Three Reasons Why You’re Still Having Symptoms After Gallbladder Removal

Every year between 700,000 to 800,000 people have their gallbladder removed believing their symptoms and problems will be resolved. Some people do experience relief for a period of time. Unfortunately a lot of other people do not experience relief while others even develop new symptoms. If you are one of these people who thought everything would be great once your gallbladder was gone but things are not better, you are not alone! There are three reasons why you are still having symptoms after gallbladder surgery. Know that these issues can be resolved and your health can be restored to living symptom free! Let’s look in the past for a minute. Typically, you were having a variety of digestive issues that led you to go visit your Doctor. Through an exam and some tests you were told its your gallbladder, and it needs to be removed. It sounded like a great idea and you envisioned all your problems would go away. You were provided with little to no information about what the gallbladder did and how to adapt to living without it. It was simply assumed everything will be ok once the gallbladder was removed. You followed through but you are not symptom free! There remains a variety of symptoms of diarrhea, or bloating and gas, heartburn, pain and some even experience constipation. There are other unpleasant symptoms. All of them produce frustration, anger and uncertainty about how to move forward. Who wants to be miserable so taking the gallbladder out made sense however According to a study in Clinical Gastroenterology (2011) Abdominal pain persists in up to 50 percent of patients after surgery suggesting that doctors need a better way to determine if surgery will be beneficial. The first reason why you may be still having symptoms is the gallbladder wasn’t the primary issue! I remember a physician I worked with in the urgent care many years ago who said if you have pain in an organ of your body just cut it out! I thought that was quite alarming. Every symptom is trying to tell us something about an imbalance within our body. It doesn’t have to be where the symptom is. Think of people who have a heart attack who have pain radiating into the arm. Is their arm the problem? No its not. Gallbladder pain can radiate into the back but the problem isn’t in the back, is it? The problem isn’t always where the symptoms are. It is wise to be aware that these symptoms are simply a way for our bodies to get our attention and start a conversation. Something within our body is off balance. I like to think of myself as a detective assisting in the conversation with you to identify the core issues. We so often shoot the messenger so to say with drugs or surgeries we miss the message. There are times when medications and surgery is needed, but so often we jump to these things to early before investigating the issues and realizing they can be solved without needing more invasive measures. The body will continue to try to talk to us by giving us more symptoms as a way to tell us there is disharmony within that needs to be addressed. If you had your gallbladder out and are still having symptoms or even have new ones, unfortunately, there are still imbalances that need to be addressed which leads to the second reason. The second reason why you’re still having symptoms is the underlying root causes were not identified. The five most common root causes are:

  1.  Dietary- food allergens or sensitivities such as wheat, lectins or other seemingly healthy foods can produce a reaction within the gut causing inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients.
  2.  Nutritional deficiencies such as B12, vitamin and minerals needed for proper absorption to create energy! Zinc and Vitamin D are examples.
  3. Biochemical- such as a deficiency in Hydrochloric acid( helps with protein digestion), inability to digest fats or imbalance in good and bad bacteria called the microbiome.
  4. Hidden infections such as viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal. These are very common issues that go un noticed.
  5. Stress-physical or unresolved/unexpressed emotions. For every physical issue, there are stresses connected that can slow or block our healing.                                                                  Each of these root causes need to be investigated and identified if they are playing a part in your symptoms. While everyone is unique, typically I have found after working with clients, there are usually a combination of two or three causes that are creating problems. Once identified and a plan is initiated, symptoms dissolve and a a greater sense of health is the result!

           The third reason why you’re still having symptoms after having your gallbladder removed is you’ve lost your filter!                                    Your  gallbladder is important. Your liver continually creates bile which travels to your gallbladder where it is concentrated and stored. It’s most commonly known that bile helps to digest fats, but did you also know that bile also helps to excrete wastes and toxins? Bile contains cholesterol and other fats that your your liver has broken down and needs to eliminate. A well functioning gallbladder also helps your body to clear cholesterol, and other fats. While your liver continues to create bile, there is no longer a place to concentrate or store it. You’ve lost your filter so to say and bile continually flows into your intestines! This will affect how well you digest fats such as essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, A, and B’s. These nutrients are essential for good health! The environment within the gut cannot keep up and provide the energy and nutrients you need. Ultimately, there are many ways to provide the support your body needs. Lifestyle modifications along with supplementing with digestive enzymes and or a probiotic are a couple ways that can help restore balance. Taking bile salts for many is life changing. I like to call it “gallbladder in a bottle” Since you no longer have a gallbladder, this can support and be a replacement for the missing function. These three reasons can be contributing to why you are still having symptoms after your gallbladder was removed. Unfortunately until the underlying issues are identified and a plan is initiated, your current state of health will not change. It can wax and wane without reason until the root causes are found and some changes are made. What is it that you want to do that you are prevented from doing because of these symptoms? Bring your symptoms and lets begin the conversation. Reclaim your health and your life to allow yourself the freedom to eat wisely without consequences. Start thriving without a gallbladder! Although you are having symptoms now, know that you can live symptom free! I invite you to schedule a free 20 minute trouble shooting consultation or if you are ready to take action book an appointment here.