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No More Alcohol After Cholecystectomy? (Page 1)

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Hello all,

i had my gall bladder removed over a week ago. The surgeon said there was no need to change my diet or habits after surgery. Most of us know that's a load of bunkum, but...A co-worker's doctor told her that she should no longer drink any alcohol because the liver partially adapts to help take the place of the gall bladder. Anyone else heard this? I'd rather give up wine and have a healthy liver for the rest of my life, but i'm just wondering how much truth there is to this.
First Helper Get589healthy
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replied February 4th, 2006
I had my gallbladder removed in nov of 05 and I have had a few drinks since then, my dr told me to not drink for at least 2 weeks but I waited longer and still do not drink much or often but, I enjoyed a drink at a christmas party and on new years.. But nothing more than a drink or 2.. No ill effects from it...

Now greasy and fatty foods are a totally doffrent story..
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replied February 5th, 2006
I had gallbladder surgery in april of 05. I have not had to change my diet at all. Nor was I told I could not drink alcohol. I have a glass of wine a few nights a week with dinner, no problem.
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replied February 6th, 2006
Hi there. Thanks for the replies. :-)

i was really thinking of long-term effects, not immediate. I'm not worried so much that i'll feel sick from a couple glasses of wine, but that my liver will be taxed more than it should over the course of my life from occasional drinking.
My co-worker's doctor told her that the liver takes over part of the gall bladder's function when it's removed, and that she should not drink at all (she was also just an occasional drinker, like myself). I can't find anything about the gall bladder/liver relationship on the internet. I was just wondering if anyone else had heard anything like that from their doctor. If this is true, i'd rather give up drinking altogether and have a healthy liver. I'm only 30, and wouldn't want to develop liver problems all because I didn't stop drinking wine with dinner, you know?

I don't drink a lot, but I suppose I could just play it safe and stay away from alcohol.

Just wondering if anyone else had been advised not to drink, since my doctor didn't mention it. Your liver's health is nothing to play with!
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replied June 9th, 2011
Alcohol after surgery
I have found several articles stating that bile has to collect somewhere, and that place is the liver. Some people can adapt well with proper diet. Moderate drinking shouldn't hurt, but again, everyone is different. I enjoy alcohol on occasion, and have never had a problem. Now, even a slight drink causes nausea, and more than one drink causes severe pain in the areas of my liver and stomach, and severe diarrhea and vomiting, with nausea and stomach pain lasting sometimes for days. I thought I had food poisoning each time and did not connect it to the alcohol and my gall bladder removal until I researched it. Have an appointment to see my doctor and will pass it by him to verify, but I plan on giving up the alcohol.
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replied July 31st, 2011
Experienced User
I know this message is a little old, but though it was worth correcting some of the misinformation. The bile doesn't collect anywhere. It passes straight down the bile duct and into the intestine. When a gallbladder is present, the bile passes into it, and is then squeezed out as and when it is needed to digest (mostly fatty) food. If the bile was collecting in your liver you would get jaundice and quickly become quite ill. Your liver should not notice the difference either way.

