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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

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138 Comments

      • Hormones are very closely linked with the functioning of gallbladder. Progesterone, specifically, contributes to the relaxation of the Sphincter of Oddi – the sphincter that regulates bile release from the gall-bladder. If a woman is prone to oestrogen dominance, then the RELATIVE lack of progesterone would contribute to the inability of the Sphincter of Oddi to relax and release sufficient bile into the digestive tract, which would in turn result in the temporary malabsorption of dietary fat. Overloading your system with dietary fat at this time, might not be a good idea – reduce the fat in your diet temporarily about 1 week before your period is due to start and then return to your normal consumption as soon as you period starts (or around day three – when hormones change again for some women).
        On a slightly more … erm … philosophical note, our emotions tend to mirror what goes on inside the body. If you suffer from what one might describe as PMS, especially irritability (rather than weepiness) then it is likely that your gallbladder is also feeling a bit “irritable” and the bile is not flowing freely and smoothly – like your emotions 🙂
        Some women swear by progesterone creams, others choose to modify their diet in relation to the specific part of the cycle they are in. Ultimately, anything that helps reduce the strain on your liver after ovulation and before the start of the period, will be of benefit.

      • The opposite of almost this entire post seems to be true for me. I started to get sick after I significantly decreased my grain and sugar intake and even wasn’t eating gluten because I visited an aunt with a sensitivity. Seems like I was better off before because I got severe and progressing malabsorption shortly there after. The more fat I eat, the less I absorb. And I eat those fats you recommended. At times I’ve basically excreted pure oil and lots of it.. I was thin before all this, but somehow I still lost nearly 15 lbs without trying. And for what ever reason, for most of my life my digestion has actually been its best on my period, which I now lack the body fat and hormones to even get.

        • Hi, I just read your post. I can’t comment regarding anything medical, but I wanted you to know that someone out here read what you’re going through, and I hope that you’re able to get your body back to its normal state soon. This is stating the obvious, but sometimes what works for some people, doesn’t work for a others. I sincerely hope you’re feeling better soon.

        • Cindy, exclactlt the same happens to me.
          On a low carb diet, high fat moderate protein, and I would get symptoms as if my blood sugar was low. I also staring waking up at night as if had caffeine (except I don’t frying cafeeine). Switched back to complex carbs, low fat, and I got a lot better!

        • I have the same issue. I search the web they come close but then its not the right article for me. Been to my GI & Endocrine docs, they put me on pancreatic enzymes. I haven’t seen a change. If anyone can get to the bottom of this, please leave a message here. Thanks
          good luck to you in finding answers Cindy.

        • It was like that for me too, i was already too slim, and managed to lose 14 lb in a week on high fat diet, the weight i didn’t want to lose. I felt awful and i couldn’t sleep waking up ‘wired’ a few times at night as if my cortisol was spiking (probably it was), but then i found some youtube clips on the ketogenic diet subject of a few experts, Jeff Volek is my favorite – it is very important to avoid PUFA type fats, which mean no nuts and seeds for now (except coconut), and very important to increase salt consumption. Previously, on high carb, i didn’t eat ANY salt at all, but eating high fat requires salt, he emphasizes that over and over. I got PH strips to test my urine through out the day, to make sure i am not too acidic, and Trace Minerals drops. Search for liferegenerator DETOX SOUP or another clip – SECRET GUACAMOLE RECIPE- and watch how much salt he puts. That makes a huge difference in how great you will digest everything and feel.

        • I had a classmate (UCLA) who would have this periodic hormonal assay done and get injections of supplements. Would that help you? I am struggling with fatty liver and perimenopausal malabsorption, so assume the hormonal imbalance is responsible for stomach issues.

      • Hi, please can some one give me some advice? I had my gallbladder removed two months ago and have had diarrhea and urgency ever since. Will ox bile help with this or do I already produce too much bile which can cause the diarrhea? I am taking a good enzymes supplement daily already.
        Thank you, Marijke

        • I had my gallbladder out also and suffered like you, such bad diarrhea. The GP gave me cholestyramine powder. I had too much bile constantly dripping into my intestines since removal of my gall bladder. This powder is a bit difficult to stomach at first its between wall paper paste and sand lol I have found to mix it with one teaspoon of chocolate powder and one inch of hot water add powder and take. I take one packet a day but you can take more, this powder soaks up the bile so it doesn’t reach your large intestines and draw water to them giving you bad diarrhea . I also take bile tablets not all the time but if l was to eat a tub of ben and jerrys chocolate ice cream lol l take one.

        • I’m a bit late here, but I had to comment. Having had my gallbladder out and then suffering almost a decade with diarrhea, I can assure you that taking ox bile will make things a million times worse. (If someone became constipated post surgery, I would wholeheartedly recommend ox bile.) The other commenter here is right about the constant drip of bile into your system at all times. Cholestyramine is a bile acid binder and will slow down the diarrhea (but it will also unnaturally lower your cholesterol, which could cause issues down the road–but it’s not like you have much of a choice for the time being). Personally, the cholestyramine wasn’t enough for me; I was still downing a steady diet of Imodium AD. I eventually got on Welchol (which is also a bile acid binder but in pill form) and that finally stopped my mad dashes to the loo. But the story doesn’t end there. I followed a LC diet for about 2.5 years (not a route I recommend), and after maybe a year I was able to get off the Welchol. While that seemed blissful to me at the time, I was actually traveling down a road to severe constipation. At the end of my LC stint, I was only pooping every four days or so. (And I had developed a plethora of other problems as well.) I went back to eating carbs, and I magically started pooping normally. I continued to eat an unprocessed diet (definitely no high PUFA oils) and I stayed away from soy. Except for the occasional weird day, I still don’t have the problems that I used to have with diarrhea. I’ve eaten a wide range of fat percentages, and I can’t say I notice much of a difference between any of them in terms of digestion. Stress screws me up and the monthly fluctuations of my hormones can alter consistency, but I really think its the processed food that causes problems (especially the PUFAs). Hope this helps 🙂

  1. Oh, God, yes, I am struggling with fat malabsorption. For instance, I had a properly combined meal one day that contained hemp seeds. And wouldn’t you know it, my stomach began to gurgle and bloat. When it was time to ‘relieve myself’, my stools were horrendous. Right now, I am suffering through a few other complications as well, but fat malabsorption is definitely one of them. Luckily, I am taking a stool test to send to my ND, and have bought a digestive enzyme that contains ox bile, hydrochloric acid, and pancreatic enzymes. But boy, do I miss avocadoes and nuts and seeds. Whenever I eat fat, I get a tad dizzy and tired. My body is struggling to handle this, but I know it will get better. 🙂

      • I cannot afford a ND so i must figure this out on my own…I do not have a gallbladder and I am having difficulty digesting my food and eliminating…it seems i cannot have a normal bowel movement…i have all the symptoms of IBS/Constipation…my question is does one like me take ox bile with tcp? is tcp a blend of digestive enzymes? or do i have to take a de with ox bile and tcp….anytime i eat fat it hurts me and i have been sticking to good fats mostly…gave up cheese altogether and only drink raw milk on occasion…i often times wonder if deciding to have my gb removed was a good idea but my dr stated it was not reversible with diet and supplements…but i’ve had such poor digestion ever since…i don’t enjoy eating anymore…Josi

        • Don’t take pancreatic enzymes. They’re dangerous unless you have a deficiency. You can find out if you’re deficient by having your doctor do a liver panel to check your lipase, amylase, and protease levels. If they’re normal, that’s not your problem. You probably have bile deficiency but western doctors don’t understand this disorder well. Neither do NDs though so don’t think they have any big answers either.

          Look up bile deficiency on the web and you’ll see that they’re studying it primarily in pediatric patients right now.

          If you decide to try an ox bile supplement, try one without enzymes. Nutricology 125mg. Try it ONCE and see if it helps. If you try it beyond that, you risk dependency.

