View Full Version : Removal of gall bladder

22nd October 2010, 09:02 PM
I had my gall bladder removed 9 years ago......I am interested to hear from any one who has no gall bladder and takes bile salts to aid with the digestion of fats...I was never informed of any supplements to take...I just read some info on the internet and I was surprised with taking products to help with fat digestion.

22nd October 2010, 10:16 PM
I still have my gall bladder, but before THD I used to be crippled with heartburn, suffered from reflux and quite often had to sit up in bed. I had to take omprezole, I never ate fat, always cut fat off meat. I was going the same way as my mother who had gall bladder problems, and it was touch and go whether she had her gall bladder removed.
Now, I have no problems whatsoever, no pain, no reflux, and no need for pills, I eat all the fat but dont eat the carbs, so have the powers that be got this wrong also! makes you wonder.

22nd October 2010, 10:48 PM
thanks carol for your rely. So happy you still have your gall bladder and all your other symptoms have cleared up.....I am eating all fat meals..but worrying that with no gall bladder the essential vitamins from the fat isnt being digested and I need some medication to help produce bile. This is all new info for me....I will continue doing some research to get some answers.

22nd October 2010, 11:23 PM
Had my gall bladder removed about 20 years ago and was never given any advice about diet, post-op. I have worked out for myself that I cannot eat too much fat at any time, the end result being diarrhea (tmi - I know). This is the first time I have heard of bile salts - may have to google to find out more! Incidentally, my gall stone symptoms never included heartburn or reflux (only ever got those when pregnant, really) - just a constant and increasing pressure from the inside out, just below my ribcage. Would be interested to hear others experiences tho'.

22nd October 2010, 11:34 PM
Thanks SJC for your reply.....Lird wrote a reply and prompted me to look up gall bladder and a few sites mention taking bile salts....As mentioned in another thread that after eating liver a few days ago I have suffered with severe diarrhea and this may be due to my body not handling the fat....I eat only fat meals so am wondering how much fat is too much...and how much vitamins from the fat am I actually absorbing. I hope someone else will beable to assist in the bile salt question.

22nd October 2010, 11:47 PM
Just another thought Sue....don't want to jump the gun here, but if there is issues with absorbing the nutrients from the fat this could be what is causing your body to not release its last bit of fat that you want to lose. We all know if your body is not getting what it needs it tries to hold on to what fat it has got. If this is all connected it would be a very reasonable explanation for your seemingly neverending plateau. X

23rd October 2010, 12:01 AM
I am just reading about that Lird...theres a certain enzyme which is present when you have your gall bladder but not when it has been removed and this helps break down fats...maybe my plateau is somethig to do with this..now I need to know what to do about it if anything??

23rd October 2010, 12:11 AM
I will be very interested to hear if Zoe has any useful insights into this (she usually does!) and I really hope that if this is the problem that you can find something to help you.

23rd October 2010, 12:15 AM
Thanks Lird, I hope Zoe replies with some promising info.....

hattie the cattie
23rd October 2010, 09:53 AM
Hi Sue,
I had my gall bladder removed about 5 years ago and I generally eat fat meals without any ill effects. I've never heard of bile salts, I was told that we can live without a gall bladder as it just regulates the flow of bile.

This could have been as good as the other medical advice we get though !


23rd October 2010, 12:28 PM
Thanks Hattie for replying....I was afraid that I might be over taxing my liver??

23rd October 2010, 01:09 PM
Hi there - great question! I've just PM'd Harissa but it will be useful to share for everyone - especially the growing number who are having their gall bladder removed (most likely cause of this is following low fat diet advice and then the gall bladder thinks it's redundant!)

Having the gall bladder removed absolutely DOES affect the way our bodies deal with dietary fat. Let's go through that first and then back to the liver eaten...

