Why Might I Need A Cholecystectomy
A cholecystectomy may be done if your gallbladder:
Has lumps of solid material
Is red or swollen , or infected
Gallbladder problems may cause pain which:
Is usually on the right side or middle of your upper belly
May be constant or may get worse after a heavy meal
May sometimes feel more like fullness than pain
May be felt in your back and in the tip of your right shoulder blade
Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.
The symptoms of gallbladder problems may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a cholecystectomy.
Supplements I Took After Gallbladder Removal
May 4, 2018 by Chrystal Johnson
Living life without a gallbladder? Check out the 3 supplements I took for healthy digestion after gallbladder removal surgery.
It has been three years since I had my gallbladder removed. That tiny little organ had been wreaking absolute havoc in my body for at least six years before it finally had to be removed.
I fought to keep my gallbladder long and hard. I tried using herbal remedies, natural flushes and everything else I could find. In the end, it had to go.
Before the surgery, all I heard were horror stories about life without a gallbladder. Constant diarrhea, heartburn and food sensitives peppered the stories I heard from acquaintances and read online.
I knew that I did not want to deal with any of those unwanted side effects, so I did what I do and I started to research how I could support healthy digestion after gallbladder removal surgery.
I read studies and anecdotes. I talked to friends and family. And I spoke with herbalists and nutritionists to get advice.
There wasnt much time to make a plan since it was an urgent surgery in my case, but the plan I put together is working well. I see myself continuing this regimen, with minor adjustments along the way, for the rest of my life.
These supplements can help with a variety of digestive troubles, not just life post-cholecystectomy. So if youre curious to know #WhatSupp I use to support healthy digestion after gallbladder removal, heres the short list!
Within 30 Days Of Your Surgery
Before your surgery, youll have an appointment for presurgical testing . The date, time, and location will be printed on the appointment reminder from your surgeons office. Its helpful to bring the following things to your PST appointment:
- A list of all the medications youre taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, patches, and creams.
- Results of any tests done outside of MSK, such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram, or carotid doppler study.
- The name and telephone number of your healthcare provider.
You can eat and take your usual medications the day of your appointment.
During your PST appointment, youll meet with a nurse practitioner . They work closely with anesthesiology staff . Your NP will review your medical and surgical history with you. You may have tests, such as an electrocardiogram to check your heart rhythm, a chest x-ray, blood tests, and any other tests needed to plan your care. Your NP may also recommend that you see other healthcare providers.
Your NP will talk with you about which medications you should take the morning of your surgery.
Identify your caregiver
Your caregiver plays an important role in your care. Before your surgery, you and your caregiver will learn about your surgery from your healthcare providers. After your surgery, your caregiver will take you home when youre discharged from the hospital. Theyll also help you care for yourself at home.
Follow a healthy diet
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Can You Still Have Diarrhea After Gallbladder Removal
Something that is clear, is that up to 30% of gallbladder removal patients continue to suffer from diarrhea, and many also experience abdominal discomfort. Patients who have undergone a cholecystectomy will be advised to remain adherent to a special diet only in the first few weeks following their surgery.
Recommended Vitamin C Intake
Women should consume at least 75 milligrams of vitamin C per day, and men need at least 90 milligrams daily. If you smoke, add another 35 milligrams per day to your vitamin C requirements. You can easily meet these needs by eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Particularly good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, tomato, cauliflower, cantaloupe, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
If you’re considering vitamin C supplements for gallbladder health, check with your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of vitamin C for you. Too much vitamin C can cause nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps and may increase your risk for kidney problems. Vitamin C can also interact with certain statins and chemotherapy medications.
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What Are The Risks Of A Cholecystectomy
Some possible complications of a cholecystectomy may include:
Injury to the tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine
Scars and a numb feeling at the incision site
A bulging of organ or tissue at the incision site
During a laparoscopic procedure, surgical tools are put into your belly. This may hurt your intestines or blood vessels.
You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.
Weight Loss After Gallbladder Removal
You may experience some weight loss after having your gallbladder removed. One of the main reasons for this is due to the gallbladder diet which is generally low in fat. In the days after surgery, you may also have a reduced appetite.
Some of the reasons for losing weight after gallbladder removal can include:
- Low-fat foods. Switching to foods that are lower in fat can help reduce overall calorie intake. To maintain a healthy weight and avoid piling on the pounds, try to stick to the good eating habits you develop post-gallbladder operation.
- Eating smaller portions. Another reason for losing weight is eating smaller portions to prevent strain on your digestive system.
