Read These Diet Tips to Prevent Gallstones

Do you suffer from gallstones? Try some of these diet tips!
Read These Diet Tips to Prevent Gallstones

Last update: 12 October, 2018

Diet is a key factor in the treatment of patients who have gallstones. A healthy diet can accelerate recuperation, help control symptoms, and help prevent gallstones.

Patients with gallstones should change their diets to stimulate the expulsion and replenishing of the bile. It’s not just to facilitate the expulsion of crystals, but it also  helps to prevent other complications in the system.

Consuming various foods that are low in fat helps the recuperation process. Even though it’s not advisable to adopt a strict regimen, it’s vital to avoid some foods that can worsen the situation.

Recommended menus to treat this illness can vary in individuals. This depends on the gravity of the situation, your age and lifestyle. However, there are some generalities that everyone can put into practice to facilitate treatment.

What are Gallstones and What Are the Symptoms?

Avoid Gallstones
Gallstones, also called bile stones, are hard deposits that for inside the gallbladder. Their size can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

Most of the time they are formed by the accumulation of residues of cholesterol, but they can also a product of excess bilirubin in the bile. Some people only have one gallstone, while others have several.

Symptoms of Gallstones

Many gallstone cases are asymptomatic. If they cause an obstruction in a pathway of the body, patients may experience:

  • Sudden pain that intensifies in the upper part of the abdomen
  • A pain just below the sternum
  • Nausea and vomiting
  •  Jaundice
  • Chills and fever

Tips to Prevent Gallstones with a Healthy Diet

The principal objective of a diet to fight gallstones is to help to expel the hard deposits that can produce obstructions or difficulties in the system. At the same time, it complements the treatment to mitigate the symptoms to prevent complications.

If the symptoms are severe, or if the patient is taking medication, the diet ought to be supervised by a professional. Even though there are basic aspects to consider, there are special measures that need to be taken.

Reduce your consumption of fat

Reduce the consumption of fat
The whole diet plan to fight gallstones should be to restrict the consumption of saturated fats and trans fats. A diet low in fat avoids the formation of hardness in the gallbladder. It also helps in the recovery process.

It’s not advisable to eliminate sources of fat entirely, since some healthy fats improve the composition of the bile and help encourage its removal. Because of this, it’s ideal to replace harmful lipids with unsaturated fats such as avocado and olive oil.

Among the prohibited foods are:

  • Whole dairy products
  • Yellow cheeses
  • Fatty meats
  • Processes and cured meats
  • Organs such as the liver, heart, kidney and intestines
  • Sauces and dressings
  • Baked goods
  • Chocolate and its derivatives
  • Fried and fast foods

Increase your consumption of water

Dehydration can cause serious complications for people with gallstones. Patients should drink water throughout the day. This liquid reduces the concentration of bile and aids in the decomposition of cholesterol crystals.

  • It’s best to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day until there is an improvement.

Consume fruits and vegetables

Consuming fruit and vegetables
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables provides the body with water, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals that offer a protective role against gallstones.

These foods are satisfying and should be included in the total plan of a healthy diet. Consuming them, among other things, decreases the concentration of cholesterol and harmful fats.

Add more fiber to your diet

Foods with a high content of fiber are essential in a diet to fight gallstones. The assimilation of this nutrient helps to absorb the bile to aid in its excretion before being reabsorbed into the gallbladder.

Some foods with fiber are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Seeds, legumes and whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables
  •  Papaya
  • Figs

Drink medicinal plant infusions

Drink medicinal plant infusions
Consuming some plant infusions, or teas, is a great complement to calm the symptoms of gallstones. In fact, some components help to decompose the stones more easily.

Recommendations are:

  • Horse tail
  • Milkweed
  • Camomile
  • Turmeric
  • Artichoke

If the symptoms become worse, in spite of these diet tips, consult a doctor immediately. Sometimes, the gallstones are too big and can only be removed surgically.

  • Park CH., The management of common bile duct stones. Korean J Gastroenterol, 2018. 71 (5): 260-263.
  • Lammert F., Gurusamy K., Ko CW., Miquel JF., et al., Gallstones. Nat Rev Dis Primers, 2016.
  • Di Ciaula A., Garrut G., Fruhbeck G., Angelis M., et al., The role of diet in the pathogenesis of cholesterol gallstones. Curr Med Chem, 2019. 26 (19): 3620-3638.