Suggestions for a Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS) remedy

Whew, that title is a mouthful!

Years ago–more years than I care to count–I had my gallbladder removed. I had gotten gallstones as a side-effect of birth control pills. I had no idea why every month I would get an attack of crippling, writhe-in-agony pain, until it finally landed me in the emergency room. The ER doc was a woman, and I suspect I was fortunate in that regard because I rather doubt a male doctor would have made the connection between The Pill and The Pain, gallstones being one of the rarer side effects. Anyway, I was told my gallbladder would have to come out, and I obediently went along with the plan.

I wish I had known then what I know now.

Having my gallbladder removed (the surgery is called a cholecystectomy) was probably a huge mistake (taking The Pill definitely was) and has almost certainly led to numerous digestive and abdominal complications for me. Collectively, these are known as Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS). Sometimes PCS is caused by stones in the bile duct of the liver, or by scar tissue from the surgery, or by the constant drip-drip-drip (and occasional gush) of bile into the small intestine, but it all boils down to problems resulting from there not being a gallbladder to store, concentrate, and control the release of bile.

RIP, gallbladder. (Courtesy I Heart Guts.)

RIP, my gallbladder. (Courtesy I Heart Guts.)

Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS)

According to Wikipedia, anywhere from 5% to 40% of post-cholecystectomy victims patients suffer from PCS. I’m sure that readers do not particularly want to read a detailed exposition of the workings of my internal organs, but I know from my internet trolling that there are many people out there looking for help with PCS symptoms. Generally, symptoms include:

  • pain in the upper and/or lower abdomen, especially the upper right quadrant
  • flatulence
  • intestinal gurgles (borborygmia)
  • diarrhea
  • gastritis
  • esophagitis
  • nausea
  • abdominal bloating
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • jaundice

Wow, that’s quite a symptom list, isn’t it? Hey, while we’re at this, let’s review what the symptoms of gallstones are (note that many people have gallstones without ever having symptoms):

  • pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • jaundice
  • in severe cases, pancreatitis or cholecystitis (the GB gets clogged with stones and then infection sets in)

Most of the symptoms of gallstones (the most common reason for a cholecystectomy) are also symptoms of PCS. And we know that PCS is caused by not having a gallbladder.

That means you can have the same symptoms with or without a gallbladder.

So, logically, this would suggest that removal of the gallbladder is not necessarily a great treatment for gallstones with pain, because there is likely to still be pain, nausea, etc. sans gallbladder. (I should mention that the pain from gallstones is beyond-description horrible. I knew a lady who said giving birth to twins was nothing in comparison. Certainly I have never known anything that comes close, except passing a kidney stone, but that wasn’t as bad. The pain I have now is at least bearable. But if I could have found a way of reducing that pain without surgery I would have preferred that. And the digestive upsets I experience now are far worse than what I had with a malfunctioning gallbladder.)

Another way of looking at this is to say that, 5%-40% of the time, removal of the gallbladder doesn’t cure whatever was wrong in the abdomen, or at least not all of it, so the problems continue even after it’s gone. “Cutting out a body part is treating the symptom, not the cause,” writes Mary Ackerley, MD, MDH, ABIHM in this article.

Maybe my gallbladder would have had to come out anyway; I’ll never know. At any rate, it’s gone now and there’s no use crying over its tiny little green body (yep, gallbladders are green). Let us instead turn to treatments for PCS. Bear in mind that this is a work in progress–a topic I am still researching. But here is what I have learned so far.

I work with herbs within the context of European-American traditional herbalism, but I also looked to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to see what light it could shed on this matter. TCM is a complex science and I know little about it, but this is what I have gleaned so far:

The gallbladder is responsible for the dispersal of yang qi throughout the body. The yang qi warms the body and prevents the accumulation of excessive dampness and cold. Without the gallbladder, qi can not be distributed normally and it “stagnates” in the abdomen, affecting in particular the liver, stomach, and spleen. Moreover, it cannot combat dampness, which then accumulates in the body. The combined effect of heat and dampness in the upper abdomen results in the symptoms of PCS.

