Gallbladder links to fatty liver - Living with Fatty...

Living with Fatty Liver and NASH

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Gallbladder links to fatty liver


how many people with liver problems have also had their gallbladder removed. I'm just wondering if there is a link. Or am I clutching at straws. I'm not much overweight- maybe 10 k. I eat so healthy. Grow my own veggies. Always read labels and avoid preservatives and additives. Eat mostly fresh and never fry food. Don't have much salt or sugar. Eat lots of fish, avocados, pot set natural yoghurt, etc etc. so I'm wondering how this has happened to me. I had my gallbladder removed about 20yrs ago and then followed 2 operations on a blocked bile duct which resulted in pancreatitis. My fatty liver symptoms ( pain, nausea etc) feel identical to when i,was waiting to have my gallbladder operation. Just wondering if it's a coincidence or is there a link.

30 Replies


In my case, I have NOT had my gallbladder removed, although I’ve had several tests to see if gallbladder is functioning properly (It is). My diagnosis is NASH with stage 3 fibrosis. Other conditions that I do have are high blood pressure, high cholesterol (both controlled with medications), hypothyroid, and Barrett’s Esophagus (diagnosed June 2017). I was pre-diabetic, but after my NASH diagnosis May 2018 I lost about 33# and my A1c has been in normal range since August 2018. I did have a lot of nausea before the diagnosis, and although it’s not as severe as it was initially, I still have days where I have the nausea. I have some discomfort over the liver also.

I’m always looking for conditions in common with liver disease too now. I’m in the 11th month of a clinical trial and will be having final testing in June 2019 to complete the year in the trial.

It does sound as if you are doing everything right with the way you eat, and not being really overweight. 😊

Hidden in reply to Cats2018

I had my gallbladder removed after I was already well in to cirrhosis. (the doctor did not know it at the time of the operation). When I developed nash I was a normal weight and very active. But the nash was never diagnosed.

Cats2018 in reply to Hidden

My diagnosis was a complete shock too. Since diagnosis I’ve had 2 ultrasounds, a CT scan, MRI and a HIDA Scan all to check out the gallbladder because of some of my symptoms, but all were negative.

Holeymoley1 in reply to Hidden

Mary - hope I'm not crossing boundaries because asking this but did you ever find out why you developed NASH. It doesn't sound like it was diet related.

Hidden in reply to Holeymoley1

I don't know what caused my nash. My diet could have been better, but it wasn't that bad. I ate a little too much cold cereal, but never kept other sweets in the house. I got lots of exercise. As a nurse, I ran up and down the halls for 8 hours. But suddenly I got a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome and a sudden weight gain, even tho my diet had not changed. The problem was my liver enzymes were normal. They still are. High normal, but still within range. So I was never diagnosed with liver disease at the time. My doc did a lot of other tests, but all were normal. But that must have been when the liver disease started. Twenty years later my doc did an EGD, due to digestive problems, and found varices. That's how I found out I had cirrhosis. And of course, had a biopsy.

Holeymoley1 in reply to Cats2018

Thanks for your reply. Do you know what triggers your nausea? I get that sometimes and pain between my shoulder blades. Is it from something we've eaten

Wolverine69 in reply to Cats2018

I also had my Gallbladder out 22 years ago and have fatty liver with possible cirrhosis waiting for tests to come backs. Do you have low Vitamin D levels ? Mine is extremely low and research is showing low bit d levels contributes to NAFLD.

I did have low Vit D. Im seeing a clinical nutritionist and she suggested I get it checked. Now I'm on Vit D supplements.

I still have my gall bladder, but have stones that could cause blockage. I also have liver cirrhosis due to having hepatitis c. Maybe they’re linked. I have another ultrasound in a few months maybe they can tell me then.

Holeymoley1 in reply to nettl1

I guess we are all hoping for answers

Hidden in reply to Holeymoley1


I had my gall bladder removed 34 years ago!!! I have Nash with some fibrosis caused by meds from from my DRS over the years. My Liver pain is as bad as gall bladder pain was . I do have a lot of other conditions too. Hope you are all doing ok. Love and hugs to you all Lynne xxxx

Holeymoley1 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for sharing Lynne. Xx

Hidden in reply to Holeymoley1


You are very welcome. Love and hugs Lynne xxxx

Hi there ; I had my gall bladder out two years ago . I’ve just received a diagnosis for fatty liver yesterday . My symptoms of discomfort appeared about 6 months after removal of Gb - and I was worried I had a hernia . A subsequent scan at the 9 month market showed everything to be fine . Two years on now fatty liver . Didn’t know there could be a possible connection. V interesting 😊

It’s just that The symptoms feel very similar- the nausea and pain in the back when I eat. I see the gastroenterologist on Monday so I will be asking him about any connection.

Keep me posted 😊; I get occasional nausea too .

Not much to report after seeing gastroenterologist. He wants me to have more blood tests and a CT Scan and then go back to see him. He said lose weight, increase exercise and no alcohol. I did see a holistic dr who has suggested a few things including Advice on anti inflammatory food, organic food, getting rid of chemicals around the house and some other lifestyle changes - not for everyone but it suits my beliefs.

Thanks for this ; I’m seeing a specialist doctor next week . Will be interesting to get his comments . I’ll keep you posted 👍

I had my gallbladder removed 34 years ago. I also had pancreatitis it was after I had my first child the doctors said it can happen after you have a baby . Now I was just diagnosed with NAFLD.

