Should Alcohol and Caffeine Be Avoided After Gallbladder Removal?

Cup of coffee
Caffeine and dairy can worsen diarrhea after gallbladder removal. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

If you've had gallbladder removal -- a cholecystectomy -- you know that diet was a pivotal cause of inflammation and gallstones. A balanced diet is still important, and some types of foods may need to be limited. Alcohol and caffeine, in moderation, are surprisingly healthy for the gallbladder, but they may increase the risk of side-effects post-surgery.

Gallbladder Function

Your gallbladder lies in the upper right side of your abdomen. This saclike organ stores bile, which is produced by the liver. When you eat a fatty meal, the gallbladder pumps bile into the common bile duct that leads to the small intestine. If you've had your gallbladder removed due to inflammation and pain, your body will still be able to produce bile and digest fats. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that the removal of the gallbladder does not commonly cause any long-term adverse effects, apart from occasional diarrhea.

Common Side-Effects

For a few weeks after your surgery, you may experience digestive-related side-effects. NHS Choices notes that 20 percent of people experience diarrhea, which usually improves over time. Other sides-effects include indigestion, bloating, gassiness and an increase in bowel movements.

Alcohol and Caffeine

According to Johns Hopkins Health Alert, you will be able to drink alcohol and caffeine after you've had a cholecystectomy. But you may want to avoid them shortly after your surgery because they can worsen diarrhea. Other foods that can intensify side-effects include high-fat foods, milk and dairy products and spicy foods.

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