Furthermore, when the bile doesn’t flow normally from the liver, “liver qi stagnation” can develop, and this is the root of many ills. Obstructions caused by adhesions and scar tissue resulting from surgery can also disrupt blood flow and result in “blood deficiency.” When the liver qi isn’t flowing through the body as it should, it can flow across to the stomach, kidneys, and/or spleen, interfering with their normal processes.

In a nutshell, not only does this contribute to the symptoms of PCS, but to all sorts of other problems as well, including irritability, moodiness, stress, and depression.

This actually fits pretty well with a traditional Western explanation for PCS. In the Western tradition, there is no concept of qi, but there are the temperature and moisture axes (hot to cold, dry to damp), as well as concepts of energetic excess and deficiency, and of movement, torpor, and stagnation. So the description of heat and dampness in the liver system overflowing into the stomach, kidneys, spleen, and intestines makes perfect sense and fits with the observed symptoms.

Viewed from this perspective, we can see that dampness and heat is a cause of the symptoms cholecystectomy is supposed to cure, and removal of the gallbladder actually worsens the dampness and heat and causes it to spread. Even if your gallbladder really did need to come out (e.g., if it ruptured), you are likely to still have dampness and heat affecting multiple organ systems.

What can we do about it?

We have seen that the gallbladder is intimately involved in the digestion of fat. So we can expect that without a gallbladder, digesting fat is going to be a problem. It seems to me that this is a major contributor to the diarrhea, gas, tummy rumbles, and bloating of PCS. For example, without a gallbladder the bile can’t be stored and concentrated, and that results in:

  • bile that drips constantly into the small intestine, irritating its lining
  • fat that is not fully digested hanging around in the intestines and bloodstream

…both of which cause diarrhea.

Also, if you’re not digesting fat properly, then it’s not fully available for your body to use as nutrition. One of the ways in which the liver disposes of excess fats/cholesterol is by binding them up with bile salts and sending them on down the intestines to be excreted. But bile salts themselves are derivatives of cholesterol! This means that you need some cholesterol to make bile salts to get rid of excess cholesterol. I’ll be coming back to this point in a bit.


It seems to me the first order of business is to support the liver. There are many herbs that can do that, but my go-to herbs here would be dandelion and milk thistle (which I discussed in my previous post). Mountain Rose Herbs makes a “Liver Care” extract consisting of dandelion, milk thistle, yellow dock, schisandra, and Oregon grape root, which sounds like an excellent blend, though I would use bayberry rather than Oregon grape. One day soon I hope to come up with a PCS-specific blend myself. Anise and fennel are helpful with gas and bloating, but both have a liquorice flavor I’m not terribly fond of. Still, their benefits are such that I can put up with it.

Your friend and mine, the dandelion.

Your friend and mine, the dandelion.

TCM also recommends bupleurum, rose (specifically Rosa rugosa), dried ginger, eupatorium (boneset), skullcap, pulsatilla, fennel, cumin, garlic chives, and liquorice. (Note that dried ginger is very heating.) I would consult with a TCM practitioner since they use very complicated blends of herbs, as well as herbs which are not part of the Western materia medica and I think they will make custom blends.

I find I benefit greatly from an astringent to tonify the intestines; my favorite is agrimony, which also reduces anxiety and tastes good. However there are many to choose from. Astringents sort of tighten up the wall of the intestines and make them less “leaky.”

Alternatively, you may find that you suffer more from irritation in the upper GI tract, and mucilaginous herbs such as marshmallow and liquorice may be of assistance there (though they will increase moisture).

In general, you will want to avoid warming, moistening herbs, because there is already excess damp and heat. Go for cooling, drying herbs and astringents.