Have you any idea how you got NAFLD

Hi Holeymoley1- My gallbladder is fine, although at the time I was diagnosed the suspicion was my gallbladder would have to come out. Pain pushed me to see a doctor, but for 8 months I'd suffered from chronic fatigue and unexplained weight gain without a change in my mostly healthy diet. My pain is mostly under my right rib but also migrates to my back, along with nausea and vomiting. Unlike some people with NAFLD, I don't drink, don't have diabetes, or high cholesterol and I am not significantly overweight. (But as I have learned here, some people are just like me too - no risk factors!) My former doctor did not take this seriously at all, he told me to quit carbs. I radically changed my diet and got rid of that doctor. I am seeing someone who specializes in treating liver patients on Monday because I want to try to avoid waking up to a cirrhosis diagnosis in five years. We will see what she says. I am going armed with all the knowledge I have gained here. Take care of yourself!

Holeymoley1 in reply to Magicwrd

Hi Magicwrd. Thanks for your reply. My diagnoses was only 4 weeks ago. But the symptoms have really increased this last week. I've always been a healthy eater but I've radically changed my diet too and following a healthy liver diet. It's all a bit scary. Good luck tomorrow. I would love to hear how you get on. I'm seeing a gastroenterologist tomorrow too. I'll let you know how I go.

I had my gallbladder removed exactly 1 year ago. The doctor that removed it said it was :grey" meaning it had been sick for quite a while. Still wonder if there is a connection. We are seeing slight improvement since the gallbladder removal.

I have to update my reply from 7 months ago. At that time I replied that I still had my gallbladder although I’d had lots of tests because my doctor suspected gallbladder problems. Tests were always negative. However on July 7th I went to ER with pain that made me suspect heart attack. Turned out to be Acute Gallstone Pancreatitis. On July 8th I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. It does seem that many of us do have gallbladder problems in addition to liver disease.

Regarding another question since posted here, I don’t know if my Vitamin D level is low. I do know that at times FB I’ve had low B12 levels though.

Bubbie5 in reply to Cats2018

I had low B12 levels and have been receiving B12 shots bi-weekly. My D2 levels were also low (just recently tested) so I started D2 capsules once a week. I also am feeling much better, and I have more energy. I don't believe it was from the B12 shots as I was shocked I was feeling so tired all the time yet I was taking the shots. I believe it was my liver all along and the low vitamin levels were a by products of the sluggish liver. I am an F3.

Olina_Lou in reply to Cats2018

Do you remember how you felt when you got acute pancreatitis? Were you vomiting, had fever? I got gastritis and my gastroenterologist said it happened because of gallstones. She also said that I could get pancreatitis if the gallstones pass through the bile ducts to the pancreas and advised me to have the gallbladder removed. I also have fatty liver and of course the 2 are connected because bile gets secreted in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. If there is not a sufficient amount of bile to break down the cholesterol in our diet, gallstones are formed. So it doesn't matter if you are overweight or not. Anyone who follows a high cholesterol diet can get gallstones. Other things play a part too, like chronical high levels of cortisol due to stress, or high levels of estrogen due to birth control or pregnancy, age too.

Cats2018 in reply to Olina_Lou

Hi! Since I wrote that last update, I’ve had pancreatitis again just last month. Yes, I remember how I felt with the acute gallstone pancreatitis: I would have a squeezing feeling of pressure and discomfort just under the breasts that surrounded my body so it also hurt in the upper back. I also had nausea. The thing that happened to me that caused me to have pancreatitis again just last month was something the surgeon who removed my gallbladder in July 2019 said sometimes can happen. When the gallbladder was removed a gallstone ‘spilled’ during the surgery. Since that surgery I have periodically had pressure & discomfort during the 15 months since my surgery, but the discomfort wasn’t quite as severe and didn’t last as long as before the gallbladder surgery - until recently. I began having longer periods of pressure and discomfort and also vomiting. I had an abdominal ultrasound that did not show anything wrong. Finally my gastroenterologist scheduled a procedure to look at what was going on, but prior to the scheduled procedure I had a severe attack with pressure, pain, fever and vomiting. The pain did not subside and I also saw that my skin was turning yellow so I went to the ER & was admitted to the hospital with pancreatitis and jaundice. I had an MRI there that showed the gallstone that had been bouncing around inside me had finally lodged permanently in my bile duct. My bile duct was blocked, liver functions, Lipase & bilirubin were all elevated. My gastroenterologist did a procedure called ERCP to remove the gallstone. So I’m no longer having episodes of pressure, pain, nausea, vomiting, fever. 😊

I had my gallbladder removed in 1991. I have PBC and Fatty Liver. I personally think there is a link.

I think there must be a link too. I take digestive enzymes now recommended by a clinical nutritionist. I'm 9 months into my diagnosis and pleased to say my last blood test was all normal. I'm due another blood test about now and feeling positive. I'm eager to have an ultra sound again to see if the fat in the liver has reduced but my dr said to be patient as it's taken a long time for the fat to accumulate so it wil take a while for it to go. I have to say though that I am feeling fantastic. Its hard to put into words except to say I feel 10 years younger. I don't know if it's because my liver is functioning better, or if it's all the changes I've made to my diet and lifestyle or even the vitamins I take now- probably all of the above but I feel great.

I have been wondering the same thing. I have to use natural supplements before I eat like dandelion root to help w the bile issue.

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