No gallbladder? Please share your wisdom!

Hello! I had acute pancreatitis so one week ago I had a Laparascopic Cholecystectomy (erm, ouchies) and feel very unprepared for a life ahead without a gallbladder. I’m female, 30 and 141lbs. I’d like to lose a bit of weight, but really I’d like to make sure I don’t gain. I’d also like to make sure I can eat socially without worrying about rushing to the loo at some point shortly after...

If you or know anyone without a gallbladder, please impart any wisdom about diet, whether you take supplements, general advice etc would be gratefully received.

Thank you! :)
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Replies

  • purplebobkat
    purplebobkat Posts: 68 Member
    Hi there. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. Everyone has a different experience on what they can eat. Some have issues with high fat foods, but I have found that processed carbs cause the most issues for me. So I cut them out, started volume eating fruit, veg, dairy and meat & have lost 90lbs.

    Listen to what your body tells you. If you find your on the loo a lot after certain foods then cut them down. But most people have no issues with veg and meat, so if these make up the majority of your diet you'll feel good and lose weight.
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    I had my gallbladder removed 17 years ago, and I digest fat just fine; I actually managed to lose and not regain when I allowed more fat into my diet regularly. No supplements. Sometimes I get a "ghost" gallbladder attack, but they are short, weak and infrequent. General advice would be to figure out how this works in your case, and talk to your doctor if you need specific, personalized advice.
  • thebestyear2017
    thebestyear2017 Posts: 36 Member
    Did the dietician give you any advice on how to stop another pancreatic flare?? I'd be more concerned about that than the lack of gallbladder

    Thank you. The surgery was recommended by my GI surgeon as the most effective way to prevent another bout of pancreatitis, as scans had detected small stones and sludge in my gallbladder. A dietitian however? Sigh, I wish I’d be given access to one however I have only been able to speak to my GP and the surgeons at the hospital. Dietary advice was very limited but along the lines of limiting fat intake...
  • thebestyear2017
    thebestyear2017 Posts: 36 Member
    One of the easiest things to do is quit alcohol...honestly pancreatitis is pretty bad as you'll know but it can be life threatening. Please go back to your gp or even see if there are online support groups that can give you some advice on mimimising a flare.

    Maybe this is a start

    http://columbiasurgery.org/pancreas/pancreatitis-diet

    Thank you so much, I will look into that. I know, it’s been a steep and scary learning curve - I am seeking help where I can which lead me to the forums here. Actually I don’t drink, at all, and never have. Nor do I smoke, so the diagnosis was a surprise to us all.
  • LZMiner
    LZMiner Posts: 300 Member
    Spouse had his gallbladder out two years ago and eats exactly the same...you may not have to make any adjustments.
  • jendawn13
    jendawn13 Posts: 4 Member
    My gallbladder was removed about 10 years ago. I'm one of the lucky ones and haven't noticed any issues with any foods since then. Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones, too!
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,172 Member
    Did the dietician give you any advice on how to stop another pancreatic flare?? I'd be more concerned about that than the lack of gallbladder

    That can be very serious. Mine was caused by gallstones, so removing the gall bladder eliminated any repeats. It’s s common issue when people have small stones and could be how OP was diagnosed—it was how I was diagnosed and is apparently quite common.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    I was due to have my gallery bladder removed many years ago, but a friend recommended an alternative remedy. I avoided greasy food for a while but now I eat more normally again without any consequences. Of course my new normal is a lot less oily and greasy, but no other specific foods are avoided at this point.
  • thebestyear2017
    thebestyear2017 Posts: 36 Member
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    I was due to have my gallery bladder removed many years ago, but a friend recommended an alternative remedy. I avoided greasy food for a while but now I eat more normally again without any consequences. Of course my new normal is a lot less oily and greasy, but no other specific foods are avoided at this point.

    Ah that’s good for you! Although, I’m wary of advice from non-medical professionals. It’s such a complex matter. I seriously considered not having surgery, but I think having had pancreatitis meant that mine was beyond a controlled diet. I do feel a bit like I was in a lose-lose situation in terms of having the surgery or not. If I kept my gallbladder, the risk of having pancreatitis again was life-threatening. But also having it removed, you face a lifetime of potential complications.
  • thebestyear2017
    thebestyear2017 Posts: 36 Member
    Psychgrrl wrote: »
    Did the dietician give you any advice on how to stop another pancreatic flare?? I'd be more concerned about that than the lack of gallbladder

    That can be very serious. Mine was caused by gallstones, so removing the gall bladder eliminated any repeats. It’s s common issue when people have small stones and could be how OP was diagnosed—it was how I was diagnosed and is apparently quite common.

