Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

When my friend had her gall bladder out, the doctor said she was a “4F textbook case” because she had a family history and was female, fat and forty-plus.

You can’t change your genes, but there are some food and lifestyle factors you can target to lower your risk. Eat healthily, increase your fibre intake, eat more fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C and drink coffee.

Avoid weight gain and if you do try to lose weight, do it slowly.

What does the gallbladder do?

The gall bladder is a storage sac for bile, which is made in liver. After you eat, bile is squirted into the small intestine.

image Christos Georghiou/Shutterstock Bile emulsifies or breaks up the fat in the food we eat into tiny particles, a bit like washing-up detergent. This means that fat-digesting enzymes from the pancreas can mix with the fats from foods and break them down into smaller particles that can be absorbed. What are gallstones? Gallstones form in the gall bladder when components of bile, such as cholesterol and bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells), aggregate and form stones. These stones vary in size from single large hard stones about the size of an apricot and made mainly from cholesterol, to small pebble-sized stones made mainly from bilirubin. Gallstones can also be very tiny, like a grainy sludge. How can you prevent gallstones? The good news first. Having a healthy diet lowers your risk of getting gallstones. In a US study that followed more than 13,000 adults over ten years, women with higher blood levels of vitamin C had a lower chance of developing gall bladder disease. This was not the case for men. Foods high in vitamin C include capsicum, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, citrus fruits, pawpaw, kiwi fruit, strawberries and pineapple. You could try vitamin C supplements, but studies are inconsistent and taking vitamin C supplements can increase the risk of kidney stones. A higher fibre intake is also associated with lower risk. There is no need to become vegetarian, but eating more legumes, pulses, wholegrains, vegetables and fruit boosts fibre intake. A review of studies involving more than 200,000 people found people who drank a lot of coffee (four cups or more a day) had a a reduced risk of gallstone disease. However, some studies found this association in women only. Having a moderate alcohol intake is also associated with a lower risk of gall bladder disease. But it’s wise to drink in line with current guidelines, which recommend no more than two standard drinks on any day. Rapid weight loss Losing weight at a rate of more than 1 to 1.5 kilograms a week is considered rapid and increases the risk of gall bladder disease. When you markedly cut back your total food and fat intake, you need less bile. Your gall bladder doesn’t need to contract as much and bile salts become more concentrated. This means gallstones are more likely to form. Cutting down on foods that contain large amounts of fat is a good idea because you reduce total kilojoule intake as a result and therefore lose weight. To ensure your gall bladder still contracts and keeps excreting bile, still consume some fat, around 20 grams, each day. Other risk factors Risk factors such as body weight, using hormone replacement therapy and number of pregnancies are theoretically modifiable. Others, such as age and being female, are not. Women are twice as likely as men to get gallstones, due to higher oestrogen levels. Around the world, Pima Indians have the highest rate of gallstones at 70%, compared to 10-30% among Europeans and North Americans and less than 5% in Asian and African populations. Treatment Treatment for gall bladder disease depends on size and location of the gallstones, whether you have other symptoms such as pain and infection, and whether you have other medical conditions. Silent gallstones are ones that cause no symptoms and generally are not treated. Other approaches include the dietary changes mentioned earlier, lithotripsy for small stones, or surgery to remover the gallbladder along with the stones. See your doctor for advice. What happens after your gall bladder is removed? Once your gall bladder is removed, bile can no longer be stored, but trickles constantly into the small intestine. Your digestive tract will make some adjustment after the surgery, but if you eat a large fatty meal, your body is not able to squirt in extra bile. This means some undigested fat passes through the small intestine and travels into the large bowel where bacteria will try to break it down. However, a lot of the fat will be malabsorbed, triggering steattorhoea, which means fatty diarrhoea. Some fat-soluble vitamin A and E will be lost in the stools as well. Boost your intake of these vitamins by eating foods that are good sources of them. The vegetable form of vitamin A, called beta-carotene, is found in dark yellow, orange and dark green vegetables, such as pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, spinach and broccoli. Good sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, wholegrains, peanut butter, tahini, spinach, broccoli, tomato, avocado, kiwifruit and mango. When it comes to gallstones, food should be part of prevention and treatment strategies.

Authors: The Conversation Contributor

Read more http://theconversation.com/got-gallstones-heres-what-to-eat-and-avoid-53229

Writers Wanted

Physical Therapist Talks About This New Massage Gun On The Block - The HYDRAGUN


Too much information: the COVID work revolution has increased digital overload


Ammonite: the remarkable real science of Mary Anning and her fossils


The Conversation


Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Business News

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

Avoid These Mistakes When Changing up Your Executive Career

Switching up industries is a valid move at any stage in your career, even if you’re an executive. Doing so at this stage can be a lot more intimidating, however, and it can be quite difficult know...

News Co - avatar News Co

4 Costly Mistake To Avoid When Subdividing Your Property

As a property developer or landowner, the first step in developing your land is subdividing it. You subdivide the property into several lots that you either rent, sell or award to shareholders. ...

News Co - avatar News Co

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion