Gallstones – The Good News

A recent event has made me look at my own personal diet and the changes that I should be making to better my own health (so I can continue to help all of you).

The gallbladder stores bile from the liver and then transfers the bile to the small intestine to help with digestion. You may or may not have heard of gallstones and gallbladder sludge. The sludge consists of cholesterol crystals, calcium bilirubinate pigment, and other calcium salts, which can turn into stones if not treated. These stones can cause blockages creating inflammation and severe pain. Some people end up having the gallbladder removed. Whether you keep your gallbladder or if it is taken out, there is some good news. You can heal this little organ or if it is already gone, you can continue to have proper digestion all through dietary changes.

To take better care of your gallbladder you need to look at your current diet habits. I often recommend diet logs for a variety of reasons and the gallbladder is on the list. Your diet has a major influence on the gallbladder and the potential development of stones. Some factors also include obesity and a high-fat diet. Losing some excess weight can help reverse the risks and help eliminate stones. The risk of gallstones is also increased by eating animal products, while fiber intake lowers the risk. This helps to explain vegan and vegetarian diets repeatedly showing to be more beneficial.

There will be a couple of handouts in the office regarding a dietary plan that can suit your needs. Don’t fret, if a vegetarian diet is too restrictive for you, I also have a handout on keeping some meat in your plan.

I do consider this good news. Sometimes our pains become our gains in perhaps an unwanted or unexpected way, but it still gives us a healthier and happier life.

References:
PubMed 2001 Apr;3(2):166-73
Healing Through Nutrition by Dr. Melvyn Werbach