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Causes of Gallstones and How to Avoid Them

October 5th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Gallstones Causes

Not everything in life is black and white. There are several shades of gray they you will come across. The causes of gallstones are the same way.

There are an array of causes for them, some seem to be preventable and others seem to be inevitable. We are going to help you understand some of the various causes of gallstones and give you tips to prevent them.

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Before you can understand the causes of gallstones it is important that you realize there are different types of gallstones. The first and probably the most well known type of gallstones are the cholesterol stones.

These type of gallstones are thought to derive from the bile housing too much cholesterol, lacking ample bile salts, excessive bilirubin or failure of the gallbladder emptying completely as it should.

The second type of gallstones are pigment stones. Unfortunately, there are only common denominators to these stones and not yet a full understanding of how they are caused. Some of the common denominators are blood disorder (usually hereditary ones), biliary tract infections and cirrhosis.

Here are some of the other factors that have been linked to gallstones:

  • obesity
  • medications (generally those that lower cholesterol)
  • age (more common in ages 60 and over)
  • gender (women are at higher risk for gallstones between the ages of 20 years and 60)
  • ethnicity (Native Americans)
  • elevated estrogen levels
  • diabetes
  • fasting
  • drastic fast weight loss

Eating the right foods in the right portion sizes can greatly reduce your risk of having gallstones. Drinking more water, eating water soluble fibers and making sure you are getting enough vitamin C can all be beneficial in reducing your chances of suffering from gallstones.

Keep in mind, not everyone that has gallstones suffers any symptoms of them. Although, if you are unfortunate enough to have to deal with the pain, you should keep track of how intense the pain is and how frequently it lasts.

After two bouts with gallstones you should begin keeping a food journal to keep a log of the foods you eat. This will help you figure out what your trigger foods are. Then you will know what you should avoid.

Your doctor should be able to help you determine a healthy well balanced low fat diet for you to begin. Regardless of your causes of gallstones, if you are able to keep the symptoms at bay you will likely be able to keep your gallbladder and not have to undergo a surgical procedure.

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