Q:

Why is a low-fat diet recommended for those with gallbladder problems?

A:

Quick Answer

Many patients recovering from gallbladder surgery report problems with digesting high-fat foods, according to Everyday Health. Once it is removed, the gallbladder no longer controls the release of bile to aid with digestion, and fatty foods may cause bloating, nausea, diarrhea or gas until the patient's digestive system adjusts.

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Full Answer

The gallbladder is responsible for storing, concentrating and secreting bile, Everyday Health explains. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that supports the digestion of fats. After surgery, the liver continues to produce normal quantities of bile but no longer has the gallbladder to assist in the process. As a result, bile is secreted directly into the small intestine at a constant rate. Eventually the digestive system adjusts to the change, but the patient may need to avoid certain foods in the interim. Patients should follow the specific guidance of their doctors, but most are able to return to their regular diets within a month.

Foods that may cause digestive problems following gallbladder surgery include those prepared with butter, cream sauces, gravies, and palm or coconut oils, states Everyday Health. Fried foods such as french fries and potato chips can be aggravating as well as high-fat meats such as sausage, bologna, bacon, ribs and ground beef. Patients should also avoid whole-fat dairy products such as cream, cheese, milk, ice cream and sour cream until they are fully recovered.

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