Gall bladder sludge, referred to as biliary sludge, is a mixture of small residual particles and mucus within bile. It is associated with rapid weight loss, pregnancy, specific medications and bone marrow or organ transplants. Gall bladder sludge may be present without symptoms, or symptoms may be experienced intermittently. Common symptoms are pain due to related obstruction of the bile ducts, as well as the development of gall stones, pancreatitis, or inflammation of the gall bladder. If you suspect that you have sludge in your gall bladder, discuss the best course of treatment for this condition with your physician.
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Consume a high-fibre diet that includes healthy unsaturated fats from fish and nuts. This type of diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables to prevent the development of additional gall bladder sludge. Eliminate foods high in cholesterol, saturated and trans fat such as butter and cheese. These types of foods force the gall bladder to work harder to break down the large amounts of fat, leading to the production of additional sludge.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals each day. Do not skip breakfast. If the gall bladder regularly releases bile to assist with the digestion of food instead of storing bile for long periods of time in the gall bladder, its consistency tends to be more uniform.
Maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight or obese increase their risk of developing gall bladder sludge. Reduce calories consumed and increase physical activity to improve overall general health.
Take prescription Ursodiol, ursodeoxycholic acid, to break down bile proteins and reduce gall bladder sludge. If dietary and lifestyle changes are not alleviating your condition, your physician may prescribe Ursodiol to remove sludge from the gall bladder.
Have your gall bladder removed. If you are still experiencing symptoms due to gall bladder sludge, or you have developed gallstones or other related complications such as pancreatitis, blocked bile duct, or your gall bladder has become inflamed, your physician will recommend that you have your gall bladder removed. Since the gall bladder is not a vital organ, and gall bladder issues typically recur, this eliminates the symptoms without affecting digestion or causing secondary health issues.
Tips and warnings
- Ask your doctor for specific dietary recommendations to prevent or minimise the effects of gall bladder sludge.
- If you are experiencing an abnormally high temperature in conjunction with pain in the upper right section of your abdomen, seek immediate medical attention.
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