Reducing Your Risk of Gallstones
by Editorial Staff and Contributors
Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce your risk of gallstones:
Make Changes to Your Diet
Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, less highly refined carbohydrates may help reduce the risk of gallstones. Also, increasing your intake of various nuts may also reduce your risk.
Be Aware of Side Effects From Medications
If possible, avoid the use of estrogen, ceftriaxone, and octreotide, which are known to increase the risk of gallstone formation.
Achieve and Maintain a Healthful Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is a key to lowering your risk of future gallstones. If you are overweight, a slow loss of weight is advised. Fasting and extreme dieting can lead to gallstones. Ask your doctor for a weight loss plan that will be safe and effective for you. Your doctor can also refer you to a registered dietitian who can help you change your eating habits for weight loss.
Regular, vigorous exercise may reduce the risk of gallstones. In addition to controlling weight, exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels. When these levels are abnormal, they may contribute to the development of gallstones.
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Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digesrive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gallstones. Updated November 2013. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Portincasa P, Di Ciaula A, de Bari O, Garruti G, Palmieri VO, Wang DQ. Management of gallstones and its related complications. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;10(1):93-112.
Venneman NG, van Erpecum KJ. Gallstone disease: primary and secondary prevention. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006;20(6):1063-1073.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 9/17/2014