5 Keys about eating after you have your gallbladder removed.
Patti is a 38 year old female who recently had her gallbladder removed and expected to feel great and eat anything she wanted post surgery. She was wrong. She experienced frequent bouts of diarrhea and bloating which kept her close to the bathroom while she was at work and at the grocery store or the mall. She aways identified where the bathrooms were when she was out as she had a job and a family to take care of and she couldn’t let this stop her. Can you relate to this? Or are you like my friend Debbie who had her gallbladder out years ago who felt great for a while. Then several years later started having greenish stools and had to stop going out to eat and didn’t know what to do.
I hear from many of my clients that are embarrassed to tell anyone about their diets and common repercussions of what they experience after they eat. I often hear so what do I eat?
I would love to say there’s a well defined diet, but we are uniquely created thus it is a trial period to identify what will be the best food plan that works for you I can share with you 5 keys that have been helpful for my clients. Let them be your guide to create a list of foods that will be your friend rather than an enemy.
The first key is to modify how often and how much you eat at a time. You are not able to digest as much food now at a time so modifying when and how much you eat is crucial. Whereas before you might have ate the traditional three times a day with occasional snacks and ate more at certain meals. Now it’s important to eat smaller more frequent meals to give your digestive system a chance to process the food. Typically that would look like 5-6 meals throughout the day. Sounds simple, it is and can make a big difference.
The second key it to focus on foods you can eat. The Mayo Clinic presented an extended list that I have added to which is worthy of sharing.
Avoid fatty and greasy foods. These take time to digest, which commonly cause discomfort. Look for nonfat or low-fat foods with up to 3 grams of fat per serving.
To help create healthy bowel movements, gradually try and increase high-fiber foods in your diet. A list of fruits and vegetables are great sources and follow.
Aim for fresh and preferably organic. Carrots• Okra• Celery• Beetroot• Tomatoes• Cauliflower• Green beans• Cucumber• Shallots• Broccoli• Green peas• Turnip greens• Brussels sprouts• Spinach• Sweet potatoes• Onions. Those are all high in fiber but any green vegetable is worthy of trying and preferred over other processed foods.
Again, aim for fresh and organic.
• Apples• Bananas• Oranges• Strawberries• Raisins• Figs• Pears• Watermelon• Raspberries• Papaya• Avocado• Muskmelon• Blueberries• Peaches• Apricots• Other berries – do fruits in moderation.
Lean Meats, Poultry, and Seafood
Small amounts of meat and seafood, provided you opt for lean cuts. As mentioned earlier, fats take longer to digest and therefore can pose problems. Opt for slow cooking methods including roasting, boiling, baking, and grilling, so that the fat drips away in the process. Do not consume fatty or oily options.
Skinless chicken• Salmon• Prawns• Lean beef• Scallops• Crabs• Sardines• Egg whites• Turkey• Lobsters• Oysters• Mussels• Tuna• Squids• Lamb• All other fish
I have found my clients say chicken, fish and turkey are some of the more tolerated protein sources.
Bone broth can also be a valuable and easily digested food.
Mayo clinic suggests these Other Items―Grains, Cereals, Nuts, Lentils, and the Like.
Wholegrains, beans, and lentils are high in fiber and therefore can be consumed, but gradually. The following list contains items that are okay to consume from these categories.
• Multigrain bread• Brown rice• Oatmeal• Barley• Lentils• Black beans• Baked beans• Lima beans• Almonds• Sunflower seeds• Pistachio nuts• Split peas• Pecans• Walnuts• Whole wheat flour• Pulses
It would be better to use unprocessed, healthy vegetable oils such as, flaxseed oil, olive oil, and hemp seed oil. These are low in cholesterol and rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
If you can tolerate these above, thats great! However I have found many people are unable to tolerate any wheat or grains so I would suggest eating foods from this last LAST and ONLY after your gut is stable with the other suggested foods.
The third key is to avoid the most common irritating foods. These vary but these are the top irritants reported by my clients.
Dairy products-Wheat and other grains-Fried or greasy foods – spicy-Raw vegetables-Caffeine-chocolate-tomato-Alcohol and sugar laden foods
The fourth key is regarding beverages. For a trial period eliminate all beverages other than water. Boring you say, yes it can be. It can also provide you with great relief and its only temporary as its likely you can add back in your favorite beverage at a later date.
The fifth key is to avoid drinking your water or whatever you drink with your meals at the same time. The fluid dilutes the digestive enzymes thus providing even greater challenges to breaking down and absorbing your food. So sip water as needed during the meal but either drink at least 30 minutes before you eat or wait about an hour after you’ve eaten to give your food a chance to absorb and provide you with nutrients to give you energy.
The sixth key is to try to avoid eating to close to bedtime. There are varying philosophies but the one I have found to be helpful for my clients is not to eat within 90 minutes before going to bed unless you have a blood sugar issue. This can help prevent reflux related symptoms.
The seventh key is to create a joyful place in which to eat. I call it food joy. Are you eating sitting down or standing up? Are you watching the news or in conversation with a family member or friend? I tell my clients that only positive things can be expressed at mealtimes. If you have nothing to say positive and kind, then don’t talk during the meal. Surround yourself with a calm pleasant atmosphere in which to eat. Is your table set with dinnerware and perhaps a centerpeice? You are affected by your surroundings so check out what is around you when you eat a meal. Make one change to how you eat and it can a positive impact on your digestion.
Why do you need to make these changes? The gallbladder plays an important role in digestion. The gallbladder stores and releases bile, which is utilized to process fats. Without a gallbladder, bile still flows from the liver into the small intestine but in an unregulated fashion. Now the bile flows directly and constantly into the intestine, and is not as concentrated anymore. This produces a laxative effect.This is the reason when people consume fatty, dairy, and greasy food items, it causes diarrhea, bloating, and gas. It’s like the monitoring device is gone now so bile can run amuck and at free will causing irritating symptoms.
I hope this article was helpful and you can create a list of trusted foods you can eat. However, sometimes some of us need more than just diet changes to restore health. If however you have already tried these modifications and still have symptoms or need help devising a diet plan please contact me for a free 20 minute consultations to trouble shoot your issues.
However, sometimes some people need more than diet changes. Removing your gallbladder could have been just removing a symptom and the underling issue remains. Click here to read my next article to learn more. Is Gallbladder Removal The Real Solution to my Problems?