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

By Beth_Browning May 15, 2009 - 10:55pm
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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

This is the most helpful site ever- not only to know we are not alone and not crazy(!) but to relate possible causes and solutions. At age 50 my gallbladder was removed- 6 years later this huge tummy will not shrink no matter that I exercise 5 times a week and eat extremely healthy. 20 extra pounds around my middle will not go away. I’m reminded of my grandfather who had a huge gut relative to his small frame- yep, his gallbladder was removed in his 50’s too. So I have read through this entire thread and researched every hint, trick, link, and tip and this is what I have discovered and am trying for myself… good luck with this truly horrid byproduct of cholecystectomy none of us were warned of- a gut with greatly increased girth from greatly diminished digestive capability.

Ox bile and beet root
Low carb low sugar diet
Antibacterial agents like berberine, turmeric, garlic & ginger
Apple cider vinegar, blueberries
Vitamin D
The 3 gut beneficial probiotics associated with weight LOSS recently are Lactobacillus’s 3: gassiri, plantarum, and rhamnosus
(The 4 recently associated with weight GAIN- Lactobacillus’s 4: acidophilus, fermentum, ingluviei, and reuters)
Read your yogurt and probiotic supplement ingredients and research…

February 10, 2016 - 10:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I haven't posted here in a very long time. An update in my inbox caught my eye. I have not experienced this myself but have witnessed this very thing happen to a close friend over a decade ago. Since my last post here, my friend is still struggling with this problem. He's checked himself into Duke Medical Center for in-patient observation (Duke weight loss clinic, I think?). He gained weight while he was in their strict program and was discharged with something like "we don't understand what is going on with you, one day medical science might catch up but we're not there yet". A year or so later he checked himself into the Mayo Clinic and his experience there was disastrous. As with so many other doctors, the one in Mayo Clinic was apparently only able to blame the patient. It seems most doctors will tell you that you are somehow at fault, diet and exercise and all that. Don't believe them, they are only covering for their own lack of understanding. The better doctors will believe you, and while it's very unlikely, some of them might actually observe you and physically probe you. In my friend's case those that did were able to confirm that he was actually quite firm all over...he just had a very bloated distended belly.
I know this is not positive but here's advice I would give to any of you suffering from this unexplained, undiagnosed condition following your gall bladder surgery:
1. Do not starve yourself, that will only make it worse.
2. Be very careful with stomach exercises, if anything you do causes you to bloat don't do it.
3. Dismiss any doctor that blames you. Have a pre-scripted (written if it helps) short description of your condition, what you've done, what you're doing. Until medical science does catch up your best doctor will be one who has enough integrity to admit they don't know what is going on with your body.
4. Keep a detailed journal which includes, foods consumed, activities, sleep, medications, progress, lack of progress, and anything else you think might help you find patterns (my friend didn't do this).
I can't think of anything else to share right now and I don't know if this post will help anyone but I wanted to let you know you are not crazy and you are not alone.

February 10, 2016 - 7:04am
EmpowHER Guest

I knew there must be a correlation between the removal of my gall bladder and my subsequent thick belly and weight gain. Now I understand. Why no one discussed this with me??? Recently I have had success with the Fast Metabolism Diet and I am also post menapause. Although I do not have the weight dropping as fast as others might - scale heading back in right direction

January 2, 2016 - 11:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What is this diet? Thanks Pamela/had removed 2000/twice as hard to keep weight off/loose! So sick of stomach am 4 11" had to diet exercise all my life/always 90/105 until child, then harder to keep off!
Exercised three hours a day, lean cuisine, protein drink, that's ALL!
Stayed thin until I had Gallbladder then have been 115 to 120!
Very depressed! Don't eat enough! Exercise every day one hour, refuse to do more but sometimes 90 minutes! Can't do weights or run anymore/prolapse. Walk and elliptical!