Bile salts & fats

Next you are probably going to have to supplement with bile salts. When bile salts are deficient you end up with an overload of fats that cannot be properly digested or stored.  Some of it is going to get stuck in the liver. Excess fat in the liver results in insulin insensitivity, which in turn results in insufficient bile secretion.  So there is a nasty downward spiral here. Supplemental bile salts help to compensate for the lack of concentrated bile, and in turn helps you digest the fats you eat.

But all fats are not created equal. Naturopath Bruce Fife discusses the difference between long-chain and medium-chain triglycerides:

“When we eat fats composed of LCTs [long-chain triglycerides] they travel through the stomach and into the intestinal tract. It is in the intestines where the vast majority of fat digestion occurs. Pancreatic enzymes and bile are necessary for digestion. LCTs are reduced into individual long-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are absorbed into the intestinal wall. Inside the intestinal wall they are repackaged into bundles of fat and protein called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are then sent into the bloodstream. As they circulate in the bloodstream they release particles of fat. This is the source of the fat that collects in our fat cells and the fat that collects in and clogs up artery walls. As the lipoproteins get smaller they eventually go to the liver. In the liver they are dismantled and used for energy or repackaged into new lipoproteins and again sent back into the bloodstream to disperse fat throughout the body.

“MCTs [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 [medium-chain fatty acids]). Therefore, they do not need pancreatic enzymes or bile for digestion. Since they are already reduced to fatty acids as they enter the small intestine, they are immediately absorbed into the portal vein and sent straight to the liver. In the liver they are preferentially used as a source of fuel to produce energy. MCFAs bypass the lipoprotein stage in the intestinal wall and in the liver. They do not circulate in the bloodstream to the degree that other fats do. Therefore, they do not supply the fat that collects in fat cells nor do they supply the fat that collects in artery walls. MCFAs are used to produce energy, not body fat and not arterial plaque” (emphasis mine; source is here).

So medium-chain triglycerides should be more easily-digestible for people who don’t have sufficiently strong bile, and they are less likely to contribute to the fatty liver-insulin insensitivity-even less bile spiral. MCT fats are the exception to the rule that you should strictly avoid saturated fats. Foods with medium-chain triglycerides include coconut oil, butter, whole milk, and palm kernel oil.

For healthy fat metabolism sans gallbladder, you need (a) sufficient bile salts to bind up the fats/cholesterol, (b) something to soothe and protect the intestinal lining irritated by constant exposure to weak bile, and/or to bind up that bile, and (c) something to break up undigested fats in the intestines in lieu of strong bile.  In addition to bile salts, choline can help with fat digestion and reduce gas and bloating.

Nutrition & exercise

Third, I would look to nutrition beyond the fats. Many PCS sufferers avoid fat because they find it causes diarrhea (often immediately); but as Dr. Ackerley points out in the article I cited above, this can result in not getting enough healthy fats like the Omega-3s and MCTs. So you might consider a fish oil supplement. (In my case, I did discover that I was deficient in essential fats.)

Meanwhile, leafy greens such as kale, collards, mustard greens, chard, nettles, and dandelion are really good for the liver so try to work more of those in. These help cleanse, help the liver produce and secrete bile, and are full of vitamins and minerals. Based on my experience I suspect that dairy is generally not a friend to the PCS sufferer, since even when non-fat it still contributes to mucus production (dampness); however, I do make sure to eat small amounts of whole-fat milk, butter, and yogurt from pastured cattle. When I can afford it (it costs an arm and a leg here) I get raw milk. These taste sooooo much better than the typical grocery store varieties and are more nutritious. Refined sugar is also probably best avoided because in excess the liver will turn it into fat (not the good kind), and without a gallbladder, whatever fat the liver sends to be excreted through the digestive system is going to cause pain, gas, bloating, gurgles, and diarrhea.

