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ask: How can I combat post-gallbladder-removal belly fat and weight gain during menopause?

By Beth_Browning
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Hello, in October 2008 I was well into menopause but had no real issues with belly fat or overall weight gain. Then I had my gallbladder removed due to painful attacks of my common bile duct, as well as gallstones. I am appalled at the weight I have gained since the surgical procedure. In fact it is so upsetting (none of my clothes fit) that I feel at times clinically depressed. I've never had to fight weight gain before. Now I have an "unsupportive spine" as well, and must take occasional bouts of oral steroids to control the inflammation. I also have had two spinal epidural steroid injections, and wonder if these injections could cause me to gain weight. Any comments would be most welcome. Thank you!

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EmpowHER Guest

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November 19, 2014 - 2:45am
EmpowHER Guest

What a relief to know that I am not alone! After having emergency gallbladder removal in June 2013, I have gained a whopping 20 extra pounds that I cannot get rid of! I too have become vegan as my body responds better and I can digest these foods better than meat and high protiens. I was always a low carber but I cannot tolerate the high fat content of these foods. Vegan works and although I am eating clean and exercising again, I cannot move the numbers on the scale. I refuse to buy bigger sizes and I don't recognize myself anymore. I just turned 50 and I never thought that I would be 50lbs. overweight with no solution. I have become desperate and considered weightloss products. I eat a less than 1200 calories a day and I cannot lose a pound.
There must be some solution. I want to have an appetite again and enjoy foods. I eat to live only.

November 18, 2014 - 1:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

Oh my.. like so many have said...so happy to find I am not alone. .. and sad so many are going through the same frustrations.
2 years ago emergency surgery to have my gallbladder out...but only after the surgeon kept cancelling my appointments over and over.. my eyes turned yellow,.. my skin looked like I painted a tan on..the incredible itching..living on only a few soda crackers a day..and my urine looked like Iodine used to disinfect wounds...I had finally broke down and took myself to the ER... they said I wouldnt have been alive by morning if I had not come in...i had to be emergency transported to a larger hospital across the state.
I had to have two surgeries... one.. to go in and clean out my bile ducts to rid all the stones stuck in the ducts....the surgeon said I had a strange set up.. my common duct that enters the intestine (the nipple he called it) was the size of an infant.. and it didnt enter my small intestine in the normal area but from behind.. I thought, wow.. would that explain the horrible bloating i have had for 20 years?.. I would bloat so bad it looked as if i was ready to give birth a month ago.. and received more stretch marks from the bloating then when I was with child!..
Needless to say, the bile back up caused pancreas to digest part of itself,.. and liver was endangered as well as kidney..
On a good note.. prior to surgery I had to really watch my sugar as it ran high .. so diet and exercise were always top priority because I did not want to take insulin. .... now i am the opposite.. hypoglycemic.
The next day... gallbladder surgery.. since the 20 years of watching everything i ate.. or not eating at all (i felt better if i didnt eat) .. finally .. i was able to eat without some negative response with my body... yay right... nooooo
80 lbs gained in two years... back problems.. knee problem... swelling in my legs... exercise right.. to help the back.. the knees.. circulation... nope.. dont help at all... low fat diet.. nope ... bile salts ... all those suppliments.. nope.. chronic loose bowels... awful..
Then the depression... loss of motivation.. foggy brain.. I dont feel like doing anything physical.. some days are better.. some days are bad.. i procrastinate horribly now... I am the opposite of who i was two years ago.. as two years ago.. up at 5 am and didnt stop moving till midnight...i didnt sit.. i was a get er done girl.. what can be done now is best done now.. not tomorrow... .... not these days, now i put everything off.. dont go anywhere.. dont feel like doing anything but what takes the least amt of energy.
7 doctors... SEVEN... wanted to give me pills.. pills for back.. knee.. the swelling was causing high blood pressure so pills for that.. muscle relaxants... Neurotin.. which cause me to have even worse antidepressiants, narcotic pain killers.. I hate pills..unless they are natural.
One doctor told me i had "Hand to Mouth Syndrom"... another doc i told to check my liver and kidney counts.. as well as test my thyroid...told me that I dont tell him what to do... He is the doctor..... another took blood and said everything is fine...except my cholestrol was a bit high...another said it was menopause (I am 49) and that is causing my weight gain and wrote me off...One said depression causes weight gain as well as body aches (which i have so bad sometimes I can barely move.. i gained 80 lbs but I am 6 ft tall and now 270.. i had always been in shape )
The other two would take blood they said if they feel something is wrong and one gave me a pap smear and the other sent me off for a mamo... all looked at me as if i was out of my mind about the gallbladder sugery and common weight gain...all telling me the same as what so many of you have heard.... but the last doc did humor me and did some blood work and said i had low vit D count and B count.. said to me to take some suppliments and get out in the sun.. I live in northern michigan.. we get nice sun maybe 5 months out of the year i swear.. lol... and with no gallbladder from what i understand .. the supplements arent going to do a bit of good ..
I do feel overall better if i sit in the sun three times a day for half hour each time.. the body aches go away some and my motivation goes up.
so that is good..
probiotics helped my stomach bloat.
But what really gets me...I have all the signs of underactive thyroid.. blood tests say they are a little low but ok...the swelling in legs get bad , real bad at times.. that is sign of liver failure, kidney issues (which could be the problem considering what i went thru).. or con heart failure.... the burning , stinging, pain in my lower back.. slipped disc? herniated disc?.. ...my left knee hurts bad.. i cant straighten it.. .... out of seven doctors do you think one.. just one of them would have took some deeper views into any of these issues.. an xray on the knee.. its twice the size of my right knee.... how about a look at my back?... really check my liver counts?.. nada. NOT ONE doctor did any tests other then a little blood work..... they all want to just give me pills and look at me like i am a hypo.... I could see it if i ran to the doc for every little thing.. but I practice natural medicine..I do not go to the doctors unless it is something serious.. and this is all serious that we are going through with post gallbladder issues.
What the heck is going on with doctors these days? I am so angry and frustrated it isnt funny.. I sure hope someone has the luck in finding a way , a system .. anything to help us get the weight down lol.. i gave up killing myself with exercise and diet.. infact.. once i stopped I am not gaining it as fast.. now I yo yo the same 10 pounds without gaining more. .. and milk thistle, dandelion and burdock , magnesium, as well as a multivitamin, sunshine and an idodine tablet few times a week seems to help tremendously.. I dont take the pills the doctors prescribe unless my sciatic nerve acts up bad or my back muscles spasm.
Someone told me to go to Canada to see a doctor.. lol.. I just might!

