Low-fat diet for gallstones

(17 Posts)
Reiltin Mon 15-Aug-16 21:37:51

My wife discovered she has gallstones yesterday after a horrendous episode and trip to the hospital. We're getting up to speed on the diet implications and I'm wondering if anyone has advice. The GP pointed us towards some online information, which is helpful. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a good cookbook or has any general advice they found useful? TIA smile

NewIdeasToday Mon 15-Aug-16 22:31:53

If you search Amazon you can find vegetarian and vegan cookbooks specifically aimed at people with gallstones. Best thing is to plan to get the gallstones removed and use diet as a temporary measure. Hope she's doing ok now.

PurpleDaisies Mon 15-Aug-16 22:33:12

My aunt used slimming world while she was waiting for her gall bladder op.

woodhill Mon 15-Aug-16 22:34:32

So sorry about your wife. It's very scary.

I'm in a similar situation and hoping to have the op soon.

LadySpratt Mon 15-Aug-16 22:45:50

The key is to cut out all fat whilst she's waiting for an operation, regardless of whether the fat is considered 'healthy' or not. If fat is eaten it won't make the gallstones any worse but it may precipitate another attack of pain. And it's a temporary thing, once the gallbladder is out you can eat whatever you like, assuming there's nothing else wrong! So, avoid: oils, spreads, butter, margarine, dripping, lard, salad dressings, pastries (sweet or savoury), cakes, fried/roasted foods, pretty much nearly anything pre-prepared, and obviously fatty meats. If you're stuck and want something to pick up ready-made then look at the traffic light system on the packaging and pick anything that has a green colour code for fat. To change it to a more positive answer all that's needed is a little imagination - if in doubt steam or dry fry or poach. It's amazing how your taste buds get accustomed to the lack of fat. And because it's summer chuck on some lemon juice or raspberry vinegar or white balsamic as a change to an oily dressing for a salad.
Best of luck! flowers

Reiltin Tue 16-Aug-16 07:54:32

Thanks everyone. She had an ultrasound yesterday and the unofficial result is that they're small and she won't need her gallbladder out. But she'll speak with the GP later. We're trying to look positively at the need for a low-fat diet, as we could both stand to lose (quite a bit of) weight! But it's still a bit scary, especially as I'm the main dinner preparer.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 16-Aug-16 09:05:31

For me the trigger was coffee. Not fat. I was screaming in agony. Took me a while to narrow it down to that as l wasn't a big coffee drinker. Doctor said he had encountered that with other people.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Tue 16-Aug-16 09:27:08

I lived on the following:

Cornflakes with skimmed milk
homemade chicken/vegetable soup with 1 slice of bread for lunch
stir fried (with spray oil only) chicken and veg with rice for tea

Cut out all caffeine

and most importantly, meringue is fat free (so I had a lot of strawberries meringue and fat free yoghurt as a treat) and so are marshmallows.

I was quite extreme though, any deviation from that ended up with a lot of pain.

Hopefully your wife will get the op asap flowers

Reiltin Tue 16-Aug-16 15:36:47

Update! She's being referred for a surgical consult. I'm completely thrown! We have 2 kids so I haven't been party to any discussions she's had with doctors - I've been on baby & toddler duty. It feels like going straight to removing an organ that has a job to do before trying non-surgical options is moving too fast. Did any of you try non-surgical options first? If you've had your gallbladder out, have you had any negative outcomes? Thanks smile

LadySpratt Tue 16-Aug-16 21:15:33

Getting a surgical referral is absolutely correct - ie the opinion of the surgeon is what you will receive from making (or confirming) a diagnosis to deciding with your wife and anyone who accompanies her what to do. What they will not do is make a decision on her behalf, or cart her off to the operating theatre kicking and screaming! Nor will they operate on the day of the outpatient appointment. You will also be told what job the gall bladder does so you can understand how the surgeon will come to a decision based on the evidence.
Of course ask whether there are any non-surgical approaches that you can try first, but be prepared to hear that they may not be in the best interest for someone who is fit enough to have an operation.
Do go into the appointment with an open mind, the surgeon is someone who will always put your wife's health first. smile

Wolpertinger Tue 16-Aug-16 21:25:15

If there are stones, and she has had an attack, the surgeons will recommend the gallbladder comes out. The gallbladder honestly doesn't do much that is useful and I don't miss mine at all. There aren't realistic non-surgical options.

You can't have no fat/low fat diet forever - it's soul destroying although it does avoid attacks and it was an amazing diet grin

Basically I lived on boiled potatoes, grilled fish and sugar snap peas until my op. Lunch was ham sandwiches, no spread + fruit. Breakfast was a nightmare - any dairy was a lottery as even low fat/fat free was a lottery as to whether it would kick off an attack.

So in summary - I lost loads of weight (which stayed off, woohoo!), it was bloody miserable, it was continually running the gauntlet as to whether I would be howling in agony from my gallbladder and having the surgery was the best thing I ever did.

hugoagogo Tue 16-Aug-16 21:32:37

Yeah whipping it out really is the only way forward anything else is just putting it off ime.

When I had my first attack, I just felt it hanging over me constantly until it was taken out, the prospect of agonising pain and possible emergency surgery/further stays in hospital were not something I fancied living with for longer than I had to.

I worried about practical stuff too, I had a bag packed and felt pressure to keep absolutely on top of everything such as food shopping washing and so on, school trips, making sure my knicker drawer was organised so dh could get things for me if I was in hospital- all sorts of stuff-very stressful.

I have to say low fat diet did me no good whatsoever and I never did isolate a trigger.

Surgery is no fun, but after a few weeks I was practically normal.

Wolpertinger Tue 16-Aug-16 21:37:57

I found quite a few people at work who had had surgery - mixed experiences, I was back to normal after about 10 days and flew to Germany after 4, do not do this under any circumstances! Only have an issue if I eat something really fatty blush Colleague had some problems after surgery, a few others took a bit longer to recover however we were all united in that we were delighted to have had it done, even the one who had had complications.

The blasted gallbladder needs to go.

jollo Wed 17-Aug-16 20:23:21

I had my 1st gallbladder attack when pregnant and the GP said I exactly fitted the profile of sufferer; female, fertile, fat! Haha. I suffered the most horrific debilitating attacks, 2 of which landed me in hospital, i had pancreatitis as a complication with a 50/50 mortality rate. I could never correlate any food/drink with an attack, they seemed so random! I didn't actually have it out til my daughter was 4 and it was a blessed relief! Can eat anything now.

DoreenLethal Wed 17-Aug-16 20:28:46

She had an ultrasound yesterday and the unofficial result is that they're small and she won't need her gallbladder out

My OH's one is the size of a golf ball and they won't touch it because unless he keeps going to A&E they just leave you be.

Reiltin Wed 17-Aug-16 21:33:03

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. Looks like we won't have a consultation until the end of September , and that's going private! (We're in Ireland.) although it's ages away, I'm already more relaxed, just having a bit of a timeline. Also, I went out for drinks last night with a friend and talked her ear off!

Chewbecca Sat 20-Aug-16 22:33:49

Late to the conversation but sounds like you're going to be in the situation for a while so worth adding to.

A close relative has gallbladder issues (it is horrendous), but has kept it at bay for around 10yrs by cutting out animal fats only. Olive & vegetable oils, oily fish etc, all don't cause problems, only fatty meat, butter, cheese, cream. A pretty normal diet can be had following this approach. Good luck!

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