Dr. Matthew Gianforte
Strategies to Improve Digestion after Gall Bladder Surgery
Every year, about 600,000 people get their gallbladder surgically removed in the U.S. Unfortunately; nearly half of them still face digestion problems after the procedure.
If you have had your gall bladders removed and struggle with digestion, learn how to improve digestion here.
Role of the Gallbladder
The gall bladder is a small pear-shaped organ that sits on the right side of your body, just under your liver. It stores and secretes bile, a digestive enzyme that breaks down fats in your food. The liver makes bile itself and keeps it in the gall bladder between your meals.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
The symptoms of gall bladder disease include:
· Nausea and vomiting
· Constipation, gas, or bloating
· Diarrhea (light-coloured stool, fatty or greasy stool)
· Bitter taste in your mouth
· Pain in the shoulder blades, abdomen, and IT band
· Headaches and migraines
· Runny nose, skin rashes, and dry hair
· Yellowish tinge on the skin
· Symptoms of fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism
· Loss of hunger but no significant weight loss
· Sexual dysfunction
Major Causes of Gallbladder Disease
1. Gallstones & Biliary Stasis
A gallstone is a hard deposit of bile that can clog up your gall bladder. Biliary stasis means that your bile is flowing slowly or stopping altogether. Gallstones lead to biliary statis, which prevents your body from processing fats in your diet.
2. Poor Diet & Lifestyle
Eating processed foods and low physical activity can increase your risk of gall bladder disease. Rapid weight loss is also a risk factor, so crash diets can lead to gall bladder disease.
3. Gut Infections
Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and fungi in your gut can disrupt your digestive functions and lead to gall bladder disease. Any kind of gut microbiome imbalance can slow down or inhibit bile flow and cause gall bladder disease over time.
This refers to an underactive thyroid gland, meaning that you don’t have enough thyroid hormones in your body. Both mice and human studies link hypothyroidism to gall bladder disease through gallstone formation.
5. Chronic Inflammation
Unhealthy lifestyle choices and poor diet can lead to chronic inflammation, which increases your risk of developing gallstones. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation can remain in your system after removing your gallstones.
Prevalence of Gallbladder Surgeries
Gall bladder disease is prevalent, usually due to poor metabolism and gallstones. Gallbladder removal is often the last resort when gallstones block your bile and pancreatic Ducts. Since digestion issues often continue after surgery in up to 50% of patients, gallbladder removal requires a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Best Digestive Health Strategies
Even after gall bladder removal surgery, your liver still produces bile. A good digestive health strategy enables your bile ducts to open up in your intestinal tract to continue normal digestion functions. Use these strategies to Improve digestion:
· Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Eat lots of vegetables and greens, fermented foods, herbs and spices, free-range and organic beef, poultry, and fish. Eat healthy fats, including coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, and avocados.
· Use Bile Healthy Herbs
Include foods that naturally boost bile production, such as apple cider vinegar, parsley, cilatro, turmeric, and ginger. Others include celery, mint, sauerkraut, green tea, radishes, lemon, and lime.
· Eat Smaller Meals
Large meals put a strain on your gall bladder. Eat 3 or 4 smaller meals every day, eat slowly, and add liquid meals like smoothies and protein shakes to your meal plan.
· Optimize Stomach Acid Production
Your stomach acid stimulates bile production in your small intestines. Intestinal bile reduces the dependency on your gall bladder, which can improve digestion after gall bladder removal surgery. Achieve this by adding ginger and apple cider vinegar to your meals.
· Use Ox Bile
Consult your Kansas City physician for betaine hydrochloric acid supplements containing ox bile extract and lipase. Take this supplement before or in the middle of your meals if they include meat or fats. As a precaution, start with a low dosage and check if you experience any stomach burns or acid reflux.
· Detoxify Your Liver and Bile Ducts
Create a healthy gut microbiome by drinking herbal teas, warm lemon water, and otherwise staying hydrated throughout the day. Regular exercise and sauna treatments also help to detoxify your system through sweating.
· Use a Castor Oil Pack to Improve Bile Flow
Castor oil helps dilate liver bile ducts to encourage better bile flow. Apply organic castor oil packs to the right side of your body over your liver. It is absorbed into your skin and helps with bowel movements.
· Use TUDCA to Open Bile Ducts
TUDCA (taurourodeoxychloric acid) is a natural bile acid supplement that helps bile production. TUDCA can significantly boost bile flow, support liver, and kidney health, and reduce inflammation.
With these diet and lifestyle recommendations, you can prevent gall bladder disease and improve digestion after surgery as well. Use these strategies to reduce your risk of post-surgery complications naturally. Contact your nearest Kansas City physician to support your health goals today.
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