Getting your gallbladder removed can lead to major changes in your lifestyle. Many of the foods that you commonly ate can cause pain or discomfort after your surgery. This is because your body isn't able to process some foods very well at first, which can lead to a number of digestive problems while your body tries to adapt. Using good sense, you should be able to minimise these episodes and keep your digestive tract in balance while it adjusts to functioning without the gallbladder.
- Skill level:
Realise that some gallbladder problems are originally exacerbated by diets rich in foods that throw off the balance of the bile itself. While your body adjusts to functioning without a gallbladder, it's even more important that you avoid these foods.
Avoid foods that have a high fat or acid content. Until your body has had time to heal and adjust, stay away from red meat, pork, butter, fried foods, dairy products and eggs. In regards to drinks, stay away from fruit juices (aside from grape and apple) and all caffeinated, alcoholic or carbonated beverage. Even decaf coffee and tea should be avoided.
Include foods in your diet that promote the good health of your biliary system and your digestive system in general. Fibre sources such as lettuce and grains are wonderful, as are vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables such as beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, grapes and carrots. Increase your levels of fibre slowly. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseed oil and salmon are also beneficial in small amounts.
Hope that you're one of the 60 per cent of people who have no additional problems once they've finished healing from gallbladder removal. The other 40 per cent may experience some bloating, gas or discomfort for weeks, months or even longer after healing whenever they eat foods similar to those mentioned above. Give yourself at least two to four weeks beyond the time that all physical signs of the surgery have healed before attempting to reintroduce those foods into your diet, and do so in exceedingly small amounts at first.
Eating smaller meals through out the day at even intervals can help your body to regulate bile production.
Tips and warnings
- If you ate a diet high in problem foods prior to your gallbladder surgery, make an effort to avoid going back to those extremes. In excess, these foods can still cause other digestive problems.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any abnormal pain or other problems while recovering from gallbladder removal.