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Right one of my sisters friends has just come out of hospital due to having gallstones! She'd had her gallbladder removed.

The reason behind it...... drastic weight loss. She has lost over 5 stone on LL and went to her GP re the pain in her side only to be told it was gallstones due to LL.

I'm not too worried but wondered if anyone could shed any light as to how common the incidence of gallstones etc are while on a VLCD.

Thanks :) x x x x
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Gold Member
One of my friends has been ill with it recently and is going for her op next week.......she was told it was due to her fatty diet (she is a size 8 and 7.5stone but student lifestyle). She has been on a special diet which cuts out cheese/fats/chocolate etc for the past month before the op.
So i'm confused how a vlcd can cause this, or maybe it is either end of the spectrum.x
So i'm confused how a vlcd can cause this, or maybe it is either end of the spectrum.x

Exactly, thats why I was confused! I've been taught that gallstones are caused by consuming too much fat etc so not entirely sure why cutting out the stuff that could contirbute towards them, causes them? If that makes sense :confused: I know what I mean haha!

I really hope your friend feels better after her op, apparently gallstones are very painful :(


Silver Member
My daughter in her 20's recently lost 3 1/2 stone on WW. She has gall stones now and is going to have her gall bladder removed. She lost her weight slowly at 2 pound a week. I think that it's an individual thing!


Gold Member
S: 20st9.5lb G: 10st0lb
I saw my surgeon last monday about getting my gallbladder removed due to gallstones.
I hopefully will have it out within the next 4 weeks.
I never had any problem (although I probably already had the stones) before starting CD and I believe that it's not a case of a VLCD giving you gallstones but it can irritate them and make you aware you have them.


Gold Member
Thanks..i'm sure she'll be fine, was in a lot of pain initially and was kept in hospital a week. I'm sure it's more of an individual thing also rather than it being completly diet related.....bit like all the side effects we are warned about, some people get them some don't.x


Silver Member
The gall bladder produces stuff that helps digest fat. I guess too much fat in the diet means it has to work too hard and not enough fat may cause a build up of calcium that forms the stones.
I'm afraid VLCDs do cause gallstones because of the rapid weight loss.

If you're overweight, you're more prone to gallstones because you have a higher circulating cholesterol in your bloodstream which reduces gallbladder emptying = formation of gallstones.

Even if you don't have gallstones from being overweight, as you lose weight rapidly as on LL or CD, you still have a higher cholesterol but its in your gallbladder (because your body is metabolising fat directly now and secreting it into the bile) which increases formation of gallstones too. The risk of gallstones is really greatly increased by VLCDs, especially when you start eating a normal diet higher in fat.
Its a risk but the way I look at it - better I lose my gallbladder than be at risk from high blood pressure/heart attacks/strokes. Hope this helps.


Full Member
Hi im not sure how that works really i have recently had my gall bladder removed but this was because of my fatty diet before i started cd???
my gallstones started at me when i was pregnant seeminly that can set them of aswell, i prob had them before that just never knew they were there. I was told after the op to not eat fatty foods etc hmm that went out the window..


Gone fishing
I had my gallbladder out at the beginning of the year. My consultant didn't blame the VLCD. Said that any diet can set them off.

In fact he said that if you've been eating healthily and you suddenly have a high fat day, that can set it off too, which might have been my problem. I remember asking him if I would be better off just eating high fat all the time then:p

In the ward after the op, I found that I was the only one who had done a VLCD.


hates diets
i had gall stones when i was 19 and had to have the gall bladder out, i wasnt fat i wasnt thin and ate a healthy diet....doctors couldnt understand why i ahd them and just put it down ' to one of those things' although it can be hereditary......i think thou once the gall bladder is out you do tend to gain weight quicker....in effect you dont store excess bile so how does the fat in your stomach get broken down ????? -----it doesnt!!


Gold Member
S: 20st9.5lb G: 10st0lb
I've never heard anything about gaining weight quicker.
From what I understand your liver produces the bile and it uses what it needs to break up the fat by going directly to the stomach (this is a really discusting conversation by the way!:D). Once it has produced enough to break it down it then stores a bit extra in the gallbladder (just incase). That's why they can remove it without it affecting your health or your diet, it's essentially a useless organ that your body doesn't need to function, you just don't get that extra bile storage any more.
Interesting! Thanks for your replies, I've learnt more here than I ever did at Uni!

I guess its a case of whether you're succeptable to the or not. Despite my obesity I've been fortunate in the sense that I've 'escaped' the dreaded gallstones. Maybe because I don't eat all that much (haha) most of my calories came from alcohol :eek:

Everyone with up and coming ops, wishing you well!


Gold Member
S: 20st9.5lb G: 10st0lb
I guess its a case of whether you're succeptable to the or not. Despite my obesity I've been fortunate in the sense that I've 'escaped' the dreaded gallstones. Maybe because I don't eat all that much (haha) most of my calories came from alcohol :eek:
Most of mine was alcohol to I'm afraid to tell you!:(
Yes KD, you're right, anyone who loses weight or is on a diet is at risk of gallstones. But VLCDs are particularly associated with them because you lose more weight than on a regular diet.

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