Your gallbladder is one of the tiniest organs in your body. Pear-shaped, it is situated right under your liver. Sometimes, gallstones may form in the gallbladder, which can cause a great deal of pain and require surgery in severe cases. Continue reading to find out some of the steps you may take to prevent gallstone formation.
But before we discus those steps, let us first talk about the reason why gallstones come into being.
Your liver produces bile, which is a liquid that is necessitated by your digestive system for breaking down fat present in the food you eat. While it’s true that the liver is the one that manufactures bile, the said organ is incapable of working as a storage space for bile, and that’s why it stashes it in your gallbladder.
Bile stays in your gallbladder until such time that it is needed by your digestive system to process fat. Without bile, your body won’t be able to absorb fat and this can lead to problems — but that’s another story!
Unfortunately, it is very much possible for gallstones to form inside the gallbladder. This can happen when your bile is loaded with cholesterol or bilirubin, or if there isn’t enough bile salts present. Doctors say that gallstones may also form if the gallbladder fails to empty itself entirely or not enough.
As mentioned earlier, gallstones can cause a lot of pain. It may also cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, bloating and many other issues concerning the digestive system.
When the formation of gallstones happens over and over again, a doctor may recommend the removal of the gallbladder by means of a surgical procedure called cholecystectomy. Once the gallbladder is removed, bile produced by the liver will start flowing directly into the small intestines to carry out its role in the process of digestion.
Luckily, it is very much possible for gallstone formation to be prevented, thus saving you from experiencing the various symptoms that gallstones bring as well as potentially having your gallbladder removed surgically. The following are some of the things that you may do to keep gallstones at bay:
Avoid Skipping Meals
Bile in your gallbladder is released each time you eat. If you skip a meal, then bile will have to remain in the gallbladder until you put something in your mouth, and this can increase the risk of gallstones forming. Besides, it’s not just the formation of gallstones that may happen if you habitually skip meals, but other digestive issues, too.
Drink Plenty of Water
Experts say that you should consume around 2 liters of water a day — equivalent to about 8 glasses. Staying hydrated offers so many health perks, and one of them is the prevention of gallstone formation.
Stay Physically Active
There are a couple of reasons why being physically active can help ward off gallstones. First, it helps ensure that every part of your digestive system is working optimally, including your gallbladder. Second, it’s necessary for the elimination of excess pounds — being overweight can actually increase your risk of developing those pesky gallstones.
Reduce Unhealthy Fat Intake
It’s also a good idea to watch what you eat if you don’t want any gallstone to form in your gallbladder. As much as possible, stay away from unhealthy fat because the fattier the diet, the more bile is produced — this can cause irritation of the gallbladder. Opting for a low-fat diet is a great idea to keep gallstones at bay.
Drink a Cup of Coffee Daily
According to studies, the intake of a cup of coffee a day can make gallstones go away. That’s because caffeine is capable of breaking down excess cholesterol present in bile, thus lowering the odds of gallstones forming.
Add a Dash of Turmeric
Last but not least, consider sprinkling a little turmeric on practically anything you are about to consume — chicken soup, vegetable salad, egg whites, smoothies, etc. That’s because experts say that the incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can help in preventing gallstones from coming into being.