The role of the gall bladder is to emulsify (break down) fats. The best way to explain emulsification is to think about washing pots and pans. We need washing up liquid to remove the grease. The soap 'emulsifies' the fat on the dishes so that it can be removed. The body's emulsification process is performed by a substance called bile (also called gall). Bile is a yellowy-green alkaline fluid which is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder between meals. When we eat, bile is released into the first part of the small intestine where it helps to break down fat as part of the digestion process. So, anyone who has had their gallbladder removed can no longer break down fat in the way that the body is designed to do. You should have been advised to take bile salts with each meal from the point at which your gall bladder was removed! If you don't digest fats, you don't get the fat soluble vitamins and can suffer the problems of vitamin A, D, E and K deficiency which are serious (and which the majority of the 'developed world' population are suffering anyway because of our dangerous low fat advice.)

What is happening to you in effect is - this is almost the equivalent of you taking Xencial/Alli/Orlistat - the diet pill that stops you digesting fat! With this drug, people experience a horrible urgency to go to the loo and diarrhoea if they eat fat - because the drug is impacting their ability to digest this fat (it actually tries to stop some of the fat from being digested). Without the natural ability to digest fat you are in a similar place!

Back to the liver - this is interesting because liver (as with most meat) is not a fatty thing. Beef Liver on the USDA database shows up as 20g protein, 0g carb (or course) and 4g fat - of which 1g is saturated (only shared for interest to show, yet again, meat is not "full of saturated fat" - it has mostly water, then protein, then, of the small amount that is fat, most is unsaturated for those who care about that kind of thing!) This has made me think.... Foie gras is goose liver where the goose has been especially fattened to make the liver fatty. Could the liver you had have been from a 'non roaming around the grass' cow? If the cow has been fattened for extra profit on grain (the goose is fattened on grain because carbs make animals fat!) then the liver could be unnaturally fatty and could be causing extra problems for you.

Two recommendations therefore are:
- Check the source of every bit of any meat you eat (goes for everyone)
- Follow the internet advice (why did the surgeon not give you this?!) to take bile salts - I sadly have no idea of how much to take and when (it will be a balance with what you eat and not a set amount for everyone) but check a few sites and see the common advice or check with a pharmacist in Saudi or see your doc and ask them to finish the job that was started! This is unbelievable...

Hope this helps!
Bye for now - Zoe x

Marie Smith
23rd October 2010, 01:25 PM
It is so tricky to find meat that has been grass fed and is organic and not full of things which we then absorb by eating it! I've still got my gall bladder but do have gall stones - these only play up now if I have processed foods and/or lots of sugar (clotted cream also seems to be a no no) - I've been enjoying eating the skin off chicken, cheeses, and single cream for the first time in ages without any problems on this way of eating.

You can get your bile salts level measured Harissa - I had this done alot when pregnant with my 3 as I had Cholestasis which is the liver chucking out bile salts into the blood stream causing itching and other unpleasant symptons - this may help with dosage?

Marie x

23rd October 2010, 02:00 PM
Thank you Zoe for your reply.....No I was never advised to take bile salts and it seems the ladies who have replied to my post werent informed in the Uk either....I will continue researching.

23rd October 2010, 02:16 PM
hi Zoe do you know why there not saying about the salts ,is that they are saying no fat what so ever .my aunt has just gone though this, and believes the doctor not me .so frustrating and she is feeling unwell

23rd October 2010, 02:23 PM
It seems from what I have been researching that we should be taking bile salts and cod liver oil caps and maybe even digestive enzymes.....My head is all in a muddle...!!

23rd October 2010, 02:38 PM
Hi sis2009,

My guess is that it all comes down to the WRONG government dietary guidelines that we should be eating high carb and low fat. It kind of the opposite of the diabetes situation, where the doctors insist diabetics eat carbs and have medication because managing the condition through diet would mean going against the healthy diet guidelines and encouraging a diabetic to eat low carb and high fat. In the case of gall bladder removal the dear old doctors are thinking well it's better if they can manage this through diet rather than medication so therefore eat low fat high carb which fits in with the official health advice so it's all good! However, we know that this is anything but good, but until the official health advice is changed the doctors will keep following it thinking it is the right thing to do.

