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Could anyone recommend a (preferably Australian) website, that has a diet for a sufferer of gallstones to follow?
I know it means cutting out most fats, but just wanting a bit more info about the food side of things.
My ex MIL and brother has them aswell, not very nice at all. :hugs:
I've had a quick search around and this it what i found so i hope it helps somewhat.
Gallstones are stones which form in the gallbladder and are classified as either cholesterol or pigment stones.
Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It helps to break down dietary fats into smaller fragments for digestion and absorption into the body. When fats are eaten, the gallbladder contracts and ejects bile through the common bile duct to the duodenum. When the body needs to break down fats into smaller fragments for digestion, a valve at the end of the common bile duct will open and allow the liquid to mix with the food.
Problems arise when the bile secreted in the gallbladder becomes too saturated with cholesterol and stones may start to form. The small stones travel via the ducts into the digestive tracts and are excreted in the bowel motions. Larger stones may block the ducts because of their size. This blockage will cause considerable pain.
These stones are less common in the Western world and more common in developing countries than cholesterol Gallstones. Pigment stones are brown, crumbly stones, which often result from a bacterial infection, haemolysis, old age or chronic alcoholic liver disease.
These stones are more common in the Western world than pigment Gallstones and are comprised mostly of crystallised cholesterol. The liver, in these cases is producing bile which is saturated with cholesterol. In some cases, however, a person with cholesterol saturated bile will not develop stones while another person with the same type of bile will develop Gallstones. This suggests that there are a number of factors which contribute to the formation of the stones and the best approach is to reduce the risk factors as much as possible e.g., have a healthy diet and avoid excess fat and sugar.
In people under 40 years of age, women are at a greater risk of developing Gallstones than men, whereas in the elderly the ratio is about equal. The reason for this is uncertain. The incidence of Gallstone formation also increases with age. Other risk factors include obesity, a Western diet, oestrogen therapy such as hormone replacement therapy and the oral contraceptive pill, pregnancy, rapid weight loss, Crohn's Disease and a family history of Gallstones. Gallstones also tend to be common in people with liver dysfunctions.
Diet and gallstones
There is some debate about the role of the diet in the formation of cholesterol Gallstones. A diet which is high in cholesterol, saturated (solid) fats, calories, refined carbohydrates and lack of fiber may all contribute to Gallstones. Research indicates that a high intake of refined sugar has a direct link to an increased risk of Gallstone formation. Rapid weight loss with a significant drop in dietary fat intake may also promote the formation of Gallstones.
Signs and symptoms
Many people with Gallstones remain free of symptoms for a long time while others may never develop symptoms at all. If a stone does cause a blockage in a duct within the body, colicky pain may be felt and inflammation may develop. This pain usually occurs suddenly and lasts for approximately one hour as the stone passes through the duct. The pain may radiate to the right lower shoulder blade. Jaundice may be present, as well as burping, bloating, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
As with all conditions your Doctor should be consulted. Your Doctor will diagnose and treat this condition. Ask your Doctor about the latest advice on this ailment. Usually small Gallstones will pass out of the body via the digestive tract in the bowel motion. Pain which continues for more than 6 hours, however, may indicate that a complication such as cholecystitis or pancreatitis has developed. Modern treatment of Gallstones includes the breaking-up of larger stones with ultra-sonic sound waves, dissolving stones with naturally occurring bile acids or surgical procedures.
- To minimise the risk of Gallstone formation, avoid fatty foods such as fried foods, full cream dairy foods, chocolates, rich cakes and desserts, biscuits, slices and snack foods.
- Try to cook and make salad dressings with olive oil and avoid deep frying and frying foods in butter.
- It is best to avoid 'crash' diets, as losing weight too quickly is associated with an increased risk of Gallstones.
- Lecithin granules or capsules may help with the emulsification (break down) of fats.
- Gallstones have been linked to young people who consume high amounts of sugar. A low-sugar, high fibre diet is thought to help reduce the stone-forming potential of bile.