    Hope you are ok now and it’s under control. Gallstones are common and apparently many people have them and will never know as it doesn’t affect them. However, acute pancreatitis in someone of my age and lifestyle is not at all common. My GP is young and has never treated anyone my age, so her advice for my diet was to cut back on fat. I eat a really healthy diet, so I was clueless as to how to implement a further cutback! And my surgeon said he’d performed hundreds of cholecystectomies, but the vast majority in people who are over 40.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,172 Member
    Psychgrrl wrote: »
    Did the dietician give you any advice on how to stop another pancreatic flare?? I'd be more concerned about that than the lack of gallbladder

    That can be very serious. Mine was caused by gallstones, so removing the gall bladder eliminated any repeats. It’s s common issue when people have small stones and could be how OP was diagnosed—it was how I was diagnosed and is apparently quite common.

    Hope you are ok now and it’s under control. Gallstones are common and apparently many people have them and will never know as it doesn’t affect them. However, acute pancreatitis in someone of my age and lifestyle is not at all common. My GP is young and has never treated anyone my age, so her advice for my diet was to cut back on fat. I eat a really healthy diet, so I was clueless as to how to implement a further cutback! And my surgeon said he’d performed hundreds of cholecystectomies, but the vast majority in people who are over 40.

    I started having attacks my sophomore year in college. Didn’t know that, though. Had a bad one when I was home for spring break, called an ambulance and they ran a test identifying the pancreatitis and from there checked my gall bladder. The docs said they always checked gallbladder with pancreatitis before thinking it was something “more” serious. That was in 1990. They said I was unusually young, but I was in excellent health, so they went through their normal protocol in the hopes of identifying the problem. My stones were tiny, were leaving the gall bladder, and then causing trouble. In this case, blocking a pancreatic duct and causing the pancreas to become inflamed. So, bye-bye gall bladder!

    They also let me know gallstones could be hereditary. My folks said I certainly had a family history of them on both sides. Stones can also be cholesterol-related. Have you had labs done recently? And cholesterol issues can also be hereditary and not necessarily diet-induced. Maybe an you can see an internist or another specialist to get better info?

    Thanks for the well wishes! After the incisions healed, I was good to go and have been ever since. Almost 30 years now.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    My life, eating, and exercise are exactly the same as they were before gallbladder removal.
  • christinafoulkes
    christinafoulkes Posts: 25 Member
    I had my gallbladder out and passed a ton of stones about 8 years ago. Greasy food causes me discomfort and acts like drain-o on my system! I have been eating healthier, smaller portions and every 3-4 hours so that is how I’m currently managing my diet. I don’t handle spicy food so I simply avoid it. Listen to your body and you’ll be a lot happier for it!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,191 Member
    I know zero about pancreatitis, but had my gall bladder removed laparoscopically about half way through weight loss. (It was not caused by weight loss, by the way; it was adenomyomatosis, an inflammatory/cholesterol-related condition a long time in development, different from stones/sludge.)

    I was given a standard document about following a reduced-fat diet for a month or so, then gradually reintroducing fats to see if my body could handle them. I'm sure you can find similar documents via Google; just look for one from a reliable, mainstream source such as a major hospital/medical center.

    I reviewed the document, found I was already in compliance via my routine way of eating at that point, so just continued my routine (with attention to avoiding, for that month or so, the rare fatty treat I might have indulged in very occasionally otherwise).

    Since then, and especially since starting weight maintenance about a year after surgery, I don't do anything special and haven't had any noticeable problems. My routine way of eating still is moderate fat, but I've occasionally had something like a whole small/medium pizza, or a basket of battered deep-fried onion rings, or an overall high-fat day, with no problems after.

    Some people do have problems, though. That idea of gradually reintroducing more fats, plus trying it first at home, may be helpful.
  • lindaloo1213
    lindaloo1213 Posts: 283 Member
    I had my gallbladder removed in August of 2016. I have not had any issues. I tend to eat higher fat/lower carb but not as a diet but just the foods I like tend to be that way.
  • thebestyear2017
    thebestyear2017 Posts: 36 Member
    Thank you so much guys. It seems it’s all about listening to my body and being kind to it. It’s hard as I live for food! I am an adventurous eater, and the idea of not being able to have (even a little) some foods ever makes my soul sad. I will be on a journey from now I think, working out what I can/shouldn’t have.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    My fiance had his gallbladder removed a couple years ago. The laproscopic surgery went very well and he was back on his feet quite quickly. He just has two little scars, one in his belly button and one on his ribs.

    Before the surgery, he would get very bad gallbladder pains after heavy meals. He still sometimes gets pains after a heavy meal of mostly carbs but they're definitely not as bad now.

    When we stick to a lower-carb diet, he actually doesn't have any pains or bathroom issues, which is interesting.
  • thegeans
    thegeans Posts: 42 Member
    I had mine removed three years ago and have had zero problems--I eat (and drink) everything. Hope you have the same experience!