What are Gallstones?
Your gallbladder is a small organ in your right upper abdomen, right below your liver. It’s a pouch that stores bile, a green-yellow liquid that helps digestion.
Issues when something occupies its cavity and duct—like a gallstone.
Signs and Symptoms of Gallstones
- Gallstones can lead to pain in the upper right abdomen or the center of your stomach.
- You may experience gallbladder pain from time to time after you eat foods that are high in fat, such as fried foods, but the pain can occur at almost any time.
- High temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Itchy skin
- A loss of appetite
Diet and Foods to Eat in Moderation
- Eat Unrefined whole grains – whole wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, oatmeal etc.
- intake of healthy fats, like fish oil, and olive oil, which may help your gallbladder contract and empty on a regular basis.
- Eat the proper amount of fiber per day
- Get some sort of physical activity every day.
- Keep yourself properly hydrated.
- If you plan to lose weight, do it slowly. Rapid weight loss may increase your risk of gallstones and other health problems.
While there is no foolproof way to completely prevent gallstones, cholesterol seems to play a major role in their formation. If you have a family history of gallstones, your doctor may advise you to limit foods with a high saturated fat content. Some of these foods include:
- Fatty meat, like sausage and bacon
- cakes and cookies
- Cream and certain cheeses
Health tip: Because people living with obesity are more predisposed to gallstones, keep your weight within a specific BMI.
Risk factors for gallstones
some risk factors for gallstones are related to diet, while other factors are not as controllable. Uncontrollable risk factors are things like age, race, sex, and family history.
Lifestyle risk factors
- Living with obesity
- A diet high in fat or cholesterol and low in fiber
- Undergoing rapid weight loss
- Living with type 2 diabetes
Genetic risk factors
Having a family history of gallstones
Medical risk factors
While some medications may increase your risk of gallstones, don’t stop taking them unless you have discussed them with your doctor and have their approval.