For those who suffer from chronic gallbladder problems, such as inflammation or stones, removal of this non-vital organ is often very much vital. Life without a gallbladder can go on as normal, to be sure, but sometimes digestive issues crop up. About half of people who have their gallbladder removed complain of digestive discomforts, bloating and gas after surgery. This is simply because they may have issues digesting fat as efficiently as they once did.
These tips can help reduce or eliminate post-surgical problems with digestion and keep discomfort at a minimal level:
• Start out slowly – In the first few days after surgery, eat a light, clear diet. Gelatins and broths are best. Slowly add mild solid foods back into the diet after that and gauge the body’s reaction to them.
• Low-fat makes sense – Smaller food portions and low-fat choices are often best following surgery. The need to skip French fries might not last forever, but it is highly recommended as the body adjusts to the new normal. Smaller portions can help keep bloating issues to a minimum, as well.
• Steer clear of fatty foods – Some of the items that are best to avoid include those fries, pizza, gravies made from meat drippings, high fat-meats, fat rich dairy, chocolate, cream-based foods and certain oils, such as palm. Spicy foods can be an issue as well.
• Take care with high-fiber foods – It’s best to be very careful and slow about reintroducing high-fiber foods into the diet. Foods such as whole-grain breads, nuts, broccoli and cabbage may put an extra strain on the digestive system and lead to diarrhea, bloating and cramps. Go slow and watch reactions before adding these items back into the routine on a regular basis.
Living life without a gallbladder to aid in digestion can take some getting used to. Be sure to take it slow after surgery and watch for foods that cause discomfort. Cut these out for a time and reintroduce later to see if the status quo changes. For more dietary advice, be sure to speak to your healthcare provider.