5 Foods That Irritate the Gallbladder

by Dr. Victor Marchione

Your gallbladder is a little sac located just under your liver. 

When your liver produces bile, it is stored in the gallbladder. This bile helps your body to digest fats.

Normally, your gallbladder releases bile into the upper portion of the small intestine (called your duodenum) after you’ve eaten some food and the digestive process has started.

If your gallbladder senses there are fats to break down, it releases even more bile.

Some people run into trouble with their gallbladders, particularly by eating foods that irritate the gallbladder. Gallstones can develop or the gallbladder can become inflamed. Sometimes, the presence of a gallstone won’t cause any symptoms.

However, if the stones get large enough, they may lodge themselves into the duct that leads away from the gallbladder. Gallstones can get stuck and then unstuck, causing reoccurring pain. If your gallbladder duct ever gets continuously blocked, the situation becomes very serious and you will need surgery.

These signs indicate you may have a serious problem with gallstones:

  • Pain on the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Pain following meals
  • An intolerance for fatty foods
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

If you have gallbladder pain, get a check-up with your doctor, first and foremost.

Now, if your gallbladder is inflamed, it could be a sign that certain foods are causing irritation. Here is a list of the most common foods that irritate the gallbladder.

1. Meats High in Fat

Fatty meats are one of the foods that irritate the gallbladder. Fatty meats are probably the single, most likely culprit when it comes to foods that irritate the gallbladder. Because meats such as salami, ground beef, bacon, and sausages often contain high amounts of saturated fat, your gallbladder may be working overtime. As bile production increases, your gallbladder struggles to keep up with the processing of fats and inflammation is the result.Add fatty meats to your list of foods that irritate the gallbladder and eat more vegetable protein instead. Choose tofu, beans, and fish.

2. Fried Foods

We all love fried foods, but fried foods are foods that irritate the gallbladder. However, a plate of bacon and eggs or fried chicken is going to stimulate the production of bile in a big way and that could mean more symptoms of gallbladder irritation for you.3. Highly Acidic Foods

Foods that are acidic, such as citrus fruits, coffee and tomato sauces could cause irritation not only to your stomach, but your gallbladder too. You want to avoid these foods that irritate the gallbladder.4. Dairy Products

Milk and everything made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, contain at least a moderate amount of fat. Some dairy products contain whole milk or cream which can up the fat content to dangerous levels if your gallbladder is already having trouble. Go easy on anything made with milk, cream or butter, since these foods irritate the gallbladder.Many people are also lactose intolerant without even knowing it, compounding their discomfort.

5. Refined Foods

Into this category fall many of the snack foods that are sold everywhere you look: cookies, white bread, pastries, cakes, crackers and pasta. These foods can irritate the gallbladder.

Anything made from refined wheat flour or refined sugar could cause irritation to the gallbladder.Two other foods that irritate the gallbladder and which you might want to avoid are eggs (which are high in cholesterol) and margarine.

Source(s) for Today’s Article:

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter. Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 


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