If you’ve noticed upper abdominal pain that worsens after eating, it’s not a coincidence — it’s likely your gallbladder. Fortunately, tweaking your diet can do wonders for your symptoms. Read on to learn more.

Gallbladder disease isn’t a single problem. Instead, it’s a term doctors use to refer to any condition involving your gallbladder.

People rarely spend time thinking about this small organ in your digestive system. When it functions properly, it stores bile made in your liver and delivers it to your small intestine, which helps break down food during digestion.

However, it’s usually impossible to ignore your gallbladder when an issue arises. That’s because any form of infection or blockage can interfere with digestion, causing pain and more serious complications to arise.

Dr. Laureen Forgione-Rubino treats gallbladder disease primarily with surgery at her practice

in Manchester, Connecticut. However, modifying your diet can often ease symptoms and help manage your condition until you need more advanced treatment.

Do you have gallbladder disease? Dr. Forgione-Rubino suggests making these changes to your diet immediately.

Watch those fats

Fat is a confusing part of everyday life. People often avoid it altogether or consume too much, and it strains your system — especially your gallbladder.

However, there are healthy and unhealthy fats, so it’s essential to consume the right ones to support a healthy gallbladder instead of an aggravated one.

Your gallbladder helps break down fats. When you eat a diet high in unhealthy fats, it puts added strain on this organ, increasing your risk of gallbladder issues. These types of fats include:

  • Many fast food items
  • Processed foods, including meats
  • Red, fatty meats and fried foods
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Premade items, like sauces, salad dressings, baked goods, and desserts
  • Candy, chocolate, and ice cream

However, eating healthy fats can improve the health of this organ and could even improve bile quality and regulate gallbladder contractions. Sources of healthy fats range from nuts, seeds, and olive oil to cold water fish and fish oils.

Dr. Forgione-Rubino often suggests starting with less than 30% of your daily calories from healthy fats to see how you tolerate these items.

Rethink those carbs

Carbohydrates also have a bad reputation these days, leading people to eliminate them from their diets completely. But, like fats, there are good ones and bad ones — and the right ones help fuel your body.

Generally speaking, you can consider refined carbohydrates the bad guy, and consuming them can increase your chances of gallbladder disorders. In fact, eating 40 grams or more of sugar each day can double your risk of gallstones that cause uncomfortable symptoms.

Types of refined carbohydrates include:

  • White flour and refined grains
  • Added sugars and sweeteners
  • Premade baked goods, like cakes and cookies
  • Chocolate and candy

Fortunately, ditching bad refined carbohydrates with good whole-carb options provides numerous benefits for gallbladder disease, including higher levels of fiber. And fiber plays a crucial role in keeping your digestive system healthy and protecting you from gallbladder issues.

Examples of good carbs with high fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes.

Treating gallbladder disease

Changing your diet won’t cure gallbladder disease, but it can help manage your symptoms.

If you have signs of an issue, Dr. Forgione-Rubino recommends scheduling a consultation to determine the best treatment strategy moving forward. She can also make personalized suggestions for your diet to keep you comfortable.

And rest easy; if you need your gallbladder removed, Dr. Forgione-Rubino specializes in advanced surgical techniques, including robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. These procedures come with smaller incisions, shorter recovery times, and better outcomes than traditional methods used in the past.

Are you struggling with gallbladder flare-ups? Schedule a consultation by calling Dr. Forgione-Rubino or requesting an appointment online today.

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