Gallbladder Stone Diet – Myths And Facts

(Dr Abhimanyu Kapoor, Dr Nitin Verma)

When a patient gets to know that he or she is having gall stones, the foremost questions that come to the patient’s mind are regarding diet and food intake. What kind of food leads to the development of gallstones and which diet is beneficial? A healthy and balanced diet is certainly helpful in preventing the formation of gallstones, but once they are formed, diet cannot dissolve them.

If gallbladder stones are causing symptoms like pain and vomiting, then you need to be strict in avoiding fatty food. The pain of gallbladder stones happens more commonly after a heavy and fatty meal. Especially about 1-2 hours after dinner.

Dietary recommendations to reduce gallbladder stone pain while awaiting surgery:

  • Do not eat a large meal at a time
  • Eat in small amount and frequent intervals 
  • Eat food with a lot of fibres like whole-grain food preparations, oats, lots of vegetables, and fruits
  • Reduce the unhealthy and refined carbohydrates and sugar as much as possible
  • Have good fat in appropriate amount like fresh homemade butter, ghee, fish oil, olive oil
  • Avoid large amounts of fat and unhealthy fat like fried food, the cream used in desserts, chocolates
  • Drink a lot of non-sugary fluids

High-fat foods, fried foods, and processed food, these types of foods can cause inflammation and increase the risk of complications during surgery. It is also important to avoid foods that are high in cholesterol, as these can contribute to the formation of gallstones.


Diet after a Gallbladder stone surgery


Is a change in diet needed after Gallbladder removal surgery?

 There are a lot of myths regarding diet after a gallbladder stone surgery. It is very widely believed that digestion is affected by the removal of the gallbladder, hence necessitating dietary changes after surgery. But this is far from truth. In reality, the digestion post removal of gallbladder remains unchanged and absolutely normal, hence no significant diet change is needed. Truly, all that is needed is a healthy normal diet, avoiding heavy and fatty meals. The same is needed even if the gallbladder is not removed. And should be ideally followed by all healthy individuals. 

After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, it is important to follow a low-fat, liquid and semisolid diet for the first few days  after surgery like Daliya (porridge), khichdi, curd , lassi, buttermilk etc and then one can switch to normal diet without any extra-ordinary restrictions. After surgery, the person does not need to completely abolish the intake of fatty meats like butter, cream, and cheese, as well as fried foods and processed foods. In addition to these dietary changes, it is also recommended to avoid alcohol, caffeine and to maintain a healthy weight.

Recommendations –

  • Do not eat a large meal at a time, especially during dinner 
  • Small amount of food at frequent intervals 
  • Light exercise and activity daily 

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