How to eat after pancreatitis and gallbladder removal?
December 28, 2012 8:54 AM   Subscribe

How and what to eat after pancreatitis and no gallbladder?

A close friend of mine had a severe case of acute pancreatitis a little over a year ago. It was found that gallstones were the cause and they then had their gallbladder removed. So now, over a year later, they're still getting nauseous when eating even a little bit of fat. They stick to a 7 grams or less of fat per meal.

The doctors don't seem to be able to sit my friend down and help them figure this out or recommend what to do during the recovery period. I've read that some people have recommended Cholestyramine (a prescription bile salt) that could be a cause so I may have my friend ask the doctor about this. (They see a GI and a primary).

Her pancreas is apparently doing great and has recovered. But they have lost a lot of weight and seem weak due to the inability to eat a lot. Any advice or experience with this would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I understand that this may be something that cannot be fixed, but we're trying to at least exhaust out research and do everything possible to improve the situation. Thanks for your help.

Additional information:

In addition, the pancreatitis caused a pseudocyst to form which causes back pain. She's had multiple endoscopys to drain the cyst and put in a stint.
posted by modoriculous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
If your friend can't handle Cholestyramine, which is a nasty powder that doesn't really dissolve in liquid, have her ask about a medication called Colestid. It's a tablet/pill and is officially a cholesterol medication, but works similarly to Cholestyramine.

Greatly improved the quality of my life after I had my gallbladder out.
posted by royalsong at 9:06 AM on December 28, 2012

Cool, thank you royalsong, I will look into that one as well. Did you try Cholestyramine first and it didn't work out?
posted by modoriculous at 9:09 AM on December 28, 2012

I take Cholestryamime every day and its fine. Tastes kinda like orange Tang.
posted by raisingsand at 9:47 AM on December 28, 2012

Does it help with nausea or is it strictly for helping bowel issues?
posted by modoriculous at 10:05 AM on December 28, 2012

Well, I had both after my gallbladder removal and now neither. It's pretty inexpensive, so she should be able to try it without a big money output.
posted by raisingsand at 11:38 AM on December 28, 2012

I did try it and it did work for me, but I wasn't able to get over the mud-like texture on my tongue. If she has no texture issues with her food, the powder should work fine.
posted by royalsong at 2:18 PM on December 28, 2012

The doctors don't seem to be able to sit my friend down and help them figure this out or recommend what to do during the recovery period.

This is a problem. It's sounds like she's not getting the aftercare she needs. I would seriously suggest you help your friend find a doctor (or some other qualified health care provider, or a registered dietitian) who can help your friend navigate a gallbladder-less life.
posted by OsoMeaty at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2012

Medium-chain fatty acids, as found in coconut oil, are easiest for gallbladder patients (and liver patients) to digest. Has she tried this kind of oil?
posted by parrot_person at 12:05 AM on December 31, 2012

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