  2. I have a question. My gall bladder was removed when I was 18 years old due to gall stones. (I’m now 34.) I’m just recently getting started on this real food lifestyle and before this was always told that I needed to limit fat because I no longer have a gall bladder. I’ve been gradually incorporating coconut oil into my diet and was just wondering do I need to be careful with increasing fats?

  3. Hi Lauren,
    I have a question: is rice a grain? I would think so, but I’ve heard some people say it isn’t. If it isn’t, what is it? I would really appreciate your wisdom on this!

    • I’m a great fan of Lauren’s though I have never posted here before. I’m so impressed by how she turned her life around – her story has been an inspiration to me – and I always read her stuff and have gotten good ideas here and great recipes. But you have touched on a difficult point in her dietary doctrine. From the Wikipedia article on food grains: “Grains are small, hard, dry seeds, with or without attached hulls or fruit layers, harvested for human or animal consumption.[1] Agronomists also call the plants producing such seeds “grain crops”. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals such as wheat and rye and legumes such as beans and soybeans.” It would seem that if it is a seed that is eaten by humans it is a “grain”. I eat rice mostly in the form of “rice cake” crackers which I load up with foods high in fats and protein and plenty of salt (following Matt Stone whom I discovered through Lauren’s blog) e.g. I might have a scrape of coconut oil and processed margarine made from sunflower seeds and olive oil and some tahini perhaps thinly sliced cheese and anchovies and olives. By Lauren’s criteria I am no longer suffering from fat malabsorption. I think that seeds in general are good to learn about and experiment with but the highly commercial ones that tend to be called grains or used for extraction of oils like canola should be treated with caution. This is what I get from Lauren. Their sole reason for being is their cheapness and long shelf life. Wikipedia is not an ultimate authority. Ultimately the only authority is oneself through careful thought and experience. Lauren can use words however she wants – I just want to see her keep on sharing. This blog is a goldmine.

  4. So helpful! I dont think i struggle with fat absorption but I do know lots of people who do and i had never heard of oxen bile supplements I will have to see if you can get them in UK. I do think i struggle with low stomach acid so have some HCL to see if that helps along with my RACV and sauerkraut consumption! Really helpful for when I am helping clients too:)

  5. This was very helpful Lauren thank you! I never thought that fat malabsorption might be the reason why my skin is so always so dry (besides living in a fairly dry climate). I have had dry skin for as long as I can remember, so am definitely going to try eliminating wheat and other unhealthy grains and eating more fermented foods. 🙂

  6. Hey there!

    First of all, you are the reason I’m venturing down a lifelong path toward clean eating and an organic lifestyle. I’ve started a website focusing on a healthy spirit, with companion topics about healthy physical lifestyle! Thank you so much for educating us all on everything you’ve experienced and all the knowledge you possess.

    Here’s my question: I think I may be gluten intollerant due to lethargy after eating breads and constant joint pain and illness, so I’ve been cutting out gluten for about a week (so far) to hopefully self diagnose one way or the other. However, since doing this I’ve had constant headache and fatigue. Could it be a malabsorption issue? I’ve been trying to eat lots of coconut oil, avocados, etc to help my body with the transition but maybe I’m not approaching the whole no-gluten thing correctly since I’m still fairly new to living a healthy lifestyle.

    • Most likely your body is reacting to not having any gluten in your diet, and it may be proving that you may be sensitive to gluten. However, it is not advisable that anyone takes out gluten without a blood test for coeliac disease from a trained medical doctor. If you want to do an elimination diet, it’s best to do so under the supervision of a trained medical professional. Some medical doctors will do this, as will some naturopaths. There are other allergy tests that can be carried out without needing to go on a restricted diet.

      • There really is no harm in removing gluten from your diet with or without a doctor or naturopath. A test for coeliacs only test for downloads and may not indicate gluten intolerance. Any elimination diet can result in headaches as the body devices and adjusts. I hope it eases for you soon

  7. Beautiful Lauren, your post is an answer to my prayers. I like Trista had my gallbladder removed one wk. prior to my 18th B-day was told I will always need to stay on a very low fat diet,. that was no problem for me. Then I was diagnosed with Celiac and several other autoimmune disorders or diseases and multiple food allergies. My hair/skin are cracking apart no matter how much I try to moisturize with coconut oil.. When ever I eat the slightest amount of fat I feel like my intestines are strangulating, like I am hanging from my liver, Dr. says it’s from adhesions due to several abdominal and pelvic surgeries and from endometrial tissue over growth. I was never told about needing to add Ox-Bile.Any time I eat any fat my stools float and are very light in color. I am crying so hard as I write this because I am so very grateful to you for your help. I am suffering with this very much so thank you for your help and for always being so kind to provide product info and sources you feel are high quality. I pray you will be blessed back a hundred fold for all your hard work and help you provide to so many of us. God bless you and thank you so much. I am going to try the Ox-Bile ASAP 🙂 sending you a big hug:)

    • Dear kathy.. i just stumbled on this post.. Wondering how you went with the ox bile ? .. i too am fat malabsorbed (but have gall bladder and very intent on keeping it) and i wanted to give you a wonderful help for your dry skin (topically) … we here in Australia a RAW aloe vera gel without ANY additives.. when i add aloe to my skin (even from the plant) if feels stretched after a while due to the film it leaves behind.. and oils on my skin (all i use) make me greasy and they also absorb eventually and i am dry again on my legs .. however.. WHEN you mix pure aloe WITH oil ( i do half and half and mix it as i use it) it’s AMAZING !! Also i use Jojoba oil (as its really technically a WAX) and is absorbed deep into the skin which is why it’s used in many oil mixes to take other oils in deep.. i have recently been experimenting with aloe & jojoba & cold pressed wheatgerm oil… which is an absolute GODSEND (look up the bjillion benefits of wheatgerm oil – see if you can get it in dark glass and also keep in fridge as unstable oil) .. and try this on your skin.. also you can ingest 1 tspn to 1 TBSPN (depending on how much you can take oil wise) mid avo for a massive energy boost.. AND look into BLACK CUMIN seed oil – which they say cures everything except death ! there is a black cumin seed and honey drink we are having in the mng and last thing before bed.. here is our current regime:
      upon waking: 1 glass of warm pure water with 1 tsp of pink himalayan salt dissolved, 1 x TBSPN organic (braggs) ACV, 2 TBSPNS fresh organic lemon.
      45 mins to an hour later 1 x small glass warm water with 1.4 tspns black cumin seed oil and 1 tspn raw organic honey – we use NZ manuka high in natural medicinal ‘stuff’ .. then later a green raw smoothie.. etc etc.. i really hope this helps you – definitely look up the benefits of that drink and also the black cumin seed oil and wheatgerm oils.. i think you will be amazed. you could also use pure black cumin seeds, soaked, heated slightly in water and pulverised in a smoothie.. if oil too much.. x Love from Byron Bay, Australia x

  8. Thank you Lauren the link opened now, I was having trouble too because I kept looking for a product that was only”Ox-Bile” now I see that Biotics Research -Beta TCP is a combination of ingredients. Would you happen to know if these other ingredients are these gluten-free/corn and soy free? I don’t know what Catalase or Super oxide Dismutase is? Porcine is Mushroom, is that correct? I also read where they recommend only one with meals and to rotate the dosage(?) Unless otherwise directed by a health professional, I know that you are. I sure wish I lived near you and was your patient. I know I sure need to do something just with my history of allergies and anaphylaxis other autoimmune problems seems I can never tolerate anything, I so want to try things but then always become too scared to try. Well. Thank you so much for the articles and info. I appreciate getting to read your blog. Thank you.

