Gall stone Pain

Recently I observed that every time I ate chocolates or fried snacks like chips or chaat I would have a pain in the pit of my stomach and a feeling of gas and indigestion. A check up revealed that I have gallstones. Please can you explain this condition and what dietary changes I must make as the doctor says cut down on high fat foods immediately?

The gall bladder's function is to store bile, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of fat in our food. When our food reaches the intestine the gall bladder contracts and releases bile into the bile duct to send it to the small intestine. The amount of bile released is according to the amount of fat in the food.

Due to various factors like heredity, sex (females are more prone) diet (high fat or high alcohol) and over weight, we see gall stone formation and these stones normally block the bile duct to cause pain and discomfort. Gallstones are more common in women who are over weight, and above forty - Female, Fat and Forty plus.

The Gall stones may have been there for long without any symptoms but symptoms suddenly appear when a stone leaves the bladder and gets stuck in the duct causing obstruction and pain and disturbs the digestion as the bile flow is hindered.

Some times drugs or surgery is advised but both of these are useless unless serious changes are made in the diet. The main principal is to be on a low fat diet. Most stones are composed of cholesterol so it is absolutely necessary to bring cholesterol levels down.

We see very good response to weight reduction, cholesterol reduction and a low fat diet. Many sufferers are seen to react unfavorably to the intake of rich foods, fatty products like cakes, pastries, desserts, ice creams, fried food, nuts and chocolates.

Whole milk with high fat content and milk products like the readily available curds, which are high in fat, cheeses and cream, must be strictly avoided. Fried or fatty meats like mutton, pork, bacon, sausages and rich beef dishes must not be eaten for at least 3 months.

Any sweets prepared with chocolates, nuts or coconut can suddenly cause shooting pain, so please avoid. Alcohol too must be restricted in this condition.

Besides all these don'ts please do eat other regular foods at frequent intervals in small quantities so that you are eating 6 meals and snacks totally. Ensure plenty of fiber in the diet by eating whole cereals, atta, ragi, etc, moong sprouts and plenty of salad at both lunch and dinner and fibrous fruits like apples, pears and oranges etc.

Finally please be very committed to regular exercises. The ideal is to do 20-30minutes in the morning and again 20-30 in the evening. 2 shifts of exercises is far more effective in breaking fat and cholesterol than one walk of 45minutes to 1 hour. Please drink 10-12 glasses water as constipation aggravates this condition.


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