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Gall Bladder and Pregnancy
August 2003

Q. I am 32 and had my gall bladder removed 4 years ago following my third pregnancy. Following surgery I felt great and had no diarrhea or other common symptoms. Last December, however, I got pregnant again and immediately started having severe gas, bloating, and diarrhea. I was told the hormonal changes in my body were making it difficult for me to digest certain foods and that I should go on a low fat diet and take digestive enzymes.

These seemed to help somewhat, but I ended up miscarrying at 10 weeks. I am now 8 weeks pregnant again and experiencing similar symptoms. I have tried to reduce fat and to take the digestive enzymes, but nothing seems to bring full relief. I am stressed that my dietary problems led to my previous miscarriage.

I can't seem to find anything online. Do you have any information on pregnancy after gall bladder removal?

A. The gallbladder is a digestive organ whose job is to store bile produced by the liver. The bile is secreted into the intestine to help absorb fats and other dietary components. Alterations in the chemical makeup of the bile can result in stones which block this release of bile, leading to cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder.

Recurrent episodes usually lead to gallbladder removal. A certain percentage of patients experience digestive difficulties after gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy). The most common symptom is diarrhea; the cause is not entirely clear but may be due to excess bile entering the intestine. Certain medications may be helpful, but dietary changes alone may not help the situation.

I have not found any published medical reports that cholecystectomy itself interferes with subsequent healthy pregnancies.

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/gallstns/
gallstns.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000273.htm

http://www.gastro.org/public/brochures/gallstones.html

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