A family member had her gall bladder removed quite a few years ago and is going full paleo. She has had issues with (ahem) diarrhea when using cream or half and half. But here's the cool part: coconut oil doesn't have the same affect!
I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience with paleo diet hacks for those with NO gall bladder. Generally, these people struggle with food and have a hard time eating the amount of fat required on paleo.
If you have knowledge about gall bladder and paleo, please comment!
asked byMason (169)
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on April 13, 2012
at 12:49 AM
"Medium-chain triglycerides are processed differently. When we eat a fat containing MCTs, such as coconut oil, it travels through the stomach and into the small intestine. But since MCTs digest quickly, by the time they leave the stomach and enter the intestinal tract they are already broken down into individual fatty acids (MCFAs). Therefore, they do not need pancreatic enzymes or bile for digestion...Because coconut oil digests without the need of bile, those people who have had gallbladder surgery can consume this fat without fear. I have had people tell me they could only handle a very small amount of fat without it causing them discomfort, but they could eat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil at one time without problem."
on April 13, 2012
at 12:12 AM
It sounds more like a lactose issue than a fat issue. But you are correct that coconut oil is easier to digest. Coconut oil is MOSTLY made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) which do not require bile for digestion. Your liver still produces bile when you don't have a gallbladder. In fact I've heard of cases where the body tries to "make" a new gallbladder in the bile duct where it attempts to store concentrated bile. The problem with not having a ball bladder is you don't have concentrated bile for digesting fats. But you still have the less concentrated fat from the liver. It's not the most efficient way of digesting fats. Its best to supplement with bile salts and to only eat healthy fats. But I still think your friend is having lactose issues. That's my best guess.
on April 12, 2012
at 10:34 PM
I've been minus a gall bladder for about 10 years now and the only gastro problems I've ever had were before I went paleo. I have no problems eating any types of fat and I use cream in my coffee with no issues too. I think this may be a very individual issue though I know other people without gall bladders who do not have any issues eating a paleo/primal diet.
on April 16, 2018
at 09:39 PM
Had my gallbladder out 20 years ago, started having problems w/ irritable bowel syndrome w explosive diarrhea, preceded by extreme pain starting 4 years later and continuing off and on up to present (sorry for the TMI, but it applies to the OP's question, I think). Haven't been able to pin down the precise triggers, fat isn't always a problem. But to coconut oil: I know this thread is old, but people continue to find and start low carb, high fat diets for which coconut oil is very useful and I'm no exception. My experience starting coconut oil 3 days ago: Took approx. 1 tablespoon per day, well-mixed into a drink of chicken broth (very tasty, by the way) for first 2 days. I say approximately, because I was using a kitchen tablespoon and eyeballing the oil dose. Day 3: upped dose to (a measured) 2 Tbsp in broth. Must be past my tolerance because no pain or pressure, but diarrhea kicked in w/in 1 hour and lasted intermittently for about 14 hours to include night leakage while asleep. haven't given up on coconut oil, but will drop back down to 1 Tbsp and make increases in smaller amounts over greater spans of time (like, say a week).
on October 03, 2013
at 05:55 AM
Can people without a gall bladder drink coconut milk? I was getting fed up with water and green tea either with or without lemon, so I am going to try coconut milk for a change and just wondered if there were any huge differences I may encounter like chronic diahorrea? Has anyone suffered as a result of consuming coconut milk with no gall bladder?