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Cholecystitis Diet

Do You Have Cholecystitis? Here's the Healthiest Diet for You

Whether it is acute or chronic cholecystitis, excluding fatty foods and alcohol is a must to get rid of this gallbladder problem.
Nicks J
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018
Cholecystitis is a condition in which the gallbladder gets inflamed. Basically, the gallbladder is a small organ that is located just below the liver. Normal functioning of the gallbladder is very important for proper digestion. The gallbladder does the job of collecting bile, a fluid produced by the liver. After the food is ingested, the gallbladder releases bile to promote digestion. When the bile moves out of the gallbladder, it flows through a tube like structure referred to as cystic duct. It then travels down to the large intestine, where most of the digestion takes place.
Cholecystitis Diet
Foods to Avoid
In most cases, this gallbladder inflammation occurs as a result of formation of gallstones. Thus, it would be sensible to avoid the following foods that promote gallstone formation.
Heavy alcohol use or alcohol abuse can bring gallbladder problems in the form of gallstones. People suffering from inflamed gallbladder should strictly avoid alcohol consumption. Also, people taking alcohol regularly have a high probability of getting gallstones.
Fatty Foods
Cholecystitis sufferers should keep in mind that in this condition, breakdown of fats during digestion is rather difficult. This is because the bile and other digestive juices cannot travel to the stomach and the large intestines, as the gallbladder is blocked due to gallstone formation. As the digestive juices do not mix with food, breakdown of fats becomes a distant possibility. So, people with cholecystitis are often recommended to follow a diet, that is low in saturated fats. Following are the fatty foods that should be avoided.
  • Red meat (pork, duck, lamb)
  • Eggs
  • Fried Foods
  • Chocolate and ice cream
  • Beverages like carbonated drinks, coffee or black tea
Spicy Foods
Cholecystic sufferers need to distance themselves from foods that contain a high amount of spices. No doubt hot spicy foods have mouth-watering taste but when it comes to managing cholecystitis, avoiding these food items is a must. In fact, spicy foods are the worst enemy of people diagnosed with cholecystitis. This is because, symptoms associated with gallbladder inflammation worsen after consuming spicy foods. Spicy foods contain excessive amounts of chili, black or red pepper, which can irritate the inflamed gallbladder. So, your gallbladder can get into more trouble if you stick to eating hot and spicy foods.
Gassy Foods
Gallbladder trouble may aggravate if gassy foods are added to the diet. These gas-producing foods can cause a lot of discomfort in people with this gallbladder problem. It not only causes bloating but can also stimulate the gallbladder to increase production of bile. This can make matters worse if gallstones have already blocked the cystic duct. Following are the gassy foods that need to be avoided.
  • Vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beans, cauliflower, and cucumbers
  • Fruits such as bananas, apricots, peaches, and apples
  • Dairy products like milk, ice cream, and cheese
Acidic Foods
Processed food items such as tomato sauce and even those that are naturally available such as oranges are highly acidic. Their consumption is unlikely to be tolerated by an inflamed gallbladder and may lead to abdominal distress.
Foods to Eat
As aforementioned, choosing foods low in saturated fats is the best way to effectively manage this gallbladder problem. So one can include these foods in the diet:
  • Vegetables such as tomatoes (alkali-forming food), carrots, spinach, beets, potatoes, and cucumber
  • Pasta
  • Plain yogurt
  • Fresh fruits such as plums, figs, cantaloupe, and watermelons
  • Low-fat dairy products such as cottage cheese
  • Whole grain foods (whole wheat bread, oats, bran cereal)
  • Nuts that include walnuts and almonds
  • Lentils
Can Cholecystitis Patients have Meat?
Meat is generally not included in chronic or acute cholecystitis diet as they are high in saturated fats. However, non-vegetarians will certainly find it difficult to stick to vegetables throughout the day. So, when it comes to consuming meat in this condition, one should choose fat-free meats. Following are the ingredients included in a fat-free meat recipes:
  • Skinless chicken
  • Lean minced beef
  • Grilled or steamed fish
Along with the diet, one should maintain a healthy weight. Overweight people are predisposed to gallbladder problems like gallstones. So, in order to keep the weight under control, following a high fiber diet is definitely a good option.
Increasing fluid intake is also necessary to treat this condition. Cholecystitis occurring from gallstones requires increased fluid intake to flush of this hardened matter. Apple juice is especially recommended, as it softens the gallstones and facilitates their expulsion.
Cholecystitis Causes
Persistent pain in the upper right abdomen is one of the most common cholecystitis symptoms. This gallbladder problem can occur due to a number of underlying conditions. Some of them are given below:
Most cases of cholecystitis occur as a consequence of gallstones. Gallstones are deposits of cholesterol and other components of the bile. These hardened deposits of cholesterol may eventually block the free flow of the bile from cystic duct. This problem may manifest in the form of gallbladder inflammation.
In case the gallbladder gets damaged as a result of an accident, it can also lead to inflammation.
In case an infection has developed within the digestive fluid (bile), its accumulation in the gallbladder can also cause cholecystitis.
In most cases, hospitalization is necessary to control cholecystitis. Initially, you may be advised to completely avoid solid foods that put stress on the gallbladder. Antibiotics may be recommended if the condition has occurred due to a bacterial infection. However, in case cholecystitis relapses frequently, the doctor may recommend surgical removal of gallbladder.
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