Symptoms of nausea, diarhoea, etc. following gallbladder removal are thought to be partially due to the presence of bile in the gut when there is no food to digest, possibly due to inadequate quantities of bile when very rich food is eaten, but also to conditions such as retained stones in the bile duct.
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replied February 14th, 2012
The only problem is from the carbs/ sugar alcohol has. The liver is only trickling down bile, so if you have a large amount of alcohol it will Definately give you stomach cramping and diarrhea. The liver is the filter system for alcohol that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. The only relation between the gallbladder and liver is the amount of bile now available to break down foods. Overall, there are no long term effects on the liver itself because if you have alcohol the intestines won't be able to digest it. It will all be excreted in diarrhea and vomiting.
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replied February 7th, 2006
I just had my gallbladder out less than two weeks ago, and no one said anything about not drinking, or even limiting alcohol intake. I've never heard of this before.
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replied February 8th, 2006
Your liver is the one who makes-- all-- the bile to begin with. Your gallbladder is just for extra storage. Without the gb the liver just constantly drips into your upper intestine. I've never heard of what this dr told your friend. Sounds more like his own personal opinion on drinking, then documented scientific fact. But with like everything, moderation is key.
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replied July 16th, 2009
No more drinks ;(
I am a 29 female and had my gallbladder out almost 6 months ago. I used to be able to drink the guys under the table. Now I am lucky to have up to 3 drinks and suffer a whole day after with sever sickeness. So, everyone is different but knowing my Austrian herritage, something changed for sure.
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replied November 19th, 2011
oh my god, yes. I use to be able to drink a lot.. all night. ever since the surgery no matter what amount or what i'm drinking... I'm throwing up for hours the next day. ):
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replied October 8th, 2009
gallbladder removal problems
Hello,
I too had my gb removed about 1 month ago. They didn't say anything about drinking alcohol, but I have been experimenting and getting pretty bad stomach aches afterwards. It is true that your liver is doing more work with the bile because the gb is missing. I'm trying wine on occassion, and I still have stomach trouble. I'm just not sure about drinking yet....hope someone else can shed some light.
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replied December 7th, 2009
No more alcohol for me
I had my gallbladder removed about 9 yrs ago, and I too can no longer drink alcohol without serious consequences. I have been sick for up to a week as a result of drinking alcohol. My doctor recently recommended that I refrain from drinking any alcohol. Had I known this and the other side affects would have been so severe from having my gall bladder removed, I might have reconsidered the surgery all togehter. As a side note, I'm not a heavy drinker, and would consider myself a social drinker.
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replied December 30th, 2009
Okay, I'm probably a weird case because I had mine removed at the age of 5 (now 29) not because of gallstones but because I was involved in an accident which was fatal to everyone else; i.e. blunt addominal trauma and my gallbladder burst. I do however have a totally normal diet and I'm pretty fit. Okay, a year after the event, when I was still a child I had more episodes of diarhea that it's normal but that was that and it got resolved. I guess if alcohol really disagrees with you, even in moderation, your body will tell you. Incidentally, my liver was damaged as well but very mildly, so much so that although they had opened me up they decided to treat it non-surgically. I guess I was lucky! My wife and I normally have a glass or wine with most meals but are not really heavy drinkers. Not sure if this helps! I was only looking at this site because my father in law is considering a cholecystectomy right now.
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replied January 12th, 2010
Gallbladder removal and alcohol consumption..
I had my gall bladder removed 3 years ago now, i initially had no problems with the intake of fatty foods or alcohol, but I have recently developed an intolerance which I think must be related to the removal of my gall bladder. Sometimes the morning after drinking (even without having been drunk!) I will vomit continuously for an entire day...otherwise I get a blasting headache which lasts a couple of days. I'm a young, sociable girl who enjoys a night out with friends...but in the future I think I'll have to stick to non alcoholic cocktails!! I havent yet asked my g.p but I can't see any other logical connection for these exaggerated effects...
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replied January 12th, 2010
Re: Gallbladder removal and alcohol consumption..
RE:
lol83 wrote:
I had my gall bladder removed 3 years ago now, i initially had no problems with the intake of fatty foods or alcohol, but I have recently developed an intolerance which I think must be related to the removal of my gall bladder. Sometimes the morning after drinking (even without having been drunk!) I will vomit continuously for an entire day...otherwise I get a blasting headache which lasts a couple of days. I'm a young, sociable girl who enjoys a night out with friends...but in the future I think I'll have to stick to non alcoholic cocktails!! I havent yet asked my g.p but I can't see any other logical connection for these exaggerated effects...


