Blog Health

Post Gallbladder Surgery

This is NOT medical advice. This is life experience from those I trust and love who have been through similar situations. The point of these articles is to capture them for our own use and to share in case they help you on your journey.

The gallbladder and pancreas help to break down fat and digest food properly.

Some people have lots of trouble after surgery and others do not. You may still be in pain for a month, or even several months, after surgery while you re-learn to eat. For one friend, the pain was between her shoulder blades and stayed for months until weaning off wheat and dairy. If the doctor says you can eat whatever you want in a week, just blow it out your ear and make preparations to eat clean and low fat.

For the first year affter surgery, take it very slow; introducing fried foods, butter, olive oils, and dairy back into your diet.

Pay attention and back off, if certain foods give you problems. You really need to figure out and remember these triggers. Getting rid of these is what’s going to fix your problems.

If you are still experiencing symptoms (nausea, diarrhea or cramping):

  • If needed, take an anti-diarrhea pill one hour before you go out to eat.
  • For some people, they cannot drink with meals after gall-bladder surgery while others can. Simply pay attention to how you feel if you drink with meals. This waters down the digestive juices so that your food can’t break down properly before it gets to the gut. If it does, drink later and just sip it, don’t guzzle for the same reason.
  • Bentyl or Simethicone (gas-x) can help calm intestines down. This reduces cramping and diarrhea. Make sure to ask for a prescription for Bentyl if you are having problems. They won’t generally offer it. It makes a huge difference. My philosophy on all meds is they are a temporary solution. Don’t expect to use these the rest of your life. Figure out what your body needs and fix the root problem.
  • Try digestive enzymes before meals.
  • Some find relief with Standard Process Cholacol with a high fat meal and were able to wean off of this over time.
  • Some find relief with Solaray Super Digestaway (with Pancreatin) with protein/carb rich meals. They knew it was helping because if they forgot, then 6 hours after eating, they were nauseous.

The pancreas tries to take over for the gall bladders but you have to help it by not irritating it with the problem foods. If you waited for years to get your gall bladder taken care of, the pancreas may be damaged and it may need help, as well.

Watch for what irritates the pancreas:

  • Tannins in coffee/tea
  • Fatty foods
  • Eating too fast
  • Tea with meals
  • Liquid with meals


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