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Things you must know if you don’t have a gallbladder

Removal of the gallbladder is one of the most common surgeries performed in the USA and Australia today.  Gallstones are incredibly common and they occur in 10 to 15 percent of the population.  Women are more likely to experience gallbladder problems than men and this is partly due to the effects of the female hormone estrogen.

A gallbladder performs several important roles in your body:

  • Enables fat digestion
  • Enables absorption of fat soluble antioxidants and vitamins A, E, D and K
  • Assists the removal of cholesterol from your body
  • Assists the removal of toxins that have been broken down by the liver

Obviously you can survive without a gallbladder, but you are more prone to developing certain health problems.  In particular you are at greater risk of developing a fatty liver, experiencing indigestion and developing deficiencies of essential fatty acids and fat soluble nutrients

What happens when you don’t have a gallbladder?

Your liver continues to manufacture bile, but there is no longer a place to store it or concentrate it.  Therefore bile continually slowly trickles into the intestines.  If you eat a fatty meal, you will not be able to secrete a large enough amount of bile into your intestines, therefore the fat will be poorly digested.  This means many people experience diarrhea, bloating, nausea or indigestion.

Not digesting fat well means you will not be able to digest essential fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6 fats.  It also means you’ll have a hard time absorbing fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins D, E, A and K.  A lot of the antioxidants in vegetables are fat soluble: lycopene, lutein and carotenoids are all fat soluble.  If you don’t produce adequate bile, you will not be adequately absorbing these life saving compounds from foods.  If you take any of the above mentioned nutrients in supplement form, without sufficient bile you will sadly not absorb them well.

How to have a healthy liver and good digestion without a gallbladder

First of all it’s important to realise that you developed a gallbladder problem in the first place because you had an unhealthy liver.  If your liver is not healthy, it will make poor quality bile.  The bile will be prone to forming sludge and stones.  Just removing the gallbladder doesn’t solve that problem, and in fact sludge and stones can form within the liver, compromising its function.

Here are some vital tips to follow:

  • Keep your intake of dairy products and grains to a minimum or avoid them altogether.  Dairy products (milk, cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt) worsen all cases of gallbladder disease, liver disease and they are very difficult to digest.  Food intolerance is a common cause of gallbladder problems, and there is research that links gluten intolerance with gallstones.  A good reason to keep your intake of grains low is to reduce the risk of developing a fatty liver.  There is a great deal of helpful information in our book Save your Gallbladder, and what to do if you’ve already lost it.
  • Take a good quality liver tonic such as Livatone.  The herbs St Mary’s thistle, dandelion root and globe artichoke leaves all increase bile production and bile flow.  Taurine is an amino acid necessary for bile production.  This should help to make you feel more comfortable after a meal, and should reduce the risk of stones forming inside your liver.
  • Take an ox bile supplement.  This is the most important recommendation for people who have lost their gallbladder.  A lack of bile can produce symptoms such as bloating and indigestion after meals, light colored stools, diarrhea, fatigue after meals and nutrient deficiencies.  Taking a good quality ox bile supplement with each meal is wonderful for completely eliminating these symptoms in most individuals.
  • Eat some good fats and avoid the bad fats.  Your doctor may have recommended you follow a low fat diet after having your gallbladder removed.  This is not necessary and in fact it is harmful.  Your body desperately needs good fats and I recommend you include moderate quantities of extra virgin olive oil, avocados, coconut milk and oil, nuts and seeds in your diet.
  • You may need a vitamin D3 supplement.  People with compromised liver or digestive function are often vitamin D deficient.  Exposure of your skin to the sun’s UVB rays enables your body to manufacture vitamin D.  However, this process occurs in your liver and kidneys.  People with a sluggish liver often do not manufacture vitamin D adequately.  Therefore it’s a good idea to get a blood test and take a supplement.  5000 IU of vitamin D3 is a safe and effective dose for most people, but it’s best to be guided by your own doctor.
  • Include some bitter and sour foods in your diet.  They should help to improve your digestion and make it easier to tolerate good fats in your diet.  Suitable bitter and sour foods include lemons, limes, radicchio lettuce, chicory, endive and dandelion leaves.  These leaves are fairly easy to grow at home if you are lucky enough to have your own veggie patch.



The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.


