The gallbladder is a small organ that is just underneath your liver. The primary function of the organ is to hold and distribute bile made by the liver. Bile assists with the digestion of fatty foods. When your gallbladder is not doing its job properly, it may present various symptoms of pain and improper digestion such as pain in your upper or mid-back and/or abdomen, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion and excessive gas.
If you are experiencing such symptoms, you should speak with your doctor right away. Your doctor may then suggest a test for gallbladder function. The average healthy gallbladder has an ejection fraction of 35-65%. With abnormal results and problematic symptoms, your doctor may then suggest that you have gallbladder removal surgery, which is a very common procedure.
If you need surgery to remove your gallbladder, the liver will still be able to produce sufficient bile for normal digestion which will then be sent directly to your small intestine. Nevertheless, it is still important to take appropriate dietary measures to safeguard your body’s transition to post-surgery success.
Predictably, your body may have difficulty digesting certain foods following your surgery. Some common trigger foods are:
- Fatty meats such as bacon, sausage, beef, ribs, etc.
- Animal skin, like chicken or turkey.
- High-fat dairy products like cheese, sour cream, milk, ice cream, cream and butter.
- Foods cooked or prepared in fats like butter or lard.
- Oils like coconut, palm, sunflower, soybean and canola.
- Battered and fried foods like French fries, hush puppies and chips.
- “Heavy” foods such as pizza, burgers and lasagna.
- Creamy soups, sauces and gravies.
- Spicy foods.
Certain gas-producing foods, especially those high in fiber, can also cause unwanted symptoms after surgery. It is best to introduce these foods back into your diet gradually and in small amounts. Some common high fiber foods to be wary of include legumes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
If you would like to learn additional tips and tricks to safeguard your health pre- or post-gallbladder surgery, contact our team of registered dietitians today!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHWC, CPT, CMS
Health Advisor | Email Casey