5 Habits That Wreck Your Gallbladder


Each year nearly 700,000 surgeries are done in the US to remove gallbladders.

Contrary to popular belief the gallbladder is an important organ that can often be saved by good nutritional therapy and shouldn’t be haphazardly removed.  Every year, people all over the US have gallbladder attacks and doctors surgically remove them without offering any nutritional advice at all to remedy the inflamed organ.

What does the gallbladder do?

The gallbladder secretes bile into the small intestines in order to break down the fat in foods for proper digestion.  (Yes, the body was created to eat fat.)  Bile can become too thick when it isn’t secreted enough or if toxins overwhelm the body and can’t be filtered out by the liver.  The bile in the gallbladder will then get thick and sludge-like and begin to wreak major havoc.  Gallstones form due to this excess thickened bile and continue to cause more severe pain and inflammation to the gallbladder.

I don’t think many American realize what they are doing to their liver and gallbladder when they are wrecking it with the five habits described below.

5 Habits That Wreck Your Gallbladder

1. Eat a low-fat or no-fat diet – How can you gallbladder secrete bile if there is no fat to digest in the small intestines?  Since the gallbladder’s job is squeezing bile in order to breakdown your fat if you eat a low-fat diet it will never need to be secreted.  Then, it will just build up, and build up until it becomes thick sludgy and uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, many of us have been brainwashed to believe that a low-fat diet is actually healthy even though the body needs healthy fats in order to fight inflammation, insulate healthy cells, keep up in a sane frame of mind, and insulate our organs.  Believe me, a low-fat or no-fat diet is not the answer to true health.  You need healthy fat for healthy bodily processes, including gallbladder health.

Make sure your caloric intake is about 30% healthy fats like pastured butter, ghee, coconut oil, cold pressed nut and seed oils and animal fats.

2. Eat Processed Foods – Processed foods contain toxic ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, rancid fats, toxic chemicals and white sugar.  These toxic foods are not easily filtered out by the liver and cause it to become fatty and unhealthy.  Since the liver works directly with the gallbladder, it creates the bile that is then stored in the gallbladder.  Bile is a substance that is made out of cholesterol and in order to have a healthy substance to help digest healthy fats it is also important to have a healthy liver.  Eating processed foods can over burden the liver and tax the gallbladder.

3. Eat Rancid Fats –  What you don’t know may really be hurting you.  Processed fats such as canola oil and olive oil that is not cold pressed and package in an opaque bottle is rancid.  Any foods fried at typical fast food restaurants is fried in rancid oils.  These oils create free radicals that can wreak havoc all over your body.  The body also doesn’t digest rancid fats the same way that it digests healthy fats, so eating these fats is causing further harm to your gallbladder.

4. Drink too much Alcohol – Since the liver is what produces the bile which is contained in your gallbladder over doing alcohol consumption can not only completely wreck your liver, but it can harm your gallbladder as well.  The two organs function hand in hand so when one is going bad the other is most likely struggling too.  You do want healthy bile to help you digest your fats.  It is important to drink alcohol in moderation for a healthy liver AND gallbladder.

5. Drink Soda – Studies have shown that diets that are high in glycemic load show an increase risk of developing gallbladder problems. Source I speculate that many of these diets that are very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates are also most likely void of fat.   Diets that are high processed low-fate foods are also consequently low in good fats in the diet.  Refined sugar is known to create all kinds of imbalances in the body which can certainly cause an imbalance to the gallbladder as well.

In conclusion

It is important to know that good digestion and good liver function is very important for good gallbladder health.  However, the habits above can most help you down the road to discomfort and problems with your gallbladder.  My advice is to eat foods that are healthy for your gallbladder, make sure you have healthy fat in your diet and avoid the habits listed above.

Do you practice any of the above habits?  Which ones do you practice and what steps are you going to take to give them the boot?  Leave a comment below this post to let me know!

Further Reading:

Are you Digesting your Fats?

The Dangers of Sugar Dr. Joseph Mercola

Do you Have a Fatty Liver?  Dr. Mark Hyman

Know Your Fats by Mary Enig, Ph.D

Linus Pauling Institute: Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

Taking the Fear Out of Eating Fats by Lori Lipinski

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  1. Eating whole foods (not processed foods or fast foods) has improved my digestive system, lowered my weight, given me more energy, lowered my cholesterol and lowered my blood pressure tremendously. I eat fresh vegetables, whole grain breads, salmon, no red meat, no pork, some chicken, beans, lentils and no cows milk, soy milk or rice milk. I’ve never felt better !!!!!

  2. I can tell you that at one point or another in my life I did each of these things. I now I Have no gallbladder and my digestion is worse. At no point was I ever given any option other than surgical removal. And neither was I explained the side effects of having it removed. Years later doing my own research to understand my digestive issue, did I find there were other options. Thank you for the article. It may be too late for me, but hopefully others will pay attention.

