ThinCVT

Vitamin absorption after gall bladder removal

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Ok, this is probably the first post I've made that really illustrates what a freak I am, so bare with me.....

I've had 4 insanely painful gallbladder attacks in the last 13 months and finally got an ultrasound that confirms what I already knew...I have gallstones.  Surprisingly, I am much more wary of getting my gall bladder removed than I was about getting 80% of my stomach removed.  After all, a 17% chance of having chronic diarrhea isn't exactly appealing.  But regardless, this post is about my concerns over postop absorption of fat Soluble vitamins. (I may post my concerns over bowel movements later)

Although many of you probably know this already, here's a brief anatomy/physiology lesson..... Your gall bladder stores bile which is excreted in large quantities when you eat a fatty meal.  The bile emulsifies the fat, allowing it to be absorbed through the intestinal lining.  Fat soluble vitamins need this emulsified fat to act as a carrier so they can be absorbed as well.  (I've always taken my multis with something fatty to help with absorption.)  So without a gall bladder, the bile produced by your liver basically just trickles into your intestines constantly and there is no surplus stored to release during a fatty meal.  If you don't have enough bile trickling in when you eat something fatty and take your vitamins, the fat, and thus the vitamins may not get absorbed very well.  I think one advantage of having VSG is that I only eat tiny meals/snacks 6-8 times throughout the day anyways, so my fat intake probably mimics the constant trickle of bile anyways.  It's not like I'm gonna load up with a plate of greasy French fries anytime soon.

Sorry to ramble, but here's the real point of my post.....  In my fanatic research, I came across an article that claims coconut oil is superior to other oils and fats in absorption because is mostly medium chain fatty acids.  It's also easier to digest, may even promote weightloss and has all kinds of other health benefits.  I'm thinking it would be a good idea to take my vitamins with a tablespoon of coconut oil.  I tasted some and it's not bad.  Kind of bland, actually.  But then I thought hey, I've got all of this PB2 which is basically peanut butter with all of the oil removed.  How about replacing the peanut oil with coconut oil?  So I did, and it's super yummy!  I would have no problems eating a tablespoon of this with my multivitamins every day.

so any thoughts on my most recent OCD topic?

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I can't answer your vitamin question specifically, sorry. But I had my gallbladder removed after a very painful 8 months in late February. All of my blood work has been excellent since. I am religious about taking my vitamins/supplements.

As for your other concern, I wish diarrhea was my outcome! I still struggle with chronic constipation, and have had no trouble digesting any foods differently than before removal.

good luck!

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I had my gallbladder out in 2006 and never had any blood work / vitamin issues except low vitamin D (not related) and that is now normal since I've been taking D3 regularly. In the 10 months since my VSG, my blood work and vitamin levels have remained great as well. 

I did not experience diarrhea issues after my gallbladder was removed. Everything went back to normal. 

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I had my gallbladder out 11 months after I had the sleeve.  I had diarrhea for about 6-8 days I believe and then everything went completely back to normal (and I have always been normal, no consitpation).  The odds of having diarrhea issues with OUR diet would be even less then the 17% I'd imagine - far less.   Once the body adapts to the constant bile drip, things are quite normal.

I probably eat a higher fat content (all good fat though, not greasy fat) then most people and my labs are all great 1.5 years after gallbladder removed/2.5 after sleeve;  some are even too high (B12 which I don't even take a supplement for).  My D is low, but has been low even before WLS, just an issue of living in a state with summer only 5 months out of the year.

Edited by Jolls

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Are you guys getting all of your vitamin levels checked?  I've always just gone with my VSG surgeon recommendations of 3mo, 6mo and annual liver/kidney function, iron, B12, D3, and calcium, folate and zinc. Do you also get A, E and K levels checked?

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I have/had labs done 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 months and then once a year after that.  Prealbumin, Vit D, Hemogram, Iron, Ferritin, Folate, B12 and Complete Metabolic Panel which has sodium, potassium, chloride, co2, glucose, bun, creatinine, gfr calc, gfr, calcium, protein total, albumin, alk phosphatase, alt(sgpt), ast(sgot), total bilirubin and anion gap.

That is what my surgeon checks on all of those follow ups.

Edited by Jolls

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Thanks Jolls, that's pretty much what I get (plus zinc).  My only abnormalities have been slightly high BUN (due to my high protein diet), high iron and high calcium (which normalized once I stopped those supplements).  And after my gallbladder attacks when my amylase skyrockets.  But I never see any mention about checking the other fat soluble vitamins.  Maybe I'm worrying over an issue that doesn't exist. (But obsession is oh so much fun!)

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On 9/16/2015 at 9:58 PM, ThinCVT said:

 

Sorry to ramble, but here's the real point of my post.....  In my fanatic research, I came across an article that claims coconut oil is superior to other oils and fats in absorption because is mostly medium chain fatty acids.  It's also easier to digest, may even promote weightloss and has all kinds of other health benefits.  I'm thinking it would be a good idea to take my vitamins with a tablespoon of coconut oil.  I tasted some and it's not bad.  Kind of bland, actually.  But then I thought hey, I've got all of this PB2 which is basically peanut butter with all of the oil removed.  How about replacing the peanut oil with coconut oil?  So I did, and it's super yummy!  I would have no problems eating a tablespoon of this with my multivitamins every day.

so any thoughts on my most recent OCD topic?

I AM GOING TO TRY THE PB2 AND COCONUT OIL!  THAT MAKES ME EXCITED BUT SAD I NEVER THOUGHT TO TRY IT!  THANKS

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