  9. Hi Lauren and others.
    Like everyone else – thank you for what you do! Always sensible and helpful. I’m 58 yrs old and had my gallbladder removed at age 19. No-one ever mentioned taking enzymes or ox bile. I worked it out for myself about 6 months ago and yes it does make a difference.

    I can’t believe the medical community are so negligent as to just rip out gallbladders without any advice. I know mine was a long time ago (1975) but surely someone should have known!!!

    I take NOW Foods super enzymes that contain ox bile and all the pancreatic enzymes with each meal.

  10. Oh Kate I am so grateful you shared your experience, t.hank you for sharing what you are using and that you are having good results for me NOW Brand will be easier to find in store without having to order on line.You said it best and I agree it. amazes me too and especially after all this time the Medical community does not seem to share anything about after care or concern themselves with the quality or lack of quality the patient has after surgeries, after 8 different surgeries and several procedures on different parts of my body. No after care advice other than dietary or physical and occupational therapy has been given. I am so grateful for Lauren’s site and for all she and her community share, with such helpful information we can all feel better. Stay well.

    • Is avocado oil healthy to us to cooking as good as coconut oil.

      iWas diagram as celiac blood test and biopsyo. Always sick vomiting gives photonics. I found a good Gi. However he wonders why it took so long thru several docs and finally at 73yrs old found out what I have Lots of damage in all the years a nutritionist wonder why they did not find it a this is very hard for me one not always the energy to cook
      N the food is so expensive now on Medicare. Any suggestions….?… Please reply Diane

  11. Thanks so much for this article. I was having major stomach problems this last spring and ended up going on a very restrictive diet (SCD, AIP, and low fodmap). A few weeks later I started getting gall bladder pain and was so puzzled. I always eat a good amount of fat, but after reading your article I realized that the majority of my fat (especially these last few months) has been from coconuts (coconut oil, milk, butter etc.) I hadn’t realized just how much fats I had eliminated (nuts and dairy and even avocados-cause I’ve found they’ve been bothering my stomach). I’ve been feeling so frustrated cause I’m feeling better and starting to add things back in, but still having gallbladder pain on a semi-regular basis (I’ve been checked out-no gallstones or any other problem they can see) so this gives me hope that by tweaking my fats I can get my gall bladder to function normally again. Thanks!

  12. This is very timely, I was recently professionally diagnosed with fat malabsorption (inflammation of the hepatobiliary system). I already do the lifestyle/food things you recommended, but I’ll definitely be looking into the supplements. Thanks!

  13. This was a fascinating read, Lauren. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been doing liver flushes for a while now, and my boyfriend started them, too, after doctors told him he needed gallbladder surgery. With the help of liver flushing and a Chinese herbalist, he healed his gallbladder and hasn’t had a problem since. 🙂

  14. My Gallbladder was removed in 1997 and I wasn’t told I needed anything until of course I did my own research. I started using Betaine HCL about 6 months ago with some improvement but I didn’t realize I needed Ox Bile as well? Do I need to take anything else? I am late stage Lyme with thyroid and other issues. Love your website btw and have learned so much! Thanks!

  15. Thanks for this article. It is an eye opener and gives an entirely new perspective on things.
    In past tests the doctor informed me to keep an eye on my liver health. I had used a lot of pain killers for severve menstrual pain. Now I have 3 gallstones but rarely get attacks anymore. The odd time after I eat I get pain and pressure just under the solarplex, sometimes severe. Once in awhile I’ll get diarrhea soon after I’ve eaten like it went right through me. In the past Ive eaten a refined food diet (I’m a baker) now I try to eat clean and eat healthy fats. I have a hard time still losing weight. When I first started to gain weight it came on fast. Any specific tips would definitely be appreciated! Also do you think it would be a good idea to expell gallstones by drinking oil and could you suggest a site for that? Thanks again for shedding new light on the topic

  16. Loved this article, and would have loved it more if writers like yourself would pay closer attention to the words you put on paper. When you don’t spell something correctly it ruins the flow of the text and the point that is being driven home is like a needle scraping across a record. The word use of ” to” versus the word ” too”….if something is more than it should be, add another “o”. It’s as simple as that. I am seeing more and more educated people writing and making the same mistake with this word. Okay, call me a knit picker, I don’t care! I love to read and I am coming across poor spelling in print more than should be. Please pay attention to the spelling of words.

  17. My big thanks to Will Hunter at Vitamin D Council who gave me a link to your post on impaired fat digestion.

    My wife was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer (ER PR neg. HER2 pos.) Nov. 2009. After six trips from Guam (where we live and which i have serious doubts about medical treatment here) to The Medical City in the Philippines for conventional treatment (2nd opinion, mastectomy, some chemo sessions, 33 radiation sessions) it supposedly went into remission and we returned to “normal life”. Big, big mistake.

    It recurred in her chest wall Nov. 2011 and was stage 4. She started on chemo but as the cancer adapted, despite being bumped up to include one drug that cost $11,000 for a one month’s supply of 120 tablets (Lepatanib aka Tykerb) the cancer spread to form about 30 lesions on her left lung lobe in 2012. She started to rapidly lose weight, became progressively and profoundly weaker (she could do one task and then would have to sit or lie down and recover), she lost her appetite (partly due to her cancer and partly because the awful chemo drugs made everything taste like a chemistry kit. The local oncologists gave me no advice or encouragement. Their attitude was,”Your wife is dying, this is what happens with stage 4 cancers. Take your chemo and pay your bills. Let her eat whatever she wants to keep up her weight.” So I started scouring the internet and ordering books trying to sift through the tons of non-science based nonsense that’s out there and come up with a few nuggets of scientifically validated nutritional truth we could use.

    One statement in a book by Dr. Patrick Quillin (VP of nutrition for Cancer Centers of America for ten years) in his book Beating Cancer With Nutrition turned the first light on for me. He stated that of people that are diagnosed with cancer and pass away, about 40 percent die, not from cancer, but from malnutrition…they starve to death. I realized that my wife was starving to death before my eyes. I started experimenting with nutritional shakes in Dr. Qullin’s book and slowly evolved into using green “anticancer” smoothies, of which I’ve made hundreds since I started.

    Another book that helped a great deal is Life Over Cancer by Dr. Keith Block who has dealt with all kinds and stages of cancer for over 35 years and was one of the earliest advocates of of integrative cancer treatment (i.e. treating cancer with conventional care combined with science based diet and lifestyle strategies).

    As we made changes (including many supplements recommended by Dr. Block in Life Over Cancer and during our trip to The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in 2013) many of her symptoms started to reverse. The lesions starting shrinking to a point. Her energy came back in spades. She stopped losing weight and got back what she’d lost (a bit too much frankly).

    I had contacted The Vitamin D council because I am constantly trying to improve her nutrition and I was becoming concerned about how much vitamin D was actually being absorbed. Will Hunter’s comments reminded me that my wife had her gall bladder removed March 2008 and she was malabsorbing fat which was probably effecting her ability to absorb critical vitamin D3 supplements.

    Your post on this subject was tremendously helpful and filled in many gaps in my understanding. I still have a LONG way to go before I understand this subject as I want to. But your post was a big piece to this complex puzzle.

    If you’d like to see my blog along with the dozens of posts on science based nutrition to complement conventional treatment (including dozens of short videos by nutritionfacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger) it’s stage4living.wordpress.com).

    Many thanks again. I’ll sign up for your newsletter. Please address this vital issue again in the future if you find more helpful information.

  18. I have Crohns disease and now after 22 years with Crohns, I am having digestive problems, namely not absorbing fats. My gallbladder was removed after one of my intestinal resections. My doctor put me on Creon, a digestive enzyme. Are there other digestive enzymes that might work better than Creon? And why wouldn’t my doctor suggest ox bile? I am a bit confused….

