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Food For People With Gall Bladder Stones

By Dr. V Devendran +2 more

What are gall bladder stones?

The Gall Bladder is an organ on the right side of the abdomen and is located below the liver. It stores the digestive juice(bile) secreted by your liver, which is released into the small intestine to help break down fats. Gallstones are solid deposits formed in the gall bladder and the condition is medically known as cholelithiasis. These occur in a range of sizes and can be single or multiple in number. 

The symptoms of gall bladder stones may include abdominal pain, indigestion, back pain, fever and vomiting. In case you experience any of these symptoms over a few hours or repeatedly, consult your doctor for the diagnosis and treatment. 

Remember that it is important that you provide your body with proper nutrition to restrict the symptoms from escalating. So, what should you eat and what foods should you avoid when you have gall bladder stones?

As a doctor, I advise individuals with gallstones to incorporate foods rich in vitamin B and iron into their diet. Some examples may include whole grains, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, and sea vegetables. These nutrient-rich foods may provide essential vitamin B and iron, which are important for maintaining overall health.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

Foods that you should eat

A proper diet may not help to fight all the symptoms of gall bladder stones or save you from surgery. But a healthy nutritional plan might help prevent the symptoms from worsening. The goal of the paragraph is to provide a guideline on what foods you should include in your diet to help reduce the stress on the gall bladder. We recommend consulting a doctor and a nutritionist for an appropriate meal plan.

1. Plant-based foods

It is common knowledge that plant-based foods are rich in nutrients, which are essential for the body to stay healthy and functional. They also provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in ample. These antioxidants mainly flush out toxins and free radicals from the body. These develop due to the natural bodily processes and consumption of processed food. A high accumulation of toxins can break down the body’s natural balance and can cause cell damage. These plant-based foods offer the nutrition needed to get better and help reduce the stress caused to the digestive system. Another advantage is that plant-based foods decrease the risk of cholesterol in a person, which may help manage cholesterol gallbladder stones.

As a piece of advice that I consistently offer to patients with gallstones, I recommend basing their meals on starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. By focusing on these wholesome carbohydrates, individuals with gallstones may create a nourishing and gallstone-friendly diet that promotes good health that contributes to a better you!

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

2. Lean protein

Including a source of protein that is low in saturated fat might help lower the bad cholesterol amounts in our body. Red meat, a good source of protein, is high in fat, which can put stress on the gall bladder. Thus, choosing lean protein sources might help you manage the symptoms of gall bladder stones. Some common options are:

  • Low-fat milk and dairy products.
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds.
  • Dairy alternatives like almond milk, oat milk and soy milk.

You should also avoid processed meats and dairy products as they generally have higher salt content. According to a study published in the database of the National Institutes of Health, a higher intake of vegetable protein might help lower the risk of gall bladder conditions.

Based on my personal experience, I have found a great way to add more fruits to a gallstone-friendly diet. I recommend including fruits like bananas, berries, or a handful of dried fruit in your breakfast cereal. By doing so, you may enjoy a delicious and nutritious start to your day while ensuring you incorporate the benefits of fruits into your diet.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

3. Fibre-rich foods

Fibre is essential for good digestive health and enhances the movement of food through our gut. Thus, fibre-rich foods help lower the production of secondary bile acids, which can help decrease the stress on the gall bladder. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, a high-fibre diet helped decrease the production of biliary sludge. An increase in the amount of this sludge means an increase in the risk of gall bladder diseases. Thus, people who follow a fibre-rich diet might be at a reduced risk of gallbladder stones. It also suggests that a fibre-rich diet might offer relief to people affected with gall bladder stones. Some sources of fibre are:-

  • Whole fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes like lentils and chickpea
  • Nuts, seeds and whole grains

4. Vitamin C

According to a Hospital Case Study published by the National Library of Medicine, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Folate can help reduce the risk of gall bladder diseases and improve your gall bladder health. Some sources high in Vitamin C are:-

  • Citrus fruits like lemons oranges and grapefruits
  • Vegetables like broccoli and red and green peppers
  • Other fruits like kiwis and strawberries

As part of a gallstone-friendly diet, I may suggest incorporating healthy fats such as fish oil. It may help support the regular contraction and emptying of the gallbladder.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Foods you should avoid

Now that we know about what foods we should include in our diet for a healthy gall bladder let us look at some we should avoid.

1. Refined bread and carbohydrates

Unrefined carbohydrates are considered to be healthy and some sources, like whole grains and cereals, can provide essential nutrients. However, refined carbohydrates are more difficult to digest and may increase the risk of gall bladder diseases. Some carbohydrates that you need to steer clear of are:-

  • Processed baked items
  • Added sugars, sweeteners and chocolates
  • White Flour and Refined Grains

2. Saturated and trans fats

The bile produced in the gall bladder helps dissolve fats. However, it is difficult to break down saturated and trans fats, which may add to the stress on the gall bladder. Some major sources of these unhealthy fats are:-

  • Processed meats and red meat
  • Dairy products (do not include the low-fat ones)
  • Processed and fried foods
  • Candies, chocolates and ice cream

Some tips for fast recovery after gall bladder removal

Removal of the gall bladder does not have any serious adverse effects on the body’s digestive system. However, their systems will take time to adjust, during which they must make certain dietary changes to accommodate the body’s condition. Some common tips include:-

  • Eat smaller but frequent meals.
  • Reduce the fat intake and consume low-fat alternatives.
  • Avoid caffeine, spicy food and anything that might upset your digestive system.
  • Consume easy-to-digest light meals.

Always be sure to consult your doctor in case you face nausea and pain.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):

What can you eat when you have gall bladder stones?

It is important to adopt a diet that puts lesser stress on the digestive system and is rich in fibre. These foods will help promote digestion. Refer to the article for detailed guidelines.

What should I avoid eating with gallstones?

Avoid oily and deep-fried foods. Anything that triggers indigestion or bloating must be avoided. 

What can I drink with gallstones?

Some common drinks that you can safely consume while you have gallstones are – apple cider vinegar, apple juice, peppermint tea, turmeric tea, buttermilk and water. You should avoid drinks like caffeine that can further upset your digestive system.

What is the fastest way to relieve gall bladder pain?

The best way to get rid of pain due to gallbladder stones is by the surgical removal of the gallbladder. Other ways can be the painkiller medicines advised by your doctor. Do not take too many painkillers for a very long time.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.



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