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Why Does Removing the Gallbladder Make You Fat

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 10/13/2023

Weight gain after gallbladder removal surgery is a common concern. Without a gallbladder, the digestive system cannot store concentrated bile, which can lead to various health issues and weight gain.

Let's explore the importance of bile and how gallbladder removal can cause weight gain due to an imbalanced intestinal microflora and insulin resistance.

Learn how purified bile salts can help restore normal digestive function after gallbladder removal and promote hormonal balance.

The Importance of Bile

Bile is an essential digestive fluid secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It performs a variety of critical bodily functions.

Bile aids digestion, particularly fat absorption, helps convert thyroid hormones, regulates blood sugar levels, supports gut microbiome health, and acts as a lubricant for waste elimination.

Digestion and Absorption of Fats

Bile breaks down fats into smaller particles that our intestines can easily absorb. This promotes healthy fat digestion and aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Bile converts inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into active form (T3). Thyroid hormones regulate almost every aspect of energy-making processes and determine the basal metabolic rate, a crucial element of weight management.

Regulating Blood Sugar Levels

  • Insulin Sensitivity: Bile acids improve insulin sensitivity, regulating blood sugar levels more effectively. Loss of insulin sensitivity is a major cause of metabolic imbalances and weight gain.

  • Gut Microbiome Health: Bile supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that maintain healthy blood sugar levels and are linked to a healthy body weight.

Supports Regular Bowel Movements and Waste Elimination

Bile promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. This helps digestion processes and supports healthy weight management.

How Gallbladder Removal Can Lead to Weight Gain

Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, can cause weight gain due to the lack of concentrated bile for essential bodily functions.

Without enough bile, converting inactive thyroid hormones into active ones becomes less efficient, leading to a slower metabolism and difficulty burning calories.

Lack of concentrated bile can also impair the ability of cells to take up glucose, causing raised blood sugar levels, which trigger fat storage and weight gain.

Bile also helps maintain a balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut, and reduced bile production can lead to dysbiosis, which has been linked to obesity, inflammation, and poor nutrient absorption.

Consequences of Bile Deficiency

Post-gallbladder removal and inadequate bile production can cause constipation, bloating, and fatty liver, all contributing to weight gain.


Bile is a natural lubricant for the digestive system, ensuring the smooth passage of waste materials through the intestines.

Constipation can occur without adequate bile, leading to discomfort and difficulty passing stool, which may result in additional weight gain due to retained fecal matter.


Insufficient bile release can lead to improper breakdown and absorption of fats during digestion, causing bloating, gas formation, and abdominal pain.

Here are two steps you can take to reduce bloating:

  • Avoid excessive carbonated beverages or chewing gum, as these can trap air inside your stomach, causing bloats.

  • Incorporate plenty of fiber-rich vegetables into your diet.

Fatty Liver

Insufficient bile production can increase the likelihood of fatty liver, which can cause inflammation and impaired liver function linked to weight gain.

  1. Opt for a diet rich in healthy fats while limiting processed foods, sugars, and carbs.

  2. Exercise regularly - aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or swimming laps.

  3. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which could strain your already compromised digestive.

  4. Intermittent fasting is an excellent choice to support liver health and reduce fatty liver.

Taking Purified Bile Salts After Gallbladder Removal

Don't let gallbladder removal surgery weigh you down - supplementing with purified bile salts can help restore normal digestive function, increase bile production, and promote healthy weight management.

Supplementing with purified bile salts like TUDCA can help break down fats and alleviate common side effects associated with gallbladder surgery, such as bloating and indigestion, while also aiding in converting inactive thyroid hormones into their active form to support a faster metabolism and weight loss.

Word hormones on wooden cubes

Promote Hormonal Balance with Purified Bile Salts

  • Thyroid hormones: Purified bile salts aid in converting inactive thyroid hormones into their active form, supporting a faster metabolism and weight loss.

  • Insulin sensitivity: Bile regulates blood sugar levels, and supplementing with purified bile salts can reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Gut microbiome health: Concentrated bile promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which is essential for overall health and successful weight maintenance.


Gallbladder removal surgery can slow metabolism, cause insulin resistance, and disrupt gut health, leading to weight gain, constipation, bloating, and fatty liver disease.

However, taking purified bile salts and making beneficial dietary changes like the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting can help manage weight gain and promote hormonal balance after gallbladder removal.


1. Why am I gaining weight after gallbladder removal?

Weight gain after gallbladder removal surgery may be due to slowed metabolism, insulin resistance, imbalanced gut microbiome, constipation, bloating, and poor fat digestion.

Supplementing with purified bile salts can help restore normal digestive function and support healthy weight management.

2. Can gallbladder issues cause weight gain?

Yes, gallbladder issues can contribute to weight gain by causing disruptions in the digestion of fats and absorption of essential nutrients.

Addressing these problems through dietary changes and supplementing with bile salts is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight and overall well-being.

3. What are the metabolic issues after gallbladder removal?

  • Slowed metabolism from disrupted thyroid hormone conversion.

  • Lack of cellular insulin response can increase blood sugar levels, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome.

  • Fatty liver risk increases due to a lack of adequate bile supply.

4. Does gallbladder removal affect fat digestion?

Gallbladder removal affects fat digestion by reducing bile release and impairs dietary fats' breakdown and absorption, leading to digestive symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.

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