Gallstones are a condition that affects between 5 and 25% of adults in the Western Hemisphere. At first, it seems like a benign disease, but over time it can have a series of complications that, in some cases, could compromise the patient’s life.
Although the definitive treatment for gallstones is indeed the removal of the gallbladder, it is also true that this type of intervention is prescribed only for patients with symptoms of the disease. The rest of those affected should be kept under medical observation and take particular care with food to delay the onset of symptoms. For this reason, it is necessary to know which foods are prohibited and which are allowed for those who suffer from this disease.
At FastlyHealwe, tell you about the prohibited foods for gallstones.
Gallstones: What Are They and How Are They Formed?
Stones in the gallbladder are a product of the hardening of digestive fluids deposited in the gallbladder. This organ, which is located behind the liver, is the reservoir for bile, the liquid responsible for the digestion of fats and reaches the small intestine when required by the body.
These stones or stones come in different sizes, and depending on the person; they can be one or more that accumulate in the gallbladder, from grit to others the size of the organ itself.
According to their conformation, gallstones are classified into:
- Cholesterol stones: It is the most common stone. Most of them are yellow and consist of dissolute cholesterol, although they may contain other components. Usually, bile contains enough chemicals to dissolve cholesterol excreted by the liver. Still, if it secretes more cholesterol than it can dissolve, the excess can form crystals that eventually turn into stones.
- Pigment stones: These stones that range from dark brown to black are essentially composed of bilirubin, a pigment produced by the breakdown of red blood cells. Some conditions cause the liver to secrete too much bilirubin, such as cirrhosis of the liver, biliary tract infections, and some blood disorders.
Also, the gallbladder may not empty regularly and sufficiently, leading to a concentration of bile that contributes to stone formation.
Symptoms of gallstones
Among the most common and characteristic symptoms of gallstones, we find the following:
- Colicky pain
- Jaundice, yellowing of the skin, and conjunctiva of the eyes.
- Discolored and whitish stools.
- Shaking chills.
Colicky pain, also known as ” Murphy’s sign, ” occurs in the right upper quadrant and is one of the most accurate diagnostic methods. It occurs due to obstruction of the bile ducts due to interference from stones. The gallbladder becomes inflamed, and pain does not subside until the bile flow is restored.
How to treat gallstones
Many people who have gallstones do not have any symptoms, so they do not require any treatment. The indicated treatments are according to the symptoms presented by each patient and the result of the diagnostic tests.
The treatments range from the dissolution of the stones with ursodiol to the use of shock waves (extracorporeal lithotripsy). Still, the truth is that the results of these treatments do not benefit the majority of patients. Only 27% of those treated with ursodiol pass the stones after months of treatment. Likewise, the success rate in those treated with extracorporeal lithotripsy is only 55%. Still, the selection of these patients is meticulous since not all those with the disease can receive this procedure. On the other hand, 40% of those treated with these methods again present gallbladder stones around four years after removing the rocks.
The most effective method to treat this condition is the removal of the gallbladder or cholecystectomy, with very high percentages of symptom relief (90%), after surgery.
Forbidden foods for gallstones
Although there is no scientific evidence that changes in diet reduce the appearance of gallstones, it is possible to reduce the symptoms caused by this disease with a diet low in sodium and fat. It has also been determined that the risks of suffering from gallstones increase if there is no discipline around food intake. That is why it is vital not to skip any of the day’s meals.
Among the forbidden foods when you have gallstones are:
- Full milk.
- Fatty meats
- Vegetables generate gases (Cauliflower, cabbage, onions, and broccoli).
- Soft drinks and other carbonated beverages.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Fried foods.
- Fresh bread.
- Ripened cheeses.
- Egg yellow.
- Seafood in general.
Foods to limit with gallstones
In short, the idea is to maintain a diet as healthy as possible, where you can consume the necessary nutrients to have an excellent physical condition. On the other hand, it is not a question of absolutely prohibiting the consumption of these foods but somewhat limiting the amounts and times of their intake, as well as; it is necessary to choose less “harmful” options or other presentations that minimize the not so healthy elements.
In this sense, they can be consumed sporadically :
- Lean meats.
- Boiled or scrambled eggs.
- Cheeses, yogurt, and other low-fat dairy products.
- Butter or margarine.
- Lean hams.
- Olive, corn, sunflower, and soy oil (as a dressing).
Foods good for the gallbladder
The foods that can be good for the gallbladder, always taking into account how they feel and how is their digestion, can be:
- White fish.
- Cereals (not whole grains).
- Cooked legumes without ingredients that contain fat (chorizo, blood sausage).
- Vegetables and vegetables (preferably boiled).
- Tea and infusions.
- Non-carbonated drinks.
- Unsweetened fruit juices.
- Defatted broths.
- Egg whites.
- Cooked vegetables (avoid consuming the skin and seeds).
This list will surely help you reduce your chance of gallstone symptoms if you don’t have them and reduce them if you’re already experiencing them.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.