Can You Eat Onions After Gallbladder Removal? – What Can Happen?

You went through tough times of gallbladder removal and now you want to live and eat normally, as you used to do.

That’s perfectly fine, but you may find it beneficial to adjust your diet.

I believe there are many questions around your head when it comes to diet – onions, coffee, milk potatoes, vegetables, broccoli – can you and most importantly, should you eat these guys?

Cholecystectomy Or Gallbladder Removal

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ of 4 inches positioned under your liver in the upper-right section of your abdomen.

gallbladder pain

The main function of this organ is to store biles – a combination of fluids, fat and cholesterol. These biles help break down fat from food in your intestine. Bile is delivered into the small intestine by the gallbladder. This facilitates the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals into circulation.

So your gallbladder may be removed if it becomes infected or develops stones.

How Gallbladder Removal Can Complicate Digestion?

Good question.

Well, without your gallbladder bile flows directly and feely into your small intestine and there they can’t break down food as effectively as they did in the gallbladder.

Should You Eat Onion After Removal?

Onions don’t contain fat but many carbohydrates that lead to gas and stomach distress. Also, they contain fiber and sulfur compounds that are beneficial for human health. So you shouldn’t completely give up on onions but take care with them after surgery:

After surgery, you should wait at least two weeks before consuming food high in fiber – and onions are like that. Eating onions just after removal may cause bleeding, influence on blood sugar levels and you can experience abdominal discomfort. However, after 2 weeks, you still shouldn’t consume too much onion and not too often.

After three months and more, then it’s pretty safe to eat onions but avoid fried onion rings even for longer.

cutting-onion on white countertop

Can You Eat Food Prepared On Oil And Onion?

The first weeks after surgery you should eat only light food, with no oil or very small amount so preparing food on cut onion just like you used to do it before is not a good idea. However, after a month, you can do it but avoid a lot of oil and too long onion frying. Just 1-3 minutes of frying before you add the vegetables, meat, or something else you want to cook will be enough. If you see the onion in the pan has a gold color, it’s too much fried.

Foods to Avoid After Gallbladder Removal?

Actually, there is no standard diet that people should follow after gallbladder removal. Generally, it’s best to avoid sugary, greasy, processed and fatty food.

  • Fatty Meats – Including beef, steak or high-fat cuts of red meat, pork, bacon, sausage, lamb, and lunch meats (bologna)
  • Dairy Products – These products can be hard for your body to digest, so avoid milk – especially whole, full-fat yogurt, full-fat cheese, lard, sour cream and whipped cream.
  • Processed Food – That food contains a lot of sugar and fat to last longer. So skip pie, cake, cookies, cinnamon rolls, sugary cereals, white bread, dishes cooked in vegetable or hydrogenated oils
  • Caffeine And Alcohol – You should avoid alcoholic drinks, energy drinks, tea, soda, chocolate, caffeine snacks, etc.

processed food
If you eat (or drink) some of the mentioned things, that won’t cause serious health issues but will lead to painful gas, bloating and diarrhea.

What you can and cannot eat after surgery depends on your situation.

Always listen to the doctor’s recommendations.

Bonus: More Diet Tips

Besides avoiding and incorporating some foods into your diet, there are more tips you can follow – Don’t start with solid food after surgery, eat small meals throughout the day, substitute basic ingredients in recipes, try to follow a vegetarian diet, and stay fit and positive.

What Foods To Eat After Surgery?

There is still a plethora of food you can and should eat after gallbladder removal. Feel free to include them in your diet.

  • High-fiber Foods – Fiber can improve digestion, but you should be careful with it. You shouldn’t overdo it after surgery, since fiber can also cause gas. Include beans, peas, oats, potatoes with skin, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables into your meals.
  • Nutrient-dense Fruits – Incorporate legumes, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, avocados, and blueberries into your diet.
  • Lean Meat (Or Meat Alternatives) – Opt for leaner meat such as chicken breast, turkey, salmon, herring or plant proteins like tofu and legumes.
  • Healthy-fat or Low-fat Food – Try to limit your intake of oil, but you can use avocado, olive or coconut oils.

eating healthy

More About Gallbladder Problem

You can recognize the gallbladder problem if you notice some of these symptoms:

  • Pain – This is the most common sign there is a problem. The pain can be mild and intermittent or quite severe and frequent. You can even feel the pain in your chest and back, but mostly, it occurs in the mid to upper section of your abdomen.
  • Vomiting/Nausea – If you have chronic gallbladder disease, you may experience acid reflux and gas.
  • Fever or Chills – Sign of infection that should be treated immediately.
  • Chronic Diarrhea – This refers to more than four bowel movements per day for at least three months.
  • Jaundice – It could be a sign of a block or stone in the common bile duct
  • Stool Abnormality – Refers to lighter-colored stool
  • Discolored Urine – Dark urine can be a sign of common bile duct

abdominal pain man

Causes Of Gallbladder Disease

The term gallbladder disease refers to any health problem that affects the gallbladder. The most common cause is gallstones (so-called cholelithiasis), but there is several causes. That includes gallbladder inflammation, gallbladder cancer, biliary dyskinesia, functional gallbladder disease and others.

Gallstones are crystals that form in your gallbladder as a result of too much cholesterol or bilirubin.

Risk Factors For Developing Gallstones

Of course, some people are at a higher risk of getting gallbladder disease. These factors are female gender, age older than 40, pregnancy, obesity, high-cholesterol diet, eating too many refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, underlying disease and others.

doctor and patient

Why Would I Need To Have My Gallbladder Removed?

You may have gallbladder removal surgery if your doctor discovers gallstones in your gallbladder. Fortunately, gallbladder removal surgery is safe, but feel free to ask your doctor about possible complications, recovery and after-surgery behavior.

To Wrap It Up

Unfortunately, living without a gallbladder can make you prone to some health problems, and the most common are digestive issues. But if you adopt some changes to your lifestyle, they will improve your recovery, your overall health and reduce the risks of future gallbladder-absence issues.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.