What to do if your gallbladder has been removed
All is not lost, there are things you can do to help with fat digestion after your gallbladder has been taken out. After you had your surgery, did your doctor tell you to supplement with some form of bile? Mine sure didn’t. My doctor didn’t tell me anything after the surgery. There were a lot of things I had to figure out on my own. And since everyone is a bio-individual, what worked for one person doesn’t work for everyone. It was and still is a lot of trial and error.
Are you feeling tired since you had your gallbladder removed? Many people feel tired after their gallbladder is removed because it is harder for their body to digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, which are Vitamin A, D, E and K. If you are low on Vitamin A you may experience dry skin or dry eyes. You may be aware that low levels of Vitamin D cause fatigue.
Here are some tips for healthy eating after your gallbladder surgery.
- Limit the amount of fat you are eating, especially at first. While I believe that healthy fats are a good part of a healthy diet, I know that digesting fats is more difficult after gallbladder surgery.
- When you do eat fats, make sure they are healthy fats such as avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. It is a good idea to avoid unhealthy fats like processed oils or hydrogenated oils. I do not believe those types of fats have a place in anyone’s diets, let alone someone who is suffering from gallbladder issues.
- Eat a healthy amount of fiber. Your body needs fiber to keep your bowels moving regularly. Be careful not to go too fast with adding fiber. Good fiber choices include:
- Sprouted grains
- Fruits and veggies, beets are especially good. See below for an excellent beet slaw recipe.
- In the beginning, it may be necessary to eat smaller meals more often, until your body adjusts to not having a gallbladder.
- It may be helpful to limit caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and sugary foods.
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
- Chew your food properly, it may not seem like much, but helping your body break down the food you eat will make a significant impact on your overall digestion.
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How to keep your gallbladder healthy
- Avoid bad fats such as vegetable oils, trans fats, highly processed foods, and excess processed sugar or refined carbohydrates.
- The body has a hard time breaking down processed oils and trans fats. They become rancid, which can lead to gallbladder problems.
- Eat healthy fats such as olives, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocados, fish, etc.
- Why is eating healthy fats so important? When you eat healthy fats, the gallbladder contracts to secrete bile, if you are not eating enough fat, the bile does not get secreted, and it sits in the gallbladder. Over time the bile becomes thick and sludgy, which eventually leads to gallstones.
- Eat foods that are supportive of healthy bile such as beets, artichokes, asparagus, citrus, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, radishes, dark leafy greens, and carrots.
- Take your time to eat your food in a relaxed state.
- When you are relaxed, your body is much more equipped to digest the foods you eat. Taking time to chew your food (20-30 chews per bite) helps with the digestion process. Your gallbladder is an important organ for healthy digestion
- Drink plenty of water, aim for ½ your body weight in ounces, for example, someone who weighs 150 lbs should drink 75 oz. of water daily. Limit diuretics such as caffeinated tea, some herbal teas, coffee, etc. When you do drink diuretics, add extra water. For every ounce of diuretics, add one and a half ounces of water to your original water goal.
- Keeping hydrated helps the bile stay more fluid when you get dehydrated, so does your bile, it becomes thick and moves much more slowly.
Now that you have some ideas of what you can do to keep your gallbladder healthy if you are looking for support to implement those things, I have a 7-day free challenge that can help you get on the right track. Learn more about the challenge here.