Natural Gallbladder Pain Prevention Through Dietary Changes
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It does the important work of storing and releasing bile created by the liver. When we eat meals that contain fat, the gallbladder is stimulated to release the appropriate volume and concentration of bile to help emulsify fats.
Breaking down fats means that we can digest them and absorb fat-soluble vitamins like E, D, A and K. The components of bile including bilirubin, bile salts and cholesterol, are effectively eliminated through the bowels.
When the digestive system is healthy most of us don’t think twice about our gallbladder. Imbalances in nutrition, as well as multiple risk factors beyond our control, can lead to gallstone formation. These small pebbles range in size from grains of sand to golf balls and may fill up the gallbladder, impairing its work. Occasionally, a small stone can move from the gallbladder into one of its bile passages called a duct. It’s when that occurs that the pain often starts, and gallbladder pain related to blocked ducts is referred to as biliary colic.
Often, gallbladder problems begin in midlife and far more often for women. Being a woman is a risk factor for their development, as is being over the age of 40, overweight, and having a genetic predisposition. Estrogen medications or pregnancy can also trigger gallbladder stone pain.
One of the risk factors that we can influence is diet. A high-calorie, low fiber diet is known to cause or exacerbate cholesterol gallstones. As well, being obese is a risk factor so dietary changes are a very effective way to get relief from ongoing gallbladder pain.
Eat More Fiber
The following foods are easy to digest, contain healthy amounts of good fats and plenty of fiber. 30–40 grams of daily fiber can help reduce the risk of gallstone formation. Fiber is readily available in soaked/sprouted beans or legumes, seeds, nuts, fresh veggies and fruit.
Foods That Support Liver Health
Artichokes, beets, and dandelion greens.
Eat More Potassium Rich Foods
Avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and greens.
Dump Animal Fats. Substitute With Healthy Fats
Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and the fats from natural nuts and seeds.
Eat More Raw Vegetables And Fruits
Consume raw foods as they are naturally high in water, fiber, antioxidants and electrolytes. Vegetarian diets are also associated with a lowered risk of gallstones.
Know Your Proteins
For protein adopt a vegetarian diet that is rich in certain nuts like almonds, pumpkin seeds or protein powder. They contain enough protein minus the acidic secondary effects of eating meats. You may also substitute wild caught white fish for meat and poultry.
In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet low in processed and fried food, there are many herbal and natural supplements which can further support the liver and gallbladder, reduce gallbladder pain and keep digestion efficient.
- Milk thistle can increase bile flow and helps to detox the liver that in turn, supports the gallbladder.
- Turmeric is anti-inflammatory so it helps reduce swelling and gallbladder pain while improving bile flow.
- Dandelion root is an excellent bile tonic and supports liver health.
- Barberry supports liver health
- Rosemary oil is recommended to be mixed with coconut oil and rubbed onto the abdomen twice daily
Lipase enzymes can improve fat digestion and the effectiveness of bile.