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  1. #1
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Cycling without gallbladder?

    So I suddenly found myself without a gallbladder. It was a messy surgery, the damn thing was badly infected, so it'll take a few weeks to recover. But now I wonder how lack of the gallbladder and strict low fat diet affected others.

    It may actually be a change for the better. I was never a big fan of fatty foods anyway and I was able to lose a nice chunk of fat this Summer by watching my diet. However, I really had hard time giving up pastries and chocolate chip cookies. Now they'll be pretty much absent from my diet. Now, I will need to watch my diet, whether I like it or not. So perhaps I could turn this into an advantage?

    I still plan to do some long tours in 2013, maybe even TransAm, but I'm not going to travel internationally so all my cycling will be done in USA and maybe Canada.

    Does anyone have a story to share? Tips? Anecdotes?

    I'm not even sure yet if Clifbars are OK

  2. #2
    internettubes engineer st3venb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    So I suddenly found myself without a gallbladder. It was a messy surgery, the damn thing was badly infected, so it'll take a few weeks to recover. But now I wonder how lack of the gallbladder and strict low fat diet affected others.

    It may actually be a change for the better. I was never a big fan of fatty foods anyway and I was able to lose a nice chunk of fat this Summer by watching my diet. However, I really had hard time giving up pastries and chocolate chip cookies. Now they'll be pretty much absent from my diet. Now, I will need to watch my diet, whether I like it or not. So perhaps I could turn this into an advantage?

    I still plan to do some long tours in 2013, maybe even TransAm, but I'm not going to travel internationally so all my cycling will be done in USA and maybe Canada.

    Does anyone have a story to share? Tips? Anecdotes?

    I'm not even sure yet if Clifbars are OK
    My wife is a marathon runner, she has no problems not having her gall bladder. She eats gu pastes, chomps, blocks, etc... She cannot have greasy food all that often or she gets it bad... but otherwise largely her training hasn't been affected other than the downtime she had from the surgery.

    Is that all you've got?
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  3. #3
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by st3venb View Post
    My wife is a marathon runner, she has no problems not having her gall bladder. She eats gu pastes, chomps, blocks, etc... She cannot have greasy food all that often or she gets it bad... but otherwise largely her training hasn't been affected other than the downtime she had from the surgery.
    Thanks a lot. That's definitely good news to me

  4. #4
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    My wife didn't get the memo about not eating anything that she wants. She does not exercise hard but seems not to have any problems with what she eats.

    From what I have been told the gall bladder was needed back in the cave man days when we ate either fest or famine. The bladder stored enough bile to help with the digesting of animal fats when a good kill was made and a person ate until they could not hold another bite. Now that we eat meals on a regular basis there is little need for the bile to be stored up for use with such large meals. I think when the gall bladder is removed the bile duct is routed into the intestine so that you will still have a steady stream of bile for digestion.

    The above is just what I have been told so someone may be able to give you a better answer.

    On a side note. I know that some people are weight weenies but getting rid of the gall bladder is taking it a little too far. What is next the appendix?

  5. #5
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    A lot of people can adjust to eat almost normal diet without a gallbladder, but for most it means low fat diet or bad diarrhea since there isn't enough bile avialble to digest large amounts of fat. The slowly dripping bile isn't enough, you need about a cup of bile to digest a large and fatty meal. Your wife was lucky.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Got mine out last year (at 23 no less). Not noticed any problems at all eating fatty things; I can eat a whole bunch of cheese, oils (mostly olive), fast food (Checkers, man!) no problem. I watched the fat between diagnosis and about two weeks or so after the surgery. Surgeon also had his out and we talked diet, he said he never had any issues with restriction.

    Hell I've eaten whole large pizzas post op with no noticable problems.

    As an organ it does have its uses. I wouldn't have mine cut out if it wasn't somewhere between the worst pain of my life and the worst pain in every life I may have already lived, combined. That said, if you have a bunch of gallstones like I did, it can result in liver damage.