23rd October 2010, 02:43 PM
Hi Sue,

Maybe start with the bile salts and see how you get on, then go from there. It will be impossible to tell which ones of those are truly helping you if you start all three at once. I think it is worth trying them all out, but do it sensibly and gradually and listen to your body.

23rd October 2010, 06:03 PM
Sis2009 - many thanks for sharing that no fat advice! Isn't it as Lird says - the mad advice is everywhere. For those of you who have the latest book - check the summary of why we need fat soluble vitamins in chapter 12. Anyone else - google vitamin A, D, E and K and deficiency and see if you fancy being deficient in any of these vital nutrients! vit A - eyesight and liver functioning, vit D everything from bones, muscles to cancer protection and cholesterol synthesis, vitamin E - blood vessel health and repair (hello - that one could be quite useful in preventing heart disease don't you think) and vitamin K - blood health again (amongst SO many other functions for each and every one of these).
The word vitamin comes from the Latin word for life and vital - when did vitamins become optional?!

26th October 2010, 05:04 PM
My understanding is that once the gall bladder is removed, bile is released steadily into the gut, rather than held in the gall bladder and released in correct amounts as required. However(having googled quite a lot on this over the last few days), I think this explains why I can't cope with very fatty meals - my body can no longer regulate the amount of bile. I have also found sites suggesting that without the gall bladder to contain the stones, they may form further back up the biliary system, and cause similar symptoms, which I think has happened to me. Every 3 to 6 months (possibly more frequently) I suffer from 'indigestion' pains very similar to gall stone attacks - they don't generally last more than a couple of hours, but are pretty uncomfortable. I'm considering talking to my GP about bile salt supplements, but not sure what kind of reception I'll get! I recently had a blood test which showed raised enzymes in my liver - this has resolved itself (apparently) but I'm not sure whether it's all related...

If Harissa gets anywhere with supplements, I would be very interested to hear, and will post any results from this end.

26th October 2010, 06:05 PM
Hi SJC.....I have spent many, many hours researching about salts and other dietary supplements.......regarding the salts, I think its up to the individual to go to a health food store and purchase some and not upto the Dr to prescribe. It seems the body can "cope" without the gall bladder but by taking supplements it takes a load off the liver which may already be over taxed due to years of a bad diet..resulting in "fatty liver".......I have searched high and low here for the salts but to no avail....but maybe in the uK in Holland & Barrett may stock them, I've ask a friend in Canada to bring me some back..also known as freeze dried ox bile. Also, tonight I am off out to buy some choline&inositol dietary supplement and acidophillus ...the choline&inositol helps with the fat I eat ensuring I digest the fat soluble vitamins and also helps with a fatty liver and the acidophillus to add some good bacteria to my gut and also have just started taking some digestive enzymes to help with the fat/proteins I eat. Sadly I didnt research more after I had my gall bladder removed on the internal effects of the body...but its never too late to learn and start taking more care of your body..The harcombe diet has really helped me do that but now I am taking it one step further........I will be very interested to what your Dr has to say...please let me know....I have asked a few friends scattered around the world who have or know someone who has had their gall bladder removed and none of them were given salts or much dietary info..sad really. I plan to educate myself ..not bothering with going to see a Dr, especially here!...Please chk with your dr before taking any of the dietary supplements that I have mentioned....I suffer with constant constipation which I now think is because my body doesn't produce enough bile...the salts will remedy that.
Please keep us posted
sue x

27th October 2010, 01:51 AM
Just a footnote about diabetes. In the 1970s my grandmother was diagnosed with what was called "age onset" diabetes (I believe that type 2) She was not given any medication just told to cut carbs from her diet. She did and was probably eating a Harcombe type diet. From being very fat, the weight dropped of her. It would seem that her doctor knew even back in those days.

