What is a gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a nifty little organ that takes care of digesting all the fat you eat. It makes bile, which is what it uses to digest fat. Sometimes, things go wrong, and the gallbladder requires surgery. This happens because either the gallbladder isn’t secreting the bile properly or because gallstones get formed, which block things up and cause terrible pain and inflammation in the body. Pain in the gallbladder can be sharp, dull, or cramping in the upper, or upper/middle abdomen and can last several hours. The pains are severe and can come and go because of the contraction and expansion of the gallbladder.
Things like being obese, diabetic, losing weight too fast, gaining weight too fast, or extreme diets where people attempt to do “cleanses” that end up doing more harm than help all might end up exacerbating existing gallbladder conditions and pushing it over the edge to the point it requires surgery.
At which point, people might be recommended to undergo gallstone laparoscopic surgery.
After surgery, patients might find that their capacity for handling fatty foods changes dramatically. Loose stools and diarrhea become more common as the bile continues to drain in the absence of the gallbladder doing its job, causing a sort of laxative effect.
Your After-Surgery Prescription
Frequently, patients are given liquid food immediately after surgery. Foods that are a minimal strain on the digestive system such as broths, freshly juiced veggie and fruit juices are recommended, along with soups and porridges. There is no specific diet prescribed after surgery, but there are a solid set of rules to follow to aid recovery from the surgery, allow the body to function without the gallbladder, and to prevent problems in the future.
Here are some of those general guidelines to follow after gallstone laparoscopic surgery:
Avoidance of bad fats and incorporation of healthy fats:
Polyunsaturated fats and omega three fats are required for the body. Others, such as saturated fats and those found in red meats cause problems. Avoid hydrogenated oils and fried foods. The highest long-chain saturated fats, mostly found in red meat, were shown to have the highest association with gallstones.
Next, only the healthiest of fats should be consumed. Reach for flax seeds, walnuts, coconuts, and fish oil which have those essential fats and omega 3s necessary for the body.
High Fibre Foods:
Because bile can no longer be stored, the bile flows into the small intestine. This does not affect digestion, but can have a laxative effect and cause the diarrhoea above and loose stools. Having mass in your bowel movement is crucial as that is the vehicle through which the body disposes of toxins and unwanted substances.
A healthy plant-based diet high in fibre allows the gut to begin to normalise movements in the absence of bile. Bell peppers, citrus fruits(Providing that important vitamin C needed for recovery and prevention of gallbladder issues as well) dark leafy greens and lentils are perfect additions to the diet after surgery. Make sure to soak those lentils and legumes, as gas-forming foods can cause trouble.
Small and Frequent Meals:
As bile is no longer stored, constantly draining the bile means that it frequently needs to be removed from the body. Small meals allow your digestive system to recuperate after surgery, with a healthy peristaltic motion that removes toxins as long as fibre and a well-balanced diet are followed.
Lean Cuts of Protein:
As long as the fatty cuts are avoided, patients recovering from gallbladder surgery can partake in lean cuts of meat because it places no strain on the gallbladder. Avoid marbled beef and look for white meats like chicken and the leaner fish like cod, flounder, and halibut.
Although there might not be a strict or fixed diet to follow post gallbladder surgery, it is always advisable to follow the high fiber and low protein diet to reduce diarrhea over time and improve overall health. If the diarrhea gets severe and a person is experiencing weight loss, visiting your doctor is necessary. The doctor may prescribe loperamide to slow down intestinal movement or cholestyramine to decrease laxative effect of bile gallstone laparoscopic surgery