    I can't tell how old you are, though. It could simply be that I'm unusual, or that my young age had something to do with it. There are numerous plants out there (and no doubt medications) that promote bile excretion. This isn't new-age hollistic junk either - doc mentioned a few and I've spotted a few in medical journals. For the life of me I can't recall any, except dandilion I think. Might be of some use, might not.

    That said, I'm not a doctor. Talk with your surgeon about problems. They'll know loads more than I; I have experience but they have education.

    Oh, as an aside, I'm not 100% without any trouble. Every so often I'll feel a twinge of pain in the area it was removed at, and last winter if I got really cold it would ache. I still have the former (less than once a month) but the latter doesn't appear to be a thing - I shower in the cold without trouble.

    Additionally, the first month or two if I didn't have "some" fat in my colon I'd get a bit naucious. Surgeon told me to expect this. This has since gone away - I've gone two weeks before consuming less than 1g of fat per day without any trouble. What I did during those first few weeks was to tote about some protein bars - just a portable fat source. Seemed to do the trick no problem.

    Now the only way you'd know is if I told you, or if you got me with my shirt off - the scar above my diaphram was no where near as clean and tidy as the ones on my side and navel - laporoscopic surgery is quite the wonder. Occaisonally that will itch, inside, but I think it's mostly sympathy. I've got scars that do that, some don't.

    Let me know if you have any other questions! This is probably the first time in my life I've ever been able to be helpful on something serious.

    M.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shellyrides's Avatar
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    Mine has been out for years, I have never had a problem with anything.

  8. #8
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, the pain was unbearable. I'll have nightmares for a while. Mine was also badly infected and there was a chance of rupture which can be problematic.

    I'm 45yo, but even if I need to watch my diet somewhat, that doesn't seem like a huge deal. Some people complain about post-op pains in cold weather, it just might be the muscles, I doubt they ever heal to the original condition.

  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellyrides View Post
    Mine has been out for years, I have never had a problem with anything.
    Same with me^^^^^^
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Shellyrides's Avatar
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    I thought I was having a heart attack the first time. How did they do the surgery? Did they open you up or scope it?

  11. #11
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    For me, it was the scope.

    I thought I had a hernia the first time; I noticed the pain after I poorly lifted something heavy (to be fair, it was a team lift and he kind of jerked the thing around away from me). Had this "pressure" there on and off for some months before it finally decided to kick my ass one night after Chinese food.

    In hindsight I think I may of had symptoms for a considerable length of time before. Failing that, I had a big diet shift from very high fat to not very high fat that might have triggered it; this is what my surgon put his weight on.

    M.

  12. #12
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    After about six months I felt fully adapted and could/can eat about anything. It's been three years and I don't even think about it anymore. The first few meals were um....bad....but it did get better. Oddly, the worst colon cleansing offender for me, post surgery, was iceberg lettuce.

  13. #13
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    Part of the process of adapting to no gallbladder involves the bacteria that live in your gut. The makeup and quantities need to shift around a bit. You may even benefit from some new types that may not find you for a while. This is why it some do so well, others take a while. Sometime in the future, part of the treatment will include seeding new bacteria.

    Rod

  14. #14
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    Mine's been gone for 15 years now, I can eat pretty much anything I want. Best thing I did was quit smoking when I had the surgery, I had my last cigarette in the car on the way to the hospital.

  15. #15
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    But how many grams did you save?

    Glad to hear you're doing OK. I know lots of people without gallbladders and with some minor dietary restrictions, they all do fine.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  16. #16
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    I had mine out when in my early 40s. In my mid 50s now. I was scoped. Yeah, that night pretty much sucked.

    The Dr. didn't give me any restrictions so I pretty much eat what I want. I did lose weight in the 6 mos after the surgery. For some reason my appetite was affected and I just wasn't as hungry. But part of it was waking up post surgery, looking at my flabby shaven belly and realizing I couldn't deny it anymore. I was fat.

    My Dr prescribed walking. He said it was the best exercise for me to heal my abdominal muscles. But ask your Dr about what to do. Good luck.

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