  19. Thank you so much for this article. Looks like I’m doing something partly right. Unfortunately my gallbladder tried to murder me, so I no longer have it. So fat absorption is an issue for me. Its only been gone 6 weeks and I can honestly say I haven’t had any really bad problems with digesting food, and I’m sticking to healthy fats and a healthy diet. But then someone came up to me and told me their mom had their GB out 20 years ago and was deteriorating because they were no longer absorbing nutrients! Yikes! I don’t want to end up that way and if I can slow it down and help myself…then good! I’ve already been taking digestive enzymes with the same amount of bile salts, and taking apple cider vinegar daily. So I think I’m off to a good start! Ill share this article with my friend too.

  20. I’m curious as to why you recommend a permanent bile replacement if the gallbladder has been removed? The bile from the liver is still transferred through the common bile duct into the duodenum.

      • I’m wondering, too. I started yesterday taking enzymes as I don’t have a gallbladder anymore and was reading a lot of enzymes if I increase the amount of fat I eat due to a more bulletproof lifestyle. I had some stomach problems lately after meals, that’s why I wanted to try the enzymes. Long story short… boy oh boy… massive diarrhea today. So yeah… I have the feeling MORE bile causes the food to be broken down “too” good.
        can anyone confirm? I don’t know if I should keep taking them… I don’t want to go off LCHF 🙁

  21. Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for a fabulous article. I have Hashimoto’s and have been listening to lots of speakers, yourself included, on the various functional medicine summits held late last year and have concluded that it would be best for me to do The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne with digestive supplements you’ve suggested. I have had my DNA tested and my genetics show fat malabsorption. The Paleo diet prescribes lots of fat consumption, but considering I can’t metabolise fats, should I PERMANENTLY take the various digestive enzymes you suggest?

  22. Hi Lauren,
    I really enjoy your blog and always get so much out of it (love the Vibrant Blue oils!!) Can you recommend a good Omega 3 6 9 that’s highly absorbable? There are so many choices, and I’m not sure if flaxseed and evening primrose oil are estrogenic. Also, fish oil vs plant oils – which is better absorbed? How do you feel about taking Omega 7 like sea buckthorn oil? Thanks

  23. Hi Lauren, founding this blog is like a ray of light in my life. I suffer from bile malabsorption for almost 8 years now. Went to a gastroenterologist and he recommended to get my gallbladder removed which I did but it didn’t helped my condition. Went to a Naturopathic Doctor and he recommended a no fat/vegeterian diet. At the beginning it helped but i still suffer from wattery/ yellowish diarrhea after every breakfast and lunch. Wondering if any of these supplements could help me gain a normal life again. I will appreciate any recommendation.

  24. Hi Lauren, My husband just had a biofeedback treatment/scan done, and we learned that his digestive and overall body enzymes are severely deficient. We eat butter, lard, coconut oil – lots of it but he is still low and he is also not absorbing nutrients well at all. His main issues are heavy metal toxicity and parasires. His body is wanting more fatty acids to chelate the metals. All that to say, what can we do to improve absorbtion, and stimulate his body to produce enzymes?? Your blog is such

    • Hi Elise …

      I am dealing with issues that seem much the same as your husbands. It has been a very LONG road to wellness and it is a lot of two steps forward and one back kind of progress … so do not get discouraged if it takes awhile.

      You mentioned “heavy metal toxicity and parasires”. (I assume you mean parasites) … parasites are often a sign of not enough STOMACH ACID … when stomach acid levels are normal it seems that parasites are not really that hard to keep under control because they get killed off by the acidity in the stomach. When I started this journey I had massive mercury poisoning, some lead poisoning and one other heavy metal that got cleared out so quickly I do not recall what it was any longer. I also had candida and parasites.

      Lauren has a very helpful article about LOW STOMACH ACID that you should probably also read (as I think your husband also has a problem there that needs addressing) …
      “Heal Low Stomach Acid Naturally” …
      http://empoweredsustenance.com/heal-low-stomach-acid-naturally/

      I have not found conventional doctors to be very helpful with this … alternative doctors at least are more likely to recognize that these issues do exist but it is hard to find one that has the right treatment protocol. I have found you really have to educate yourself. And sometimes combine the advice of more than one doctor to get what works long term.

      Does your husband drink enough water … I was chronically under hydrated when I started my journey having come from a home where no one really drank enough. So I have to really keep track of the amount of water I drink because drinking next to no water is such an ingrained habit with me.

      I was put on a very restrictive diet by my first alternative doctor for mercury poisoning, who seemed to help more than other doctors before and since. But eventually it did not do the trick any longer. I think it was causing some problems while it was fixing others. Anyway … The diet eliminated gluten and sweets and kept starches down to a minimum (no more than 20% of any meal). BUT I think I was not getting enough salt on that diet (something the doctor never said was important). I have started adding PINK HIMALAYAN SALT to my drinking water every day since salt is needed for so many things (making stomach acid being one of them). And I am also taking large doses of Thorne (brand) Betaine HCL with meals (the dose amount should go down with time as I improve and my body starts making more on its own.

      Read the link I gave you above on STOMACH ACID as it talks about Betaine HCL
      And also read Lauren’s helpful article on “12 Reasons Why Salt is Good for You” …
      http://empoweredsustenance.com/salt-is-good-for-you/

      Certain blood types make less Stomach Acid to begin with and CHRONIC STRESS interferes with Stomach Acid production. I have had MEGA stress in the past decade … multiple flooding damage to my home … exposure to mold … exposure to mercury the list goes on and on. If your husband has c

      I think you will find that dealing with – Stomach Acid – Salt intake – Ample Hydration -and- Stress Reduction will lead to improvement in your husbands condition. READ and READ and READ … then start applying some of this and see if you notice improvements. And if you know more it will be easier to spot a GOOD doctor if you can find one in your area.

      Hope this helps!

      PS: Sometimes some big changes have to be made … not just in diet … moving to a smaller town or changing jobs … try the above and look at areas in his life that may need some modifying. Sometimes its not a BIG change but smaller changes … staying with the same company but switching to a position that is less stressful within it.
      I have to sell my home as much as I have great memories there of the early years and I do not want to let go … but dealing with insurance over and over again and fighting for what I need is too stressful for my personality. And repeated exposure to mold is not healthy. That will mean selling at a major loss ($$$) because so many other homes were hit by Hurricane Sandy in my area … But as Jack Benny used to say … ‘You’re Money or Your Life’ … if it comes to that – the choice shouldn’t be as hard as we make it … if we are healthier we can earn money again (and we can enjoy our lives more on less money when at optimum health).

      See what you can do without making a major change and if it is not enough take a hard honest look at your life and see if anything needs to change. Change is stressful so do not make it if you do not need to … but be honest … I should have made a change after the first Hurricane and not waited till now to see the writing on the wall.

      Stay calm … and know that things will work out for the best in the end! Sometimes life hits us with the proverbial 2×4 upside the head, because, we need to make a change for the better and aren’t getting the message. You’ll look back on this years from now and see the GOOD that came out of it that never would have happened had this BAD not occurred FIRST.

      And Yes … Lauren’s blog is such a blessing!

      • One of my sentences got chopped off in my original posting I wanted to also include a link to one more of Lauren’s articles, this one about stress …

        Instantly Relieve Stress with Power Poses! …
        http://empoweredsustenance.com/power-poses-relieve-stress/

        I find breathing and meditation to help with stress also … and listening to soothing music while eating helps … when dairy cows listen to Beethoven or Mozart they produce more milk …

        So pick up a CD of Beethoven and Mozart and play it when you and your husband are eating … and DON’T talk about the news or other stuff like that before or during dinner.

