Bloating After Gallbladder Removal

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The gallbladder is a pear-shaped muscular sac that collects bile from the liver, helps store the bile and then transport it to the small intestine. Development of gallstones, a calculus that forms and blocks the ducts, might require removal of the sac to relieve pain. A cholecystectomy is the surgery performed to remove the gallbladder and stones, performed as a laparoscopic or open surgery. Of the digestive problems that sometimes develop after this surgery, bloating can be one of the most uncomfortable.

Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome

  • Post-cholecystectomy syndrome is a catchall phrase for the numerous symptoms that may develop after your gallbladder has been removed. One symptom defined in this group is intestinal bloating.

Causes of Bloating

  • Bile's job in your digestive tract is to break down fat. Prior to digestion, your liver stores the bile in the gallbladder. There it becomes more concentrated and more effective at fat disposal. Without a gallbladder to allow for that extra concentration, bile loses some of its punch. Your body has to work harder to break down the fat in your intestinal track, sometimes giving you digestive issues like bloating.

Diet

  • The less fat you eat, the less there is of it for your digestive system to break down. A diet low in fat may not cure all of your bloating problems, but it should help. Foods that are high in fat or known causes of bloating include red meat, saturated fats, acidic citrus fruits and caffeine. Also, developing a nutrition plan that supports small meals five or six times a day also will allow for improved digestion. Furthermore, drink two quarts of water each day. If you have diarrhea, reduce your water consumption to one quart per day.

Exercise

  • Walking can help eliminate gas associated with bloating. It is important to get your doctor's approval to perform any exercise after surgery to ensure you have had an adequate time to heal.

Warning

  • Whatever sent you to the doctor in the first place, whether it was stomach pain or digestive issues, your gallbladder may have only been one of your problems. Gallbladder pain may have been masking other conditions, like inflammatory bowl syndrome. If the bloating does not improve with time or by managing your diet, be sure to follow up with your doctor.

References

  • Photo Credit "guts" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: striatic (hobvias sudoneighm) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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