- Aim for 3-4 serves each day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include 4-6 serves of wholegrain cereals in your daily diet. Gallstones are also less common in vegetarians.
- Reduce cholesterol in the diet; cholesterol is found in animal products e.g., red meat, dairy products and eggs etc.
- Eat regular meals, 5 or 6 small meals per day. This helps to avoid overloading the digestive system and allows the body more time to digest any fats.
- Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fresh water daily to help the natural elimination processes of the body.
Nutritional supplements are only to be used if the dietary vitamin intake is inadequate.
- Vitamin C supplementation may be required in cases of Gallstones. Low levels of vitamin C in the body may play a role in the development of Gallstones.
- Low dietary fibre intake is commonly seen in people presenting with Gallstones. Psyllium husks are a good source of dietary fibre.
- Research indicates that an insufficient intake of antioxidant nutrients, particularly vitamin E, may contribute to the development of Gallstones.
- A low intake of unsaturated fatty acids may also increase the risk of developing Gallstones. These healthy oils are known as omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flaxseed oil) and omega-6 fatty acids (found in evening primrose oil and starflower oil).
- The herbs barberry (Berberis vulgaris), dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) and milk thistle (Silybum marianum) all contain bitter properties which may help to stimulate digestive and gall bladder function.
The use of gallbladder flushing techniques is not encouraged, as stones may lodge in the cystic duct and cause damage.
Thanks lauren :hugs:
We think it is the rapid weight loss that may have caused it.
I developed gall stones when pregnant with my now 16 month old DD. I gained 34 kilos in 8 months, which probably has something to do with why they developed:o .
All i can suggest is to cut out ALL fats and spicy foods, as well as acidic foods such as pineapple, tomato etc and any rich foods, use only low fat milk, don't drink too much alcohol or caffeine and book in to get your gall bladder removed ASAP!
I fell pregnant when my DD was 7 months old, and had my gall stones completely under control by strict dieting, i'd lost all the weight that i'd gained in pregnancy and everything was fine. Then i fell pregnant, and from about 8-12 weeks, i'd eat something like a piece of dry toast or an apple and still get pain, apparently the hormones in early pregnancy can do weird things to your gall stones!
Through really watching my diet, i have only had approx 5 gall bladder attacks since 12 weeks, and 2 of them were after eating things i really shouldn't have, the other 3 times i was just unlucky.
Will definately be getting my gall bladder removed asap after this bub is born!
I've had a few gall attacks one I had to go to hospital and get a morphine injection that was before i fell pregnant they are really not nice at all..... but when i got pregnant the fist time they did not play up but the second time I had the niggles you know when you feel something coming on but it dose not develop any further....we lost the baby at 11 weeks... I'm 6 weeks pregnant and am getting the niggles again so we will see how I go through this pregnancy needless to say I still have not got them out I'm a big woose......but they are horrible things
are you having your gall bladder out?
I went on a nothing more than 1 gram of saturated fat diet befor emy operation. It was incredibly hard but also a lot easier because I knew if i ate something naughty i would be in agony in the emergency room. Althoug i ended up totally paranoid about everything i put in my mouth and would have anxiety attacks about food...not so good :no: oh and i didnt eat after 6:30 every night
When I had gall stones, I progressively cut out more and more fats as the symptoms progressed (over about 6 months)... unfortunately, it eventually got to the point where even eating lettuce would set off a severe attack. The only option was for me to have a cholecystectomy (removal of gall bladder). Thankfully, I was living in the country at the time and the waiting list at the public hospital was only 5 weeks.
The pain I experienced with gall stones is the worst I've ever experienced in my life... however, I'll be having a baby in a couple of weeks, so maybe that will change :)
are you having your gall bladder out?
Not me, my Dh. He has had a couple of very severe attacks.
We will know more next week, but it certainly looks like he'll need an operation :thumbsdown:
Thank god we know a brilliant surgeon.
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