September 24, 2014 - 11:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi there, this is Beth, the person who wrote the original message about gallbladder removal and crazy weight gain. Thank you so much for sharing your story of woe. It mirrors my own. No doctor has believed me when I tell them I believe there is a link and correlation between gallbladder removal an weight gain. You and I share the same dilemma. My normal weight is 130 pounds. Today I saw a new doctor and I have ballooned to 293 pounds on a 5 foot 7 frame. I am beyond discouraged, I am demented with frustration and rage at docs who won't take this horrific weight gain seriously. I recently spent an entire month in the hospital with pancreatitis and kidney malfunction. I don't know where to turn. Thanks for reading this, and again, I extend my most sincere thanks for your post. I feel as if I've just met a twin sister. Let's support each other by checking in frequently. Very best wishes and a great big hug. Beth

September 25, 2014 - 5:18pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Beth, I also a having the same exact issues. I had my gallbladder removed last year, and since then I have gone from 160 to 240 pounds. I cannot recognize myself. I recently recovered from an eating disorder and was expected to gain some weight but NOT 80lbs. This has never happened before in my life. I have not changed ANY eating except eating LESS and working out MORE. NO ONE understands, including my doctors. I am so frustrated I have not much to say. :( hopeless

November 24, 2014 - 8:47pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks Beth, I am Cheryl. .. I wasnt really that angry till that doctor told me I had hand to mouth syndrom.... In my area I do realize that so many are addicted to pain killers and go to these docs with fantasy symptoms to get more pills... but if they do not look into the complaints and just hand out pills.. then they are enabling those addicts... and in return.. those of us who have real complaints get shoved into taking meds.. out of the 10 meds they have given me.. not a one gives any result except for the anti inflammatory. ... the diuretic doesnt even take down my edema ..
We are stressed out, depressed, trying herbals, probiotics, diets, exercise.. then I read about adreanal gland exhaustion..lol.. and we have those symptoms too...I dont know about you.. but after living 48 years with no real major health issues other then some high blood sugar (and that was easily controlled compared to this).. I am feeling like I am becoming a nut about health..researching daily.. thinking someone somewhere seen a doctor that has some sort of answer..
The gallbladder weight gain issue is not the only thing that is getting the blow off.. Thyroid is the same....I couldnt get any of those doctors to give me the other more accurate test ..even when I offered my credit card to pay for it up front... yet stand there and tell me my t3 and 4 are a little low..,, are they afraid the patient might be correct slightly?,,, Like I told the docs... I know me... I know how i should feel... and what i feel now is NOT GOOD.. and want ANSWERS.. then i get a mumble about the darn internet.. when i never mentioned the internet!
Years ago a doctor put me on medicine for my thyroid.. obviously my numbers were low.. That three months on medication was the best three months of my life in how i felt.. slept great.. woke refreshed.. had normal energy.. and I could eat.. and feel good...I lost 85 lbs in three months... he says to me... that is too much too fast and removes me off the med. ..now.. telling him that i felt so good that I joined a gym .. and telling him that I was taking belly dance classes.. and taking walks , riding horses, gardening etc instead of sitting on my sofa.. and had changed my diet too for the better .. didnt matter... took me off the meds and back to being sluggish it was and has been since. .. showing the doctors my balding head.. my ridged dry fingernails..etc does no good either.
I just dont get it.
Today was a really good day over all.. spent 5 hours in the sun in the less clothes then currently comfortable in and what a difference in how i feel.. no depression, no aches , no stiffness.. and motivation was way up..and best of all... I could think and did not procrastinate and had energy!...strange.. now if i would have realized 5 hours would make that much difference.. I would have wasted 5 hours of every day in the sun, lol... would probably get skin cancer then.. ..
throws arms in the air..

