If your gallbladder has been removed (or you have gallbladder problems), it can be more difficult to digest fats because the gallbladder is known for secreting bile that helps with fat processing. This might make you wonder whether a ketogenic diet (which is very high in fats) is possible for you at all.
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely eat keto without a gallbladder! But there are a few extra precautions that will ensure you follow the diet safely.
Use These 2 Crucial Supplements for a Keto Diet Without a Gallbladder
There are two important supplements to take if you follow the ketogenic diet without a gallbladder:
These enzymes help your body break down both fats and vegetables more efficiently, which is crucial for someone with no gallbladder to do the job.
You’ll want to take Fat-Zyme with all of your meals, even your keto coffee.
2. Ox Bile Extract
Ox bile extracts are a combination of bile acids and bile salts from oxen that enhance bile production in the human digestive system. Basically, it helps you break down fats! It also promotes absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins.
This is good for anyone who needs digestive support but especially those without a bile-producing gallbladder.
Make sure the ox bile extract is high-quality and take around 80 mg with every meal.
To order, please call our medical practice at 407-331-7007.
Start Slowly and Ease Into Your Fat Intake
When starting the diet, go slowly. It’s best to do the following initially (especially if you’ve just had the surgery to remove your gallbladder):
- Start with easy-to-digest foods and clear liquids only for the first few days.
- Include foods with high amounts of soluble fiber.
- Eat keto meals in smaller, more frequent periods throughout the day.
- Take the Fat-Zyme and ox bile supplements with every meal to support your digestion.
- Consider including a MCT supplement, which can provide extra easy-to-digest fat and doesn’t require bile to be absorbed
Each day, increase your amount of fat gradually until you reach the Keto Zone proportions of 70% fat.
Staying hydrated and making sure you’re getting enough electrolytes can also help ensure a successful diet transition.
No-Gallbladder Symptoms to Watch Out For
Most people can eat normally within a month of gallbladder removal surgery, but there are some symptoms to speak with your doctor about if you experience them:
- Severe vomiting or nausea
- Abdominal pain that is severe, unrelenting, or gets worse over time
- No bowel movements, inability to pass gas, or diarrhea for more three days
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or white of the eyes)
A keto diet can also be preventative. Not having a gallbladder increases your risk of metabolic conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and the keto diet can help combat that by improving blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Also, know that you can always adjust as needed. If you start to notice issues, try decreasing your fat intake for a while and focus smaller and more frequent meals, then repeat the above steps. And don’t forget to keep taking the recommended supplements for extra support.
Can a Keto Diet Save Your Gallbladder?
For those who still have their gallbladders, a keto diet may actually help you keep it healthy! The most current research suggests obesity and a high BMI are associated with increased risk of developing gallstones and that losing weight can help [1,2].
Since a keto diet is so excellent for weight loss, it may help improve your gallbladder health and save it from more extreme measures.
Overall, with the right preparation, it’s entirely possible to reap the benefits of keto without a gallbladder.