Your gallbladder is a small organ located just below your liver and is important for fat digestion and the storage of bile produced by your liver, which helps break down fat in your stomach. According to MedlinePlus, gallbladder removal surgery is sometimes necessary if you have gallstones or if your gallbladder is not functioning properly. Gallbladder removal is usually well tolerated, as your gallbladder is not essential for survival. Some vitamin and mineral supplements may be beneficial following gallbladder-removal surgery. Talk with your doctor before using any supplements after having your gallbladder removed to make sure they are safe for you to use.
According to Dr Michael Picco, a gastroenterologist at with the Mayo Clinic, it is not uncommon for people who have had their gallbladders removed to experience chronic diarrhea. This may be due to an increase in bile acids which may act as a laxative, although the exact cause is not known. Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea supplements can be effective at promoting the normal passage of stool following gallbladder removal surgery. Dr Picco recommends supplementing with anti-diarrheal medications to help prevent diarrhea.
After gallbladder removal surgery, your body may have a more difficult time digesting fats due to the absence of bile stored in your gallbladder. Bile also helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Supplementing with bile salts can help your stomach digest fats and can help prevent a fat-soluble vitamin deficiency. Bile salts are widely available in tablet form and should only be taken as directed by your doctor.
Choline is an essential nutrient that aides in the absorption of fat and cholesterol and helps your liver create lipoproteins, which are involved in many important cellular functions throughout your body. According to an article written by Dr. Mary Ackerley, a homeopathic physician, choline supplementation after gallbladder removal surgery helps support the natural digestion of dietary fats and can work well in combination with bile salts to help prevent excessive gas and bloating.
Betaine is a nutrient naturally found in beets and is a nutritional supplement that helps promote the normal breakdown of fats. Betaine can be beneficial following gallbladder removal, according to Lynn Morales, a doctor of naturopathic medicine. Betaine supplements assist in bile flow and fat digestion and metabolism after gallbladder removal and can help alleviate some of the side effects of gallbladder surgery, including bloating, gas, nausea and diarrhea.
- "Human Anatomy and Physiology"; Elaine N. Marieb; 2004
- MedlinePlus: Gallbladder Removal
- Mayo Clinic; Chronic Diarrhea: A Concern After Gallbladder Removal?; Michael Picco; March 2011
- "Today's Herbal Health: The Essential Reference Guide"; Louise Tenney; 2007
- The New Southwest; The Truth About Gallbladder Removal; Mary Ackerley; June 2010
- Lynn Morales ND; Gallbladder, Gas, and Bloating; B. West; June 2010