I have been doing my own experimenting, as my doctors cannot explain a connection between my post alcohol drinking symptoms and what is known about post gallbladder surgery issues (if that makes any sense)... And I basically take two chewable immodiums before drinking any alcohol and another after with some ibuprofen... and this has helped tremendously. (I try to limit my drinks to no more than 2). I too enjoy an occasional cocktail or two, and have felt somewhat deprived. Please note this is not medical advice as I am not a doctor, but thought I would share what has helped me. Good luck!
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replied April 27th, 2010
Hello all, I too have had my gall bladder removed 10 years ago and have since developed an intolerance to alcohol. My own theory (since the doctors are clueless!!) is that when you consume alcohol your liver works extra hard to process the sugars in the alcohol and in turn produces more bile. Since we don''t have a gall bladder to store the bile we wake up and throw it up, and up, and up..... I own a bar (sad isn''t it!) and can''t even drink at my own bar for fear of the following day. 3 drinks/beers is where I draw the line. I will throw up over a half dozen times with yellowish bile! Can''t eat, can''t drink anything. Water even comes back up. Until the body has properly processed all the alcohol, which takes approximately 24hrs, I continue to feel awful.
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replied March 27th, 2011
ozzie66, I have been having this problem and finally decided it had to have something to do with my gb removal. I have almost NO tolerance for certain alcohols (especially gin) and the sickness lasts a LONG time. I have read several posts and threads and, like you said, doctors seem to be clueless. Your theory, however, seems the most logical I've seen and confuses me as to why the doctors wouldn't recognize it. Thank you. I'm sure you're right. I think the answer is limitation and finding an alcohol that is easier on you.
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replied April 22nd, 2012
Wow! SO glad I came across this topic. I had my gb out Dec 2010. Having trouble with fatty foods and alcohol, which is probably more of a good thing in the end! Still have to see a doc about this, but I had the same theory, and had only recently put the two together. I couldnt put my finger on how all of a sudden my "hangovers" were so terrible even after only a few beers and no hard stuff. I'm not one to go out very often at all in the first place, but hangovers were only so bad if I had really tied one on. The odd thing is, it seems to be a hit and miss thing, but I'd sooner live without the alcohol than live with the "gb hangover".
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replied July 21st, 2010
Gallbladder and alcohol
Well, here's my 2 cents... I had my gallbladder out in 02. I was a raging alcoholic at the time. Around that time I contracted Hep C, but didn't know so I continued to be a raging alcoholic. Right now, I will still have a beer or two once in awhile and my liver enzymes are only slightly elevated. Now this is in a period of only about 9 years. I'll probably be dead in 20 but I doubt it will have anything to do with my gallbladder! I would never regreat that surgery, it was night and day, I woke up from that surgery pain free for the first time in years!
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replied August 2nd, 2010
I am so pleased to see I am not the only one suffering adverse side effects after my gall bladder removal! I had mine removed 8 weeks ago and I went out a couple of weeks ago, I didn't drink much at all by my old standards - I had 2 pints of cider and 2 single vodkas, then had 3 pints of water in the club we ended up in as I was not feeling the need for more alcohol and had a wedding cake to fininsh the next day. Well I woke up with the worst hangover of my life!!! I could not move or function at all, I would not have minded if I had really gone for it and not had the water but I had taken precautionary measures and ended up completely floored for the day. The following weekend I went out and had 3 dbl vodkas (i used to have 5 or 6 dbls and feel fine the next day as Vodka was always the drink I had if I didn't want a hangover) with coke and ate a huge plate of pasta before I went out and then water when back. Again I awoke with a horrible banging headache and felt nauseous all day.
I could not understand what the problem was until I mentioned it to my friend and she asked if it could be to do with my gallbladder op.
Looking on here has indicated that it looks like that is the case - very annoying as no warning was given of this. I never drink a lot, hardly ever at home, but I do enjoy a few drinks when I go out, if I am going to suffer like this the next day then no more alcohol fun for me ever again Sad
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replied June 5th, 2011
galbldder
i had my galbldder out 18mths ago,i like going out on a saturday night,yes i get sick on alcohol,but ive tried having sometime to eat like a chinese 2 hrs b4 i go out take 2 cocodamal and i was fine no sickness and fine in the morning.ive done this for weeks now and fine,i didnt do this last night to prove a point and i was ill early hrs this morning.just trying to get right by drinking semi skimmed milk.ice cold.thanks guys.
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replied July 29th, 2011
im about to have my gb removed. i go to a huge party school, so i do drink. im worried i might not be able to go out like im used to. i might try this trick... what exactly are cocodamal and can i get it without a prescription?
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replied July 31st, 2011
Experienced User
Co-codamol is a combination of paracetamol and codeine. It is a fairly powerful painkiller, but with significant side effects. Mixing with alcohol is not recommended, but I'm guessing if your main priority is just getting off your head this won't bother you.

