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The Gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine, to aid with the digestion of fats. The bile and fat is then absorbed further on in the small intestine. People with Crohn's Disease are at a higher risk for Gallbladder Disease. The most common reason for Gallbladder disease is Gallstones. 75% of all Gallstones are cholesterol-containing, hard "stones" formed in the gallbladder from bile salts, and calcium.
Symptoms of gallstones that need treatment are:

-Pain and a fever lasting more than 12 hours.

-Acute pain on the right side right under the ribs.

-Pain that is made worse by movement.

-Treatment for symptomatic Gallbladder disease usually involves surgery.
Risk Factors For Gallstones:

- 1st Degree Relative with Gallstones or who has had a Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder).

- Approximately 29% of gallstones are inherited and are likely due to multiple different genes.

- Caucasian (white) race.

- Overweight/Obesity (BMI > 30).
- Calculate your BMI at the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

- Age over 50 years.

- Females are at higher risk of developing gallstones.

- History of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of fats in the blood).

- Impaired mobility of the Gallbladder increases likelihood of developing Gallstones.

- Gallstones are negatively correlated with alcohol consumption.

Cholecystectomy - Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder

After Cholecystectomy, or surgical removal of the gallbladder, some people develop diarrhea. Diarrhea is thought to result from bile entering the intestinal tract directly (instead of being sequestered in the Gallbladder). The bile appears to have a "laxative-type" effect causing diarrhea which may be severe.

If diarrhea may subside after a period of weeks or months. If diarrhea persists patients may be put on a special Gallbladder Removal Diet.
Gallbladder Removal Diet

1. Eat smaller amounts of fat. Less than 3 grams of fat per serving.

2. Eat smaller meals more frequently.

3. Gradually increase fiber in your diet over several weeks.

4. Minimize: caffine, foods that are oily or greasy, dairy, foods or drink that are very sweet.

Post Cholecystectomy Medications

- In severe cases of diarrhea, or diarrhea that does not subside, anti-diarrheal medications are often warranted, such as Imodium AD (Loperamide).

- Medications such as Locholest, and Prevalite reduce the laxative-type effect of bile.

- It may be necessary to supplement certain Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in Chronic cases of Diarrhea.


1. Nakeeb A, Comuzzie AG, Martin L, et al. Gallstones. Genetics Versus Environment. Ann Surg. 2002; 235(6):842849.

2. Picco MF. Mar 2011. "Chronic diarrhea: A concern after gallbladder removal?" Mayo Clinic. Accessed May 2012.

3. "Diarrhea". National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Accessed May 2012.

4. "Calculate Your Body Mass Index". Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Accessed May 2012.

5. " Government Made Easy". Accessed May 2012.

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