February 6, 2016 - 5:30am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The Fast Metabolism Diet and The Burn is by Haylie Pomroy. I would suggest doing the burn for digestive disorders and then continue with thr F M D. She has a blog but get the books - was worth every penny to me. apps are also available to use w book.

February 10, 2016 - 4:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi. I had my gall bladder removed on 23Nov2015 in preparation for my bariatric surgery next year. It was a laparoscopic operation and I didn't have any problem with it. Recovery was very fast too. During the first week, I lost 2 kilos, probably because my body is still recovering. However, on the 2nd week post surgery, I noticed that my weight started creeping up, and in just 1 week, I gained almost 3 kilos! I can understand how most people feel here because I felt the same frustration and desperation seeing the weighing scale screaming those added kilos on me. I didn't bother to go to the doctor because I have a feeling I will be told the same thing as that were told by your doctors. So, I started to observe and experiment. What I noticed and assumed is that the weight gain is coming from the bloating. I have this feeling that I want to go to the toilet but when I am there, nothing comes out except air. I started taking BeneFibre (fiber supplement) during breakfast and dinner. I also take Digestive Enzymes every meal, and also take 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar 1st thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) and another 1 tablespoon before I go to bed at night. It has been a week now and I have lost the kilos I gained after the surgery. Please take note that I also decreased my daily calorie intake from 1200 to 1000. It is difficult (everyday is a struggle for me) but keeping a food journal (I use MyFitness Pal) helps a lot in controlling my food intake. There are times that eventhough I am craving for a food, when I try to log it in my food journal before eating it, when I see how much calories it contain, I just lose the appetite to eat it.

We are all struggling with the same problem and I hope sharing my experience will help. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year:)

December 14, 2015 - 2:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I'm experiencing the same problems as I'm only 5foot weighed before gall bladder op a healthy 7.4lbs now when the weight slowly started going on I wasn't too concerned as knew I was slightly underweight but 7months on I've gained a stone although I don't eat a lot &ado over 15000 steps a day plus sit ups ect like I I now have an Ifit but I also have a lot of putrid gas like rotten eggs so been advised to take 125 mg ox bile capsules with each meal so on order&should b here by Wednesday,I gather its beachside once u have no gall bladder u either make too much bile causing diarrhoea or not enough putting u in starvation mode thus secreting the fat

January 31, 2016 - 7:21am
EmpowHER Guest

I thought i was going crazy. In january 2015 i donated 60% of my liver & diring which they had also removed my gallbladder. Now its December & Since the surgery i have gained so much weight so fast & nothing seems to help. It is also all in my abdomen. I can't stand to look at myself so much that i have removed the mirror from my room. I am down to only 2 pairs of jeans & a couple shirts that fit. I am at my wits end :'(

December 3, 2015 - 7:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 24 and modelled from the age of 16 up until I had my gallbladder removed. I was a size 8 before my surgery and in less than a year have ballooned to a size 14!!! I eat healthy and have been going to the gym since 18 religiously every week! I continued my normal gym healthy lifestyle as soon as I could after my surgery and have still somehow gone up 3 dress sizes ! It's draining and I've just come to terms with the gain and threw all my size 6/8 clothes out now :(

November 12, 2015 - 10:16am
EmpowHER Guest

I am glad to read these comments. Not that I'm happy someone else is experiencing what am myself, but just to know that others are gaining weight after gall bladder removal. Mine was removed in January of this year. It is now November. As of this morning, I have gained 17 pounds. I have tried 35 carbs a day which used to work before and not only did not lose, but GAINED. So I went to 1000-1200 calories a day and GAINED. Then I limited both calories and carbs together for a few days and still GAINED. It's one thing not to lose, but to GAIN????. I am 70 years old and used to weight 143. Now it's 160. For a 70 year old, I am active physically and do use a treadmill. While I am overjoyed not to have the pre-surgery gall bladder pain anymore, I hate being overweight.

October 27, 2015 - 7:27am
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