Does Gallbladder Removal Lead to Weight Gain?

Does Gallbladder Removal Lead to Weight Gain?

There are no scientific studies proving definite weight gain after gallbladder surgery.  But there does seem to be a rather large number of people that gain weight after having their gallbladder removed and struggle to rid themselves of the excess poundage. 

There is a study that showed that there were increases in the Body Mass Index (BMI) of patients who had their gall bladders removed.  However, this study concluded that overeating due to the elimination of nausea symptoms experienced from an improper functioning gallbladder was to blame for the weight gain.  But this can’t be true in every case.  For many people have no gallbladder symptoms (stomach pain from gallbladder attacks) or gall stones before their gallbladder stops functioning and immediate surgery is performed.

Gallbladder removal surgery is a very common general surgery.  The gallbladder is not a necessary organ; however it does have some important functions.  When your gallbladder isn’t functioning properly you may experience gallstones or discomfort when eating certain foods (often high-fat foods).

Many people report weight loss right after the surgery.  But for most, this does not seem to last.

What Does Your Gallbladder Do?

Your gallbladder holds bile from the liver until it is needed when you eat to help digest fats in the intestine.  Your gallbladder:

  • Aids Digestion
  • Helps Absorb Fat Soluble Vitamins
  • Eliminates Waste Products
  • Assists in bile salt function – Bile salts are made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder then released when we eat.

When your gall bladder is removed bile is secreted into the small intestine slowly but constantly, this slow dripping may not be enough bile to do its job effectively.  Not only can this effect digestion, fat metabolism, but can cause diarrhea or constipation.

Possible Causes of Weight Gain after Gallbladder Surgery

Hormone Imbalance – There are several hormones involved in the functioning of your gallbladder. (A hormone is a protein that is used to deliver a message from one part of the body to another).  These hormones can be thrown out of balance causing various side effects unique to each individual.

Metabolic changes

Faulty fat digestion and metabolism

Poor Diet (over eating high fat foods that used to cause discomfort)

Inflammation – Inflammation affects the efficiency of Leptin (weight control hormone) which leads to increased appetites and slowing metabolism.  Inflammation can also be caused by food allergies