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In the United States, there are approximately 300,000 cholecystectomies performed each year.
What is a Cholecystectomy?
A cholecystectomy is the removal of your gallbladder.
A lot of people assume that because these surgeries are so common, the gallbladder is not a necessary organ or an important organ, but that's not the case.
Even though the gallbladder is not needed for survival purposes, it plays a significant role in proper digestion and therefore individuals that have no gallbladder may experience digestive issues as well as nutrient deficiencies.
In today's video, we are going to review the function of a gallbladder, discuss reasons why people may have them removed, what life may look like after having your gallbladder removed, as well as diet and supplement options to consider.
My name's Katie Bailey. I'm a registered dietitian at Flusso Nutrients, where we provide supplement education and professional quality supplement options for you to make the world of nutrition supplements a little easier to navigate.
As always, be sure to check with your main nutrition literate healthcare provider before starting anything new. As we can't know your full medical history to provide a personal recommendation.
Without further ado, let's dive into today's topic.
What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small pear shaped organ that is situated beneath the liver.
It's responsible for storing bile, which a substance is produced by the liver to help our bodies break down the fat that we eat.
Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released into the small intestines when it's needed to help with proper digestion as well as the absorption of nutrients.
This process is crucial for our body's ability to absorb our fat soluble vitamins, which are vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Another important role of bile is to help eliminate the waste materials from our liver.
There are several reasons why gallbladders are often removed.
Sometimes we can experience gallbladder inflammation or infections.
Gallstones are pretty common. These are just hard deposits that form in the gallbladder, gallbladder cancer as well.
All these things can lead to severe pain and discomfort in individuals leading them to want to have their gallbladder removed.
What is Life After Gallbladder Removal Like?
Life after gallbladder removal can vary from person to person.
Some people feel that they don't really notice any difference after surgery while others notice significant changes.
So without a gallbladder, your bile is going to flow right directly from your liver to your small intestines.
Normally, when you eat, that triggers your gallbladder to release that bile, and without that gallbladder in place, what happens is that bile is just kind of released randomly, and because of that, it results in less effective fat digestion.
Without proper digestion, you can experience things like diarrhea and bloating, gas, indigestion, especially when you consume foods that are really fatty or spicy.
If you're not effectively breaking down the fat in your diet, then you may also be lacking in your fat-soluble vitamins like we discussed before, A, D, E, and K, which can lead to deficiencies and additional symptoms later on, and that's because you need adequate fat in your diet.
In order to absorb these fat-soluble vitamins, you may need to adjust your diet in order to manage your symptoms and ensure that you are getting adequate nutrients.
The body will struggle to cope with very large amounts of fat at one time without having a gallbladder, so you may need to eat small frequent meals throughout the day, which are not going to be high in fat.
You may also need to decrease the amounts of foods that you eat that may worsen your symptoms, so things like spicy foods or alcohol.
But even with dietary changes, you still may experience symptoms and that's where gallbladder supplements can be really helpful.
What are No Gallbladder Supplements?
No gallbladder supplements are dietary supplements that are designed to aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients in individuals who are lacking a gallbladder.
They can help the body more effectively break down the fats in your diet and ensure that you are absorbing your nutrients.
One supplement that we use quite often is called ox bile, so this bile is very similar to the bile that our body naturally creates, and so this supplement actually replicates to the function of the gallbladder.
Another supplement that we use are a combination supplements, so something that may have other bile salts as well as digestive enzymes or HCL that all help in the breakdown of the food that you eat.
Both of these supplements are taken with meals in order to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to break down your food, and this is just kind of taken the place of that gallbladder, since the gallbladder is what gives you the bile you need at the time that you eat.
This is replacing that so that you can still get the bile at the needed time so that you are better absorbing your fats in your nutrients.
Now remember before starting anything new, like I mentioned before, always talk with your healthcare provider to make sure that these supplements are something that your body needs or it's something that would be right for you, and to make sure that it's not going to interact with any other medications or supplements you may be taking already.
So to answer our question for today:
Do you need to take a no gallbladder supplement?
Well, the answer to that depends on your specific circumstances.
So if you're managing well with your dietary changes alone and not having any digestive or symptoms, then you may not need to take a supplement.
However, if you are experiencing persistent symptoms or you're worried about nutrient absorption, then maybe a supplement would be beneficial for you.
Living without a gallbladder can present challenges, but with the right dietary adjustments and possibly a potential supplement, you can manage your digestive health effectively.
If you're interested in trying any gallbladder supplements, I have linked a few here for you to check out:
1) LIPO COMPLEXR: https://flussonutrients.nutridyn.com/lipo-complexr
2) DIGESTIVE COMPLETE: https://flussonutrients.nutridyn.com/digestive-complete
3) ALL PROFESSIONAL QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS: https://flussonutrients.nutridyn.com
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I hope you found this video to be helpful, and if you're interested in working with our clinic, you can schedule an appointment here. We do take insurance and you can find more information about that on our website.
Thank you for watching. I'll see you next time. Bye.