Gallbladder removal has become one of the most common surgeries in America.
“If it’s faulty, take it out.” Seems to be the motto that is applied to everything. According to the statistics, if you have gallstones you are destined to lose your gallbladder and survive on a low-fat diet and pain killers for the rest of your life.
But where did this information even come from? And why has fat been blamed for so long?
According to this study, good fat is actually beneficial in preventing gallstones, especially during weight loss and Weston A. Price says, “Two things that the gallbladder doesn’t like are bad fats and no fat.”
Removing your gallbladder without questioning why it is in the state it is in, is not very good practice. Trying to heal the underlying problems, before resorting to surgery, should be the correct course of action.
When you get a build-up of gallstones, you may need to have your gallbladder removed, but what causes gallstones?
Your liver makes bile, from cholesterol and various other things, which then gets used directly by the small intestine or is stored in the gallbladder until fats are consumed.
When you follow a low-fat, high-carb diet the gallbladder never gets the message from the stomach to release the bile, so the bile just sits there doing nothing, and eventually the cholesterol and other substances in the bile calcify into stones.
This is why doctors will encourage a low-fat diet, because even though your gallstones are probably getting bigger and bigger as time goes on, they won’t cause a problem unless you eat a fatty meal, which needs to get broken down by the bile. When this happens, the stones can roll into the bile ducts, as the bile gets released, and get stuck, which can cause major pain.
Following a low-fat diet should never be encouraged because fat is immensely important for a heap of reasons and is utilised by practically every cell of the body.
A diet low in fibre can also cause gallstones. In a functioning system, fibre attaches itself to the bile in the intestines, which now is full of waste that needs to be eliminated. If you don’t eat enough fibre, the toxins can stay in your intestines and get reabsorbed by the liver, gallbladder, lymphatic system, bloodstream, joints and other tissues.
If you experience any of the below symptoms it may indicate the presence of gallstones:
Doctors can use various methods to test for gallstones including an ultrasound or x-rays.
You are more susceptible to gallstones if:
Because of the blockage of the bile ducts by the gallstones, the gallbladder can become inflamed and infected, which can impact the pancreas, which relies on bile to function. When this happens, it can be life-threatening, and your gallbladder will need to be removed. But this is only in extreme cases. Following the correct diet can help to alleviate gallstones. A diet higher in fats and low in carbs, like Banting, should be encouraged.
First (as always) - consult your healthcare practitioner before embarking on a dietary change.
Second - A gentle increase of fats is recommended if you have been following a low-fat diet as your gallbladder will need time to start functioning properly again.
Foods that support good gallbladder function and naturally alleviate/prevent gallstones:
Foods to avoid:
What do you do if you don’t have a gallbladder?
In summary, your gallbladder is an essential part of your anatomy and plays a key role in storing and releasing bile at the correct time. Lack of good quality bile and adequate fat consumption and absorption can lead to a multitude of imbalances and diseases in the body. Following a balanced Banting diet can go a long way to improving gallbladder function, bile production and prevent/alleviate gallstones. Surgery should only be considered as a very last resort.
We have a gallbladder-friendly meal plan in our system for you to follow.
Take back control of your health and start Banting today by joining our Online Program. Make use of our tools such as the meal tracker and connect with like-minded people on the forum.
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