Nutritional Support After Gallbladder Removal : Gallbladder in a Bottle

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Normal Gallbladder Function
The gallbladder is an essential digestive organ located on the right side of the body near the lower front portion of the liver.  It collects bile from the liver and stores it to be used in the digestion of fat.  When full of bile, the gallbladder is about the size of a small pear.  After emptying, the gallbladder resembles a deflated balloon.
Food leaving the stomach is called chyme.  When it leaves the stomach it enters the section of the small intestine called the duodenum.   If digestion has worked properly in the stomach the chyme will have a high acidity and contain partially digested proteins and partially digested fats.  The presence of these elements causes the duodenum to release two hormones; cholecystokinin (cck) and secretin.  CCK signals the pancreas to secrete pancreatic enzymes and also signals the gallbladder to contract to release its bile.  Secretin signals the pancreas to release a bicarbonate solution to neutralize the acidic chyme.
Supplement After Gallbladder Removal

Why You Need a Gallbladder
The contraction of the gallbladder adds bile to the chyme in order to emulsify the fats.  Emulsification breaks down the fat into smaller particles.  Think of this like adding dishwashing liquid to greasy dishes.  If the fats are not properly broken down they will be too large to be properly digested.  This can cause irritation to the intestinal lining which can lead to “leaky gut” syndrome and autoimmune issues.
Digestion Without a Gallbladder
When a gallbladder is removed the surgical procedure is called cholecystectomy.  Without a gallbladder the bile produced in the liver will drip continuously into the duodenum.  Conventional medicine will tell you this is not a problem except in a minority of cases it cause temporary or chronic diarrhea.  If chronic diarrhea cause by cholecystectomy is a problem for you ask your doctor about cholestyramine.
Be assured, improper digestion of fat is a very real problem for your body.  The cell membrane of every cell in your body is composed of fat.  In addition, fat is essential for the transformation of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and is an important source of sustained energy and satiety.
Nutritional Support After Gallbladder Removal
If you’ve had a cholecystectomy you will need to carry a “gallbladder in a bottle” with you for the rest of your life.  Essentially you need to consume bile salts along with the fat containing foods you eat.  Many companies produce bile salt supplements.  The one I have experience with is Beta Plus by Biotics Research.  Beta Plus contains bile, pancrelipase, and beet concentrate.  Pancrelipase is a digestive enzyme and beets are a good source betaine, which aids in fat digestion.  Recommended dosage is 1 tablet with each meal.  You can buy Biotics Beta Plus here.
Written by Peter Wright
Peter Wright, NTP, CGP

Peter Wright, NTP, CGP

I’m on a mission to help you prevent and reverse chronic illness by utilizing nutrition to restore your body’s natural balance.

Contact me directly for a free 30 minute consultation.
Peter Wright, NTP, CGP

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4 Responses to Nutritional Support After Gallbladder Removal : Gallbladder in a Bottle

  1. Unknown February 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    I had my gallbladder removed 25 years ago and have had pain off and on for all 25 years. I was told it was from an insicional hernia. Finally after experiencing chronic pain (in the middle, under my ribs and around my back, feels like somebody punched me hard, and lasts for 30 minutes to 5 hours kind of pain), I decided to have my hernia repaired. The surgery was done 2 weeks ago and the Dr. said there was no hernia and nothing to repair. He did get rid of some adhesians, so it wasn’t a complete waste, but I was shocked. Unfortunately, it did not get rid of the pain. Last evening I had the same pain again for 5 hours. Oh, I also have very loose bowels after eating fatty foods on an empty stomach. For the past month I have been on a no sugar, no gluten, low dairy, diet. The only thing I can think of that I ate different on that day is canned, organic navy beans. I would love any suggestions. The pain is very uncomfortable and I need to get to the bottom of it. I found your web site researching.
    Thank you so much in advance,

  2. Healing Center of Maine February 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Kathy,

    Have you tried a bile salt supplement like Biotics Beta Plus?

  3. Unknown February 7, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    No, but I have it in my cart on vitacost and was going to order it this afternoon. I am so hoping that it will help. From reading on the internet this isn’t an uncommon problem. I always thought it was a hernia so I never researched anything else. I have also read alot about gluten sensitivity and gallbladder problems….any other suggestions?

  4. Healing Center of Maine February 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Further suggestions would require more information regarding your diet and symptoms. If you’d like a private consultation please use our “Contact Us” link. Nutritional Therapy can be very effective with digestive issues.

    Peter Wright, NTP, CGP

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