  25. Hi Lauren,
    It reads that coconut oil should be absorbed OK. This is the oil that makes me very ill, and is why I believed I am suffering from fat malabsorption. Would there be a different reason why coconut oil makes me so ill?
    Thanks

  26. Found this website in my search to try to resolve my digestive issues and initially hoped I had finally found something which might help me, but am left feeling even more confused! I have struggled with digestive problems for years (starting with constipation and developing into ‘irritable bowel’). I have an under active Thyroid and am pretty sure I struggle to digest fats. Anal leakage and lots of acid and gall bladder pain. It seems to come in episodes and then eases but never leaves me completely. The advice is confusing with regard to continuing to eat fats and which ones and not eating grains? It would be really helpful to state which foods should be eaten and which not. .

  27. 1 week post gallbladder removal for poor function, had terrible pain and nausea couldnt really eat. That all seems to be better however I have terrible diarrhea and heartburn. My dr say I just need time… Wondering if a digestive enzyme and probiotics would be the answer? Thoughts and suggestions thanks

  28. Hi. I have been suffering from bloating, abdominal pain, and ‘greasy’ stools for 5 yrs. I have regular bowel movements. However, immediately after bowel movement I have symptoms of excessive fatigue (like I ran a marathon), extremely dry palms, dry mouth, pain where the muscles meet the bones (periostium maybe?) in my arms and leg that lasts for 12-24 hours. Otherwise I am healthy and play sports without any problems. Rarely, when I have normal non-greasy and non smelly stools I do not have any of those symptoms. Can you tell me what is causing this? What do I do? Thank you

  29. Lauren, I love, love, love all you have written. You are a wonderful ray of light on topics not many have taken a stand (ie. almond flour).

    My son had the GI Effects test done and I used the Support Guide from the CDSA test to interpret the Total Fat in stool results. This showed on p. 9 that another source of fat malabsorption is damage mucosal lining due to damaged mucosa, likely from gluten. (His pancreatic markers and protein digestion were high normal, and there was no marker on this test for bile salts, but at your advice I will also support these with digestive enzymes.) I am pretty sure I have the same issues as he does.

    I thought you might want to add this cause of fat malabsorption to your list for we poor desperate sufferers with this problem!

    • Well, that might not be entirely correct. After cornering my doc for more information, he said the lab company did say it was most likely gall bladder issues. Strange that my whole family has this – including a 14 and 16 year old. The only unconventional things I did over the years (before I knew better) was to give us vit D3 for over 5 years when we were in no way eating enough magnesium (or supplementing) and had even given up dairy for over a year (for fears of lactose intolerance), creating a terrible calcium deficiency as well. Very difficult to get enough calcium from veggies, and I was not trying hard enough (case of bad judgment making me feel ill, and so I was not thinking well enough to realize why so I kept doing the harmful thing). No one said anything other than take Vit D3! Gads… I hear those deficiencies created could itself create calcium gall stones. Another year we had green smoothies every day with spinach. Ugh… I am just hoping it can be fixed with time. Supplements scare me now…

  30. I had my gallbladder removed 3 years ago and have had horrible problems since. Dr’s say it’s IBS-D but I don’t believe it. I feel it’s bile acid diarrhea. I have greasy stool/malabsorption problems. I’ve been low in vit D and B-12 along with dehydration constantly. I have read a lot about taking ox bile but I’m fearful that it will cause more diarrhea. What do you think? Thank you

    • hey Carol,

      sounds like my case. I had it removed 4 years ago and since then I’m walking through hell with it. Doctors think I’m paranoid or something. On top I developed last year Hashimoto Thyreoditis, all problems startet with the surgery. I’m trying to fix this with probiotics since a while and it worked good, but now I eat high healthy fats and have constant stomach cramps. The enzymes I started yesterday because of the obvious malabsorption but today… diarrhea… I will test it further for today, if it’s not getting better I will have to quit it again. It seems like either stomach cramps or diarrhea 🙁 I don’t know what to do either

  31. Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for the info….
    Any reason you have not mentioned doing liver flushes to your readers?? Flushing the whole system beginning with Colon/bowel cleanse would be ideal ! would save a person a LOT of time, money and energy!

  32. Can HCL and other digestive enzymes (I take one with “vegetal analog of pancreatin” and “acid stable protease” by Essential Enzymes) irritate stomach lining? I’ve recently increased dosage of both slightly, still don’t take a lot — either 2 enzymes per meal or HCL daily, just 1-2 per day — but having noticed increased gut pain. Not positive of that connection; could be due to worsening digestion, constipation, reflux. So, before backing off enzymes for a bit, or increasing dosage again, if the real problem is low acid, I thought I’d ask if there’s any evidence re gut irritation due to HCL supplements? I’m pretty sure I’ve got some sort of malabsorption problem, as I’m losing more weight despite eating regularly, with much attention to healthy food. (Is roasted chicken skin considered a “good” fat? I’ve also upped my butter consumption — high quality Amish butter — lately, even mixing it with olive oil. Perhaps I’m eating too much fat, even though its high quality?) I’m getting a bit desperate here, weight down to 1221bs, and feeling weak and exhausted all the time. Thanks for help!

  33. i am scheduled to have my gallbladder removed at the end of June but am really reluctant to go ahead. I have Hypothyroidism and have had some real problems over the past couple of years, Vit D deficiency, Anxiety, Oestrogen deficiency and now gallstones. I have had terrible problems with digestion over the past few weeks leading me to believe I may be Celiac, after eating anything containing Gluten I feel dreadful also I have noticed when I eat nuts within half an hour I MUST go to the toilet and how do I put this…..it’s not pleasant! I seen my GP last week and told him my concerns regarding having my gallbladder removed he said “it may become inflamed, infected and could rupture which potentially could kill you” to say I was shocked is an understatement!

    I need help as to what to do; should I have it removed and then try to cope with any after effects or should I carry on as I am?

    My blood test for Celiac came back ‘normal’ but I have eliminated gluten for the past week and it may be a coincidence but I feel so much better! I have more energy, my hip pain (bursitis) has all but gone, my gallbladder pain has eased and my Anxiety has definitely lessened.

    Any thoughts, advice, comments would be very welcome and appreciated 🙂

  34. Hey, I’ve been having a lot of issues with my tummy of lately, no matter what type of food i am eating, my stomach is producing foul smelling gas and stools, also i am having a bad time absorbing proteins, also its making me really anxious, any help as to how i can get back to normal?

  35. I started eating a lot of coconut oil (around 6 tbs per day) for a health condition. I noticed that my sweat and feces started smelling fatty, like fatty burger, which never happened before. It indicated that I don’t digest fat. Strange, because the only change was adding coconut oil to the diet. I tried adding lipase with every spoon but it didn’t help. I was feeling more and more sick, while eating it, even though never alone, till now, when I just can’t hold it down and feel sick all the time.

    What is going on and is there any way to continue with coconut oil? It helped my condition (Lyme) immensely.

  36. The Beta Plus you mentioned above has the pancrealipase, beet concentrate and ox bile so why do you also suggest taking the beta tcp which just has the panrealipase and beet concentrate?

  37. I get really bad diarrhea when I ingest lots of dairy fat (high butterfat ice cream, lots of butter), but not when I ingest vegetable fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, coconut oil). Is this fat malabsorption, or is this something else?

  38. Dear Lauren,
    About 8 years ago I started feeling nauseous after milk in hot drinks. To cut a long story short it got worse and I would get really bad pains in my back and then I would have to sit on the toilet so long that when i got up i would pass out and for the next few days I had literally no energy. I started to keep a food diary and now limit my fat intake to eggs, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and fat free dairy. All other fats, including coconut, cripple me.I try to keep these in my diet but too much of these can still have the same effect. I went to the doctors who sent me for various tests of my gallbladder, liver and kidneys, i was also tested for celiac. All came back negative with the ‘medical’ opinion that it was probably IBS, which I am very dubious about. Having coped with this for 8 years it has become quite socially debilitating. I have researched lots of websites and come up with nothing conclusive. I try at intervals to reintroduce these fats but this fails cataclysmicly. I really want to try and improve this but not by created other severe restrictions on my diet, such as grain free.I am very interested in a holistic approach and was considering homeopathy.
    Please can you offer me any advice?

