No gallbladder, no problem?


| 6 Comments

Last summer may have been one of the worst summers of my life thanks to an organ I really knew nothing about: my gallbladder.  I started to realize something was wrong when I literally gained ten pounds in one day and lost it the next morning.  As soon as I would eat something I would look six months pregnant, and no, I am not exaggerating. I would be sick all day, to feeling fine the next. I had test after test after test and no one could figure out what was wrong with me.  They told me I had irritable bowel syndrome (gross, I know) and I continued to tell them I know that's not the problem. I had yet another test done before I left for Mexico and when I returned we went to see the results. The doctor told me my gallbladder basically wasn't working and needed to be removed in two days. I was relieved to know that I wasn't crazy, but was instantly worried because I was moving into school that Saturday.  I ended up going to school a week later than everyone else because the pain after the surgery was unbearable. I kept thinking "Is this pain really worth it?" Over a year later I still find myself asking this question. Yes, my stomach is much better than before, but I still have to take medicine every night so my stomach sort of functions like a normal person.

According to liverdoctor.com, 750,000 American get their gallbladder removed each year.  This honestly surprised me because I feel like I am the only without a gallbladder sometimes and that people don't understand the problems that come with it. After researching multiple sites I am not the only one and the main problem without having a gallbladder is that there is no where to store all the food you just ate. So when girls say "I have a food baby," they may be exaggerating, but I'm not. I literally have a stomach that looks like a food baby!

 bloating.jpg

Everydayhealth.com says "gallbladder removal-related digestive symptoms usually go away over time, but that some people need to take medications or make lifestyle changes to help manage their symptoms." It also suggests adopting a low-fat diet, avoid eating fatty foods (which I have a problem doing), eat small, frequent meals, and avoid eating a very large dinner after fasting all day. This article also has foods to avoid after surgery.

If you ask me, I am happier and healthier without my gallbladder, but I still have a constant battle with what foods are going to make me sick. My stand is get it removed only if you have to! Plus, I am left with  little scars on my stomach that are shown every time I rock a crop top. (ugh!)

 

6 Comments

Brianna,

I am sorry to hear that you have gone through this. I have heard of people getting their gallbladder removed but never thought much of it. Now I know how difficult it can be and how impactful it must be for you to have gone through this. Something tells me more people have gone through this than you think, but aren't as open about talking about it. I can somewhat relate to how you feel, but in a different way. I had jaw surgery over the summer to correct an underbite and it was awful. I thought I was the only one that went through this type of surgery but in reality, quite a few people have gone through the same thing. The thing about life is that everyone has their own types of problems that they may deal with. Hope you overcome this and just remember that your almost always better off than most people.

I am in complete agreement with the first comment posted. I think it's great that you are so open about a health issue you had. I bet it was helpful to find out that what you went through isn't so rare and people are able to have an improved quality of life without their gallbladders. You said that after your surgery, despite experiencing some physical discomfort and distress over the appearance of scars, you're happier and healthier. That's so great to hear. I wouldn't fret over the appearance of scarring because your physical well-being is the ultimate priority. So, I say rock the crop top and let the haters scoff in jealousy. One of the many events in your life that makes you a novelty is marked on your skin. While scars might be universally known to be aesthetically unappealing, I view them as signs of strength and individuality and the person bold enough to bare them as an inspiration.

This is crazy that this has happened to you. It must be so frusturating to have a problem and not be able to have it diagnosed. I also did not know it was possible to live without your gull bladder. You are very lucky that you recieved the results before you left for mexico. Do not worry about the scar, worry about how good you look and how much better it is then before. Do you have a certain diet now? Good luck on everything!

This is crazy that this has happened to you. It must be so frusturating to have a problem and not be able to have it diagnosed. I also did not know it was possible to live without your gull bladder. You are very lucky that you recieved the results before you left for mexico. Do not worry about the scar, worry about how good you look and how much better it is then before. Do you have a certain diet now? Good luck on everything!

Wow your poor thing! This is like every girls worst nightmare, and I couldn't imagine how you dealt with this. One thing that really interested me was that humans can live a normal life, without such a vital organ. It's awesome that science today has created drugs to help substitute such major parts of the body. As unique as this article is, something that most girls can relate to is the "food baby." Every girl has those days where they feel especially bloated, or ate way too much and they feel pregnant. There is usually an easy fix such as anti bloat medication, but I couldn't imagine being in your place. Below is an article written by Krisha McCoy, and she talks about living life without a gallbladder that you may find interesting. Check it out!

http://www.everydayhealth.com/gallbladder/living-without-a-gallbladder.aspx

It is so amazing and overwhelming that you guys all commented on this! Thank you! Basically I hate talking about my surgery but I figured it's definitely science related and if it can help anyone I will talk about. Michelle, I totally still rock my crop top and luckily my one scar is covered by my belly button ring. Karly, I probably should be on a certain diet but I love food! It's so bad. But really greasy foods do still make me sick and my favorite food cheese also makes me sick. Basically anything fattening can still make me sick, especially alcohol. My hangover is unlike any other and it sucks! And Paige, I'm glad you and other girls related to the food "food baby" and it definitely is embarrassing like looking like you have a baby so I just have to moderate what I eat! Super small portions throughout the day.

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