Digestive Problems After Gallbladder Removal

Digestive Problems After Gallbladder Removal

Digestive problems after gallbladder removal are extremely common occurrences in the adult population. With thousands of people having to undertake gallbladder removal due to pain and digestive discomfort, most people expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much digestive problems after the gallbladder is removed.

People who have had gallbladder removal often complain of digestive discomfort including frequent bowel movements, gas, bloating and liver problems. The risks of developing a fatty liver are also greatly increased.

The function of the gallbladder

The gallbladder is a small organ located on the underside of the liver and its main function is to store bile that is produced by the liver. Bile is a substance that helps break down fats from the foods we ingest so that we can absorb some of these for the manufacture of hormones and other compounds. Any extra bile that the liver produces is stored in the gallbladder until the next meal containing fats when it is released from the gallbladder into the intestines.

Without a gallbladder, normal digestion is possible but often this proves not to be the case because the liver produces trace amounts of bile on an ongoing basis, which trickle into the small intestine however when you eat a meal containing fats, often the bile in the small intestine is simply insufficient to digest all the fats which can result in diarrhoea, bloating, nausea and/ or symptoms of indigestion.

Additionally, not digesting fats means that the body cannot absorb essential fatty acids, the good fats such as omega 3 and omega 6. Aside from possible essential fatty acid deficiency, the absorption of oil soluble vitamins such as A,D,E and K may also be compromised.

Healthy digestion after gallbladder removal

It is important to realise that gallbladder problems often arise as a result of a compromised liver function. It may be that the quality of bile produced by the liver is poor, which then results in bile forming a sludge and stones. Removal of the gallbladder will not solve this problem and if anything it may result in these stones forming in the liver which then results in less than efficient liver functioning.

My recommendations for digestive problems after gallbladder removal include:

Eat some good fats and avoid bad fats including saturated fats. Although most people are recommended to have a low fat diet, this is not necessarily a good idea because the body requires essential fats for the production of hormones, cholesterol and numerous other compounds. Include moderate quantities of virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Take milk thistle for the gallbladder. The milk thistle supplement should include Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root extract and Artichoke extract which all work in synergy to enhance the production of extra bile. Milk Thistle is known to increase bile production which should help to ease digestive problems and may prevent stone formation in the liver itself. I recommend Milk Thistle Complex after gallbladder removal as it contains all these three herbs for liver health that I have mentioned. 

Many people with gallbladder problems will have suffered with poor digestion and digestive discomfort for years. These symptoms will often continue even after the removal of the gallbladder. Digestive concerns such as IBS, SIBO and candidiasis often cause insufficient digestive enzymes production. Taking a wheat, gluten and dairy free supplement containing digestive enzymes after gallbladder surgery such as Lamberts Digestizyme should help to break down food efficiently, restore good digestive health and reduce the symptoms of indigestion.


DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions and information expressed in this article and on Victoriahealth.com Ltd are those of the author(s) in an editorial context. Victoriahealth.com Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this editorial or anywhere else on the site. Every effort is made by the editorial and content team to see that no inaccurate or misleading information, opinion or statement appear, nor replace or constitute endorsement from medical bodies or trials unless specified. Victoriahealth.com Ltd accept no liability for the consequences of any inaccurate or misleading data, information, opinion or statement. Information on Victoriahealth.com Ltd and in the editorials is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this website or in the editorials for diagnosing or treating a health concern or disease, or for the replacement of prescription medication or other treatment.