The gallbladder is a small organ that is under the liver, on the right side, has the shape of a pear and its main function is to collect and store bile, the liquid that produces the liver, a yellowish color and used for the correct digestion of fats. Thus, this vesicle of the digestive system is crucial at the time of being able to process fats to take advantage of and dispose of what is necessary. Some people for various reasons may have the need to go through an operation called cholecystectomy, in which due to health problems this organ is removed. It is very common that many doubts arise around this situation and one of the most common, for example, is what to eat without the gallbladder. Therefore, in this article, we have everything you need to know, from how you can live well without this body to what to include in the diet and what to exclude.
How to live without a gallbladder
Yes, you can live without a gallbladder, because even though it has an important function in the correct functioning of the organism, this organ is not vital in itself.
Those who have undergone a cholecystectomy, whether it was due to chronic cholecystitis or other causes, spend a few days with low bile reserves, since only those stored in the small intestine will be available until, little by little, begin to reach the duodenum directly from the liver, and may cause an excess of this fluid in the intestines. Thus, there will not be enough of this liquid necessary for the digestion of fats and, therefore, if this type of food is ingested they will cause digestive problems. The most common effects are the onset of nausea, vomiting, indigestion, gas and flatulence, swelling, diarrhea, and colic. This recovery time usually lasts between 2 and 3 weeks, then little by little they are reincorporating food to the diet and you can live normally again.
In the event that there is an excess of storage of bile in the small intestine, it will begin to move towards the bulk and this will absorb it, which can produce an excess of bile salts in the large intestine and causing irritable bowel and diarrhea.
There are also many people who wonder if without a gallbladder you get fat or lose weight and, the truth is that, due to the reduction of fats and other factors normally a weight loss occurs and in some cases, there are those who have difficulties to gain some weight later.
In summary, after gallbladder removal surgery it is necessary to adjust the diet and incorporate some foods slowly, with the passage of days or weeks. In fact, 95% of the patients return to eat completely normal in a short time.
What I can eat if I do not have a gallbladder – recommended foods
What can you eat after gallbladder surgery or cholecystectomy? This is the main question and the truth is that you have to start by eliminating fats or consuming foods that are very low in their content, for example, fats of vegetable origin are usually accepted better after a cholecystectomy. These are recommended foods if you do not have a gallbladder :
- Infusions and teas, such as green tea and chamomile
- Dairy products, whether milk, cheese or yogurts
- Legumes without skin and in moderation
- Toasted bread and crackers
- Fruits such as berries, apples, pears, peaches, etc.
- Vegetables, except those complicated to digest and flatulent
- White or lean fish
- Lean meats
- Only allowed fatty foods: olive oil or seeds, preferably raw or well boiled, never fried.
Prohibited or little-recommended food after a cholecystectomy
Apart from the foods mentioned above, it is necessary to take into account the prohibited foods after a gallbladder operation, to eliminate them from the diet or, if the doctor indicates, consume the right amounts to avoid harm but take advantage of their nutrients.
- Whole Dairy
- Fast food
- Refined carbohydrates
- Hydrogenated Fats
- Fritters and processed foods
- Fat meats, such as sausages
- Bluefish and seafood
- Eggs, especially the yolk
- Legumes with hard skin
- Spicy and sauces
- Flatulent vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage or artichokes
- Very oleaginous nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts
Example diet for people without the gallbladder
The most advisable thing is that the bile diet has around 30 g of lipids daily, that is to say, that it contains less than 25% of the total daily energy value. There are many recipes for people without gallbladder that are totally healthy and, of course, also suitable for people who do have this organ, as seen in this example of diet and menu :
- Cup of infusion or coffee with milk if you start to include food.
- Toasted white bread or toasted crackers, with turkey breast or jam.
- Compote apple, pear or other fruits.
- Fruit juice.
- Cup of vegetable broth or lean meats, you can add soup pasta.
- The vegetables of the broth can be eaten separately or in the same soup.
- Cooked or baked vegetables such as carrots, tomato (without seeds or skin), eggplant, pumpkins, etc. They can also be eaten in puree or cream.
- Breast or chicken or turkey drumsticks without skin or else, cutting of beef or other meats while it is a lean part.
- The dressing can only be olive or sunflower oil, in a small amount, lemon juice and as much light or dietary mayonnaise, in case they start to include food.
- Twice a week you can eat pasta or cereals such as ravioli, spaghetti, rice, etc.
- For dessert, you can take fruit such as pears, apples, tangerines, plums, peach or melon.
You have to follow the line of the breakfast example, although you can include variants and include some foods. Although, in the case of beverages always recommended infusions, teas, mineral water, fruit juices, and so on.
Dinner can be like the example of food. However, it must be taken into account that in the last meal of the day it is better to eat less than in the rest of the meals, so the doses will have to be reduced.
Tips for living without a gallbladder
Finally, we show you some tips and recommendations to live without gallbladder that will help you adapt and recover normality:
- Start taking fluids after 24 hours of surgery.
- At 48 hours you can start a low-fat diet (maximum 30% of the total calories consumed), although it is better without, and in small amounts.
- The quantities will be distributed in small doses about 5 or 6 times a day.
- When you do 72 hours of the operation you can go on a soft diet, also in low amounts, as a half ration.
- After a day or two more, if the soft diet is well tolerated, a continuation diet can be started, that is, the same will be eaten but the quantity will be increased.
- Always have to eat slowly, chew a lot of food and not get to feel full, just sated, and the best way is to eat between 5 and 6 times a day.
- The food should be prepared raw, papillote, steamed, baked, boiled or grilled.
- Avoid all types of fats at first, especially fried, processed and industrial foods.
- Remember to avoid foods that are flatulent , spicy and can cause constipation.
- Gradually add fiber to improve your intestinal transit.
- If you have trouble digestion, choose to walk 5 or 10 minutes at a good pace and continuously, instead of staying resting.
- To reincorporate food do it little by little to check the tolerance and do it one at a time, for example, a week apart.
- Consult your doctor whenever it is necessary for reviews, follow-up or clarify doubts.