Why The Food You Eat Can Cause Gallbladder Symptoms
Gallbladder symptoms are directly linked to food and what type of diet you consume. This is because the type of food you eat influences how much bile the liver produces and stores in the gallbladder. Fried and high-fat foods along with processed and spicy ingredients, trigger imbalances in bile contents, gallstone formation, and cause inflammation to the gallbladder lining.
Since food and gallbladder health is so closely related, it’s important to understand which foods are more likely to cause gallbladder attacks and should therefore be avoided.
The gallbladder’s main function is to store and concentrate bile that is produced in the liver. When you eat, the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine to help digest the food. When the bile entering the gallbladder is too concentrated in cholesterol, or when infrequent, incomplete contractions occur, gallstones may develop.
The majority of gallstones are made up of hardened cholesterol deposits, but they can also be formed from bile salts and bilirubin. Gallstones can range in size from tiny grains of sand to large marbles, but they often don’t cause symptoms right away. They irritate the lining of the gallbladder and impair its function over time and they can shift- moving into a duct and blocking it.
The most common gallbladder symptoms are sharp or dull pain in the upper right area of the abdomen, usually after meals. The pain may also radiate to the back, chest and/or in between the shoulders blades. This type of pain is often accompanied by bloating, nausea and gas and in certain cases vomiting and fever may also occur.
Those who suffer from gallbladder symptoms and/or gallstone attacks, usually experience pain after consuming a particularly fatty or greasy meal. This is because the type of food you eat greatly influences how much bile your liver produces and sends to your gallbladder. Deep-fried food, high cholesterol levels and spicy foods can all aggravate inflammation and cause gallbladder spasms.
To promote the health of the gallbladder and reduce the occurrence and severity of gallbladder attacks, it is recommended to follow a ‘gallbladder diet’. This type of diet consists of a set of guidelines aimed at reducing stress on the gallbladder by consuming foods that are easier to digest. Refined carbohydrates and sugars, and high-fat and fried foods should be cut out of the diet.
Since bile produced from the gallbladder plays a key role in digesting fats, eating a fatty or heavy diet forces it to work overtime, placing stress on the digestive system. Since processed foods tend to be high in trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and excessive, saturated animal fats, they tend to stress the gallbladder as well, making gallbladder attacks inevitable punishment to follow one of these meals.
Safe, effective supplements that support gallbladder health can help to reduce gallstones and prevent gallbladder attacks. A diet high in lean protein, vegetables and fiber will also allow your gallbladder to heal and resume normal function.