For those who have undergone gallbladder removal surgery, you may be wondering what foods you should and shouldn’t eat. Your diet can significantly impact your recovery and it is important to make healthy dietary changes that will help support your body’s healing process. Below we’ll go over the gallbladder and some benefits of removal, and we’ll also give you some tips for eating after gallbladder removal surgery.
What is The Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small organ that sits just below the liver. The gallbladder mainly stores and concentrates bile, which is produced by the liver. Bile helps with the digestion of fats in the small intestine.
When you eat foods that are high in fat, your gallbladder contracts and squeezes bile into your small intestine through a duct called the common bile duct. This process is known as cholecystokinin (CCK) stimulation. CCK is a hormone that is released when fat enters the small intestine, which signals the gallbladder to contract.
What are the Benefits of Gallbladder Removal?
There are several potential benefits of having your gallbladder removed. These benefits may include:
Reducing Your Risk of Gallstones
When you have gallstones, they can cause a number of digestive symptoms that often require medical attention. Common signs and symptoms of gallstones include abdominal pain or discomfort, including bloating and cramps; nausea and vomiting; intense pain in the upper right abdomen that can last several hours; jaundice, which is a yellow-tinging of the skin and whites of eyes caused by an excess of bilirubin in the bloodstream; fever; indigestion after meals; pain in the back between shoulder blades as well as pain under right shoulder blade or shoulder blade tip. If not treated promptly, gallstones may block gallbladder ducts over time – resulting in a range of other complications, such as cholecystitis (inflammation of your gallbladder), pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas) or biliary colic (blockage of your common bile duct).
Reducing Your Risk of Developing Pancreatitis
Developing pancreatitis can be a confusing and frightening experience. This condition occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. For many, it starts as a mild case, but for some it can develop further into something worse. When someone develops pancreatitis, they will often experience a combination of abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. In some cases, complications such as inadequate digestion or insulin absorption can arise. It is important to consult with your doctor for a diagnosis if you notice any of these symptoms.
Reducing Your Risk of Other Digestive Problems
While pancreatitis and gallstones are two common problems associated with having a gallbladder, there are other more severe symptoms to consider if it is not removed. Insufficient enzyme production, SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Leaky Gut Syndrome can all be experienced if you still have your gallbladder. It’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you as persistent stomach pain, unwanted bloating and/or constipation or loose stools could be signs that something is amiss – like having any one of these conditions.
Tips To Follow For Your Gallbladder Removal Diet
Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently
One of the most important things to remember when you have had your gallbladder removed is that it’s better to eat smaller meals more frequently than larger meals less often. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps reduce the strain on your digestive system and can help prevent symptoms such as nausea and bloating. Aim for five to six small meals per day rather than three large meals.
After gallbladder removal, many people face persistent digestive issues. Hydration can play a key role in calming this upset stomach by helping flush out any toxins or waste products which can be reducing the effectiveness of digestion. When you drink plenty of water, you help your body digest food more comfortably and better absorb its essential nutrients. Additionally, when you stay hydrated it eliminates symptoms such as fatigue and nausea that often result from dehydration after surgery. All in all, staying hydrated can aid in recovering from gallbladder removal by improving gastrointestinal health thus making it easier for the body to sustain itself in the
Change To A Low Fat Diet
Your gallbladder is responsible for storing bile, which helps break down fat during digestion. Since your gallbladder has been removed, it is important to limit the amount of fatty foods in your diet so that your body can still digest food properly. Choose low-fat high protein foods such as lean chicken, turkey, fish or tofu; low-fat dairy products like skim milk, nonfat or low fat ice cream, or low fat yogurt; and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid high fat foods like fatty cuts of meat, deep fried foods, processed meats like bacon and sausage, high-fat cheeses, cream sauces and gravies. The same applies to foods with healthy fats as well, such as vegetable oil, avocados, olives, salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. But, unlike fatty foods, you can slowly introduce healthy fats into your diet after gallbladder removal. However, it is important to start off with small portions and introduce them gradually over time to ensure that your body can tolerate these foods without causing any digestive discomfort or negative symptoms.
Avoid High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods are typically very healthy but consuming too much fiber after gallbladder removal can make you pass gas and have a laxative effect on your body. This is because your body cannot produce enough bile to break down the fiber, leading it to pass through your digestive system quickly and causing increased bowel movements. To prevent this, avoid foods like beans, whole grains, raw vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, bran cereals, nuts and flax seeds until you feel more comfortable with how they affect you. Once you have adjusted to eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding high fat foods, then slowly add high fiber items back into your diet one at a time so that you can monitor how well they are digested by your body.
Keep a Food Journal
Adjusting to any dietary change can be challenging, but it is especially tricky after gallbladder surgery. A great way to make the transition easier is to keep a food journal. Recording what you eat will help you track your eating patterns and recognize which foods work best for your body. Keeping track of your diet can also provide valuable information to your doctor or dietitian, such as an accurate description of food timing, quantity, and type. Although it requires commitment and discipline, the effort involved in keeping a food journal while adjusting to a gallbladder removal diet pays off. With the right plan and approach, you should be able to make positive dietary changes that will serve you well in the long term.
Following these dietary tips post-gallbladder removal surgery can help ensure that you heal properly while also preventing unpleasant side effects from occurring due to improper digestion. Eat smaller meals more frequently with low-fat proteins and avoid certain foods with high fiber to promote overall health and to allow for proper digestion of food by the body after gallbladder removal surgery. Keep in mind that everyone is different so it’s important to find what works best for you in terms of what you eat after surgery. If you’re in need of a surgeon for gallbladder removal or you’re having gallbladder complications and need treatment, contact the team at Tinsley Surgical to see how we can help you!