How Difficult Is It To Follow A Gallbladder Diet?
If your doctor has advised you to adopt a gallbladder diet, in order to alleviate uncomfortable gallbladder symptoms, you may be discouraged by the prospect. For many people, the word, “diet” does not suggest anything easy or enjoyable. The gallbladder friendly changes you need to make don’t have to be hard or unpleasant, however.
The main point of making diet changes if you have gallstones, inflammation known as cholecystitis or biliary sludge, is to ease stress on the gallbladder and allow it to function smoothly. Certain foods make this organ’s job harder, and others make it easier.
What Does Your Gallbladder Do?
The gallbladder is a small pouch located just under the liver on the right side of your abdomen. It’s designed to store and moderate the concentration and flow of bile secretions, into your gut when triggered by dietary fat. Bile is a greenish-yellow fluid containing cholesterol, pigments and salts.
It helps to break down fats for absorption through an emulsion process and also allows us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins through the intestine walls. Without sufficient bile, digesting fats can become pretty uncomfortable and lead to GI symptoms like gas, cramps, diarrhea and nausea. This is why when someone has their gallbladder surgically removed, the remaining steady but weak trickle of bile directly into the guts means digesting fats becomes troublesome.
As well, when the gallbladder is blocked from releasing bile due to inflammation, sludge or a lodged gallstone, the gallbladder receives its signal to contract and release bile, but only pain results. The more high fat meals a person consumes when they have a gallstone blockage, the more pain they will experience as the gallbladder attempts to contract under pressure.
Some individuals are reluctant to have their gallbladders surgically removed and they opt out for a natural gallbladder treatment alternative that can dissolve gallstones while maintaining this precious organ intact.
What Can You Eat?
The removal of excessive, saturated, trans and hydrogenated fats is a key first step in the gallbladder diet. The relief this often brings makes the sacrifice well-worth it and your overall health will benefit too.
The gallbladder diet allows for small amounts of healthy fats, including extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, wild caught fish, avocado, and grass fed dairy. You will need to say goodbye to fried foods, at least for a while, but you can keep coffee and tea as these have been linked to good gallbladder health.
Next, adding plenty of bitter greens like okra, arugula, dandelion and chard, as well as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and juices will also bring relief and ease digestion. These are known to be supportive for liver and gallbladder health and they stimulate bile production.
Adding lemon juice, apple juice and apple cider vinegar to the diet is said to thin the bile, soften and break up stones, and increase bile flow to flush out debris. When you make these changes to your every day meals, you’ll begin to feel relief almost instantly. Over time, with the aid of supplements designed to break up and flush out gallstones, you can prevent further symptoms and enjoy eating again.