Eating frequent small meals means there will always be something in the intestines to absorb excess bile, but by itself this won’t be sufficient because without a gallbladder, it’s difficult to digest these things correctly to begin with.  Eating high fiber foods such as oats, nuts, and legumes (especially peanuts) can help to sequester excess bile.

All I’m going to say about exercise is that TCM says exercise gets stagnant qi moving, and we all know movement is good for us. It can be gentle and still be effective.


According to TCM, liver qi stagnation often results from emotional conditions, such as chronic anger and anxiety. However, the removal of the gallbladder also contributes to emotional states, including anger and depression. Therefore, it’s important to care for yourself psychologically and emotionally. I personally strongly recommend meditation for stress reduction, though I understand it’s not to everyone’s taste. Listening to binaural beats or isochronic tones (I like the ones by FingerprintDiva on YouTube) can get your brain into a brainwave state which is very helpful for promoting good sleep and relaxation–look for alpha waves specifically.

Final note

I personally do not endorse fasting “liver cleanses” with olive oil and lemon juice or epsom salts. If you have PCS, your liver is already under a lot of stress. A course of dandelion alone is a safe, gentle detoxifier. Besides, your problem here isn’t a buildup of toxins per se. If you feel the need to detox I would recommend just doing a short fast, supported by herbs, as opposed to fasting + giving yourself a massive case of the trots for no reason.

I’m not a doctor or expert in physiology; what you read here is the best information I’ve been able to compile over the last couple of years. So far as I know, there is no other place on the web that puts all this info together for the PCS sufferer (although the internet is vast and I could be wrong). I hope the info will be useful, but as with anything your mileage may vary. Finally, everything I have suggested here as a remedy should also benefit those who still have gallbladders that are giving them trouble.

EDIT: This post evolved into a series. Click here for Part 2, or here for Part 3.


30 thoughts on “Suggestions for a Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS) remedy

  1. Thank you so much for your article, had I also known the side effects of gb removal, I would have tried other natural remedies first. Having been ill for 2 years, one without a gb, I was beginning to lose hope. Your article is helpful and I’m going to (along with advice from my ND) try your suggestions.

    • Gwen, thanks for reading and commenting. I’m sorry to hear you are one of the many suffering from post-gallbladder removal problems. I’m always experimenting to find ways to make it better. I wish I could say I’ve found the perfect solution but it’s an ongoing quest. Still, just knowing what I’m dealing with at least gives me some ideas for how to approach it. I really hope you find something that works for you!

  2. Thanks for the great info, I too had mine removed. I have the gas bubble/gurgling feeling quite often and didn’t realize that’s a side effect of removal. I suffer from occasional cramping and “other intestinal issues” 😉 so I came across this article as I’m learning more about natural alternatives. My symptoms since removal are much more bearable than my Gallstone attacks were. I was a more extreme case where my stones were clogging my duct and was in danger of bursting. I had gone to the ER 2 times thinking I was having a heart attack at only 31 years old, this was EXTREME pain, I have fibromyalgia so I suffer every day and this was like nothing I ever experienced. I thought I was dying. The first time was when my son was only 6 weeks old and they said it was an anxiety attack, the 2nd time they said it was GURD. It took going to a specialist to get an ultrasound done to discover the gallstones. I had 8 attacks total (same severity) before finally getting it removed. I don’t use that hospital anymore! 😉 So I, unlike many, am glad to be rid of it, but would like to find ways to help with my occasions symptoms. I feel really bad for people who feel the same with or without it and regret getting their surgery, however I would NEVER wish the pain I experienced on anyone! Thanks for your time and research!

