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

Rate This

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!

Add a Comment177 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I found this forum because I've been researching weight problems for the last 5 years. The research all points to inflammation in the small intestine as being the crucial precipitating factor--and one of the prime culprits for this is bacterial overgrowth. I then found out that bile is antimicrobial and is released even more during intense exercise- which is what makes that type of exercise so effective for weight loss. To check the importance of bile as an antimicrobial; I decided to look up whether gall bladder removal wd cause weight gain and --sure enough- found this site-- it does! The solution to this is to do everything you can to reduce bacterial levels, as you don't have the extra help of bile.
This would mean a low carb diet to starve the bacteria, possibly high fat- as this is anti-microbial. (not sure how that works with low bile tho) , antibacterial herbs, like berberine, turmeric, vinegar, regularly throughout the day, high dose Vitamin D - as this is antimicrobial, plenty of sleep as this increases antimicrobial hormones, Genistein- as phytoestrogens are antimicrobial. That's all I can think of at the moment. Good luck! :)

July 8, 2015 - 11:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

All true....I did this. Eliminated sugar, gluten, and dairy. Took vitamin D, and lost 9 pounds in 15 days. Amazing. No gallbladder for over a year and this worked miracles. The trick is good fats! Everything is normal now including my bowel movements!

August 13, 2015 - 9:29am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Interesting information about the inflammation in the small intestine. Makes sense about the bacterial overgrowth- my question is how does this balance out with probiotics, since vinegar is a source to assist? I use tumeric a lot and will add Vitamin D. I do not know Genistein but I will research it. I have been adding fermented foods and I cut out coffee these past 5 days and cut back on wine. I have lost 5 lbs. and the the pregnant tight belly swelling is gone. I have heard about people using Ox bile to assist with digestion and a weight management aid. Please post anything else you have researched. Much appreciated.

July 11, 2015 - 9:21am
Jo1 (reply to Anonymous)

Hi , I wouldnt add probiotics - cos most are lactobacilli - which are correlated w/obesity. cant say for sure on fermented foods. turmeric is good antibiotic. Green veggies are good cos they enhance immune system to keep bugs in check. coconut oil is antimicrobial so should help -(tho dont know how that works w/out bile.
been reading about low dose naltrexone - which is a very effective immune enhancer. read good things about this w/regard to weight loss. anything which boosts innate immunity is good cos it helps to control bug levels.
another very helpful drug you can get from docs or online is Metformin. I have seen very good results for people with this. Metformin is actually a powerful antibiotic, which is how it works.
Also--if you're open -minded-- people have staggering weight loss with hcg injections. Personally I've seen a lot of people try this with nothing but success and have yet to read of any bad side effects.
Just an idea anyway.

July 11, 2015 - 1:31pm
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

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
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Weight Loss

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!


3639 Health


2233 Lives


2075 Lives
9 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do you have problems with your weight during the holiday season?:
View Results