    Many many thanks

    • Oh and to add, that recently I have really started reacting to black coffee. This was one of my treats and I have had to cut it out! I get heart palpitations, my mouth waters like I will vomit and I feel faint.

  39. First of all thanks for including me in your mailing list. I have been puzzled for years about why sequestrants didn’t help or work with binding up what were thought to be irritable (a gross understatement) bile salts in the intestinal tract that at the same time were supposed to lower a very high cholesterol.
    After reading your article and some serious pondering of my own, it seems like the real culprits are the undigested fatty acids. Whenever I fast these days, there is still severe irritation but without food, how could the body be producing bile? Conceivably, fats in body tissues are being mobilized, We do have diabetes in our extended family that is also implicated in faulty metabolism of fats. I’d like to read more about this as everything else seems to run into a dead end for me.

  40. Hi there,

    I had my gall bladder removed around 2 years ago and since then I have had a steady increase of weight gain. I heard that taking Beta-plus with a high potency multi-vitamin and a magnesium supplement would help me so I have purchase these items but I am confused about when to take the supplements and how much to take? I’ve tried to research it but I’m getting mixed advise… Could you please help?

    Thanks-Jess

  41. Hello!
    I am 25 years old and had my gallbladder removed August 14th, 2015. Right after having it removed I was finally able to eat! (After finding out I had gallstones in May) I was so excited I could eat without anymore pain. Well for about the last month, I’ve had a terrible time with eating. I’m rarely hungry and when I am hungry and I eat, I just feel very bloated and very full after only a few bites. But what is really bothering me, is I have gained about 15 pounds since having my gallbladder removed. I have the good ole diarrhea and when I do eat, everything goes straight through me. I am so insecure with my body since this surgery. When I was first diagnosed with the stones I lost weight, due to not being able to eat. I just want to be healthy and not have this extra weight. Do you think I would benefit from these supplements?

    Thank you,
    Tianna

  42. Lauren-my gallbladder was removed and I seem to do pretty well digesting fats but I have very dry skin. I am also a vegetarian. Does anyone make a synthetic bile? I really don’t want consume bile from a slaughtered animal. Is anything else I can emulsify fat? I realize bile is the ultimate thing but I am unwilling to use bile from a cow or a sheep etc. thank you in advance, John Rogers

  43. Thank you SO MUCH for this article. I have a number of issues – I have acid reflux, GERD, and a hiatal hernia. About four years ago I had my gall bladder removed. It seems like after I had my gall bladder removed I started having some issues and was later diagnosed with having excess bile. My gastroenterologist put me on a medicine called Cholestipol. But that didn’t entirely stop the bile problem. This past June I began bioidentical hormone therapy and I feel like my symptoms have worsened – my food doesn’t seem to digest properly, I have the icky burning sensation sometimes that comes up in my throat after I eat greasy foods when I belch, and I seem to be belching more often.. I have loose bowel movements and occasionally diarrhea. I feel uncomfortable. I just ordered the ox bile tablets that you recommend in your article. This was a great article, by the way, very comprehensive and easy to understand. I hope they help me. AND I hope you respond to my message, please.

  44. This sounds like good advice. But as for me, I can not have any amount of butter, otherwise I get painfully sick. The dairy fat sits just in my stomach becoming hyper-acidic, causing migraines and all kinds of havoc until it is finally rid somehow, usually in reverse flow. Does this sound like mere allergy/intolerance? Used to not be that way. Of course I believe all people are dairy and gluten intolerant to some degree inanately.

  45. This post is very helpful. I have Fatty liver and working on reversing it with a paleo diet. I was Diagnosed via ultrasound with mild Fatty liver because I continue to have pain under my right breast after Fatty meals. I thought my gallbladder was the issue however I had no stones, no obstruction and normal common bile duct size? All other organs in that area were normal! Its a dull ache and sometimes I have pressure in my shoulder and back? It’s more of a noticable annoyance than pain. It aches. I often wonder if sphincter of oddi isnt working properly. I know my hormones are wacky because of missed periods? Thanks for the post. Id love to hear your opinin of my issue? If it’s not gallbladder related I don’t know what else it could be? I had normal EKG too? Thanks

  46. Hi Lauren
    As I was reading your article I started thinking about my malabsorbtion issues are related to enzymes. In last 4 months I have lost 25 to 30 lbs with all kinds of test done from top to bottom. I have indigestion issues with lots of gas, belching, loose stools and nausea. Couple of years back I was lactose intolerance which slowly faded away and I was able to absorb milk products. For past 4 months I am having issues with my stomach with lot of malabsorbtion and loss of appetite. I am vegetarian and whole wheat/Rice are the only options along with vegetables/lentils. My GI says it is IBS or motility / functional issue which to me doesn’t explain mass loss and joint/back pains or muscle cramps. I need your help on how do I bring my digestion on track. Can you help me ?

  47. hi, i had my gall bladder removed when i was 18. i am now 44 and just realizing there are options to help me with gut problems. i have been told by doctors that ibs is just part of not having a gall bladder. duh..well i finally found a wonderful holistic dr. who told me to get off sugar for four months for candida, but i only did it for a month then introduced a couple pieces of fruit a day back in my diet and i am following the paleo diet but i am now having a real problem problem with the flipside of diahrreah….very slow bowel movements. hard to go sometimes! i am on several good supplements, including a digestive enzyme. i eat tons of greens, veggies and a couple small servings of meat a day. can you tell me what i can do to get my digestion right because something is not right. you seem very knowledgable! thank you for any help!

  48. ok about a month ago i i ate a lot of cheese dip and bean dip in a couple days span. i started getting pressure / bloating like a balloon in abdomen lower right quad under ribs. after relentless tests hyda scan ultra blood work etc phylori test. saying liver up a point, blood work fine gall bladder functioning at 60% saying with in normal range ? im still having pressure and liver pain all along lower back :(. changed diet no fatty meats veggies fresh but still getting sugar, saying certain foods are bad so i go off those other sights saying shouldn’t eat this then others say can eat this. im confused whats out there i can eat without starving lol also on herb for gallbladder and alphelfa tablets as well and reflex med nothing seems to be working .and on curelle digestive herbs.

  49. What an informative article. I wish I had this information 30 yrs ago, my life could have been much better.. Please excuse this long post. It seems ‘common knowledge’ and medical advise has evolved over the decades, some of the mainstream ideas being proven wrong now.. I feel somewhat like a textbook case of what not to do….although I closely followed med advice through the years. Early 30’s, I had mildy high total cholesterol, so I began eating low fat to address this issue. Due to hemmeroids and constipation, I was told to each a whole grain cereal every morning. In my 40’s, I had a sluggish gallbladder. By 50, I was having gastric distress, sometimes worse than others.. Upper and lower scopes were done several times. A camera pill was swallowed to look at my small intestine and the dr said I was celiac due to the look of my damaged villi. The celiac diagnosis was wrong and the dr had no more advice. Saw a gastro multiple times, with no relief.. At 55 I had my gallbladder taken out after flunking the hida scan. I was down to 142 lbs at that time, with a normal healthy weight of 165. About this same time, iI suddenly found that, at times, it felt like my hands and legs were slightly shaking ‘on the inside’. After much testing at the Mayo Clinic, I get a diagnosis of begnign fasciculations syndrome, an autoimmune condition, with confirmation of an autoantibody in my blood. Why share so much? I personally believe everything stated in this article. I had put together some of these causes/effects by doing my own researching of the Internet, but never saw it all put together in one article. Actually, I had figured out I had a leaky gut and healed myself with supplements, enzymes, probiotics, and nutrition. I had not figured out the fat intake/gallbladder/whole grain/villi/leaky gut connection. So, to you young people out there just surfing the net, believe this stuff. Regular MDs, sorry to say, cannot sometimes ‘see the forest for the trees’….and I saw a lot of them. I respect them, but seem to not understand these interactions, even those at the Mayo Clinic. Please, please, please, make sure you take care of yourself as outlined in this article. I’m much better now…I can eat almost anything (but I won’t), but I still have the autoimmune condition. Please use my experience as motivation to follow this advice. Take care!