September 25, 2014 - 6:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Beth again. That was meant to read 203 pounds, not 293!

September 25, 2014 - 5:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

hello friends I found on this page you information on how to lose weight fast and maybe that is natural is not pills or medicines that may harm you if you are interested belly can enter
this page: http://howtolosebellyfast.blogspot.com/

July 1, 2014 - 8:26am
EmpowHER Guest

Hello All,
A year and a half ago I had laparoscopic surgery to remove one ovary that had a 9cm fibroid attached to it. For the first three or four weeks I actually lost a few pounds from being on pain meds and from not having an appetite. Then I slowly started gaining weight to the point where I am feeling a lot of the emotions that have been described on this thread: depression, anger, hopelessness, etc. My weight was always around 167 at 5 ft. 7 inches, and I wanted to lose 20 pounds then! Now I would love to be 167 again! I got on the scales this morning and am heavier than I have ever been at 191! Going over 190 scares me because I feel I have no control over my weight. This prompted me to google weight gain after surgery, which is how I found this gallbladder thread. I am now wondering if it has something to do with surgery and an imbalance of something caused by the surgery as much as with the removal of the gallbladder/ovary, etc. I have two friends who had their gallbladder removed and they both have lost weight since then. I also have struggled with many of the symptoms on here of upset/painful stomach/bloating after eating certain foods, fat around my middle and arms and hips, uncontrollable weight gain--even though I am exercising and not eating dramatically different than I ever did. I also have struggled with constipation and diarrhea, to the point that my doctor scheduled a colonoscopy, which was fine. I was also diagnosed with anemia, so I take iron and B12 to help the iron absorb. This has helped my energy level tremendously! I would definitely recommend this if you feel tired. My doctor called to tell me my last iron test was better and I can quit taking them, but I don't plan on stopping! I need energy right now!
I can tell you that the weight I have gained is pure fat! It has cellulite and I feel like at times that I am bigger than when I was pregnant with my three kids--and I definitely weigh more! I can also relate to basically starving myself to the point that the bile in my stomach makes me feel sick. Also, I have to eat something to take my vitamins, or they upset my stomach, too. I am basically eating the same as pre-surgery, so what in the world is going on except a change in my body chemistry caused by the surgery? I bought some probiotics online a couple months ago, but I quit taking them when I couldn't tell if they were increasing the diarrhea. I will start those again and also take Vitamin D. I am 46, so I am perimenopausal. I feel very frustrated! Thank you to all of you for searching for answers and sharing them on this site.

June 16, 2014 - 9:26am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm in the Army, work out 5days a week and I still gained weight after my surgery...nothing had changed in my life outside of the surgery. I was still eating good, exercising etc. After I failed a tape test (basically the Army said my belly was, too fat...urrgghh) I started looking for anything and everything to change in my life so I could start losing again. I saw the Army dietician here on post, as well as our unit Physician Assistant and nothing I implemented, diet or exercise worked. I struggled at this for about 6 months after failing my tape test.

I tried a couple of fat burners with no luck and spent like $40 to $50 for a month supply for each of them. Plus they gave me an upset stomach which wasn't cool.

A buddy of mine referred me to http://bit.ly/1uNgb1Z After I looked into the company more and realized the products are all natural, non-gmo, chemical free etc. I decided to give it a try. I bought the FightFighter for $39 for a month supply. I take it daily after dinner, and a month and a half later I've lost an average of 2lbs per week. Now granted I'm still working out and eating healthy but I'm back to my normal diet/exercise pre surgery. This is the only thing I've found to help me. I have since signed up for the company's loyal customer program that they have so I can get the same bottle for only $23.00. For me, to keep my job in the Army, and to end my weight loss frustration it's worth that small $23/mo price lol!! I'd be interested to know if anyone else is having luck on this stuff. Oh and it hasn't given me any negative side effects which is cool.

June 9, 2014 - 3:27pm
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