    • Thank you for the information, I was in the process of weighing g my options. I’ve just started with gall bladder problems, so I most certainly will try changing my diet first. As with you, I believed what I was told. Surgery is the only option. Thank you

  3. I had my gallbladder removed last November after suffering from attacks and constant pain for several years. The attacks and pain eventually became bad enough to seek medical attention in February 2013. Surgery wasn’t my first option. My doctor recommend that I changed my diet and gave me a prescriptions to take before eating and for heartburn. This worked for a while. Last summer this regime stopped working pretty much all together. I went back to my doctor and they redid some tests (I never had gall stones) and another one to see how much my gallbladder was functioning. The results of that test was only 9%. And that was 20 months after I had changed my diet. So surgery was my next option or to continue to live in constant pain. I chose surgery. I could feel when my gallbladder would become inflamed. The sensation of feeling like I was being stabbed with a knife from below my right rib cage all the way around to my back was becoming unbearable. And I finally had an official diagnoses. Gallbladder disease. It can be caused by several factors. Mine was most likely caused by high cholesterol which runs in my family. It’s something that I have battled with as well as my mom and sister and several other family members. I never knew it could effect my gallbladder. I am grateful that I learned this so I can inform my children and other family members and friends. I do not regret having my gallbladder removed. I feel so much better and I don’t fear eating food as much anymore. I’m still cautious since I had cut so many of the foods I loved out of my diet that I have to slowly introduce them back in. But I still don’t eat processed foods,anything that comes out of a box or bag or can. We eat fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, no sugar, drink water- sometimes with fresh fruit in it, tea, and on a rare occasion coffee. And drinking alcohol is only for socializing, which is less than 6 times a year. I’m feeling healthier everyday.

  4. Great article! I am 100% sure that healthy food will help to improve digestive system and, of course, give more energy. In order to prevent lot of diseases i try to eat many fresh vegetables, fish, boiled meat, apples and to drink water. No soda, no sugar

  5. I’m so happy to read about alternatives to surgery. I have a large gallstone which I was told requires surgery. Since my diagnosis a year ago I have started eating an organic apple (no pesticides) every day along with a diet rich in coconut and unprocessed olive oil. I drink plenty of water. I do yoga five times a week. In the past year I have had less gallbladder attacks – which can last up to four hours. If I feel one coming on I drink unprocessed Apple cider Vinegar (Braggs). Two tablespoons with warm water and honey (tea). Dehydration can bring on an attack. I had skied for six hours and eaten a fiber bar – after which created a gallbladder attack. I now stop and hydrate every hour to avoid an attack! I have considered having surgery this spring but after hearing the side effects I wish to avoid it. I don’t know if I can cure my gallbladder disease alone but would like to try. Attacks are scary and very painful. I have always tried to maintain a low fat diet. Now I realize it is not beneficial – after all these years!! So now I drink lowfat milk not skim, eat regular yogurt, cook with coconut and olive oil, and eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies. Restaurant eating is an issue. I am sure it’s the processed oils they use like canola oil. I see more and more people suffering from the effects of the proceeded oils. Fresh is best! Love to hear from others as what works. I should do more vinegar teas it’s just not the most appealing but beats having an attack!

  6. Billie Walker says:

    Love the info, use to eat to much sugar. I use maple syrup, agave nectar to sweeten my food. Rare the I drink sodas, I drink beeronec a week, wine with dinner ssparingly. Don’t eat a lot of meat mostky chicken or salmon , sardines. I do every now and then experienced pain in my rectum that woke me up out of my sleep, forcing me to have a bile movement.

  7. I love this article — thanks so much for sharing!! I had a severe attack a year ago, but decided to cut all dairy and lessen my fat intake (I was eating lots of dairy fat, whole milk, etc.) other than that we don’t eat processed and stick to Weston A Price. I did do a cleanse and over 50 stones came out — I’m planning on posting my story soon <3 SURGERY IS NOT THE ANSWER, thanks so much for speaking out on this issue — when it's the #1 surgery in America, you know there's something seriously wrong with our diets and our medical interventions! Thanks again -Amy
    Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings recently posted…around here {an update}My Profile

  8. I would like to suggest that everyone look into doing at home gallbladder cleanses before considering surgery.
    I had significant gallbladder issues several years back, so I googled the cleanse proceedures and I no longer have gallbladder issues!
    For the first couple of years I found the need to do a cleanse about every 6 months, then I went to once per year, and now I have gone approximately 2 years, so far, without any issues or need to do a cleanse at all!

  9. What is your source for olive oil being rancid? Dr Mark Hyman actually advocates for extra virgin olive oil. http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/05/29/foods-bite-with-dr-hyman-olive-oil/

    • Becky Webb says:

      Olive oil is fine if you purchase high quality olive oil. It should be never heated above its smoke point and is typically best served raw. If Olive Oil is not cold pressed I don’t recommend it. Many other olive oils are cut if you aren’t careful what you purchase. This is my favorite brand. http://bit.ly/1O9TI6b It tastes AMAZING! Olive oil shouldn’t taste bitter, it indicates rancidity.

  10. Very helpful article! Thank you for sharing this information.
    Low or no fat eating is definitely an issue with me.
    I did give up processed foods and dairy though.
    Still working up to doing a flush.

    Best to you 🙂


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