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

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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

I'm blown away by the common story line. I also gained 20 lbs. since my gallbladder removal in July 2014. Am going through the change- eat mostly a vegan diet, exercise at least 5 days per week- usually 7. My mother died of ovarian cancer 6 months ago and I began thinking that I had cancer. Went to my clinic yesterday and they prescribed Beano before every meal. I'm going to wipe out all fried foods- which for me is basically french fries my "go to" decadence when eating out as I usually order a salad and have those on the side. I will look into the ox bile and other enzyme replacements. Am thinking the probiotics like Kombucha drinks and sauerkraut will be included more in my daily routine.
Can't thank everyone enough for these posts, helps me understand how to go about managing this. I have never weighed so much and my stomach is so distended- I'm absolutely shocked at how pregnant I look. It's a weird body morph and my clothes just don't look right anymore. I'm ashamed to go out as I use to have a very svelte figure.

July 3, 2015 - 9:07am
EmpowHER Guest

I got my gall bladder removed at about the same time I had my first hot flash. My girth had grown so much after surgery that I didn't have anything to wear home from the hospital. Very little of that was swelling. It never went away and increases exponentially each year. I eat mostly vegan so I was also surprised to see my cholesterol level double as well. I had to start Lipitor. I began riding my bike for an hour each day. It didn't help. Now, I've decided to add an extra hour. Hope it helps. I am willing to start a yahoo group for us if anyone's interested.

June 30, 2015 - 8:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi everyone..
Unfortunately there are thousands of people experiencing weight gain, diarrhea and a lot of horrible symptoms since gallbladder removal. I am one as well. I have gained over 20 lbs since February 2015, just a few months. We need to support one another. If anyone is interested in keeping in touch and helping each other as a community of people all in need, lets start with making a face book page or a website created to help each other. I'm not very good with Facebook or websites. Maybe someone is. We can come together to help with solutions we have tried and hopefully help each other on the path back to weight loss and healthy lives. If you are tech savvy, or Facebook savvy and need help and support from others who struggle with gallbladder removal email me at I'm a very busy person, as is most people. Lets find a way to keep in touch and help each other out.

June 28, 2015 - 12:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I have having the same problem..Is there a support group?

June 27, 2015 - 3:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had my gallbladder surgery in 2005. I have gained 30 lbs. I, too, have been depressed over this. I worked out 4 days a week plus did the treadmill every day. I lost 5 lbs in 5 months! UGH! So, I thought there has to be a better way. I have done some research on the internet. I have tried the ox bile, but found it does not make your liver produce the bile needed but becomes dependent on it. I started taking stomach bitters a few days ago and feel so much better. My stomach was hurting not as bad as when I had the bad gallbladder. I would feel crappy for days. I have felt pretty good since using the stomach bitters which is suppose to help your liver produce the needed bile to digest your food. Also, I have felt tired and not much energy which is not my norm. I am very hyper and always doing something. I have also found taking a time released probiotics has helped. Also, I believe I had some vitamin deficiencies. I have been taking some magnesuim and some choline. I am feeling better and trying to take one step at a time. No need to totally shock my body with too much at once. I have also cut out fried foods and trying to eat healthier and smaller meals. I hope this helps someone.

June 7, 2015 - 6:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What supplements exactly do you take?

July 2, 2015 - 2:58am
EmpowHER Guest

I had my gallbladder removed in 2006. I never really thought of any of my symptoms being related until I was talking to another co worker about it recently. She had hers done 2 years ago and has gain over 50 lbs. As have I. So when I started doing research I also found that getting my gallbladder removed is probably why I have constant heartburn, diarrhea and I'm so fatigued every day! It is just coming together in my mind now. Now and with no insurance I see no help anytime soon.

June 2, 2015 - 5:56am

I had my gall bladder removed in 2008 and have problems with weight as well as nerve pain, constipation, headaches,
digestion, ridges on nails (indication of vit. deficiency) acid reflux, swollen glands, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness as well as pain and fibromyalgia. All of these things are related in some way. I have been trying to fix these problems for many years. I have found that I became vitamin deficient in most of my vitamins, especially fat soluble. My hormones became a mess. My stomach had terrible burning pain on the right side and also had terrible candida overgrowth in my body. I discovered that the weight gain was mainly water weight do to toxins from candida, toxins from vit. deficiency and an inability to remove toxins because of constipation. Over time I became aware of the lack of bile can cause most if not all of these problems.
Before I started taking anything, I had all of my emalgum fillings taken out and my gland swelling of 15 years went away in 3 days. These fillings were in my body ever since I was a child. It is possible that they are the main culprit to my gall bladder failure.
The next thing I did was to add HCL betain with gentian. I took this with every meal and by the third day I was nauseous, headache, a lot of muscle pain, chills, pooping a lot and eventually throwing up. After about a day or so I felt much better. I believe that the HCL got rid of either candida or parasites in my upper intestines or stomach. I felt much better after that .
I started adding methyl b12 once a day and gradually increased it to twice a day. The b12 has helped my nerve pain and fatigue and continues to help with this. I think it will take a few months to feel the full efect. To help with my chronic low fat soluble vitamins I began taking ox bile 125mg with each meal. So far the only thing I have noticed is issues of going to the bathroom often sometimes diarrhea. I read that this can be avoided by lowering the dose and then slowly increasing it so, I lowered the dose. It is likely that I am clearing much of the candida and unwanted beasties in my colon. I have slowly began loosing weight. I have been on the same clean, no processed food, organic whenever possible, lots of fresh vegetables, low carb, no sugar, no gluten, no white flour, complex carbs only for a few years with not much weight loss. It did help many of my symptoms lesson but never went completely away. I am hoping over the next few months that adding the HCL, ox bile, fat soluble and multi vit., good fats, and probiotics will finally rid my body of all of these complaints. It seems to slowly be working. I have more energy now than I have had for the past 7 years, no more burning abdomen, constipation is gone, muscle aches and pains are dissipating and nerve pain has calmed down a lot. I hope this helps someone.

May 25, 2015 - 2:41pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Donjoe)

I am so grateful for your message! I have been dealing with many of the same issues and you have given me hope and new things to try.
Thank You!

June 24, 2015 - 9:11am
EmpowHER Guest

I too have gained lots of weight everyone around me is working out and shrinking but I'm working out and gaining can anyone give me the link to the support group?

May 20, 2015 - 11:08pm
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