If you believe you've suffered a minor gallbladder attack, you may want to take steps to reduce the chances of developing more serious symptoms:
If you are overweight, lose some weight slowly. Rapid weight loss increases the risk of gallstones and is seldom maintained. Weight fluctuation may actually increase the chance of developing stones.
Eat fewer foods high in saturated or trans fats. Cut back on the fast-food cheeseburgers, the butter and gravy, the commercial baked goods and snacks. Eat more fruit.
Add fiber to your diet. Make that bread whole wheat, and add some flaxseeds to your morning cereal. Fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, reduces the risk of gallstone formation.
Most important, get some exercise. Studies show that 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise reduces the risk of future gallbladder surgery for both men and women.
If you're already suffering from regular pain and nausea, gas, and other digestive symptoms that you think could be the result of gallstones, it's important to determine the cause of your distress. Serious complications from gallstones, such as inflammation of the gallbladder or obstruction and infection of the common bile duct, can be life-threatening. Most likely, your physician will refer you to a gastroenterologist or surgeon for tests.
The surest way to manage gallstones is surgical removal of the gallbladder. Fortunately, the gallbladder is one of the few organs in the human body we can live without.
Last reviewed on 7/23/09
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