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Why Do I Feel The Same or Worse After Having My Gallbladder Removed

Dr Stephen Wangen
May 21, 2024

Have you had your gallbladder removed only to discover that it didn’t help, or now you feel even worse?  Incredibly frustrating, right! You are not alone. I’ll explain how often this happens, why it happens, and what you can do next.

I lost count a long time ago of how many people have told me that they had their gallbladder removed and they don’t feel any better, or they feel even worse. This process is called a cholecystectomy, and if you’ve had one done and not gotten the results you hoped for, you are not alone.

This is a very common problem. It’s not even a secret in the medical world, although you may not have heard of it because doctors don’t usually tell you this. But many studies have confirmed that removing the gallbladder, even when it’s well indicated, often doesn’t help you get rid of the abdominal pain or digestive symptoms that you thought it would.  

And for some people it even makes things worse.  Because although you can live just fine without a gallbladder, you were designed to have one for good reason.

So why doesn’t a cholecystectomy solve your problem? Well, there are a whole bunch of possible reasons, so let’s start with two of the most straightforward explanations. The first is that once you no longer have a gallbladder, you no longer have bile acid when you need it. And even if it wasn’t working properly before, it definitely isn’t working at all now.

The gallbladder was created to store bile, which is made by the liver and used to help digest fat. Once the gallbladder is removed, you may have more trouble digesting fat, because your gallbladder can’t push out a bunch of bile to help you digest the fat. That’s pretty simple.

However, you can also have the opposite problem. Once the gallbladder is removed, you are still producing bile, but there is nowhere to store it. So, it may trickle out all the time. This may irritate your digestive system and cause digestive problems.

Both of these issues are treatable, but they probably aren’t even the most common problems that people encounter after having their gallbladder removed. The gallbladder may not have been functioning properly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the cause of your symptoms, or all of your symptoms.

Consider that your gallbladder may have been only one problem that you were experiencing, and that there are other potential causes of your symptoms. We see this a lot at the IBS Treatment Center.

I also urge you to ask yourself, why wasn’t my gallbladder working properly?  It may be that your gallbladder problem was the symptom of something else that is wrong, not the cause. And now that the gallbladder is gone, you may still be having symptoms because you haven’t yet found the true cause of all of your symptoms.

And there are many, many different causes for these types of digestive symptoms, most of which haven’t been addressed yet, even by your gastroenterologist. Because it’s simply not their specialty. They are experts in doing colonoscopies. In fact, there are far too many causes to even begin to address them here.  That is what an IBS Specialist is for, and what we help people do on a daily basis.

If you’ve had your gallbladder removed and are still suffering, give us a call today at the number below. We work with people all over the U.S. and the world via telemedicine, and would love to work with you to help you get your health back.


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