- Bland diet. Some doctors recommend switching to the bland diet while recovering from surgery. Very often, this includes foods that are easy to digest and are low in calories.
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- Bile acid– helps to break down fats so that fat digesting enzymes can further break down foods
- Betaine HCL– helps support the digestive process in the break-down of protein and fats, helps relieve digestive discomfort.
- Bromelain– derived from pineapple, can aid in the break- down of protein
- Papain– derived from papaya, supports protein digestion
- It is important to note that if someone has stomach ulcers they should not use Betaine HCL, caution is advised if you are taking antacids or medications for acid reflux.
- Fiber: high fiber foods such as flax, chia, beans, fruits, and vegetables
- Beets, Artichokes, Dandelion Greens: these can help to support the liver and improve bile production for the break- down of fats
- Unrefined Healthy Fats: these can come from sources such as nuts and seeds, olive oil, or coconut oil to name a few. Healthy fats should be consumed in small- amounts throughout the day
- Fruits and Vegetables: an increase in plant- based foods in the diet can likely decrease gallbladder distress
- Lean Protein: include good- quality pasture raised, wild caught, or grass- fed sources to decrease possible digestive upset associated with more fatty meats
This information is not intended as personal medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
How To Have A Healthy Liver And Good Digestion Without A Gallbladder
First of all its important to realise that you developed a gallbladder problem in the first place because you had an unhealthy liver. If your liver is not healthy, it will make poor quality bile. The bile will be prone to forming sludge and stones. Just whipping the gallbladder out doesnt solve that problem, and in fact sludge and stones can form within the liver, compromising its function.
Here are some vital tips to follow:
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
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Gallbladder Surgery Is Increasing
Over the past thirty years, theres been a 20% increase in the number of people suffering with gallbladder problems. It is estimated that 10-15% of the US population have gallbladder complications that lead to 1.8 million hospital visits and $6.2 billion dollars in healthcare costs annually.
The conventional recommendation for gallbladder problems is removal. There are over 750,000 cholecystectomies annually in the US.
Advanced Functional Medicine nutritionist, Tom Malterre says, Unfortunately, 10-33% of people who get their gallbladder taken out never resolve their symptoms of gallbladder disease and in fact those who have their gallbladder removed may suffer from a whole new set of symptoms like fat malabsorption and vitamin deficiencies after surgery.
Weight Gain After Gallbladder Removal
For some people, maintaining a healthy weight after having their gallbladder removed is difficult. In fact, you may find that you gain weight after your gallbladder procedure.
The British Medical Journal published a study showing that around three-quarters of people who had undergone gallbladder surgery experienced weight gain. The reason that doctors pointed to was the reintroduction of fatty foods sometime after the surgery. With some patients, obesity was the reason for gallstones and a cholecystectomy and they resorted to poor eating habits post operation.18
After having your gallbladder removed, it is important to stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Doctors from the National Health Service say that after a gallbladder surgery you should eat fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta and bread, seeds, nuts and oats.11
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Foods To Eat After Gallbladder Surgery
A gallbladder surgery recovery diet should include foods that are easy to digest and are low in fat. Dr. Elizabeth Rajan from the Mayo Clinic explains that after gallbladder surgery, bile is less concentrated and less effective at digesting fat. Also, bile continually flows into the intestine, causing a laxative effect.4
The UNC School of Medicine reports that immediately following surgery, many people find that a bland diet causes less stress on the digestive system.5
What are the best foods to consume after surgical removal of your gallbladder?
Dr. Jan Sambrook on Patient.info says that some foods that are easy to digest and can help to prevent complications when you have had your gallbladder removed can include:6
- Foods that are high in fiber. Fiber should be introduced gradually following a gallbladder procedure.
- Lean meat like chicken, turkey, or extra lean beef.
- White fish.
- Low-fat dairy products. You can also use some great alternatives to dairy if you are lactose intolerant.
- Whole grain foods like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole grain bread.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Benefits Of Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 may play a role in preventing cancer, heart attacks and other diseases linked to free radical damage. Its also used as a general energy enhancer and anti-aging supplement. Because levels of the compound diminish with age , some doctors recommend daily supplementation beginning at about 40 years of age.
It also appears to aid healing and reduce pain and bleeding in those with gum disease and to speed recovery after surgery .
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Vitamins Or Supplements To Take After Gallbladder Removal
Some people believe that you need to take supplements to help improve your digestion after surgery to remove a gallbladder. Should you take bile salts after having your gallbladder removed?
