Sometimes one of the compounds in bile — usually cholesterol — becomes so saturated that it forms a solid. This is called a gallstone. It is estimated that as many as one in 10 people have gallstones, though they might not know it. Gallstones may not necessarily cause you any problems, but sometimes when one is pushed out of the gallbladder, it gets stuck in your bile duct. This can cause a lot of pain and is what is known as a gallbladder attack.
Nobody wants to have a gallbladder attack. The best natural health advice is to avoid having one in the first place. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for avoiding stomach problems and painful attacks.
1. Get your doctor’s advice about testing for food allergies. Eliminate any food allergens you might have, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and chemical food additives. Eggs, especially,may irritate the gallbladder (as well as being high in cholesterol).
2. Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains, dark leafy greens and sea vegetables.
3. Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
4. Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
5. Eat fewer red meats and eat more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu or beans for protein.
6. Eat more fiber. Consider fiber supplements, such as flaxmeal (one tsp. one to three times per day). Combine one heaping tsp. of flaxmeal in eight ounces of apple juice for a drink high in fiber and pectin.
7. Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
8. Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
9. Avoid alcohol, and tobacco. Some evidence suggests that people who drink caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of gallstones, though study results are mixed. Talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, as caffeine can affect several conditions and interact with medications.
10. If possible, exercise lightly five days a week.
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