    • Hi Lana, thanks for reading and for sharing your story. You bring up a really good point–some people really do need to have their gallbladders removed. And probably I was one of them, because as you say that pain is genuinely terrifying. If they had told me I needed to have a leg removed I probably would have gone along with it if I thought it would prevent the pain. I am truly sorry you had to go through that and that it took so long to correctly diagnose it. The PCS symptoms I have are annoying, frustrating, and at times really depressing but at least I don’t have that pain. I just wish I had had the option of trying non-surgical treatment first (even though I might not have had the patience!). In fact I think a follow-up to this post is probably in order. 🙂

    • Ugh, I am so sorry you have to go through this. I don’t think any kind of surgery should be treated as casually as cholecystectomy seems to be in so many cases. I guess doctors try their best to make patients less fearful, but it’s only right that a patient should know what they are in for (potentially). I get really riled up about this, so for now I will just say that our medical system leaves so much to be desired.

  3. Hi I had my gall bladder out in 2002 after an absolutely hideously painful time. It was infected and such a long story ……. I had my GB taken out with keyhole surgery (privately) as NHS waiting list was too long! £4,000 ……. I have since had several episodes of the type of pains you have described , mainly pain at GB site and shoulder blade on right hand side. The pain is bearable but I have worried so much as to why I get these pains. I have been to gp several times and I think they think I am imagining it! I am NOT! Currently the pains have returned which is soo annoying because I have just recovered from a very bad time with depression/anxiety and now I have this.
    Thank you for all the information youve provided it has helped a lot.

    • Pinklady, your story sounds so familiar. I am very sorry to hear you’ve had this experience and I hope you can find some relief from the symptoms. If I learn anything new that may help us I will be sure to spread the word!

  4. thank you so much for this information! I have searched all over the net relentlessly and never found something as informative as this article is. I was one of the “no choice, we’re taking the gallbladder” victims ^_- lol i had stones everywhere and infection set in and it was the worst thing i have yet to experience in my life; even worse than labor! and i was actually 8 weeks postpartum when i was hospitalized for a week because of the gallbladder and stones. I was told by the doctors that all the stomach issues,(bloating, gas, diarrhea, cramping, and pain on my right upper stomach) would go away with time. This June marks 2 years since my gallbladder was removed. I am still suffering, however i take Questran daily and it has made my life much much more livable with only stomach issues when i eat something super greasy and unhealthy like fast food. well this past 2 weeks something in my body changed, and i have no clue what, and now i’m having bloating, gas and diarrhea again like i did 2 years ago! I went to a walk in clinic and the doc recommenced to up my Questran. so now i’m taking 2 doses and the diarrhea has stopped, but the gas and bloating won’t go away! so I’ve made another apt to see my gastro doc and find out why everything’s changed after 2 years of no issues on this medicine.
    So i am hoping and wondering if you have come across anything like my situation or know of any good resources where i can read or educate myself on what’s possibly going on with my body.
    Thank you!

    • I’m glad the information was helpful! I am always keeping my eye out for anything new on this topic and will be sure to post if/when I learn anything. I’m glad to hear the Questran is (mostly) working for you. I’m guessing that you didn’t radically change your diet or you would have mentioned that. I’ve found that my digestion has changed quite a bit over the years (and I’m not old by any means–I’m just not 20 anymore!). I’m somewhat lactose intolerant now, for example, which is my main cause of gas and bloating. I seem to be ok with butter and yogurt, but milk, cheese, and ice cream are bad news for me now. I never had any problem with them until the last five years or so. My dad also became lactose intolerant, although I think that wasn’t until late middle age in his case. So anyway my point is, digestion does change over time, seemingly for no apparent reason.

      You might get some relief of the gas and bloating from carminative herbs/spices like fennel, anise, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and peppermint. They probably won’t fix the cause but should help with the symptom.

  5. Really great article, I’m glad I came across your blog. I suffered for (luckily) three months with ‘gall bladder attacks’ and found I had a inflamed gallbladder and gallstones (it was a diseased and so definitely had to go.) It’s been six months since the operation and I’ve just started to get pain back despite eating healthily (not omitting the occasional treat, of course, I’m only human,) and going for regular walks everyday with my dogs.