Researchers from Harvard Medical School report that gallbladder surgery doesnât stop the production of bile. Your liver continues to produce bile for the digestion process and this goes directly to the intestines. So, Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff says that there is usually no real reason to take bile salts after gallbladder removal.12
If you continue to experience problems with your digestion, you should speak to your doctor. There are some conditions when bile salts are recommended.
Letâs look at some of the popular vitamins and supplements that may assist in digesting food post-gallbladder surgery.
Must Have Supplementation After Gallbladder Surgery
Perhaps you tried to change your diet and use non-invasive treatment options but your doctor advised gallbladder removal and now you need to know how you can have the healthiest digestive system possible, without it.
There are extreme cases where gallbladder health cannot be restored and acute cholecystitis, pancreatic inflammation or infection may indicate removing the gallbladder to save someones life. Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that the digestive process with remain unchanged after gallbladder removal and that the gallbladder is an, unnecessary organ. This is only partially true as we can certainly live without the gallbladder, however, overall health and nutrition may change due to its absence and GI problems such as frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating and pain may remain an ongoing problem. It is possible to develop gallstones in the liver and when underlying health issues are not resolved, gallbladder removal will unfortunately not represent a fix. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help make up for what you are missing.
Many people report ongoing digestive upset after surgery and while pain, diarrhea and bloating can be temporary, in other cases it is not and will require careful use of elimination diets to help reset and track the offending foods.
Supplements After Gallbladder Surgery
Fermented Foods And Drinks
B-12, Vitamin E, Vitamin D
Essential Fatty Acids
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How To Take Vitamin K
Supplemental vitamin K should be taken only after consulting your doctor. When prescribed, vitamin K should be taken with meals because food enhances its absorption.
Vitamin E helps the body use vitamin K, but too much vitamin E-more than 1000 IU a day-taken long term may impair vitamin K function and increase your risk of bleeding.
High doses of vitamin E may counteract the blood coagulation properties of vitamin K, increasing the risk of bleeding.
Things You Must Know If You Dont Have A Gallbladder
Removal of the gallbladder is one of the most common surgeries performed in the USA and Australia today. Gallstones are incredibly common and they occur in 10 to 15 percent of the population. The problem does tend to run in families. Women are more likely to experience gallbladder problems than men and this is partly due to the effects of the female hormone estrogen.
A gallbladder performs several important roles in your body:
- Enables fat digestion
- Enables absorption of fat soluble antioxidants and vitamins A, E, D and K
- Assists the removal of cholesterol from your body
- Assists the removal of toxins that have been broken down by the liver
Obviously you can survive without a gallbladder, but you are more prone to developing certain health problems. In particular you are at greater risk of developing a fatty liver, experiencing indigestion and developing deficiencies of essential fatty acids and fat soluble nutrients
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What To Do If You Don’t Have A Gallbladder
Gallbladder problems are extremely common. Approximately 750,000 Americans have their gallbladder removed each year. In most cases, the pain of a malfunctioning gallbladder becomes so bad, that surgery is the only viable option. Most people are under the impression that once their gallbladder is taken out, the pain and discomfort theyve been living with will be gone. Sadly thats often not the case. It is common to have just as much discomfort after the gallbladder is removed.
People without a gallbladder are more prone to digestive problems and liver problems they can even form stones within the ducts of the liver. The risk of developing a fatty liver is also greater in people without a gallbladder. Some herbs and nutritional supplements are extremely beneficial if you dont have a gallbladder. Are you confused about which supplements to take, or which foods you should avoid?
Dietary Adjustments After Gallbladder Surgery
It’s important to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions about your diet after gallbladder surgery.
If you’re hospitalized, your medical team will help you transition from a liquid to a solid diet almost immediately after your gallbladder surgery.
If you’re recovering at home, you’ll need to introduce foods slowly and consume mainly clear liquids, broth, and gelatin at first.
As you start feeling better, you can slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet. But you may need to avoid certain foods for a while if you experience bloating, diarrhea, and gas during this time.
Most people can return to a normal diet within a month of having gallbladder surgery.
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Can You Have Complications Years After Gallbladder Surgery
The symptoms include fatty food intolerance, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, jaundice, and intermittent episodes of abdominal pain. Post-cholecystectomy syndrome can present early, typically in the post-operative period, but can also manifest months to years after surgery.
When To Call Your Doctor About Problems Post Gallbladder Surgery
Although it’s common to have some food-related symptoms after surgery, its important to contact your surgeon if you experience any of the following symptoms, since they may indicate a more serious complication:
- Persistent abdominal pain, especially if it worsens
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Lack of bowel movements for more than three days after surgery
- Inability to pass gas for more than three days after surgery
- Frequent diarrhea that lasts more than three days after surgery
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