The prevalence of gallstones is particularly high in Western countries and accounts for a significant proportion of hospitalizations. Occurrence risk increases in obesity, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, pregnancy, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome. Genetic factors, lifestyle and diet directly affect the formation of gallstones. Although most of the patients do not have symptoms, some of them may experience abdominal pain, fever, nausea, which manifests as recurrent attacks lasting more than half an hour under the right rib cage or in the middle of the upper abdomen. Physical examination, abdominal ultrasound and infection parameters are required by the physician to make the diagnosis.
Unhealthy eating is an important risk factor for gallstone formation. A diet rich in saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, trans fatty acids, refined sugar, and fructose greatly affects gallstone formation. Among the dietary factors suitable for gallstones; mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, caffeine, vitamin C, natural olive oil, omega 3, vegetable protein, nuts, vegetables and fruits are consumed. If the person is overweight, he should reach his ideal weight. In a study, it was determined that people who followed the Mediterranean diet for a long time were at lower risk of gallstones. Vitamin C, soy lecithin and iron can be used as supplements under the control of a physician / dietitian. Physical activity performed simultaneously with a suitable nutrition plan has a preventive effect on the formation of gallstones.
HOW SHOULD NUTRITIONAL TREATMENT BE?
• When choosing a cooking method, grilling, boiling or baking in the oven should be preferred instead of frying.
• Attention should be paid to abundant fluid consumption.
• 5 portions of fresh vegetables and fruits should be consumed per day.
• Vegetable sources (chickpeas, lentils, peas, soy, beans, etc.) should be preferred as much as possible.
• Meals should be made with low fat and olive oil.
• Meat dishes should be consumed maximum 2 times a week and no extra fat should be added.
• Processed meat (salami, sausage, sausage, pastrami, etc.) should not be consumed.
• Oil preference should be made in favor of vegetable oils. Mayonnaise, cream, cream, margarine should not be consumed.
• Processed and canned products should be avoided.
• Food should be prepared with/without salt.
• Fish should be consumed twice a week.
• Dairy products should be preferred without fat.
• Diet should be rich in vitamin C (parsley, capia pepper, orange, lemon, rosehip, etc.).
- Alan R Gaby, Nutritional approaches to prevention and treatment of gallstones, Alternative Medicine Review, 2009;14(3):258-67.
- Agostino Di Ciaula, Gabriella Garruti, The Role of Diet in the Pathogenesis of Cholesterol Gallstones, Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2019;26(19):3620-3638.
- Agostino Di Ciaula, Recent advances in understanding and managing cholesterol gallstones, F1000 Research,2018;v.7: 1-14
- Katrín Hjaltadóttir, Gallsteinar, The Icelandic Medical Journal, 2020;(10)
- Chun-Ming Chang, Plant-Based Diet, Cholesterol, and Risk of Gallstone Disease: A Prospective Study, Nutrients, 2019, 4;11(2):335
- A Guide to Healthy Eating for People with Gall Stones, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, 1-11