27th October 2010, 10:37 AM
My Grandma was diagnosed with some sort of diabetes at a young age. She told me she was given an extra ration of fat (butter etc) instead of sugar during the war to compensate. She always ate loads of fat, local meat and their own veg and was the healthiest person I can remember. Also very physically active - her home was immaculate - still beating carpets over her washing line at 80!! (Their house had no electricilty!!) She thought nothing of pouring bacon fat over things, and cooking with the beef dripping etc. - wasteful not to really!

27th October 2010, 11:06 AM
I find myself continually lost for words at how people have become so brainwashed, and I was one of these people myself. The evidence for low fat diet being unhealthy was staring me in my face (including healthy elderly people who thought nothing about using meat fat & butter on everything), infact I didn't need to look any further than myself to see what a lowfat diet could do to your health. Now, I consider myself an intelligent girl, yet I was completely blind to the truth that was staring me in the face and continued to believe that low fat was the answer despite seeing first had that it repeatedly didn't work in terms of weightloss and health - the absolute definition of brainwashing (& insanity) I feel! I think this is why we are all finding there are some number of people in our lives who just cannot accept what is so obvious - brainwashing can be a seriously powerful thing!

27th October 2010, 01:01 PM
Today I started taking some dietary supplements to held my liver and digestive tract...I am so happy to have researched quite a lot about the internal effects of having my gall bladder removed....continue to eat well, moderate exercise and just taking more care of myself....it can be costly buying nutritional supplements with a family but I really thought it was worth doing. I hope my body will start utilizing the fat soluble vitamins a little easier which I hope will trigger some weight loss.

sue x

27th October 2010, 01:12 PM
I find myself continually lost for words at how people have become so brainwashed, and I was one of these people myself.

I sometimes cringe when I think of how many times I'd parroted the 'Calories in must be less than calories out to lose weight! :eek:

8th March 2014, 08:54 AM
I'm supposed to be having my gallbladder out in around 8wks but reading about the problems after I'm rather hesitant.
Feeling a little worried.

8th March 2014, 10:22 AM
I do wonder if this is a condition that could be totally prevented by sensible diet.
If we want to stop the formation of stones we surely need to make sure the gallbladder is emptied regularly.
Effects of various food ingredients on gall bladder emptying (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898429/)

High-Fat Diet Linked to Fewer Gallstones (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Gastroenterology/GeneralGastroenterology/43474)

Dietary garlic and onion reduce the incidence of atherogenic diet-induced cholesterol gallstones in experimental mice. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18983715)

Antilithogenic influence of dietary capsaicin and curcumin during experimental induction of cholesterol gallstone in mice. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21609281)

Ginger, fenugreek Tumeric also add to the impact (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23364205) Sounds like the base of a good cury

Most of us don't consume the RDA for magnesium and magnesium not only counterbalances the actions of calcium but also enables vitamin d to work better.

Long-term effect of magnesium consumption on the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease among men. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076730)

Gut microbiota dysbiosis and bacterial community assembly associated with cholesterol gallstones in large-scale study (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/14/669)

Dr Art Ayers has some good information on repaiing gut microbiome. (http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/paleo-gut-flora-repair.html) Improving Vitamin D levels will also help your immune function deal better with pathogenic bacteria.

Pathogenesis of Gallstones (http://gastro.ucsd.edu/fellowship/materials/Documents/Gallstones/pathogenesis%20gallstones.pdf)

Vitamin C supplement use may protect against gallstones (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763865/)

Perhaps I should point out these approaches would work better together than individually. Magnesium and Vitamin d will be more effective than either on their own. Getting 25(OH)D up to 125nmol/l is important as at that level is works best as an antinflammatory agent. (may take 5000~10,000iudaily. While magnesium is best from food and water or through skin (epsom salts/dead sea salts in bath) magnesium supplements such a magnesium malate or glycinate would also help.
Similarly building up a good gut flora is conditional on also getting rid of the pathogenic bacteria.

