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Diet and Nutrition

Diet after gall bladder removal

12/13/2006

Question:

My daughter recently had her gall bladder removed and now every time she eats she has heart burn and stomach pain to the point that she is afraid to eat anything. She has always been a very picky eater, prone to mostly junk food. What would be good suggestions until she heals and is able to resume a regular diet?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. Typically, after cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), a person should be able to resume a 'regular', unrestricted diet.  Prior to the surgery, a low fat diet is suggested to help reduce the symptoms of cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).

Since your daughter is still complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms that are affecting her intake, I suggest she follow up with her physician.  She may have another condition that requires attention.

To reduce symptoms of heart burn, a low fat diet will still be beneficial as fat tends to 'hang around' the stomach and take longer to digest.  Avoiding caffeine, peppermint, chocolate, smoking and alcohol will also help reduce symptoms of heart burn.  Another tip is to avoid lying down after eating and eat smaller, more frequent meals to ease digestion.  Good luck.

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati