Some people’s bodies are more prone to forming gallstones. These are solid pieces of bile salts and cholesterol of various sizes. The small stones are most dangerous as they can move along the bile ducts and block them, which, in turn, can lead to a life-threatening condition.

How to recognize an oncoming problem

The first sign that there is something wrong with your gallbladder is constant pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen, under the ribs. It gradually radiates outwards, moving to the center of the abdomen or upper back, turning into a burning discomfort in the right shoulder. A bitter taste in the mouth is also common. You may periodically experience severe cramps and tightness that are so painful that it makes it difficult for you to breathe. These conditions are especially active at night. Antispasmodics usually soothe the pain, but often the relief comes after vomiting profusely.

In order to establish the cause of the unpleasant symptoms, it is necessary to visit a gastroenterologist. They will perform an ultrasound examination and, if necessary, order an x-ray. The problem with gallstones is that they cannot be broken down through the methods used for kidney stones. The only solution is surgery. Unless you have any accompanying conditions or complications that require open surgery, removal of an inflamed gallbladder is largely performed laparoscopically. The method is extremely delicate, and patients recover within a few days. The postoperative period almost always goes smoothly, but sometimes you may feel nausea and mild pain. However, if you have any discomfort, fever, swelling, leakage of secretions and the like, be sure to contact your surgeon.

Changes in the body after gallbladder removal

● What processes take place in our bodies?

Following gallbladder removal, the normal rhythm of the body is disturbed, and it takes time for the processes in it to be regulated. In general, the liver constantly secretes bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. When we eat, it causes contractions of the gallbladder, which secretes a certain amount of bile that is part of the overall digestive process. The lack of a gallbladder actually causes all the bile secreted by the liver to flow directly to the duodenum. Therefore, it is good to eat smaller portions of food more often in order to sustain regular excretion. Five or six meals are the way to go.

● Keep to a regimen until your body gets used to it

You will be advised to keep to a strict diet for about forty days post-surgery. Feeding begins with light soft foods – fat-free milk and bread, vegetable soups and broths that have not been thickened with eggs, boiled or roasted potatoes with cottage cheese, steamed vegetables. Gradually, other foods are included in the menu, as well as lean meats.

The biggest problem for people who have had their gallbladder removed is fatty foods. Their intake should be limited as much as possible, and fried foods should be completely excluded from the menu. Refrain from consuming spicy and overly salty foods, offal, sausages, and fast carbohydrates, as well as carbonated beverages. Opt for lean meats and fish, as well as lots of cottage cheese and yogurt. Limit eggs to one a day. Eat rice, fruit and vegetables. Red beets should be present on your table all year round, but do not forget to eat melon and watermelon. Get used to cooking your food steamed, baked or stewed. Treat yourself to a barbecue only on occasion. That way, you will avoid getting fatty liver, and you will certainly feel much more energetic.

● Recovery

The recovery period after the operation passes quickly, the pain is gone, and patients get the deceptive feeling that their problems are over. A large percentage of people return to their old habits and their probably not so proper diet. Always be mindful of your condition, and when you reach for unhealthy food, ask yourself, “Is this a good choice?”

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