some way.
Will a fold in GB cause this pain?
Just learned that too much estrogen can affect GB. I'm on progesterone and my estrogen levels were in normal range.
Anyone know about a GB "fold"? Thanks very much!
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