Please at least have the op and wait a few weeks to let your digestive tract adapt to the changes before you see how much pain you can heap on your already stressed live. More likely than not you will not have any trouble at all after the first few weeks. Remember that a disproportionate number of the posts on here are from people with problems rather than the majority who have their gallbladder out and are able to get on with their lives in good health.
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replied January 16th, 2012
I had my gallbladder ou nearly 20 years ago, but from time to time depending on what I eat I still get pain on my right side underneath my ribs. Also several foods give me diahree. This happens especially when I eat eggs. And I can't take some strong painkillers because a couple of times when I did I had a dull tight ache through my upper body and my chest and I thought I was having a heart attack. I have had these experiences a couple of times. However I don't take painkillers very often.
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replied June 8th, 2011
I had my GB/stones out just 2 days ago, so thought I would just pop on here to see if there was any good hints and tips for me. But one thing I notced more than anything that all the posts I read talked about the intolerance to drinking alcohol POST GB surgery!
For 2 years I have been having all those symptoms you all mentioned just after a min of 1 drink, sometimes the max of 4.
It became very irritating when my friends thought I was using it as a)excuse not to go out or b) they said I had more drinks than that, lost count and it was simply a hangover.
So when I was diagnosed with GB probs it all seemed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
So I was kinda hoping having had those symptoms pre op, and now having the op, I would be sort of cured and alcohol wouldl no longer give me a big problem on just a few drinks!! OH NO BIG MISTAKE on my part after reading all your posts. So now I am in same boat as before, but this time I a)know the reason why and b) have to be more careful as my liver is now more susceptible due to no GB!! Arghhh!!!!!!
But my questions are;
1) to those of you who said you have got an alcohol intolerance after Gallbladder op, did you not have these symptoms BEFORE the OP?
Question no 2) - will I ever be able to have about 4 drinks again and be ok?
Question no 3) What ( non alcoholic) drinks now are best for me to have at home in my post op healing process?
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replied December 19th, 2011
Wow!
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replied January 23rd, 2012
I had gallbladder surgery 2 weeks ago & I have already drank alcohol with no problem at all.. Please don't listen to these posts everyone's body is different
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replied March 25th, 2012
I'm not sure if my situation pertains to anyone's here but mine is different too. I had my gallbladder removed almost a year ago because I was throwing up and couldn't keep anything down. It turned out a gallstone got lodged in my pancreas causing pancreatitis. The pancreas breaks down fatty foods and lots of people who drink get pancreatitis. I was an occasional drinker and was told that I couldn't drink anymore. Maybe its not your livers that are the problems but your pacreas. I also can't eat fatty food...I'm on a strict low fat diet and no greasy foods. I hope this helps.
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replied March 25th, 2012
I'm not sure if my situation pertains to anyone's here but mine is different too. I had my gallbladder removed almost a year ago because I was throwing up and couldn't keep anything down. It turned out a gallstone got lodged in my pancreas causing pancreatitis. The pancreas breaks down fatty foods and lots of people who drink get pancreatitis. I was an occasional drinker and was told that I couldn't drink anymore. Maybe its not your livers that are the problems but your pacreas. I also can't eat fatty food...I'm on a strict low fat diet and no greasy foods. I hope this helps.
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replied March 26th, 2012
Experienced User
The pancreas is not responsible for digesting fat. It produces primarily proteases which break down protein, but also insulin and other hormones that regulate the intestines and stomach. Fat is digested by bile produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder (if you have one) and the rest of the bile duct system.

The pancreas can be damaged by alcohol and about three quarters of chronic pancreatitis is in people who abuse alcohol. Acute pancreatitis is different and can be caused by the ducts from the pancreas being blocked by a gallstone. This is quite rare because only a short section of duct is shared with the liver and it is quite wide. Most stones that pass that far will then pass out into the intestine. Alcohol can also cause acute pancreatitis attacks very similar to those caused by a gallstone blockage, usually by the muscles at the end of the bile duct being damaged and becoming locked closed.

If the pancreas has been damaged by acute pancreatitis then it will be more sensitive to further damage from alcohol. Doctors can sometimes be overly broad in their advice, taking the approach that there is little harm in not drinking at all and potentially lots of harm in drinking too much. The no-drinking message is easier than trying to get across the message of just how much is acceptable, especially given that people have notoriously poor memories for advice that they'd like to ignore. Of course if there is pancreas damage as the result of alcohol, which is really not that rare, then more alcohol is definitely a no-no.

