You Are What You Eat Part Two - To Gallbladder Or Not To Gallbladder That Is The Question?

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Between 10 and 15 percent of Americans will develop a gallbladder problem at some point in their life. Gallbladder removal is one of the most common operations in the UK, with around 60,000 performed in the UK each year as of a 2016 report.

Gallbladder we surgery is BIG business! 

(Please do read our website disclaimer before using this site and always seek your doctors advice and supervision before using our resources) Part One of To Gallbladder Or Not To Gallbladder That Is The Question LINK

Here are some ways you can help yourself through the food you eat.

Other topics of assistance are The Link Between The Microbiome And Gallstones - Feed Your Gut Flora  

Book - Foods for your Gallbladder 

Microbiome Foods and Fasting are also effective methods in helping your gallbladder and preventing gallstones. 

  • Include plenty of foods specific for helping the liver and gallbladder function. They include beets and beet leaves, fresh green leafy herbs such as are mint, parsley, cilantro and arugula.


  • Increase the amount of sulfur rich foods in your diet, such as garlic, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.


  • Taking digestive enzymes at the beginning of your meals may reduce symptoms. A good digestive enzyme supplement will combine enzymes with betaine hydrochloride (hydrochloric acid) and ox bile.


  • Some people need additional ox bile. If you have several stones in your gallbladder, or very large stones, or if your gallbladder is inflamed, you are probably not secreting enough bile into your intestines each time you eat. That can cause indigestion, feeling unwell after oily meals and it can lead to a deficiency of essential fatty acids. Taking ox bile with each meal can help to reduce these symptoms, and it can help to soften gallstones and reduce their size.


  • Take a good liver tonic twice daily; ensure it contains St Mary’s Thistle, dandelion root, globe artichoke and the sulphur bearing amino acid taurine.


  • Find out if you have any food sensitivities. In the vast majority of cases, food intolerance aggravates gallbladder problems. The most common problematic foods are gluten, wheat, dairy products, eggs, soy and nuts. You can try an elimination diet or you can see a naturopath or nutritionist to help you identify problem foods and come up with alternatives.


  • Sip one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed in a quarter of a glass of warm water before meals.


  • Increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids – Suitable sources are oily fish, good quality fish oil supplements, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Keep oils in the fridge.


  • Another healthy fat to include in your diet is organic, cold pressed coconut oil. It is mostly comprised of medium chain fatty acids, which do not stress your gallbladder because they do not require bile for their digestion.


What Nutrition and Supplements help gallstones?

These nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:

  • Eliminate suspected food allergens, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives and chemical food additives. Eggs, especially, may irritate the gallbladder. Your doctor may test you for food allergies.


  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.


  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).


  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.


  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.


  • Eat more fiber. Consider fiber supplements, such as flaxmeal. Combine 1 heaping tsp. of flaxmeal in 8 oz. of apple juice for a drink high in fiber and pectin.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.


  • Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.


  • Avoid alcohol, and tobacco. Some evidence suggests that people who drink caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of gallstones, though study results are mixed. Talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, as caffeine can affect several conditions and interact with medications.
  • If possible, exercise lightly 5 days a week.


You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.


  • Vitamin C , as an antioxidant and for immune support.


  • Phosphatidylcholine , may help dissolve gallstones. May interfere with some medications, including anticholinergic medications used in the treatment of Alzheimer disease and glaucoma, among others. Talk to your doctor.


  • Alpha-lipoic acid , for antioxidant support. It is possible that alpha-lipoic acid could interact with some chemotherapy agents.


  • Magnesium , for nutrient support. Magnesium can potentially react with a variety of medications, including some antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, diuretics, muscle relaxers, and others. Large doses of magnesium may result in dangerously low blood pressure and slow breathing. People with kidney disease may have problems clearing magnesium from their body.


  • Taurine , for nutrient support. Taurine can potentially interact with lithium. People with a history of bipolar disorder should take taurine with extreme care.


  • Vitamin D , for immune support. Preliminary studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and gallstones.



The most common signs and symptoms of gallbladder dysfunction include:

  • Indigestion, particularly after eating rich fatty meals or dairy products


  • Abdominal bloating or a feeling of excessive fullness after meals.


  • Reflux or heartburn, also known as GERD


  • Diarrhoea or loose, urgent stools after some foods


  • Abdominal cramps or other pain after a meal


  • Discomfort behind the right shoulder blade, or top of the right shoulder


  • Moody, irritable disposition


  • Low tolerance to alcohol


  • Sweating feet or excess sweating in the body in general


  • Bad breath and coated tongue


  • Fatigue after eating.


There are several types of gallstones:

  • Cholesterol stones
  • Pigment stones - these are formed from calcium bilirubinate (a component of bilirubin) and appear black or brown.
  • Mixed stones - some people have both types of stones in their Gallbladder


Cholesterol stones are by far the most common type, accounting for 80 percent of all gallstones. They are made of hardened cholesterol and look yellow-green in colour.



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