Diet After Gallbladder Removal – opt-in here to gallbladder foods to avoid list
I am often asked “What should I be eating after gallbladder surgery?” which is a good question. It means people are making the assumption that they should be doing something different – taking some sort of measures to heal in the best way possible. And, of course, they may also be afraid of having pain again which is a very legitimate concern.
Regarding the pain, it is very rare to experience full-blown gallbladder attacks after the gallbladder has been taken out. But if a stone gets stuck in a duct, you can have the same excruciating symptoms since the same thing is happening, even in lieu of a gallbladder. There are other causes for attacks after gallbladder removal which you can read about under pain after gallbladder removal. (LINK)
However, eating moderately after a cholecystectomy is prudent regardless of pain. Your digestive system has been under stress for months or longer and it could use a little help as well as some respite.
Doctors will tell you to eat anything you like. Many people can get away with that. Some cannot. But even if you can get away with it, do you really want to? Going back to a diet of high fat or junk food is never a good idea and now you have diluted bile with which to emulsify those fats. You could also have less bile than you did before your gallbladder disease as well, which may result in uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating, malabsorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Since bile also moves the bowel, constipation could also result. This is one reason people take supplemental bile salts with taurine at meals always, when they no longer have a gallbladder.
However, there is much you can do for the state of your bile and your liver, where the bile is made, simply by following a good diet. A gallbladder diet is also a diet for healthy bile and a healthy liver. Bile, liver and gallbladder along with the bile ducts are what makes up the biliary tree (SAFA ADD picture). The entire biliary tree benefits from the same supplements and foods. Although a few are more specific to the liver, they will always also be good for the condition of the bile and for the gallbladder – and vice versa. So, you can take all the foods on the good for the gallbladder list and translate that as “good for the bile and liver”.
This doesn’t translate across the board when it comes to foods to avoid. Let me explain why.
Certainly, bad fats, refined carbohydrates and all the food allergens you have found to affect you in any way, should be avoided especially for several weeks following gallbladder surgery as they may contribute to inflammation, put a stress on your immune system and contribute to a slower recovery rate.
But other foods on the DO NOT EAT LIST may no longer apply. Garlic, onions, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and the other cruciferous vegetables bother some people and not others. The reason for this is that these vegetables contain sulfur, and are used to detoxify the liver. When the bile is congested, and the gallbladder is impaired, this may overload the system causing symptoms. Once the gallbladder has been removed that should no longer be a problem and these foods should be encouraged since the liver could benefit from them.
You should be able to increase fats – slowly – but stick to the gallbladder-friendly ones. Over time, you should be able to eat more protein, especially meat, than someone who has gallbladder disease.
But know that the cleaner you eat and the dietary choices you take to support your bile now could make a difference to your symptoms down the road. I recommend you follow our gallbladder foods to avoid list along with gallbladder-friendly foods strictly for 1-2 months or as long as you are still in recovery, i.e. experiencing any after removal symptoms. Following a gallbladder-healthy diet always will only help your biliary system to work better and is a healthy diet for all the cells in your body as well.