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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Gall Bladder Disorders >>  Excess cholesterol forms gall bladder stone

Diet For Gallstones Sufferers

Gall bladder stones are a very common problem, which can affect people of all ages. These stones can appear in different sizes; at times, gall stones could be as small as a grain of sand, whereas at other times, they could be as big as a golf ball. It is also possible for some people to suffer from the problem of multiple gallstones at the same time. Based on their composition, gall bladder stones can be divided into three types, which are cholesterol stones, pigment stones and mixed stones. Most people who suffer from other medical conditions, especially heart and cholesterol related problems, ask their doctors about information on cholesterol and gall bladder stone formation.

As the name suggests, cholesterol stones are made up of hardened cholesterol and are yellowish-green in color. More than 80% of the gallstones seen in people are cholesterol stones.

Cholesterol and Gallbladder Stones Symptoms

There are many people who have “silent stones”; this is known as such, because these stones can be asymptomatic for years. In most people, the symptoms of stones only appear when the stones reach a certain size, which is more than 8 mm. The most common symptom of gallstones is a “gall attack”. When this happens, people experience severe pain, in the upper right side of the abdominal area. Nausea, abdominal bloating, gas, belching, indigestion and vomiting are also common cholesterol and gallbladder stones symptoms. Though not very common, some people have been known to feel sever pain between the shoulder blades or just below their right shoulder. A gall attack can last for anywhere between 30 minutes and several hours. Most people face this problem after eating a heavy meal, which is high in fat.

Cholesterol and Gallbladder Stones Treatment

Cholesterol stones can be treated without any surgery, though that may not always be the case with pigment stones. For smaller cholesterol stones, doctors may recommend oral dissolution therapy, where drugs made from bile acid are prescribed so that the gallstones can be dissolved in it. The smaller the gallstones are, the sooner they can be dissolved. In case of multiple stones, people may need to undergo treatment for months or even years, before every single stone is dissolved. There are a few side effects associated with these drugs, which could include diarrhea and increase in the levels of cholesterol.

Another procedure known as contact dissolution therapy is a relatively new form of cholesterol and gallbladder stones treatment. In this method, the medication is injected directly into the gallbladder, so that the stones can be dissolved. Though this technique brings about results in about 3 to 4 days, it is avoided by most people, mainly because of the complications that have been associated with it.

Studies indicate that stones treated without surgery have the tendency to recur after 5 years or so. In case of pigment stones, it may be necessary for people to undergo a surgery.

Diet For Gallbladder Stone

There are many people who get rid of the stones in their gall bladder, simply by taking the right medication and following a diet for gallstones sufferers. In fact, a proper diet for gallbladder stone problem not only flushes out the existing gallstones, but can also keep new ones from forming. Many alternate healers advise people to follow a 6-day apple juice diet for gallstones; however, traditional health care providers may not agree with them. Nevertheless, there are certain foods that are good for this condition, whereas other may aggravate it.

Gallbladder Stones Foods To Eat

Given below is a list of some of the most common gallstones foods to eat:

  • Foods which are high in fiber, such as whole grains, cereals, beans and legumes. Hence, whole grain breads, breakfast cereals, muffins, whole grain pasta, corn bran, buns and brown rice are all good for this condition. 
  • Fresh fruits usually contain high amounts of water soluble fibers, as well as vitamins and minerals. Hence, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, dates, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, raisins and prunes should be eaten in high amounts. 
  • Certain varieties of vegetables like broccoli, beans and corn are very good for avoiding gallstones.

Gallbladder Stones Foods To Avoid

Given below is a list of some of the most common gallstones foods to avoid:

  • Red meat 
  • Fried and fatty food 
  • Eggs 
  • Alcohol 
  • Onions 
  • Whole milk 
  • Butter 
  • Cheese

People who undergo surgery to get rid of stones in their gallbladder need to follow a gallstones surgery diet for a while. Based on the type of surgery performed, patients are generally given IV fluids, until they are capable of hold down solid foods. Once the patient can eat solid, the diet followed should be light and low in fat.

In case of women who face the problem of stones in the gallbladder during the course of pregnancy, a bland diet for gallstones may be recommended. Before following any recommended diet for gallstones, it is important for people to check with their health care providers. Women too, need to get a go ahead from their doctors, before they follow a diet for gallstones during pregnancy.

Submitted on April 29, 2011