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Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Friday free for all – life after gall bladder surgery

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Friday free for all – life after gall bladder surgery

Jan 28, 2011 | diet and lifestyle, Free for all | 2 comments

It’s been close to ten years since I had my gall bladder removed (this September) and just lately, I’ve found that all the niggly little problems I’ve had with my digestive system are worse than usual. I don’t know if I picked up a stomach bug on top of everything else in the last few weeks, but one of the big changes I’m trying to make, alongside the whole ‘flylady’ thing is to fix my diet once and for all.

Here’s the science part

One of the biggies that I’ve never really managed to take on board is that my diet had to change – and for a while it did – I’ve already mentioned that I’m really unhappy with the weight I’ve gained – I suspect mostly from my love of coca-cola (which is now, once and for all, being relegated to a once weekly treat) and the fact that I love sweet tea and will drink about 8-10 cups a day (big mugs too).  So if I cut that out, I can probably start losing some of the weight right?
Well, that’s the complicated bit – because I have no gall bladder, my body doesn’t cope with fat at all – so I also need to introduce ‘better’ foods – whole grain where possible, like bread and rice and pasta.  But it’s even more complex, for reasons I can’t explain.

-Gallbladder = Celiac?

One of the things I was told after having my gall bladder out was that I’d have different food sensitivities – never thought I’d miss it, but honestly, I wish I could eat food like normal and not need to worry about this stuff.  Without straying too far into TMI, if I’m not careful, I start to become listless and have problems with everything I eat.  I have to head back to about the most simple diet I can – chicken soup, or freshly made soups from veggies (my favorite is carrots and coriander or sweet potato and chorizo).  I have to cut pasta out for a while too – in fact anything made of processed wheat (bread, noodles…the works).  When it’s *really* bad, I can’t even cope with milk, which, unfortunately is where I am right now.  I’ve hit that really listless, really sensitive sense of smell, not exactly nausea, but uncomfortable pressure at the top of my throat kind of feeling that basically makes me feel like food is the worst enemy in the world.
The problem is though, I’ve only started having *these* problems since moving south – I’m not sure it’s the water so much as the water *content* if that makes sense.  If I switch to bottled water for a week or two, I cope slightly better – so I’m wondering whether the ‘hard’ water down here.
For now, all I know is that I need to make some adjustments.

So what can we do?

I’m thinking about introducing the changes a bit at a time – in part because it’s difficult to  adjust to changing fibre content overnight (I would guess anyway), but in part because it’s going to take a bit of adjusting our food buying habits too.  I’m already pretty good with meat and make sure I buy lean stuff as often as possible, so hopefully this will also help.  We’ve been doing quite well with introducing more veggies and stuff – but I’ve decided, for a bit more accountability, I’m going to start sharing recipes – menus for the week and other notes.  I’m not great with cooking or planning, it has to be said, so I’d love feedback or ideas.
It’s not going to be *here* though, mostly.  As I’m doing the whole ‘put my life in order, sort out my writing life, get on with blogging’ project, I’m going to do most of the family stuff over at MountWashingmanjaro – where I’m going to talk Flylady and de-cluttering, menus, frugal living and more.


  1. astrothsknot

    if it helps, my mum has no gallbladder, though she can eat fairly normally, though she’s always on the loo after certain meals.

    tips? make up a menu weekly and stop using the excuse of rubbish planner. You know you can do wonderful things when you put your mind to it.

    2 eating plans (not faddy ones. Proper, rest of your life ones) to try it’s based on what cavemen are supposed to have eaten. if you wanted to modernise it, get a Japanese cookbook. Very little grain, lots of protein and greens

    Conley had her gallbladder removed in the 70s and was put on what’s come to be known as the GI Diet or a version of it. She lost weight and maintained her health (and made a mint off it)

    So you could either gert one of her books out the library or get the GI Diet book out the library to see what you should be eating for the best of your health

    You might also want to try eating clean, which is where you eat food that used to roam or grow and has had minimal processing and there’s plenty books on that

    • Kai

      LOL…I can relate to your mother over the last week – with *anything* I eat. Goddess knows what went wrong there. Wow. And yes, I know, hiding behind planners is nonsense too – I’ve been struggling with it so much because it *just doesn’t work for me*


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