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26 and wondering about weightloss after gall bladder removal

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Old 01-01-2016, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default 26 and wondering about weightloss after gall bladder removal

Hi everyone,

In April 2015, I had emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. Due to complications, I also ended up with Acute Pancreatitis, Jaundice, and multiple organ failure (Liver, Kidneys, Pancreas).

I know I shouldn't be turning to Google to answer my question, and I am going to the doctors this week, but I am curious about weight loss after gall bladder removal. From everything I have read online, people who have been really overweight and have had their gall bladder removed have lost weight almost effortlessly. I have not lost a single kilo, and I am really frustrated.

I have done minimal exercise, as it took me a while to bounce back after being so sick, and when I did go back to the gym, I tore all the muscles down the left side of my back. It has taken the good part of 6 months to recover from tearing my back, for me to be able to live and move normally without having to take anti-inflammatories to be able to move any form of light exercise.

I have started doing pilates, and I am trying to sort out my diet; it isn't too bad now, I think I struggle most with portion size, I do not drink alcohol or soft drink, I have very little caffeine or processed sugar, I eat very little fast food, etc.

Any advice, suggestions or information would be great. As I said, I am going to the doctors this week, and I just want to have a variety of questions to ask her.

I have tried so many times to lose weight and I feel really dejected. I am not getting much support and I do not know where to look for that support. For the first time in my life I am considering drastic weight loss surgery, which makes me feel very uneasy, as I have already had 2 major abdominal surgeries, and I am bout 30kg overweight

Any advice/information/questions to ask would be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou so much for reading.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:06 PM   #2
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Cadlawag,

I had my gallbladder removed at 26 too. Like you, it was an emergency surgery with complications including acute pancreatic and liver failure.

I had stomach issue for two years after my surgery despite not having any issues before. I experienced dumping after eating alot of foods, especially dairy. I didn't lose a pound either. In fact, I gained about 40lbs in 4 years.

I'm 31 now and my stomach issues has resolved itself in time but I did have to take enzymes for a while.

I'm not sure who these people are that you could lose the weight effortlessly, but that wasn't my experience at all. Losing my gallbladder didn't make it easier, nor make it harder for me to lose weight. I've had to diet and exercise to lose 55+lbs.

I would talk to your doctor about your plans to diet, make sure you have your nutrition in order, etc. Starting a moderate exercise program 3-4 a week, like walking should make a difference for you.

Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:46 PM   #3
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Thankyou so much for your response Leopardspots.

Yesterday I read several forums that had over 100 posts from people who were convinced that the removal of their gall bladder had led to either extreme uncontrolled weight loss or big weight gains. I was curious as I have not really experienced either; I haven't lost or gained weight really.

My surgery happened very fast. My first attack of severe pain happened on Boxing Day of 2014, and it was removed on the 14th of April 2015. My complications were very severe and surgery was a last ditch effort to save my life, as the various antibiotics and IV fluids they were giving me was having no effect, and the numbers of the toxin indicators were increasing every day.

Lately I have been feeling bloated and I have had a fair bit of reflux/heartburn, and I was wondering if I was experiencing bile dumping as you mentioned.

I haven't felt like myself since the surgery. I have had no pain from gall stones, but I am constantly tired, I have picked up every sickness going around, I have torn muscles doing things that normally wouldn't bother me and I am so unmotivated, as a result of being so exhausted, and due to my previous failures and injuries. I also feel a bit broken, I have only just turned 26 and I shouldn't feel like I am 100 years old!

The forums also mentioned these things, and seem to think they are directly related to the removal of the gall bladder. I do not really believe the forums, however it has given me a couple of questions for the doctor.

Thanks again
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:34 PM   #4
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Caldawg,

Thats terrible. I can't imagine waiting for the surgery after having the attacks.

I only had the one attack and collapsed suddenly while shopping at a hardware store. I had been completely fine. I went to the ER, unfortunately the couldn't diagnose me and sent me home. After an awful night, I went to work the next day and got an appt with my primary doctor that afternoon. I left work early and almost didn't make it home I was so sick. Went to the doctor, did some tests at the hospital, and went home. My doctor called me late at night and offered to call me an ambulance because I was in acute liver failure! Like you, I was so deteriorated, surgery was my only option. It took them 3 days (with a morphine drip) to stabilize me enough for the surgery. And I required a 2nd one the next day!

The surgeon told me that nothing would change, that I would be able to eat anything I wanted, but that wasn't true. I actually had phantom pains for a few months. Many foods upset my stomach for years and then I had the dumping, like I mentioned. Eating foods that didn't agree with me and the fear of constantly needing a bathroom made me feel lethargic and depressed too. I also experienced heartburn for the first time. It took me a while to feel like myself too. I was also upset about the scars.

