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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Disease Diseases Arrow to Disease Gallbladder Disease

Gall Bladder Problems:
Counterattack with a Low-Fat Diet

low fat dietAlthough fatty foods and cholesterol are most often associated with heart disease, a high-fat diet is also the main culprit that leads to gallstones and other conditions that limit gall bladder function. The best way to avoid the pain of gall bladder attacks? Fight back with a low-fat diet!

The Gall Bladder - What Is It?

The gall bladder is a small, pear-shaped organ situated underneath the liver. The gall bladder and liver work in tandem - the gall bladder storing bile produced by the liver, and then releasing it as needed in the digestive process.

When partially digested food passes from the stomach into the small intestine, the gall bladder goes to work expelling bile to aid digestion. Bile is greenish-yellow in color and contains cholesterol, lecithin, and bile salts. If the gall bladder is not working as it should, digestion can be seriously impaired.

What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are the most common type of gall bladder problem. Gallstones are made up of crystallized cholesterol and bile salts. Every year, about 1 million Americans develop them, most from ingesting a high-fat diet.

What are the Symptoms?

In some lucky people, gallstones produce no symptoms at all. Others suffer mild-to-severe pain on the right side of the abdomen as the gall bladder attempts to expel the gallstones into the intestine.

This is the classic gall bladder attack, and women are affected four times as often as men. It's especially common in women receiving estrogen replacement therapy, since it is known that estrogen stimulates the growth of gallstones.

The Counterattack - A Low Fat Diet
more in Health:
digestive system diagram
Digestive System

Although cholesterol is most commonly known to cause heart disease, it has been found that the bile of obese people is super-saturated with cholesterol, leading to the growth of gallstones and predisposing them to gall bladder illness.

Diabetes and low-functioning thyroid have also been found to cause the formation of gallstones. The latest research points to a link between excessive and sudden weight loss and the onset of symptoms.

So what should be YOUR major counterattack in dealing with gall bladder disease?

  • Avoid fatty or fried foods and red meat. On salads, substitute commercial dressings with vinegar - and olive oil - a 'good' fat.

  • Instead of large meals, eat small amounts of food during the day, and especially avoid any large meals at bedtime.

  • Avoid carbonated drinks, which can trigger the movement of the stones causing even more pain.

  • Don't go on binge-and-purge diets. Slow, steady weight loss—or maintaining a healthy body mass index to begin with—is the best news for every organ in your body... including your gall bladder!

Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements

  • Many experts recommend that you start with a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.

  • Vitamin E - best known as a general healer and aid in circulation. (If you are currently taking an anticoagulant you should not take vitamin E.)

  • Fish Oil Capsules - Omega 3 oils are known to block cholesterol formation in bile.

From the Kitchen Cabinet

  • Turmeric - enhances the flow of bile.

  • Ginger - aids in digestion of fats.

  • Eat more fiber! - in the form of vegetables, fruit and grains, but be mindful of beans, oranges, onions, corn and nuts - which may initiate an attack in some people with allergies to these foods.

Finally, always seek your doctor's advice about the best diet regimen for keeping gallstones under control.

Having gallstones doesn't always mean surgery. You can be virtually symptom free by watching what you eat - and launching a counterattack - with a low-fat diet.


About the Author
Dorothy Chiffriller is a specialist in homeopathic and herbal treatments and remedies.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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