Gall bladder is a small pear-shaped organ present just below the liver on the right side of the abdomen and is a part of the biliary tract. Gall stones are small stones that are formed inside the gall bladder. One of the major reasons for formation of gall stones is consumption of high fat foods.These are formed by the accumulation of cholesterol in the gall bladder.
The gall bladder itself does not help in digestion. Cholesterol is a component of bile juice along with some bile salts. This bile juice helps to digest fat in the intestines. The best nutritionist in Delhi says when the saturation of cholesterol increases in the gall bladder, it starts to crystalize and form a stone.
Gall stones are twice as frequent in women as compared to men.Almost one in three women are prone to gall stones as compared to one in six men. The incidence of gall stones increases with increasing age. Some other factors which can cause gall stones includes:
- Medications such as certain contraceptives.
- Consumption of an unhealthy diet and high fat foods.
- Family history of Gall stones.
Stones that are small in size are usuallydissolved with medication, but have a chance of re-occurrence. In case of larger stones, usually a surgery is performed and the gall bladder is removed.
The major function of the gall bladder in the body is to store and secrete bile juice.The bile juice is a combination of bile salts and cholesterol. The bile juice secreted by the gall bladder helps to digest fats in the intestine.
Symptoms for gall stones are not always predominant. Sometimes it may go unnoticed if it does not cause any blockage in the gall bladder. During initial phase, mostly no symptoms are visible, but in later stages, when the stone size increases and blocks the bile duct, symptoms become more persistent. These include:
- Frequent heartburn
- Pain in the abdomen
- Feeling of fullness
The discomfort associated with gall stones is usually because of the contractions of the gall bladder to release the bile juice for digestion. Due to the blockage created by the stone, the bile juice cannot be pumped out and hence causes pain. Theaccumulation of this bileinside is the cause of increase in the size of the stone.
People with gall stone can consume a normal diet, but care should be taken that it should be low in fat. During the course of treatment, the amount of fat is limited to only 20gms per day. Incase of a person who is overweight, the first priority is to help them loose some weight before treating the gall bladder.
Nutrition during gall stones:
If the size of the stone is small, it is usually dissolved using medications. The dietone should follow while in process includes is a normal diet low in fat. According to the best nutritionist in Mumbai, a normal diet with inclusion of good amounts of fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein is always a good choice.
If the stone is of a bigger size, a cholecystectomy is usually performed. High fibre foods with good amounts of fruits and vegetables are included in the diet. Eating small frequent meals helps reduce the load on the stomach and avoids discomfort.
Some foods that can be consumed and avoided during gallstone treatment are mentioned below:
|Foods good to consume||Foods to avoid|
|Citrus fruits||Fried food|
|Curd and yogurt||Packaged and processed foods|
|Nuts||Peanut/ Vegetable Oil|
|Low fat dairy||Full fat milk and milk products|
|Fish and lean meat|
Overweight is one of the causes of gall stones. It is important to lose weight to reduce complications associated with stones. Sudden weight loss is not recommended as it can cause a rebound. Gradual weight loss will ensure stability in maintaining weight over a long period of time.
Nutrition after Surgery:
After the removal of gall bladder, the body has nowhere to store the bile juice and so it flows directly into the intestines. This overflow may cause diarrhoea or loose stools in the first few days after surgery.A low-fat diet helps to trigger less bile juice in the intestine which reduces incidence of pain and uneasiness in the abdomen. A normal diet can be consumed post-surgery, but it is best to choose healthy foods over unhealthy ones.
- A diet moderate in fats with good amounts of fibre and complex (unrefined) carbohydrates is should be consumed.
- Include generous amounts of fruits and vegetables.
- Include beans and lentils for protein.
- Milk and milk products should be included too, but these should be in the form of toned or skimmed milk.
- Fish and lean meat can be added. Avoid red meat and organ meats.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
In case of small stones, after the stones are dissolved and removed, there are high chances that these may reoccur. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle will reduce chance of reoccurrence.