I’m a long time member in Arizona. I was wondering if you have some tips for after gallbladder removal. Things tend to run right through me. It seems perhaps I’m not absorbing nutrients like I should. Plus, I tend to not get enough protein. Not a big meat fan. I’d like to bulk up a bit. I work out 4-5 times a week.
– Sherry H.
If you don’t have advice from your surgeon/physician regarding an appropriate post-cholecystectomy diet, ask for one! Generally speaking, without a gallbladder to hold bile until it’s needed to break down fat globules, bile just constantly drips into the gut (like a leaky faucet) and fat digestion may be impaired. You do have pancreatic enzymes to digest fat, but they work best when ingested fat globules are first broken down by the bile.
My recommendations for after gallbladder removal: Consume small meals. Avoid more than 10-12 grams of fat per sitting. Chew slowly and thoroughly. Stay hydrated. Ask your doctor about taking supplemental lipase enzymes.
In regards to not getting enough protein, you can add non-meat sources such as eggs, beans, nuts, tofu, reduced-fat cheese, milk and yogurt. Vegetables are essential for consuming enough nutrients, plus they give modest amounts of protein with negligible fat (except avocados and olives).
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.