Diet for gallstone sufferers

Updated April 17, 2017

The gallbladder is a small sac in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. A properly functioning gallbladder introduces bile into the stomach through the biliary duct to help break down food. The biliary duct can become blocked if gallstones develop. This causes severe pain and difficulty digesting food. Surgery to remove the gallbladder is the recommended treatment for gallstones, but eating gallstone-friendly food can help prevent a gallbladder attacks until surgery day.


Make breakfast the heaviest meal of the day. Most gallstone pain occurs at night and can be worsened if you eat large meals too late in the day. Moving around during the day can also aid in digestion.

What you eat is as important as when you eat. Gallstones are hardened deposits of cholesterol. Eat breakfast foods that are high in fibre such as bran muffins and cereal. Avoid dairy and spicy foods, as they are difficult to digest with a low amount of bile in your stomach. Caffeine can also exacerbate gallstone symptoms. Forgo the coffee and drink water instead. Water will help you digest your food without irritating your stomach.


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's website reports that the typical American diet is a leading cause of gallstones. Eating fatty and spicy food increases your risk of a gallstone attack. Instead of eating a quick burger during your lunch break, have plain rice and boiled chicken. Yoghurt with live active cultures also helps food pass through the digestive tract. Avoid carbonated drinks. Carbonated beverages can cause gas, which will put pressure on the gallbladder.


Dinner should be the lightest meal of your day. Avoid red meat in any form until you have your surgery. A hamburger can cause just as much pain as a lean steak. Eat lean and light foods such as mashed potatoes, fish and easily digested vegetables. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, are difficult to digest. Vegetables with a skin, such as peas and corn, can also be problematic. Exchange fried foods for grilled foods to avoid a gallbladder attack. Alcoholic beverages are also associated with gallstone pain.

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About the Author

Heather Monroe has been writing for Demand Studios since March, 2009. Heather enjoys blogging about California's beautiful Inland Empire and its rich history. She has also published her own line of greeting cards and tee-shirts. Although she got a bit of a late start, Heather is pursuing a degree in Journalism.