    I’m UK based and I’ve been to the doctor about the pain (I’ve had intestinal gurgles for a few months now, but just assumed that was normal for post gall bladder removal, digesting and such and completely forgot to mention it) but he just said “it can happen” in regards to the pain, bloating, indigestion etc etc gave me some pain killers and that was that. He didn’t even say if it is Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome, so I’m still unsure if this is what it is…

    It’s getting to the point now where I don’t want to eat because I’m scared I’m aggravating something. Which is obviously ridiculous…

    Would it be worth trying dandelion capsules or tea? I have no idea where to start!



    • Hi Sophie,
      You know, I am beginning to get the sense that doctors don’t want to touch “syndromes” with a 10-foot pole because they are so complex. My admittedly non-expert understanding of syndromes is that they often involve many symptoms that seem to be unrelated. Which, if I may toot herbalism’s horn here, is precisely where herbal therapies shine. If the philosophy underlying treatment is atomistic, treating each symptom separately (as is often the case with modern medicine), syndromes are a nightmare. If, on the other hand, the philosophy is holistic it makes it much easier to see the connections between the symptoms, find their root cause, and treat the whole person.

      Sometimes a person who has all the hallmarks of this or that syndrome will remain without an official medical diagnosis, which is perhaps what has happened to you. I’m sorry to see that.

      I think there is no harm and generally great benefit from dandelion. It’s very safe, and full of nutrients. Anyone without a gallbladder should supplement with some bile-stimulating liver-supporting herb, and dandelion is one of the best. Two other things which I would suggest are (1) carminatives, which you probably already have in your spice cabinet: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, coriander (seed, not leaf) and anise are all good. Eat foods containing them, or you can even make them into capsules to take at mealtimes. Obviously everybody’s body is different but I have to say I’ve had huge improvement since taking my carminative spices. And (2) bitters. The thing with bitters is that you have to actually TASTE the bitterness for it to work, so you can’t take them in capsules. Dandelion is a bitter herb. You can easily make liquid bitters by putting some bitter herbs (for example dandelion, wormwood, gentian, any kind of citrus peel–any of these or a combination) and some of those carminative spices I mentioned into a jar with enough brandy or vodka to cover them. You want at least 40% (80 proof) alcohol. If you like you can dilute with water later. Let the mixture sit in a cupboard for 2 weeks to a month and give it a shake every day. Then strain out the solids and put your bitters into a dropper bottle, or a bottle with a spray top. Take 1/2 to 1 full dropperful, or a couple spritzes, 20 minutes before eating. If you forget, take after eating. Bitters help to stimulate salivation and bile production and thereby support the digestion. The carminatives help to ease gas, rumbles, and bloating. If you can’t have alcohol, you can make a bitter tea, but you’ll need to drink more of it–a cup of tea instead of a dropperful of tincture. We Americans are very averse to bitter tastes, alas, but I find that I have grown to quite like them. 🙂

      I hope this helps! I do plan to continue writing on this topic as I learn more about it. I am always searching for more information!

  6. I have been searching and searching for answers to my specific pain. Ultrasounds, CT scans, doctor visits and nothing. No rhyme or reason for my pain other than I had my gallbladder removed 22 years ago and my doctor stated it was most likely post cholesystitis and I’d just have to deal with it. Your article is exactly the answers I’ve been looking for! Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information!

  7. Thank you for the speedy reply! I have started doing a little research and bitters came up time and time again, so I’ll be sure to increase those. And I use carminatives with cooking so I’ll have a little experiment to see what works best.

    I’ve not had a good time of it, I’ve had chronic back pain for three years with a lower disc bulge and I just get passed around now from Dr to Dr, which can be a problem when things like this occur, it’d be nice to talk to the same person but in our GP surgery, they seem to swap and change them all the time. Which is fine, but they don’t seem to look at your recent notes before you go in, so having to start all over again and miss things (like I did last time, with the gurgling,) can be problematic…

    Honestly the only thing that has got me past the last four days is this blog and forums with other people discussing the same issue, some times it’s just knowing you’re not alone. 🙂

    I am going to my local herbalist today to see if they also have any recommendations for me, when I pick up the dandelion. They may have had people in before with the same issue, so it may help.