  1. Hi Everyone

    I Had My Gallbladder Removed In September,7,2016 Because I Was Having Symptoms Like Vomiting, Nausea, Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain After Eating And Now I Don’t Have My Gallbladder Anymore And I Still Have Symptoms Like Nausea And Diarrhea After Eating

    Thank You Erica

    • Dear Erica,

      You need to avoid sugar, processed foods and grains.
      Focus on eating foods high in protein, good fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
      Raw juicing is excellent also. See our book ‘Raw Juices Can Save Your Life’.
      I recommend you take Livatone Plus 2 caps twice daily and Ox Bile capsules with meals.
      For more info read our book ‘Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and What to Do if You’ve Already Lost it’.
      Let us know how you get on.

      Kind Regards,

  2. Hello all –

    I had my gallbladder removed a year and a half ago. I didn’t have stones, Dr. said it was just “Abnormal” and needed to be removed. I am living with regret at not pursuing other options besides surgery. Anyway, some days are better than others but most days I have diarrhea at some point, itchy skin, peeling on my fingertips and constant feeling of very low energy along with general, weird pains and discomfort throughout my abdomen. I currently take a daily liver rescue pill, a pro-biotic and a multi vitamin. Again some days are better than others but, it is quite demoralizing having this constant feeling of general malaise. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Positive thoughts of hope to all,


    • Dear Chris,

      You need to avoid sugar, grains and dairy products.
      There is plenty of info in Dr Cabot’s book ‘Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and What to Do if You’ve Already Lost it’.
      You should take Livatone Plus 2 caps daily, and Ox Bile in middle of meals.
      I’m not sure what’s in the liver pill you’re currently taking but our Livatone Plus contains St Mary’s Thistle, Turmeric, all the B vitamins, Selenium, Taurine and Folinic Acid.
      You should also start Raw Juicing.
      There are plenty of great recipes in our book ‘Raw Juicing Can Save Your Life’.
      Begin each day with 1/2 of a lemon in warm to hot water.

      Kind Regards,

    • When I was in my late twenties had my gallbladder removed had gallstones lots of them my weight went from 115lbs to 97 lbs it take me years to get back to 115 lbs im older now and having a problem with the weight loss no skin problems is anyone else having problems with weight loss ?

  3. My gallbladder was removed 3 weeks ago but I still have indigestion/constipation, frequent bowel movements, most of the time immediately after lunch and too tired/sleepy feeling. What should I do?

    • Dear Vicky,

      You need to avoid sugar dairy, gluten and processed foods.
      Focusing on increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as getting adequate protein and fat.
      You should take Livatone Plus 2 caps daily and NAC 2 twice daily in-between meals.
      You should also take Ox Bile one or two in middle of meals.
      You should also start raw juicing.
      There is plenty of useful information in our book: ‘Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and what to do if you’ve already lost it’.
      Let me know how you get on.

      Kind Regards,

  4. So I had my gallbladder removed last summer and I had no clue about taking vitamins or not eating sertan foods my legs and arms will go numb for no reason now and every time I eat I have diarrhea I can’t gain weight I have constent shoulder and head pain and I’m always sleepy

    • Dear Bree,

      You need to avoid sugar dairy, gluten and processed foods.
      Focusing on increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as getting adequate protein and fat.
      You should take Livatone Plus 2 caps daily and NAC 2 twice daily in-between meals.
      You should also take Ox Bile one or two in middle of meals and Glutamine powder 1/2 teaspoon twice daily.
      You should also start raw juicing.
      There is plenty of useful information in our book: ‘Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and what to do if you’ve already lost it’.
      Let me know how you get on.

      Kind Regards,

  5. I had my gall bladder removed a little over 2 yrs ago. This weekend I had set back which mimicked the gall Stone attack, just not quite as intense or painful, but extremely uncomfortable none the less. I got through it after 3 days and I’m not feeling the pain in my rib cage and back anymore. I drank Smooth move tea with peppermint last night and today I am having some diarrhea and my whole right side and lower intestines is in so much pain! In tHoughton it was gas but it had me curled up on my bed almost sweating and feeling sick. Pain is definitely a 9 right now. So I’m searching for answers and found this. Great info. But is it possible I’m pasing a stone? I don’t know what that feels like but it feels like something is stuck because the pain is not passing and I feel like throwing up!

