Gallbladder sludge is one of the many gallbladder problems that can cause severe pain and discomfort to a person suffering from it. But what exactly is a gallbladder sludge and how is it different from gallstones? Well, unlike gallstones, a gallbladder sludge is a clutter of various tiny gallstones formed with cholesterol deposits and calcium salts. In fact, it is the formation of gallbladder sludge that can lead to development of gallstones in the bladder. Our gallbladder consists of a fluid known as the bile which is secreted when we eat food, especially foods which are heavy in nature. The bile helps in breaking down the food to ease the process of digestion. However, due to the formation of sludge or stones in the gallbladder, the gallbladder is unable to secrete the bile thereby affecting the process of digestion. Which is why, when you eat oily and greasy food in this condition, you are likely to experience severe pain and discomfort in the abdomen because the food fails to digest properly.
Diet for Patients with Gallbladder Sludge
When it comes to following a proper diet for gallbladder sludge, it is obvious that you must avoid foods that are difficult to digest. You must avoid eating foods high in fats (both saturated and unsaturated), cholesterol and salt. Any food items that are difficult to digest can add pressure in your gallbladder and make the process of digestion difficult causing unnecessary pain. Symptoms like vomiting, nausea, bloating, bad breath may also be experienced. Have a look at the foods that you must consume to help your body deal with gallbladder sludge and help the process of digestion.
As a matter of fact, more than ½ of your diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because these food items consist of high fibers which actually help in the process of digestion, causing less pain and discomfort due to the sludge. Vegetables like fresh beans, cucumber, carrots, celery, are good for you in this case. Even fresh and green leafy vegetables like spinach, parsley, etc., are good as they are rich in chlorophyll which helps in cleansing the body naturally. About 4-5 servings of vegetables daily is more than enough. Just avoid starchy vegetables that have high calorie content.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Food items or supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial when it comes to preventing gallbladder sludge. Fish like tuna and salmon are good sources of these essential fatty acids. Even other food items like walnuts, flaxseed oil are also a good option. You also get various omega 3 supplements in the market which can be consumed as directed.
Fruits are a Must
How can we talk about eating fresh vegetables but forget eating fruits! Just like vegetables, consuming 3-4 servings of fresh fruits daily proves to be very beneficial. Fruits like apples, figs, all kinds of berries, melons, papayas, guavas, pears, etc., are excellent when it comes to gallbladder sludge diet. They consist of essential fibers and nutrients which help in the process of digestion.
Lean Poultry Meat
As mentioned earlier, you have to cut down on your saturated fats and cholesterol. Which is why it is necessary for you to avoid red meat and instead switch to lean poultry meat like chicken and turkey. So don't even think of eating beef, pork and other types of red meat and stick to the white meat which is lean and healthy.
Cereals and Whole Grains
Whole grains and cereals are a good source of high fiber and low calories! Start your day with a bowl of cereals and whole grains. Not only will it help you deal with gallbladder sludge, it will also keep you fuller all throughout the day and make you feel less hungry, which means you will be less tempted to eat 'unhealthy' foods throughout the rest of the day!
Natural Herbs and Spices
There are various herbs and spices that are known for their natural cleansing properties. Spices like turmeric, chillies, mustard, wasabi, garlic, etc., are good for your bile duct and liver. Also there are many natural herbs like mint, shallots, coriander, etc., that are also a good source of natural cleansing.
Low Fat Dairy Products
Another need of the hour would be to switch from full on dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt etc., to a low fat version of these products. As a matter of fact, these products are rich in fats and take longer to digest thereby resulting into pain in the abdomen. Try to avoid these items as much as possible, but you can indulge in low fat yogurt, natural cheese and milk if you have to, though in limited amounts!
Drink Lots of Water and Healthy Juices
One of the most important essentials of a gallbladder sludge diet is to keep yourself well hydrated. For this you must drink a lot of water daily so that you help your body flush out toxins in the body. Drinking lots of fresh and low calorie juices and water also helps in diluting the gallbladder sludge.
Gallbladder sludge can be considered as a warning sign before the formation of gallstones. People who lose weight rapidly, are on fasting or on crash diets, are pregnant or are under the influence of alcohol have higher chances of developing gallbladder sludge. Which is why, one must take healthy steps to avoid being under the risk of developing this condition. One of such steps is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow a proper and effective diet. Always check with your health care specialist before going for a special diet or medication to be aware of your individual risks. So make sure that you choose healthy instead of tasty and rest assured, the gallbladder problems will be taken care of. Take care.