In short, it is not standard practice to recommend abstinence following gallbladder removal but alcohol can be one of the things that some people no longer tolerate well. Even after acute pancreatitis (caused by gallstones), there is no general rule to avoid alcohol for the rest of your life but you will almost certainly be told to abstain until your pancreas recovers which may be several months.
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replied August 3rd, 2010
Gall Bladder Surgery and Alcohol
I had my GB out 5 months ago but I have to assume it was failing for years before that. The doctors really don't know that much about post surgery diet, I got very little information. Like most of you it is trial and error for me. Anyway the last couple years any alcohol consumption gives me an immediate horrible headache, within an hour, not a hangover. Anyone else have this problem.
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replied August 5th, 2010
I had my gallbladder out in Nov. 09, and only realized I had a huge problem when I went out of town for my batchelorette weekend in Oct. My friends and I went out and I had maybe 5 or 6 drinks/shots total. I wasn't DRUNK, but I was certainly feeling good! I woke up in the middle of the night insanely nauseous and FREEZING COLD. I had a horrible case of the shivers - my entire body was shaking, and didn't stop for hours!! Nothing could warm me up! The whole next day I was very cold (eventually the shaking did subside) and nauseous. Finally went to the doctor, and three weeks later, they took out my gallbladder.

Since then, I can have one beer and be fine (but feel like I was hit by a semi truck the next morning), and up to about 3 glasses of wine with NO side effects. Anything else, and it's a repeat of that weekend all over again!

In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm shivering like crazy, and have been for the last 2.5 hours! Instead of vomiting, though, my body tends to turn it into diarrhea (plus for me b/c I'm horribly afraid of vomit), and I've been experiencing that along with the shivers.

I KNEW it was somehow related to my gallbladder removal because I've NEVER had a problem with alcohol, and tonight I drank two vodka & redbulls (ended up only using one can of redbull - they were small drinks), and I feel like crap after drinking just about anything!!

As far as food goes, right after my surgery, I hardly had any problems eating anything - spicy, greasy, healthy, it all was fine. Lately, though, it doesn't matter what it is, but the first thing I eat EVERY DAY goes right through me!! It's really quite annoying!!

Good luck to everyone...hopefully no one has to deal with the crazy shivers like I do!!!
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Users who thank purekaos26 for this post: freckledturtle 

replied September 7th, 2010
Drinking alcohol post gallbladder removal
I had my GB out 4 weeks ago and I'm very afraid of drinking again. Before surgery i could enjoy a large glass of red but because of my fear of vomiting I've never been drunk. Now after reading these posts I'm petrified and would be gutted if I had to give up my lovely wine. I'm only 40, too young to live like a nun.
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replied November 20th, 2010
gb removal surgery...... drinking
i'm a 23 year old female. had my gb taken out oct 29 of this year. and it has ben 3 wks or so. nov29 will be 1 month. i used to drink before surgery, i was nervous, but i tried vodka and pepsi, had to be careful with it. i hurt a little after drinking some of it. kind of quezzy for a few min, and had a slight headache. kind of feel a little pain, but the nurse told me that u can drink moderately the first time. everybody adapts to it differently, i have been sayin that i am not gonna drink anymore, but i always find myself buying a half a pint. and drinking some. just have to be careful u know.
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replied March 11th, 2012
Gallbladder problems
I am 54 and had surgery 2 years ago after 2 years of unbelievable pain, sickness etc. I still experience some pain/heartburn and have learned to avoid foods and liquids that cause this e.g. milk, pasta. Alcohol does not cause me any discomfort but it does not get broken down due to no gallbladder excretions. If I have one drink, I feel as if I have had 2 or 3 and go straight from sober to feeling as if I have a hangover. Granted, I did have pancreatitis, liver disfunction and a collapsed gall bladder. However, if I am having to avoid some foods, I see no sense in putting alcohol into my system on a regular basis. I have, maybe a couple of weak drinks once a week maximum, but I'd rather do without than make myself feel sick and have a headache.
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replied November 23rd, 2010
Everyone is different and their bodies will act differently.
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