    • Dear Madona,

      You may be passing a liver stone, but we recommend you go to ER to make sure it is not something that requires medical attention.

      Kind Regards,

  6. I have recently had my gallbladder removed… one of the symptoms I am finding is a loss of apatite and nausia , is this normal?

    • Dear Lesley,

      Yes, these are common occurrences.
      They can be resolved if you follow the suggestions in the article ‘Things you must know if you don’t have a gallbladder’.
      This includes giving up sugar, grains and dairy.
      You should take Ox Bile in middle of meals, and Livatone Plus 2 caps twice daily and NAC one twice daily.
      You should also begin your day with the juice of 1/2 lemon in warm to hot water.
      For further information refer to our book: ‘Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and what to do if you’ve already lost it’.

      Kind Regards,

  7. I have removed my Gallbladder five years ago I am getting Paine in my both shoulders specially night time . what I have to do ?

    • Dear Saleh,

      Pain in the shoulders responds well to:
      – Magnesium Ultrapotent Powder – 1/2 teaspoon twice daily in a little water
      – Magnesium Complete – 2 tablets twice daily
      – Curcumin Advanced Formula – 1 capsule daily, with food
      – Fish oil – 1 capsule 3 times daily

      Kind Regards,


  8. This article brought me so much hope.
    I had my Gallbladder removed in 2013 and have had every symptom mentioned reoccurring diarrhea, bloating, indigestion, low energy, and I am always sleepy. This has become daily life for me & I have just learned to push through. Recently I started experiencing headaches, I feel light headed, I’m forgetful, can’t concentrate and my fingers and toes go numb constantly & I’ve gained 30lbs. After a visit to my Physician, I left feeling like I might be losing my mind as my doctor feels it can be 1 of 2 things, Anxiety or a vitamin deficiency. The thought of possibly dealing with Anxiety on top of everything else scares me but after the information I’ve gathered, I’m calm & certain this is a vitamin deficiency that stems from the gall bladder removal. I have lab work schedule that will hopefully confirm this so I can begin treating the causes and be done with these symptoms. Thank You.

    • Hi there

      Please let me know if you get an answer! I had my gallbladder removed September 2012 and currently experiencing symptoms very similar to yours. Finger numbness is very weird! Am struggling with a baby and young boy to look after and desperately trying to find a way to cope.

      Thanks in advance!

    • Have a simple blood test done by a functional med doctor to determine whether you have food sensitivities. i am imagining you may be sensitive to Gluten and possibily other foods that, when completely eliminated from your diet for 6 months or more, will make a huge difference in the way you are feeling.

  9. I don’t have a gallbladder, and have high triglycerides. Will omega 3 supplements no be absorbed at all if I take them?

    • Hi Ana,

      Without a gallbladder, absorption of essential fatty acids will be impaired.
      Digestion of fats can be improved by taking a good liver tonic such as Livatone Plus and supplementing with Ox Bile.
      High triglycerides are often associated with Syndrome X, elevated insulin and fatty liver.
      Following a low carbohydrate diet – avoiding sugar, flour products, processed and fried foods and increasing vegetables and fibre can help reduce triglycerides.
      Don’t forget to include adequate protein and healthy fats in your diet.
      There is a great deal of helpful information in Dr Cabot’s books’Save Your Gallbladder Naturally and What to Do if You’ve Already Lost It’ and ‘Cholesterol: The Real Truth’.

      Kind Regards,


  10. Do you take Ox Bile and Digestive Enzymes?

  11. What is the treatment if you still have stomach pain nearly 10 months after gallbladder removal? My doctor says somebodies ”miss’ the function of a gallbladder. He mentioned a sachet of something, any ideas?

    • Hi Lorraine,

      You need to have hot water and the juice of ½ a lemon first thing each morning.

      Also, 1 to 2 capsules of Ox bile with each meal and Livatone Plus 2 caps twice daily.

      It could have been IBS, so I would also recommend 1 tsp of Glutamine powder in water twice daily.

      Kind Regards,


  12. What are the essential supplements that are needed once the gallbladder is removed. Is it ox-bile, livatone, liver detox,glutathione, digestive enzymes. The list goes on and on. Which one would you recommend?

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