  50. I left this summary out….I believe if I had ate differently for many years…to support healthy cholesterol production, ate healthy fats, etc. – the slow, long term health issues I experienced would have not occurred.

  51. Hi Lauren, I love your posts! I think I may be having a fat malabsorption problem, but I’m not sure…. My vitamin A levels are severely low (hovering between 19-25mcg/dl), however my Vitamin D is normal (55-60ng/ml). Both are fat soluble vitamins so it’s weird that one is absorbing but not the other. I have tried taking radiant life desiccated liver but that didn’t seem to raise my vitamin A levels… it actually lowered them. Any idea what’s going on? or how to raise my vitamin A levels?

  52. I had a stool test done and it showed I suffer from this. Also have been diagnosed with SIBO. I started supplementing stomach acid and bile acid by Jarrow. The bile acid gives me horrible acid reflux when I take it with the HCI.
    Do you know what this could mean? I’m so confused if it means I don’t need the bile or the HCI. I have no problems with HCI and have gotten all the way to 3000 with no burning in my stomach! So concerned and confused with what I should do!

  53. I would love your thoughts on this. For a long time I haven’t digested fats from nuts, seeds no matter the form and some vegetables like avocado well. no problem with coconut oil or butter or eggs as long as it isn’t in huge amounts. When I am having trouble digesting fats, I feel slightly nauseous and then I want chocolate as if there i something in it that will help. I have always been curious why this is. I am also hoping that I can cure this. thanks.

  54. Hi! I see that this is an older post, but I still wanted to comment. I’ve been struggling with gallstones/attacks for two years. I’m trying to deal with it naturally. One thing that is very interesting to me is that I keep reading about coconut oil for gallbladder issues. I eat healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts daily. But if I have any coconut oil, I’ll have a gallbladder attack. It’s so strange to me that the one oil I’m supposed to be able to eat causes horrible attacks. I can actually eat coconut… And I used to be able to consume coconut milk, but sometimes the milk bothers me now. The oil is an absolute trigger. Do you have any insight into why this might be the case? I talk to doctors, but they all think I’m crazy and need to get it removed. Another interesting thing is that turmeric is supposed to be really good for gallbladder issues and inflammation… Once again, it causes me to have gallbladder attacks! Those are the only two consistent triggers I have and they are supposed to be helping me! I just thought you might have some insight. Thank you for your helpful article and suggestions.

  55. I have tried multiple times to add good fats to my diet and each time I get swelling in my thighs.. I used to follow a chinese medicine blog that talked about estrogen dominance due to congested liver creates swollen thighs. Do you have any thoughts on this? I want to add good fats due to dementia in my family.

  56. A blood test revealed gradually elevating alkaline phosphatase levels, which apparently may occur when liver, gallbladder, or bile flow is not working properly. (Interestingly though, I also just was told I also have a low potassium level, when I suppose could be indicative of a bone issue that could be making my system acidic. I understand phosphorus carbonate is an alternative to calcium to improve bone health, so maybe the low phosphorus and high alkaline phosphatase are two sides of the same coin???) Other situations involve bones or placenta, but I am trying to figure out right now if the problem might be in the bile flow arena. Many of my family have gallbladder issues, including gallstones. I do not have any of the painful symptoms that, for instance, my mother seemed to have.

    However, my stools fluctuate from hard and dark to “floaty” and putty-colored. If I eat something like crab legs (and of course dunk them liberally in lemon just and butter), I cannot leave the restaurant without an “emergency” trot to the restroom. I know poo is not supposed to smell like roses, but I believe mine is more foul than most. Lastly, embarrassing as this is, I seem to have a lot of flatulence. Oddly the gas expelled actually does not have a foul smell. I don’t’have dry skin, etc, and I do not tow the line on not eating fats, in fact I could eat butter right out of the butter plate, if I wasn’t too ashamed of myself to do so. I don’t particularly pay attention to the whole grains thing, except I do prefer the Kashi cereal over others and at least about every third day, I eat cereal for breakfast. TMI??? Well I was just hoping you might see something in my post that might jump out for you and you might be able to head me on the right path.

    Thank you.

  57. hi lauren , i have had for years a huge problem with fat absoprtion, i am now taking enzymes daily i have become allergic to many things dairy, gluten …and of course trouble digesting fats. i lost over 35lbs i am not a big girl so i look malnutritioned. i now eat healthy and take daily supplements .after 39 doctors later i think i have most of it under better control. i would like to try the beta plus you recommended could i take this along with my enzymes

  58. Many of the supplements suggested have porcine which I’m intolerant to. I’m intolerant to beef so that eliminates the Ox bile supplement. What other suggestion to improve fat absorption? I’m intolerant to rice, wheat, corn, barley, rye, soy, dairy, HFCS, beef, poultry, pork, artificial flavors, colors and sugars, msg,. It is hard to find supplements that are clear of these.

  59. Thanks so much for this amazing article! I knew I wasn’t crazy! I got my gallbladder out almost 9 months ago and it has wreaked havoc from the grave. My pancreas & liver have been killing me since the surgery and I believe that is due to sluggish bile. My weight has been crazy uncontrollable (weight gain), and everything else has just been a mess health wise. I read pancrealipase has to be prescribed, but I am SO glad to see I can obtain it through different substances. Thank you for this wonderful article, I found all the information I needed here!! 🙂

  60. Thanks to the author, who wrote this amazing and very informative article. I am utilizing only 2 methods right now, Step 2 ”Include coconut oil in your diet” and ”Enjoy fermented foods to help fat malabsorption” and getting awesome results. These both are working fine for me.

  61. EAT BITTER FOODS every once in a while! A bitter flavor on the tongue actually causes the gallbladder to produce and release bile. Eat dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, spring mix, etc.. Dandelion is marvelous (and in most cases free, just make sure it hasn’t been sprayed)!! Dandelion tea cleanses the liver by opening up the bile ducts and causing it to release toxins. Wormwood tea (one the most bitter herbs known) has anti-parasitic action as well. It can help flush parasites out of the bile ducts, where they sometimes like to hide, according to Dr. A. Gittleman. It’s important to make sure those ducts are clear. (Interesting trivia: a type of wormwood is the basis of the anti-parasite drug artemisinin; the 2015 Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for this discovery.)

  62. This is a great article Lauren! I really enjoyed reading it and found it super informative and helpful! I think I am struggling a little bit with fat malabsorption and all of your tips are great suggestions. You don’t over complicate things, so it makes it easy to understand, relatable and reassuring. Thank you!

  63. I am from United State Of America, I was diagnosed of chronic pancreatitis in 2005 and I have tried all possible means to get cured but all to no avail, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal doctor from Africa who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including pancreatitis, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this herbal doctor via his email, he prepared the herbal medicine and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal medicine, he gave me step by instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed, i was totally cured of this deadly disease within 16 days, I am now free from the deadly disease, my digestive system is now working perfectly, i no longer feel all the horrible pains. Contact this great herbal doctor via his email drlusandaherbal(at)gmail(dot)com or his website on www(dot)drlusandaherbal(dot)weebly(dot)com

  64. I just had a baby. I have started having pains in my upper abdomen on the left side. Is this from fat malabsorption? I have started to eat more fat because I’m breast feeding. I lost too much weight after the baby and need gain. I notice the pain is worse when I’m sitting nursing. Any idea what is happening. I do take digestive enzymes and have for a while. Maybe I have screwed up my own enzymes now.

