Dr.Chirag Thakkar

Gallbladder stone and Diet

Gallbladder stones are a very common problem seen in the society. Hence a lot of these people have concerns about their diet. So, let’s talk a bit about it to give more clarity. A healthy diet is an important part of Gallbladder stone/pain treatment.

Diet for Patients with Gallbladder stones

There is no specific Gallbladder stone diet plan for those who have gallbladder stones. Does that mean you should eat whatever you want? Certainly not! Dietary advice for you is the same as for any other healthy person. Have a healthy diet. Means, eat healthy food, spacing it apart and eating small quantities at a time, eating food slowly and chewing properly.

As a part of a healthy diet the following food should be avoided and significantly restricted:

  • Fried food
  • Food with a lot of oil, ghee and butter
  • Fast food/junk food and fizzy drinks
  • Sweets
  • Food with refined sugar, flour, preservatives
  • Tea, coffee and alcohol

Routine advice given to patients is to have low-fat food. Which essentially means avoiding fatty food. You do not need a very low-fat diet, a normal healthy diet is what you need.

Can a particular diet cure or dissolve gallbladder stones without surgery? Can a diet itself be the gallbladder stone treatment?

There are a lot of articles online about, “Diet to dissolve or remove gallbladder stone naturally”. Frankly speaking, there is no diet or any other way to dissolve gallbladder stones. A healthy diet is taken by a healthy person certainly will prevent the formation of gallstones. But once they are formed diet cannot dissolve them.

The cause for Gallstone formation is multifactorial:

The formation of gallstone has multiple causes and factors. So they can develop in some patients even with a healthy diet and lifestyle. This especially happens with advancing age and pregnancy due to hormonal and metabolic reasons. Sometimes in kids stones are formed due to some rare hematologic causes. And this is the reason why diet cannot dissolve the stones once they are formed. The problem is with the altered functioning of the gallbladder itself. Even if we surgically remove the stone and leave the gallbladder as it is, stones will form again.

Fatty food and episodes of gallstone pain:

If gallbladder stones are causing symptoms like pain and vomiting, then you need to be stricter in avoiding fatty food. The pain of gallbladder stones happens more commonly after a heavy and fatty meal. Especially about 1-2 hours after dinner. Truly speaking if this is the case you need an early gallbladder removal surgery rather than a specific diet.

Still, if I have to give suggestions on diet to reduce gallbladder stone pain till you are awaiting surgery, I would recommend the below:

  • Eat food with a lot of fibres like whole-grain food preparations, oats, lots of vegetables, and fruits
  • Reduce the unhealthy and refined carbohydrates and sugar as much as possible
  • Have good fat in appropriate amount like fresh homemade butter, ghee, fish oil, olive oil
  • Avoid large amounts of fat and unhealthy fat like fried food, the cream used in desserts, chocolates
  • Drink a lot of non-sugary fluids
  • Do not eat a large meal at a time

Diet after a Gallbladder stone surgery

Is a change in diet needed after Gallbladder removal surgery?

There are a lot of myths in the air, regarding the diet needed after a gallbladder stone surgery. It is very widely believed that digestion is affected by the removal of the gallbladder. Hence the diet needs to be changed significantly after surgery. But this is far from true. In reality, the digestion post removal of gallbladder remains unchanged and hence no diet change is needed. Truly, all that is needed is a healthy normal diet, avoiding heavy and fatty meals. The same is needed even if the gallbladder is not removed. And should be ideally followed by all healthy individuals.

Misinformation on webspace:

It is very common to read on the internet, that one needs to be on liquid for a few days. Also that after a gallbladder removal surgery, you would need a week to be back to a normal diet and activity. This information is not true and highly misleading. The purpose of this blog is to provide true information in the public domain.

One more myth is commonly prevalent, ” that gallbladder surgery leads to a weak digestive system”. This misunderstanding stems from the fact that a lot of patients with gallstones also have concomitant other digestive problems. Some of the common problems seen along with gallstones are GERD/ Acid reflux/ Heartburn, Belching, Constipation, and IBS. And it is believed by the patient that all their tummy problems are due to gallbladder stones. And for many patients that is not true. The above-mentioned conditions are totally different individual digestive problems needing specific treatment. And hence there wouldn’t improve with the gallbladder removal surgery. With passing time the patient will feel that these tummy problems are due to the removal of the gallbladder.

Thus in case you have bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, or cramps after a gallbladder stone surgery, try to make the below changes to your diet to address your functional digestive problems:

  • Eat small quantity at a time, can increase the frequency of your meals
  • Avoid chocolates and caffeine
  • Have a lot of fiber-rich food
  • Avoid very spicy, oily, and fried food (when you have it, restrict the amount significantly)
  • Can take a small amount of isabgol powder with lukewarm water before sleeping at night. This will help both with your constipation and IBS symptoms

Whenever needed, you should again consult your surgeon for advice, in case these simple diet changes do not improve your symptoms.

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Our experience and our patient’s feedback:

Ours is one of the best centre for Gallbladder stone surgery and all our patients resume diet from day one without any discomfort. Certainly, one has to eat small quantities at one time, for the initial few days. But that’s it, no other restrictions. And in a couple of days, they are back to a normal diet. The one they used to consume before surgery. And there is no change in digestion due to the removal of the gallbladder.

Listen to the patient himself what he feels about his digestion 2 years after gallbladder removal surgery.

Clear explanation to patient- an important part of treatment:

Certainly, the responsibility to explain this in detail lies with the doctor or the surgeon who is performing the surgery. We feel proud to say that we explain all this in individual detail to all our patients. Depending upon their other digestive symptoms. Also, treatment for the same is also suggested. In most cases that would comprise just diet and lifestyle change with or without a laxative or antacid mediation. We thus see excellent functional results and quality of life in our patients after surgery. This is the reason why our patients rate Dr. Chirag Thakkar as the best doctor for gallbladder stone treatment.

A quick look at our work:

Adroit centre for Digestive and surgery is one the best hospital for Gallbladder stone treatment and surgery in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India). Boosting of a large number of successful surgeries and satisfied patients. The center is headed by Dr. Chirag Thakkar. He is very active in writing blogs and creating videos on the subjects of his expertise to guide patients to understand their problems and their solutions. His other areas of expertise are the treatment for GERD/Acid reflux/Heartburn, Surgery for Hernia and hiatus hernia, Bariatric surgery and weight loss management. The centre is one of the few having facilities for Esophageal manometry and 24 hr pH with Impedance study.

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