Nutritional Approaches to Prevention and Treatment of Gallstones Alan R. Gaby, MD (http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/14/3/258.pdf) This makes an interesting connection between Gluten and gallstones. May also be worth going gluten free providing you don't use processed foods with "gluten free" labels.

Treatment of Gallstones with Melatonin
http://link.springer.com/static-content/images/729/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10620-007-0195-5/MediaObjects/10620_2007_195_Fig1_HTML.gif (http://www.springerimages.com/Images/MedicineAndPublicHealth/1-10.1007_s10620-007-0195-5-0)

There is some common sense information here about improving melatonin secretion except she doesn't mention the free software for PC/LAPTOP LED DISPLAYS. f.lux: software to make your life better (http://justgetflux.com/)
Regulating Circadian Rhythm (and why that’s important) (http://www.thepaleomom.com/2014/02/regulating-circadian-rhythm.html)

9th March 2014, 11:20 AM
Thanks very much for your thread Ted,seems like I'm going in the right direction with my diet.
I've been gluten free since January and make a lot of currys at home,and for the last month 've been taking magnesium supplements and bathing in Epsom salts.My gallbladder symptoms are a lot better,think I'll keep going the way I'm going and see what happens.
I feel very strongly that diet can help heal our bodies.

9th March 2014, 11:50 AM
i hope you are successful! i ended up having emergency surgery with mine and the surgeon came to tell me exactly how disgusting it was when he finally managed to unstick it from my liver. it had completely died and i was a very very poorly person for a while. please listen to your body and seek help if your symptoms get too severe.

9th March 2014, 11:53 AM
If you are managing your gall bladder, I wouldn't have the op. Also, have you asked about just having the stones removed?

As Karenfev says, don't ignore symptoms for too long, though!

9th March 2014, 01:35 PM
don't ignore symptoms for too long, though!

But we shouldn't just treat the symptoms and ignore the underling problem that causes the symptoms.

Removing the gallbladder or removing the stones is simply treating the symptoms.

If the CAUSE is the type of pathogenic bacteria that can be grown from gallstones then removing the stones or the gallbladder doesn't treat the bacterial infection. The pathogenic bacteria are still in the system and will go on to cause other problems at a later date depending on what is your most vulnerable weakest point. Improving the diversity of gut bacteria while improving your immune function (raising vitamin d/magnesium levels) will help your body better control the pathogens.

If the CAUSE OF stones forming is vitamin C deficiency so the person is unable to change cholesterol into bile acids efficiently, then resolving the vitamin C insufficiency (with some sustained release vitamin c through the day 4 x 500mg ) deals with the CAUSE of the problem. As Vitamin C also helps (if taken at effective amounts) reduce uric acid levels that may also help prevent the development of gouty symptoms in later years. Simply removing the gallbladder or stones without recognizing or correcting vitamin C deficiency simply moves the problem from one weak point to another. It's also the case some people would find they could reduce their blood pressure medications if they increased their vitamin c intake.

If the cause of the problem is excess calcium salts then ensuring you have adequate magnesium available to counterbalance excess calcium may not only prevent the current gallstone formation problem but may also prevent calcification of arteries or other tissues at a later stage. Removing the gallbladder may resolve the immediate symptoms of magnesium deficiency (gallstone formation) but leave you vulnerable to developing diabetes, or heart disease in later years.

I've added a bit about Melatonin to my previous post (http://www.theharcombedietclub.com/forum/showthread.php?3230-Removal-of-gall-bladder&p=293490&viewfull=1#post293490) about treating the cause (rather than just remove the symptoms) of gallstone formation from which you can also see where calcium fits in.

10th March 2014, 01:01 AM
Removing the stones is not so radical as removing the gallbladder - however, point taken re causes v symptoms!