A lot of women that have had this surgery remember the meal that triggered it. Mine was macaroni and cheese. I still can't stand the smell of it or eat it again.

I don't blame my weight gain on the loss of my gall bladder, I had a bad diet and bad exercise habits. I've talked to many people that have had this surgery and none experienced weight loss.

Absolutely talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. Heartburn/reflux are manageable. And dumping can be too if you find the right thing that works and foods to avoid. I took a supplement of enzymes to aid in the digestion of protein, fats, and carbs. This might be helpful if you aren't digesting food properly and feel bloated. Maybe your doctor could suggest something you can take over the counter?

If you are concerned about scars, scar creme can do wonders too.

You had a major, life-saving surgery and your body is still adjusting. Really, it took me two years to adjust.

Maybe others who had the surgery can post their experiences. In the meantime, feel free to ask anything about my experience. I hope that your doctor can offer you something helpful.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thanks again for your response Leopardspots. I had maybe 5 really severe bouts of pain before it was removed. The first time it happened, I thought I was having a heart attack!

The final bout of pain I had was the worst. I was eating dinner when it struck, so I took some of the over the counter medications I had been given. It lessened slightly, and my partner went to bed, after seeing I had improved slightly. Several hours later, I was due for the next dose which I took with water.

I began violently vomiting, the entire tablets, water and dinner came up. By this stage I was in the most horrible pain I have ever had. I woke my partner and went to hospital. They gave me this anti nausea wafer thing to stop me being sick. Then we learned that I am actually allergic to the wafer, and I began vomiting even worse. It took them 4 needles in my backside to stop me being sick. The hospital sent me home and told me to come back the next day if I was no better.

I went back to hospital the next day and was admitted. Bloods were taken and it showed up the toxin indicators. The nurse wanted to send me home and went with mum to do the paper work to have me released. I was almost in tears with frustration as I knew I could not endure that sort of pain again.

My mum and the nurse were gone about half an hour. Upon returning to my room, my mum dropped her handbag, opened her mouth and screamed while pointing at me. The nurse came in, dropped her clipboard and covered her mouth. I was really confused, still felt rubbish and felt the noise was unnecessary! The nurse left immediately and went for the doctor and mum sat on a chair crying.

Given that I hadn't got any information about why both women were so upset, I took out my phone, put the camera on reverse and had a look. I was completely yellow, down to the whites of my eyes.

Within half an hour, I was on my way in an ambulance to a major hospital 2 hours away. It took them a week to try to stabilize me. When the medication wasn't working, they told me the only option they had to save my life was emergency surgery. I had the surgery, woke up feeling amazing the next day and was discharged less than 24 hours after my surgery.

I am not worried about the scars, it just adds to my collection of belly scars. I had major surgery a few years prior, and that surgery didn't go to plan, and instead of a couple of key holes, I ended up with 3 key holes and a 7 inch long scar for my troubles. The thing that has really traumatised me was all the horrid tests I had to have while I was in hospital for the week. Blood tests, ultrasounds, physical exams, cannulas that went bad, the sores I got from not being able to move much, the extreme discomfort and the lack of sleep still haunt me, and I now really hate hospitals.

I will be seeing the doctor this week I hope. I have hormonal issues too, and they make it almost impossible to lose weight. I know I have to, it is just so hard, and I am hoping the doctor can give me something, either a medication or a better eating/exercise plan to help me shift the weight. I will also ask if she has any tips on getting myself feeling back to normal after the operation. Thanks again for such a thoughtful reply, I will keep this thread updated when I have seen the doctor.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:32 AM   #6
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Caldawag,

I thought I was having a heart attack too. I thought I was dying. Probably because I was! Honestly, I remember hardly anything from the my stay because I was so doped up. Like you, I do remember feeling instantly better after my surgery.

I'm assuming you are in the UK? Unbelievable that you had so many attacks and such severity and they kept trying to send you home. You were dying! Completely shameful and horrific.

I really wonder how our outcomes would have been had both of us received timely treatment. I swear doctors dismiss womens' complaints too easily, thinking we are attention-seeking or hysterical about menstrual pains or what not. I hope you complained to the hospital after being stalled so long.

I'd absolutely appreciate an update after you've seen your doctor. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:07 AM   #7
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Hi Leopardspots. I went to the doctor a week or so ago, and things were not great. My enzyme levels still are not great, my cholesterol and triglycerides are still through the roof, and my BMI is bad. The doctor was pretty awful to me to be honest. But I am Day 2 on my new diet and exercise plan, everything is going well, so I hope this is the start of a new chapter for me. I am off for more blood tests tomorrow. Yay!
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