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Last week we wrote about gallstones and why they develop. In this week’s part 2 on gallstones, we will discuss solutions and ways to prevent gallstones. Please read on!
TREATMENT For Gallstones:
Surgical removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is the most common way to treat gallstones. Cholecystectomy has a low surgical risk and is the most common elective abdominal surgery performed in the US (Di Ciaula, 2018). Despite this, complications are possible, ranging from bile leak, bile duct injury and, in rare cases, death (Di Ciaula, 2018). Therefore, we would recommend focusing on the prevention of gallstones.
SOLUTIONS For Gallstones:
Lifestyle changes are the best way to intervene and prevent gallstones.
Change Your Diet:
- The risk of developing gallstones is observed to increase with certain dietary habits such as excess caloric intake, low fiber content, highly refined sugars, high fructose and fat intake and low vitamin C intake (Di Ciaula, 2018).
- The risk of gallstones decreases with other habits such as olive oil consumption, omega 3 fatty acids, high intake of monounsaturated fats, fiber, vegetables, vitamin C supplementation, fruit and moderate alcohol consumption (Di Ciaula, 2018).
- A study published just last year shows vegetables and fruits consumption is correlated with a significantly reduced risk of gallstone disease (Zhang JW, 2019). This study correlation indicates that gallstone risk was reduced by 4% and 3% for every 200 g per day increase in vegetables consumption and fruits consumption respectively (Zhang JW, 2019).
- In a large French study, the Mediterranean diet was linked with a significantly lower risk of gallstones (Di Ciaula, 2018).
- We recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, removing gluten, processed foods and sugar. Include dietary habits which reduce the risk of gallstones such as a low-carbohydrate diet with ample vegetables, proteins, nuts and moderate alcohol intake.
- Switch to an organic diet to avoid pesticides, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors and other toxins which can contribute to gallstone development (Di Ciaula, 2018) and are detrimental to optimal health generally.
- Beets contain betaine and may help with bile flow. Regular consumption of beets in the diet may help with sluggish bile.
Improve Gut Health: Find an experienced Functional Medicine practitioner to help improve your gut health. It is critical to fix leaky gut and its root causes (see here), as well as any other digestive issues you may have.
Increase Physical Activity. Exercise and aim to maintain a normal body weight (Di Ciaula, 2018). Regular physical activity positively influences several metabolic disorders, including cholesterol gallstone disease (Di Ciaula, 2018).
Improve & Reverse Metabolic Syndrome:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Balance blood sugar & insulin levels
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
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