Gallstones can be very dangerous. Knowing these preventive measures can help you to avoid long-term pain and discomfort.
Gallstones are deposits of fluid in the gallbladder that harden over time.You might not even know you have them until they obstruct your bile duct and cause excruciating pain, requiring immediate medical attention
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), gallstones affect between 10 and 15 percent of Americans. Even though genetics, age, and sex play a role in the development of these hard, pebble-like pieces of material in the gallbladder, there are things you can do to lower your risk.
It is possible to avoid gallstones by making simple lifestyle and diet changes.
1. Lose Weight
Overweight, and particularly obesity, raises the level of cholesterol in bile, increasing the likelihood of gallstone formation, according to a study conducted by researchers from Tennessee. That’s why losing weight is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.
Weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of one’s body weight is recommended by NIDDK for people who are overweight or obese over a six-month period.
2. Eat Healthy
The best way to prevent gallstone, or any other disease for that matter, is eating a well-balanced diet packed with fruits and vegetables. Nuts, fiber, and foods with mono- or polyunsaturated fats can lower risk of gallstone disease, according to a study by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
If you are a coffee lover, this may be the best time you continue drinking your favorite coffee. Caffeine, which is present in coffee, is found to significantly reduce risk of gallstone disease, according to a study published in 2015 in the journal, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Researchers published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of gallbladder issues, regardless of one’s Body Mass Index (BMI). In order to prevent weight gain and improve your health, the NIDDK recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Moreover, cholesterol levels can be reduced and gallstones can be avoided with regular physical activity.
4. Preventative Medications
There are also medications which can help prevent gallstones from forming.
Statins (cholesterol-lowering medicines) can help prevent gallstone disease. Additionally, as a treatment for obesity, Orlistat (Alli or Xenical), which reduces bile acids, may help prevent gallstones during weight loss by reducing their formation.
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