Preventing and treating gall stones
Avoiding fatty foods and increasing your consumption of fibre can help prevent gall stones and relieve the discomfort caused by existing stones.
Gall stones are formed from bile, a cholesterol-rich liquid made by the liver and stored in the gall bladder that aids the digestive process.
Gall stones are more common in women, in people over the age of 40, and those who are overweight and eat a high-fat diet. A family history of gall stones is a risk factor.
Low-fat, high-fibre diet
Avoiding fatty foods and increasing your consumption of fibre by eating more high-fibre foods such as bran, soya, guar gum, and pectin, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, can help prevent gall stones and relieve the discomfort caused by existing stones. Regular exercise may also decrease the risk of developing gall stones.
If you are obese, you are at increased risk of developing gall stones. Therefore, following a low-fat diet and increasing your exercise level will not only help you lose weight but also reduce your risk of developing gall stones. However, rapid weight loss can cause the formation of gall stones in some people, so it is important to lose weight gradually.
Gall bladder surgery
Surgical removal of the gall bladder is the most effective means of curing gall bladder disease - the effects are immediate. Once the gall bladder has been removed, however, there is no reservoir of bile, and fat absorption may be affected. In this case, following a low-fat diet may be helpful.
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