How to avoid gallstone-causing foods?
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ positioned below your liver. Its function is to store bile that your liver produces and release it into the small intestine to help the digestion process.
Certain foods can boost a healthy gallbladder and keep it disease-free, specifically from gallstones. It is a sensitive organ, and hence you must eat a gallbladder-friendly diet.
What are Gallstones?
One of the primary causes of gallbladder disease is poor eating habits. It leads to two problems called cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) or gallstones (cholestasis).
Gallstones specifically are one of the most commonly occurring problems damaging this organ. Also referred to as cholelithiasis, these are small stones that grow inside the gallbladder. They can be as tiny as an inch or grow as big as the size of this organ.
What are the Symptoms of Gallstones?
The symptoms can be discomforting, which include:
- Unbearable pain in the upper abdominal area, generally on the right side, below the ribs.
- Jaundice, if the gallstones block the gallbladder ducts.
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the back or shoulder, on the right side of your body.
- Chest pain
- Light-colored stools
What Happens If You Ignore Gallstones?
Suffering from a gallbladder problem, specifically gallstones, in the long term may worsen it. You may reach an irreparable situation where you may need to get this organ removed. At this stage, you must visit a gallstones specialist, who may advise you of a surgery called a cholecystectomy.
So, to avoid the trauma of surgery, visit a gastro doctor without any delay if you experience any of the associated symptoms.
The foods that may increase the risks of gallstones, a gallbladder attack, or affect its health, include:
- Vegetable oil
- Peanut oil
- Do not eat fried food items.
- Stay away from fatty meats if you are working on keeping your gallbladder healthy. You can still enjoy red meat, but make sure that it is lean meat.
- Avoid high-fat dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, or milk. Opt for low-fat yoghurt and milk. Go for cheese that contains less than 5 grams of fat per ounce.
- Refined white foods (bread, kinds of pasta, etc.)
- Foods having high-fat content.
- Processed foods.
- Carbonated soft drinks and sodas are highly damaging.
- Avocados, as they are high in fat.
- Also, avoid sugary desserts and salty snacks. Instead, choose fruits with yogurt, frozen desserts low in sugar, light cookies, roasted chickpeas, and unsalted nuts.
Can my Diet Help Prevent Gallstones?
According to medical experts, the best way to protect yourself from gallstones is by maintaining proper body weight, exercising regularly, and following healthy eating habits.
Your diet must include:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables. Mostly, ones that are loaded with fibre and contain low-fat content. A few examples are bell pepper, dark leafy greens, and tomatoes.
- Fish, sardines, shellfish
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
- Foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, and calcium are also essential for a healthy gallbladder.
Apart from this, there are other resources from where you can learn about foods and ways to keep your gallbladder in good shape. They are:
- Read medically proven blogs.
- Articles reviewed by healthcare experts.
- Visit helpful websites like Healthline.
Consult a gallstones specialist to work out a healthy diet plan. You can also avail of the services of a dietician or a nutritionist. Following a diet reviewed by a specialist can prevent the occurrence of gallstones.
If your condition still does not improve, visit the best gastro hospital in Coimbatore to know more about the various treatment options.