Diet After Gallbladder Removal

The formation of gallstones is a disease whose origin is not exactly known, but genetic and environmental factors are recognized.

When there are cases of gallbladder removal surgery, it is essential to have a proper diet, focusing mainly on eliminating fats in the diet.

The gallbladder is an organ that our body can do without and live without perfectly, but it requires a period of adaptation. Once the body adapts to the new situation, fats can be progressively added to the diet until a normal diet is achieved. Diet After Gallbladder Removal


The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that we find next to the liver. Its function is to store and concentrate bile, which is a liquid produced in the liver by hepatocytes.

Manufactured bile leaves the liver through the common hepatic duct, which receives the cystic duct that goes to the gallbladder. Both ducts open into the common bile duct that reaches the duodenum, where we find the sphincter of Oddi.


Bile duct motility is the mechanical expulsion of bile from the gallbladder to the duodenum. The main responsible for stimulating the motility of the bile ducts is the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes rhythmic contractions in the gallbladder and relaxation of the sphincter of Oddi, which causes the emptying of the bile content into the duodenum. Diet After Gallbladder Removal

The duodenum releases cholecystokinin when it finds undigested food in the lumen. . This hormone will act on the bile ducts (bile release) and also on the pancreatic ducts (enzymatic release), to promote the digestion of food.Diet After Gallbladder Removal


Bile, made from cholesterol and bile acids, serves several functions in the duodenum:

Due to its bicarbonate content, it helps to neutralize the acidity of the chyme, increasing the pH. This increase in pH in turn causes the activation of pancreatic enzymes.
Bile is responsible for emulsifying fats in the duodenum. It will reduce the surface tension of the fat droplets that form spontaneously in the chyme, transforming them into multiple smaller droplets. Therefore, it is bile that is responsible for the digestion of fats.

Water. Most of its composition is water.


pigments. When red blood cells die, hemoglobin is released and bilirubin is delivered to the liver.

electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, calcium, chlorine and bicarbonate. Due to these electrolytes we are faced with an alkaline solution.

lipids We find 3 types of lipids: cholesterol, bile salts and phospholipids.

The conjugation of bile acids yields bile salts, which aid in gastrointestinal absorption.From cholesterol, bile acids are synthesized, which will later generate salts. During the fat digestion process, these salts produced in the liver will support the lipase enzymes in the digestion of fats, as well as in the absorption of lipids, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and some minerals.

The portal system in the hepatic circulation returns salts to the liver after they work. Diet After Gallbladder Removal

PATHOLOGIES OF THE GALLBLADDER (gallstones or stone in the gallbladder)

There are many changes that can happen to the bile ducts that make it hard for bile to flow normally into the duodenum.Biliary disorders affect millions of people around the world, around 5-15% of the western population has cholecystitis (inflammation of the biliary system) and gallstones (vesicle stones) or cholelithiasis (stones in the ducts). 

Inflammation of the biliary system causes obstruction of the bile ducts and, in particular, diseases of the gallbladder in which gallstones (stones in the gallbladder or ducts) are the most frequent cases of inflammation of the biliary system. .Diet After Gallbladder Removal

Following your doctor’s or nutritionist’s diet advice after gallbladder ectomy is crucial.
After gallbladder surgery, your hospital doctor will assist you adapt to a solid diet. This will cause a picture of pain in the right hypochondrium, where the gallbladder is located, accompanied by food intolerance (mainly fat).

If the stone is in the bile ducts, it might inflame the gallbladder wall, causing watery cholecystitis and gallbladder pain. In cases of cholecystitis, the inflammation is accompanied by an infection that will require antibiotics and, sometimes, surgical removal of the gallbladder is necessary.

Cholecystectomy is the preferred treatment for large, many gallstones.


Biliary disorders affect millions of people worldwide, around 5-15% of the western population have cholecystitis (inflammation of the biliary system) and gallstones (gallstones in the gallbladder) or cholelithiasis (gallstones in the ducts).

Those risk factors that cannot be modified are gender and age. Women are at greater risk of suffering from this pathology and at the same time, as we increase in age, the risk also increases. In men, the risk increases at older ages. It especially affects women, due to the role played by female hormones in gallbladder motility and is more frequent after 40 years of age.

The main modifiable risk factor is obesity

with this pathology increasing in parallel with the increase in BMI. 35% of women with a high BMI present these pathologies. Obesity increases hepatic cholesterol production and bile supersaturation.

Weight loss in a short time is also a risk factor. Approximately 25% of people who lose weight quickly present these pathologies in a period of 1-5 months. Other factors that influence the appearance of gallstones are a family history of lithiasis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and the number of pregnancies.

The composition of the diet is fundamental to avoid this type of pathologies. Those people who follow a very energetic diet, rich in cholesterol and animal fats, high consumption of simple carbohydrates and with continuous episodes of weight reduction-recovery; They are at high risk of these diseases.

On the contrary, those people who eat a diet low in fat, rich in vegetable proteins, foods rich in fiber and who consume coffee; have a lower risk of suffering from these pathologies.


When the gallbladder becomes infected or develops stones, it is sometimes necessary to remove the gallbladder, known as a cholecystectomy. Our body can function perfectly without a gallbladder, but it needs an adaptation period. Depending on your body’s ability to adapt, you may only need to modify your diet for a period of time, or you may need to make more lasting changes.

More than half of patients who have their gallbladder removed have trouble digesting fat. So they will have to eat a low-fat diet for life. In general, you should limit high-fat foods and fatty processed foods. Good fats will be added gradually.


As said, the gallbladder stores liver-produced bile.
Even without a gallbladder, the liver makes bile, which slowly flows into the small intestine, causing two issues:

There is less bile to effectively break down the fats you can eat at a meal. This can cause some difficulty absorbing nutrients. Bile acids can leak into the large intestine, where it causes an increase in fluid secretion, contributing to diarrhea.

We have to give our body some time until it adapts to this new situation, being able to digest fats correctly, depending on the adaptation capacity of each person.


Following your doctor’s or nutritionist’s diet advice after gallbladder ectomy is crucial.
After gallbladder surgery, your hospital doctor will assist you adapt to a solid diet.

Once you are recovering at home, initially, you should follow a very low-fat diet and flatulent foods such as legumes. This diet must be rich in fiber, to achieve a correct intestinal transit. Healthy fats will be added after a week.
Introduce legumes gradually.

Dietary effects are investigated. In the long term, the ideal is a diet low in fat and rich in fiber, this being the best option for patients who have had their gallbladder removed.

This diet will help you maintain a healthy weight with appropriate calories.
Obese people have more gallstones, therefore this is crucial.

Avoid processed carbohydrates, fats, and junk food since they increase the risk of gallstones, according to studies.

Fatty liver disease is more likely after cholecystectomy. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, legumes, fish, white meat, vegetables, and fruits can reduce this risk.Diet After Gallbladder Removal

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