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Gallbladder Removed and Still Having GI Problems? Try "Bile Salts"

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Medical Specialty Clinic. I'm Dr. Chris Marshall, and today, we're diving into a topic that's essential for those who've had their gallbladders removed. We're going to talk about optimizing digestion post-surgery and the role of ox bile, or bile salts. If you've been struggling with digestive issues after your gallbladder removal, this post is for you.


Let's start by understanding what happens to your digestion after gallbladder removal. Normally, the gallbladder stores and releases bile to help digest fat when you eat or drink something. But what happens when it's gone? Normally we release bile through the biliary duct which travels from the liver and gallbladder through the head of the pancreas and empties into the small intestine just past the stomach. Bile is produced by the liver, so you still have bile to help digest fat after gallbladder removal, but you no longer have any bile stored up to be released on demand. Also, you may not have enough bile to help break down all the fat in the meal you just ate as the liver can only make bile so fast. Without the proper amount of bile, you cannot fully break down fat or absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins along with those health omega 3 fatty acids. This can lead to many digestive issues you may be experiencing such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, and general dysbiosis, which is an undesirable change to the normal gut bacteria and other microorganisms.


Now, you might be wondering, what is ox bile, and how does it relate to digestion? Ox bile is a supplement that mimics the role of your gallbladder bile in aiding digestion. It is also referred to as bile salts.


So, how exactly does ox bile support digestion after gallbladder removal? It is very similar to the bile that your body makes so in essence it helps support digestion of fat. If taken with meals it acts like the gallbladder by providing those digestive enzymes when you need them. It does this by emulsifying fats and helping your body absorb essential nutrients. Like most things, fat must be broken down into small components to be absorbed into the body and used.


Now, let's discuss how to use ox bile safely. It's important to choose the right supplement, consider dosages, and consult with your healthcare provider. There are many reputable supplement manufacturers and I do not recommend one over another. Do your own research and look at product reviews before deciding on a brand to take. The most common doses range from 125mg up to 1,000mg and are typically taken with each meal containing fat. Although, some sources say to take it on an empty stomach. There is no established standardized dose or frequency so the best way to start with ox bile is to begin at a low dose and then increase if there is no improvement. Of course, you should stop if you have any negative effects.



Consistency is important as most people who benefit from ox bile or bile salts need to take them with every meal containing fat, but some people can take them only occasionally and do very well. So, it is important to think about how to incorporate ox bile into your daily routine and make the most of its benefits.


It is also important to remember that I am not advising you to take ox bile or bile salts. This is for informational purposes only. Many people who have had their gallbladder removed still have normal digestion, but if you are having problems or are concerned about digestion after gallbladder removal then you should discuss this with your personal healthcare provider. Bile supplements should be safe for most people, but every person is different.


Remember that ox bile supplements should be considered as a supportive measure to help with fat digestion after gallbladder removal. They are not intended as a long-term replacement for the role of the gallbladder. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the right approach for your specific situation, taking into account your overall health, dietary habits, and digestive needs. If you would like to discuss this with one of our providers or have more questions about digestive health then reach out to us at Medical Specialty Clinic by phone or schedule an appointment by calling 731-257-1500.

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