Gallstones - Rosemary's story 

'I have my gallstones to thank for my new calling in life' 

Picture of Rosemary Conley

Rosemary Conley, author of Rosemary Conley’s Complete Hip and Thigh Diet, searched for ways to manage her symptoms and found a new career.

"I was diagnosed with gallstones in 1986 and was offered an operation to remove my gallbladder. This was in the days before laparoscopic keyhole surgery was routinely performed, so I was facing an invasive operation followed by a long period of recovery.

"At the time, I was winding up a business and couldn't afford to take time out for an operation of this kind. However, my choice not to go ahead with surgery left me with the symptoms of gallstones, so I was forced to find strategies to manage them.

"I had noticed that my symptoms were worse after I'd eaten fatty foods. One little bit of fat seemed to trigger a fortnight of nausea. I began to experiment with a low-fat diet that I devised for myself. I found that not only did my gallstone symptoms ease, but I also looked and felt great. It was this experience that prompted me to share my story with others and write my hip and thigh diet book. I suppose you could say that I have my gallstones to thank for my new calling in life.

"I had keyhole surgery to remove my gallbladder five years later. I was a little uncomfortable for the first couple of days after the operation, but I was back to normal within a week, and I have been fit and healthy ever since.

"The best advice I can give to people with gallstones is:

  • If you are offered a laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove your gallbladder, don’t be frightened. It's relatively painless and should put an end to your symptoms.
  • Avoid fatty foods. If you'd like to try to manage your symptoms before opting for the operation or have to wait for surgery, stick to a low-fat diet and your symptoms should ease.
  • Stick to a healthy diet. Excess weight is associated with a number of health problems, some of which are very serious. Following a healthy, balanced diet will give you the best possible chance of being fit and healthy for as long as possible."

Page last reviewed: 18/11/2013

Next review due: 18/11/2015

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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

ellishnoo said on 12 April 2012

Did Rosemary become vegan when she became diagnosed,... I ask this as we all know how healthy she is, if I knew she became vegan and still had to have the operation five years later then I would have the operation.
. I have a problem with gallstones but would like to avoid an operation if possible.
I have not had a serious attack for a year now, I have lost weight slowly, making sure I still have some fats every meal as this makes the gallbladder release the bile. I have lost nearly 10 stone in two years.. which I put on 4 years ago within a year after I had an ovarian cist which thankfully shrunk without having to have an operation...
I do not want to risk my life, if I have another serious gallbladders attack then I will have the operation,,,
But I think as my gallbladder is still functioning perfectly and I am now vegan than I may be able to avoid the operation all together,.. well this is what I dream but sadly most doctors I have seen just want to cut out the gallbladder.

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