People rarely think about their gall bladder. In fact, most people don't know where their gall bladder is located or what it does. But remember the phrase "You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone"? Losing your gall bladder can have serious effects on your health so a little love for the gall bladder goes a long way.
Why do people think about the gall bladder at all? It turns out the sudden weight swings, the yo-yo effect that many diets produce, can damage the gall bladder by stimulating the creation of gall stones. Gall stones are actually crystals formed by the combination of cholesterol and bile salts. These stones can cause abdominal pain, nausea and bloating. The only true treatment for gall stones is the removal of the gall bladder.
Your diet can help prevent these complications. Eating a balanced diet, especially one low in cholesterol and high in fiber, can help. You should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and other dairy, lean meats, beans and lentils, and whole grains. Some research has shown beneficial effects from consuming caffeine, alcohol and peanuts. It also helps to be male, as they are half as likely to develop gall stones as females. Avoiding high fat foods and foods containing a lot of simple sugars can help, too.
These dietary choices and stable body weight can help your gall bladder remain in the pink of health, but nothing can reverse gall stones once they are formed. If the gall stones form and create discomfort, removing the gall bladder is the only treatment. It is possible to live a healthy and happy life without a gall bladder, but the bile from the liver flows immediately into the intestines, leading to some digestive issues and the occasional diarrhea.
The healthy diet that inhibits the formation of gall stones is also good for the rest of your body. Responsible eating and a good exercise program will pay dividends across a wide range of areas. Do it for your gall bladder!