Here Is Why Eating The Wrong Foods Can Cause Gallbladder Pain
Many of us go through life without giving thought to our gallbladders. Even for those who have developed the hardened deposits of calcium and bile called gallstones, symptoms often don’t appear or go by unnoticed. However, we often become very motivated to diagnose and treat symptoms when we suddenly develop gallbladder pain.
Gallbladder disease can include inflammation or hardening of the walls of this small, pear-shaped organ. Because the gallbladder is responsible for storing and releasing appropriate amounts of bile to aid digestion, if it becomes clogged or blocked then the meals we eat lead to related pain. If you have been diagnosed with cholecystitis, or, gallbladder disease, then your doctor may have advised you to reduce your fat intake. This is because the fat content in our meals is what stimulates contraction of the gallbladder and release of bile. High fat or greasy foods can lead to severe gallbladder pain if its function is blocked. When you eat fat and the gallbladder is stimulated, blocked ducts will cause bile to build up pressure in the gallbladder and to circulate bilirubin, salts and cholesterol back into the system. Excess by-products of digestion are normally eliminated in the stool so light-coloured stools or darkened urine can be an indicator that the gallbladder’s function is impaired.
When bile ducts are blocked, fat-soluble vitamins we consume such as vitamin E, D, A and K will have difficulty being absorbed. This may lead to nutritional deficits.
Whether occasional digestive upset and post-meal pain, or consistent, extreme discomfort because of a gallstone blockage, making changes to the food you eat will have some immediate and some long-term benefits.
If you’re suffering from gallbladder problems, there are some dietary adjustments you can make to bring some relief and help prevent further pain and stress for your gallbladder. For a more in-depth discussion on gallbladder diet go our gallbladder diet page.
Begin By Avoiding
- High fat dairy such as cheese and ice cream
- Fried and processed foods such as donuts, chips, or anything greasy.
- Red meat
Add To Your Diet
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Wild Caught Fish
Whole Grains And High Fiber Cereals
There are a number of contributing risk factors for gallstone formation including age over 40, a family history of developing stones, your gender being female and obesity. Though we cannot change these and even obesity may not be simple to control, overweight patients who have a diet specifically high in cholesterol and low in fiber appear to suffer the most. Changing to a diet that is lower in saturated fats and higher in lean protein, vegetables and good, heart-healthy fats will help to reduce body weight in a safe way. Crash dieting and rapidly losing weight can actually trigger gallstone formation and lead to more gallbladder pain.