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Vegan After Gallbladder Surgery

by Heather
(Ivoryton, CT, USA)

I had my gallbladder removed and afterwards my body wasn't able to tolerate meat. I was already lactose intolerant. So I did my research, talked to my nutritionist, and then went on the web and bought a whole bunch of vegan recipe books (my first one my sister got me for Christmas). I went cold turkey (that's probably not the best way to put it) and now there are no more animal products for me.

Going vegan made me feel like night and day! I felt SO much better and I was able to hold down my food. There was no turning back from there. This is how I will eat for the rest of my life now!

Of course, in my research I found out what really goes on with your meat and figured that was why I was having a hard time digesting it. I became disgusted at the treatment of farm animals, so the fact that I am helping put those horrible slaughterhouses out of business is helpful in my choice to eat a vegan diet. But I was already hooked on the new diet because I felt so much better. Plus, I love to try all these new recipes and the creativity of making or altering my own dishes.

Editor's Note:
I never get tired of hearing about people with health conditions who find that a plant-based diet makes them feel healthier, more energetic, and better in every way. Many people are forced into the vegan world by heart disease, cancer, diabetes, lactose intolerance, or other illnesses, with a hope of just feeling better. Often those same people discover along the way that the cruel conditions on factory farms and in slaughterhouses is unethical, and that sustains them long term, keeping them away from animal products forever.

It seems like you are a great example of this scenario. Many people are also lactose intolerant, but seldom do doctors tell them to stop eating dairy products. Instead they recommend milk with an enzyme called lactase added into it to try to help them digest the milk. Why wouldn't they just listen to their bodies and not put something into it that their bodies can't digest? I wish a doctor had suggested a vegan diet to you before taking out your gallbladder. It might just have helped you to avoid costly and dangerous surgery! I am really glad you are feeling so much better now, though.

We hope you will continue to share with anyone who will listen that your body is so much happier now that you don't eat animal products. The only way we can make lasting change is by spreading the word in a kind and loving way, and appealing to the inner concerns of each person.

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What they dont tell you NEW
by: Anonymous

I regret having my gallbladder out however I had no other choice because of complications that arose during the months no one told me exactly what in my diet was aggravating my gallbladder situation.

They tell you after the surgery that you wil go back to eating normally again. What I found is that the first year that seems mainly true, but as the years go by, the digestive system seems progressively debilitated by the lack of a gallbladder. I was a long time vegetarian for ethical reasons but eating a lot of cheese, eggs, and milk for protein. I briefly tried eating meat again for a few months too, thanks to the paleo craze.

Basically, the more animal products in my diet, the more my liver was having to work overtime to create constant bile with no place to store it, no way to regulate it, and no limit to dispensing it into my intestines. And so, as time went on, the more digestive problems I have had.

I had tried in the past for ethical reasons to go vegan, but I had worried it wasnt healthy, and I would give in based on how hard it was to find vegan foods I liked at the time. Now, I’m seeing that veganism is going to be the only way I can protect my body from the damages caused by not having a gallbladder anymore. I also can see where if I’d been vegan in the first place, this never would’ve happened.

Surprisingly, I have found plenty to eat that’s vegan this time around and it seems like no big deal. Maybe because I know I dont really feel I have a choice if I dont want to eventually wind up shortening my life. It’s relevant to me that in the year after they removed my gallbladder, my inflammation markers became regularly raised above normal. Maybe after I’ve gone vegan for a year, I will see if I can have them retested.... once I am out of this vicious cycle of eating things that trigger problems in my body.

Can you tell me what supplement I can use as an alternative to ox bile if I have no gallbladder
by: Anonymous

What can I use to help my digestion if I have no gallbladder as they keep suggesting ox bile which is not vegetarian.

Gallbladder Removal Was a Mistake
by: Anonymous

I agree with the first commenter. I didn't even have stones yet. I just had sludge in my gallbladder. If any of the doctors involved in my diagnosis and surgery had talked to me about dietary changes, I absolutely believe that I could've avoided the cholecystectomy. Now, I'm at risk for deficiencies for the rest of my life because of other digestive problems that I have. Anyone who has a gallbladder and is reading this, get on google scholar, contact a plant-based nutritionist near you, and you get educated because you may have options other than a surgery. I'm glad that I'm finally coming to a plant-based diet, but I wish I'd been able to commit under better circumstances.

Vegan after gallbladder too
by: Miko

I wish I had went vegan before losing my gallbladder too :'( I might have been able to save it. Why don't they tell us that gallstones are made of cholesterol!?! And that excess cholesterol can end in your gallbladder.. agh!! Unfortunately your body does not just go back to normal like the doctors say. There are still foods that make my stomach upset and make me gassy. My hair also started thinning pretty badly too right after surgery and continued to thin for years. I started taking some supplements for that and I'm hoping that it will stop.

by: Anonymous

Do I need GB surgery if I eat a more pure plant based diet?? (Ie. No chips, chocolate, fat in restaurant meals, theatre popcorn, etc). I eat absolutely minimal animal products.

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Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
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