  65. I had my gallbladder removed in 2009, by dr,. Parel, hi Katie!!!!!!!! Removing my gallbladder was a death sentence. The horror I have had to live through without it is unimaginable. For doctors to be so intelligent and receive the title (MD) is so laughable that Dr. Parcel it still hurts to laugh. Whiie I continue to suffer these doctors (Dr. Parel) are busy packing their bank accounts. Remember Dr. Parcel, in Macon, ga. Coliseum hospital. All these so call gastroenterologis should never have been allowed to enter medical school. Only the people without a gallbladder lives day by day, 24/7 with the after math of the surgery. So exactly what are you doctors. Going to do for us. (Hello). Dr. Parcel & Katie.

  66. I do use Biotic research’s bile salts but should I use the TCP you recommend if I have no gallbladder. I have malabsorption and not digesting my proteins/fats very well based on stool testing by Genova. Do you have any suggestions?

  67. I have IBS and malabsorption issues, but I can’t tell if it’s related to fat or what. I have undigested food and recently an excess of bile (yellow liquid) in stool and dry skin with acne. I tried enzymes and HCL for a brief time but stopped because I didn’t notice a difference. That was before yellow liquid, though. I also believe I have candida overgrowth. I’m currently on a paleo diet but not noticing much difference yet (might be early to tell). Anyways, I normally eat a decent amount of fat and always have, and have been dairy and gluten free for months but just recently started avoiding vegetable oils with paleo diet. Does anyone have similar symptoms (yellow liquid) and any idea what causes or helps?

  68. Three years ago I had a ruptured bowel. And had over 2 meters of small bowel removed. I know have short bowel syndrome. A chronic disease. I have followed and tried many of your recommendations,
    And that of others whom have posted. Not a lot has helped to date. What sits well in the gut one day, does not work well the next day. I am on medication but with food malabsorption they are not helping me. ( in one end, out the other within minutes) I have spent more times in the bathroom than I have slept in 3 years. Weight loss has been incrediaby fast and not slowing down. Am considering putting a tv on the bath room door so I can keep up with the world ! I am house bound by this condition, but have accepted my lot in life. But it has been hard yard and very expensive to get a better life.
    Suffer now with depression as I can not find meaningfull employment, and anxiety as when I have to go out, have to see how close are public ammenities to the shop I want to visit

  69. I don’t know? My wife is a 54 year old female and 3 months ago, mid July we began switching over to a HFLC diet. Now she’s in stage 3b Kidney failure, suffered a stroke. The hospital lowered BP too much because they treat symptoms rather than treat causality, no blockage, no clots, no stenosis, no bleeds. Her brain was just starved of blood flow and oxygen. They were bilateral ischemia, albeit small ischemia but enough to limit left side range of motion and motor control. She use to teach piano…not anymore. Her Creatinine levels in late June were 0.8 and when she was hospitalized in October, she was 2.1, which is stage 4 Kidney Disease. Her Creatinine level has returned to 1.4 but she is so weak because her blood is filled with toxins. Every time she consumes the smallest amount of fat she has horrible reactions. Her BP becomes so low she becomes dizzy, nauseated, slow mentation, and slow motor function. Her Kidneys are dumping Albumin, (protein chains) and that is causing severe Edema, because the protein keeps fluids confined to the vascular system. Dr.’s have her on Lasix for the Edema but after nearly 4 weeks on the diuretic she is still edemic throughout her body.

    3 months ago we eliminated breads, pastas, starchy grains, even beans because they spiked glucose levels in both of us. Nothing but meats, nuts, vegetables and occasional fruits were consumed. I did very well, but she suffered horribly. I wish I could turn the clock back and undo our decision to go the high fat low carb route at least for her. I read this article searching for answers as to why my wife isn’t processing fat and turning it into poison. The article isn’t conclusive enough or referenced enough follow up material to make a determination. I can’t convince Dr.’s that’s what is going on and they just keep treating symptoms instead of causality, I might add, to no avail.

  70. Thank you for the info on taking a break from taking Beta plus. I have been taking it for six months did not know i needed to take a break from it. Do i need to do the same with HCL? Thank you Stephanie 🙂

  71. Dear Lauren,
    I assume that bile does not go into stomach but is delivered directly intestine.
    So, when taking bile supplement, is it an issue that it goes into stomach.
    The bile is very basic in nature and stomach is very acidic. So, would it neutralize the stomach acid resulting in digestion issues.

  72. Hi Lauren,

    I have suffered with IBS for 30 + years. In the beginning I was able to control with diet. I eat no fruits, sugar, caffeine, dairy or fresh veggies. I live on meat and cooked veggies. Had my gallbladder taken out in 1997. Never told to take any supplements. Several years back, I have developed Chronic diarrhea. Constantly loose bowels, never normal bowel movement. Severe diarrhea if I eat any fats at all. Tried living on Imodium for 2 years. Trying to get off of that routine. But it’s very hard. If I have to leave the house (which is not often) I have to take the Imodium. I have read all these blogs and they are very interesting but also very confusing. My first step is what kind of doctor is going to confirm that I have fat malabsorption. I went in 2014 to an Alternative doctor and she did a CDSA (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis) and it showed absorption of Long chain fatty acids extremely high at 37.1 and Phospholipids very high 12.9. I took Q-Zyme Digestive Enzyme blend for a while. I thought it was getting better but now is 100% worse. I don’t know where to go from here. Been to thousands of gastro doctors (even John Hopkins) and no help from any of them. We are finally retired and trying to enjoy some travel and can’t leave the house. Sad situation. Help.
    Any advice?

    • A metabolic dr or functional dr usually does more extensive testing to pinpoint the culprit. Hopefully you find someone soon. I’m in Missouri and have a knowledgeable dr but he is expensive.

  73. Hello,

    My whole life I knew breakfast foods always made me feel nauseous. I was always told I was just a picky eater and that there was nothing wrong with me even though I rejected foods all throughout my childhood. As I got older I realized it was the egg and dairy that I was having an issue with. I went on a strict diet and cut out all processed foods and egg and dairy products but I kept meat in my diet (who has ever been diagnosed with a meat allergy I would tell myself?!) So, despite my best efforts, a 3 month diet of healthy clean eating, I had no energy, I stopped digesting my food, I was constantly depressed, nauseous, having hair loss, I lost weight even though I am under weight, extreme fatigue, and zero muscle. I started going to functional drs that couldn’t pin point what exactly was going on, regular mds said it was all psych issues, basically no one knew why my body was shutting down. I had a list of 30 or so persistent chronic symptoms that were debilitating. I have found a dr that has diagnosed me with fat malabsorption, extremely low progesterone, low iodine, and a few other issues. I am unable to build muscle, I have dry skin, acne, I used to have terrible periods. So he had me on a ton of pills which I hate as well as digestive enzymes which are so expensive about $100 a month on those alone. So, I’m trying to find alternatives because I’m still not feeling well most days. I am going to order the enzymes and oz bile from the links above which is cheaper than what I’m paying now and I’m going to alter my diet again.

  74. My granddaughter is 9 years old. She was born with SPD With eating disorder, which effects all her senses,her little eyes & ears are so sensitive, overly gag reflux, Fecal fat malabsorption,depth perception,abdominal migraines,fine line motor skill problems,developmental delay and swan finger deformity,very sensitive to food textures. She’s had 2 eye surgery and is on eye drops for 5 years then… will have another eye surgery. She goes to Cincinnati Children’s to a feeding team.Lost enamel off her teeth and had to be capped been put to sleep 2 times for teeth work. She has extra teeth/ will be cut out soon.This angel has much to process for a child. She does take a medicine that is suppose to make you thrive which does make her eat a little 2 times a day.When vomiting arrives…….. she take zofran.

    http://empoweredsustenance.com/fat-malabsorption/

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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