    Thanks again, I’ll be sure to keep checking in on your journey with it.


  8. Anyone have weight loss with PCS, after 5 years post removal I’m suffering these symptoms. Pain under right rib and behind shoulder. Right intermittent abdominal pain. Losing 10 pounds. Don’t feel hunger much and lots of belching while eating or drinking.

  9. Hello, I am somewhat happy to know I’m not crazy.. I am only2 1 and had to have my gallbladder removed, it was functioning at 8%.. But now Imitating here, helpless, with nothing but tums wrappers and saltine crackers trying to make it stop. My symptoms involve severe nausea. Im nauseous about 1/3 – 1/4 of my daily life.. Id love to talk to you about your journey. I don’t know what to do, and quite frankly I’m frightened by what may be going on in my body 😦

    • I’m really sorry to hear you are experiencing such severe symptoms. You are certainly not crazy! I’m not in a position to give you health care advice and of course I don’t know your situation with regard to health care access, or what you have already tried. Are there any herbalists in your area you could consult with? There are herbs that can help with nausea.

      As far as my journey, it’s not over yet–I haven’t hit upon the perfect solution. But I have had some improvement, I’m still learning and will continue researching and sharing what I find out.

    • You certainly are not crazy! Anxiety is a symptom of gallbladder problems, if you can recognize that you can take steps to help you get through the anxious times. Find your inner strength, and give yourself pep talks, tell yourself you can and will conquer this! And Alexandra is right about seeing an herbalist, in my case I see a naturopath and have been helped greatly!

  10. Pingback: Postcholecystectomy syndrome diet

  11. I had my gb removed Jan 2015. Since then, I’ve experienced intermittent nausea without vomiting, explosive diarrhea, bowel movements that form a oily ring around the water, and general fatigue. I only had sludge and gb function of 10% so surgeon said it has to go. I just want to feel normal again and the nausea with weight loss concerns me. I was given no instruction afterwards. Dr thinks maybe SOD and I also have a sliding 2cm HH. Do any of you experience this too?

    • Yes,yes,yes. I have sliding HH and pcs, mainly nausea, diarrhea and ache between shoulder blades, first year post surgery was less but becoming more troublesome now. I have to take blood thinners so need to watch for interactions there. I need some help on this

      • Hi Ann, I’m sorry to take so long to reply to you. Computer problems. Unfortunately I don’t know about herbal interactions with Warfarin, so I can only suggest asking your doctor. Of course they may not know or may disapprove of complementary therapies like herbs. One place you might try is the forum at There is a small subscription fee to use the site, which you may or may not be willing to pay depending on your level of interest. However I can say that professional herbalists with years of experience do read and reply to posts in that forum, so it can be an invaluable source of information. Best of luck to you!

  12. I hope you don’t mind me posting that I recently published a book, Living Well Without a Gallbladder: A Guide to Postcholecystectomy Syndrome. It may be helpful for your readers. It’s available through most online booksellers and is in paperback and ebook formats. I loved what you wrote here!

    • I don’t mind at all and I’m actually thrilled someone has written a book on the topic! I will have to check it out. 🙂

  13. Thanks for this. My brother (also a doctor) had his gallbladder out 10 days ago and is just now experiencing some PCS. He is not a proponent of herbsl remedies but I’m going to send him your blogs anyway.

  14. Thank you for this article! I had my gallbladder removed at 23 (in 2011) likely due to being in the BC pill for 6 years. I have continued to use it until just recently I have battled severe bloating, distrntion, and nausea with regurgitation for years! Is there a vegan alternative to Oz Bile supplements? I have tried so many any they do not work. Thank you!

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