If you saw my last post, you will know that in October 2016 I had my gallbladder removed. One of the briefings the surgeon gave me is that you can go back to a normal diet pretty much straight away.
THIS IS WRONG INFORMATION PEOPLE!!!!
I did my research beforehand, and it’s a bloody good job I did.
Even the NHS advised a “normal balanced diet” avoiding problematic foods if they cause a problem”.
The first meal I had after surgery was a ham salad – and I didn’t want to eat it, so just nibbled it but it was the condition of being allowed home. I got to choose my meal what with it being private, but if I had picked Lasagna they would have given it to me without question.
The way I understand how the gallbladder works is this; your liver produces bile, this is then stored in your gallbladder which then releases it when you eat a meal to help you digest. Without your gallbladder, you get a slow trickle of bile constantly rather than a big flush of it. This is of course the dumbed down non medical version.
If you have a gander online (but be sensible as there are some horror stories), for the first few days it is best to eat clear broths. So that’s what I did. I lived on chicken noodle soup for a couple days, and some very lightly buttered toast (using low fat butter).
Generally, you need to avoid the following foods for about 6 weeks or so; I read somewhere you should have less than 3g of fat per meal as you haven’t got the influx of bile that you would usually. There are some suggestions of foods to avoid here:
- High-fat meats, such as bologna, sausage and ground beef
- High-fat dairy, such as cheese, ice cream and whole milk
- Creamy soups and sauces
- Meat gravies
- Oils, such as coconut and palm oil
- Chicken or turkey skin
- Spicy foods
Here are some of my low fat meals that have seen me through;
Then you need to re-introduce fibre and fatty foods slowly into your diet which is what I have done. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard. Cheese is like my life source and to go without it has been ridiculously difficult. I think I actually drool every time Phil has cheddar.
Fast forward 3 months, and I have eaten the following;
- Goats cheese pizza
- Goats cheese pizza with mozzarella
- Feta cheese wrap
- Belgian Buns
This probably isn’t an exhaustive list of naughty foods I’ve eaten, more an illustration that it is possible. And of course, all of this was leading up to Christmas – and yes I managed a turkey dinner!
I still haven’t had much in the way of cheddar, and I am a little scared to try this. Also haven’t had any alcohol (a sip here and there) as I’ve heard horror stories about this too. I will get round to adding these back into my life, but I am a slow and steady wins the race kind of gal. My diet is still not what I had before – but I’ve actually enjoyed eating more healthy and paying attention to my food.
CAUTION – sometimes if I have had a particularly naughty day food wise, I do pay the price the next day. I get a bit of a poorly belly – not horrendously bad, but more than what I had before. This is the price I pay – and to me it’s totally worth it.
Some people have real difficulties with food so again I’ve been quite lucky, but I also don’t have any other digestive issues like IBS to deal with.
Other things I’ve noticed are I can’t eat the same amount portion wise and get full very quickly. I also get stomach pains if I haven’t eaten which I’ve been told is a build up of bile waiting to digest something.
Overall though I am happy with how things are progressing and hope to continue in an upwards direction.
For anyone who has had Gallbladder issues or diet issues keep going, keep pushing on, and don’t rush things to bad. Pop me a little note in the comments if this has been in any way enlightening for you J
Bye for now