Can A Ketogenic Diet Cause Gallbladder Attacks?
Many people turn to a ketogenic or, “low carb” diet in order to lose weight, however there are drawbacks for this diet when it comes to the gallbladder and digestive health.
The Ketogenic diet was originally created for patients with epilepsy by researchers working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in the 1920s. Their research found that fasting helped reduce the amount of seizures their patients suffered, and provided other health benefits. Long term fasting or total avoidance of food is not sustainable, so the ketogenic diet was created to mimic the effects of fasting on the body.
This diet uses strict elimination of carbohydrates to put the body into a state of “ketosis,” meaning that most of the body’s energy will come from burning fat stores instead of sugar. Being in a state of ketosis results in fairly rapid weight loss. The diet prescribes high levels of fat and protein in the diet with minimal carbohydrates in order to provide adequate nutrients while maintaining a state of ketosis.
Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet On Gallbladder Health
The ketogenic diet can affect the gallbladder in a few ways. Frequent fasting has the effect of slowing bile production and usage. This leads to stagnant bile that eventually turns to sludge and gallstones.
While gallstones are often composed of cholesterol, the main source of cholesterol type gallstones is excessive protein consumption. The more proteins, the more excess proteins that will become a source of congestion in the liver, eventually leading to fatty liver conditions and gallstone formation. The majority of individuals consume excessive amounts of protein and this may be one of the sources for the gallbladder attack epidemic of today, especially because meats sold in developed countries are loaded with hormones.
The incidence of gallbladder attacks in children in their early teens has increased dramatically; so much that statistics show that children below 11 years of age account for 40% of all pediatric cases of gallbladder attacks or chronic cholecystitis. Statistics also show that the remaining 60% occur in children in those from 11 to 20 years old. Excessive consumption of fatty and fried foods, overconsumption of meat and medicating pharmaceuticals at an early age, is a main contributing factor for gallstone formation in children.
Healthy fat intake provides cholesterol for bile production, but excessive fat, particularly animal fat, yields cholesterol build up in the liver and eventually leads to gallstone development. However, dietary cholesterol promotes gallbladder contractions to prevent bile from stagnating, thickening and forming gallstones.
Mind That Sugar – Simple Vs Complex Carbs
Consuming healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, while avoiding simple carbohydrates appears to have a positive effect on the gallbladder. Raw sugar is considered a simple carbohydrate. A diet where sugar consumption is prevalent is tied to gallstone formation because it contributes to magnesium deficiency and this leads to the calcification of cells, which eventually make up bilirubiin, the main component of calcified gallstones.
Examples of other simple carbohydrates are:
- Raw sugar
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup
- Glucose, fructose, and sucrose
- Fruit juice concentrate
These can be found in: sodas, baked goods, processed foods, fruit juices, and processed breakfast cereals.
Complex carbohydrates are found in:
- Whole grains
All of the above complex carbohydrate sources are full of dietary fiber and many contain a significant level of magnesium, a necessary mineral electrolyte essential for gallbladder health. Eating complex carbohydrates actually helps promote gallbladder health and eliminating them, as you do in a ketogenic diet, will only ensue potential gallbladder problems later on.
A Ketogenic Diet Is A Rapid Weight Loss Modality Tied To Gallstone Development
Any rapid weight loss diet promotes gallstone formation. A ketogenic diet tends to promote rapid weight loss. Instead, it is advised that you lose excess weight in a sustainable, healthy way, at a rate of no more than 2 pounds per week.
Other risk factors for gallbladder formation include taking hormone therapy or oral contraceptives, taking statin drugs, and being overweight.
On the other hand, consuming clean protein, preferably from vegetarian sources, is necessary for the liver to produce enough bile to emulsify fats. Inadequate protein levels for extended periods of time will lead to deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E and K, so the high fat/high protein diet does focus on providing the necessary nutrients for good liver and gallbladder function, but excessive protein consumption may yield gallstone formation and gallbladder attacks.
Gallstones Can Be Dissolved
If nature made it, nature can take it apart. Yes gallstone can be dissolved naturally without the need of surgery. How, you may ask?
A program called the Pulverexx Protocol is a thirty-day natural dissolution program that uses a special combination of herbs from the pristine rainforests of the Amazon to dissolve both cholesterol and calcified gallstones. It will help effectively dissolve and clear gallstones, sludge and congestion from the gallbladder, common bile duct, the mouth of the pancreas and the liver. The Pulverexx Protocol may stop pain in as little as 24 hrs or less. The program has been around since 2010.