Gallbladder or biliary sludge is a mixture of small particle solids that accumulate from bile, a fluid stored in the gallbladder that helps in the process of digestion. This sludge can cause severe pain and discomfort to those affected. These symptoms may resemble gallstone symptoms, but gallbladder sludge is thickened bile that has remained in the gallbladder for too long.
While there are many medical interventions that can help alleviate this disorder, adhering to a gallbladder sludge diet may be all you need to help get rid of your biliary sludge symptoms.
Gallbladder sludge diet to follow
Foods to eat
Since the gallbladder is an important player in your digestive system, choosing the right foods to eat and ones to avoid can have a significant impact on your overall digestive health. This involves avoiding foods that are difficult to digest and foods high in fat, salt, and cholesterol, as they put additional stress on gallbladder function. Foods that are easier to digest will lighten this load, helping to reduce symptoms or completely eliminate them all together. The following are recommended items to include in a diet for gallbladder sludge treatment:
This should comprise of more than half your daily diet. Vegetables are naturally high in fiber, which can promote digestion, helping to reduce gallbladder sludge symptoms. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and parsley, are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to cleanse the body naturally. It is recommended to have about four to five servings of vegetables daily, with items such as beans, cucumbers, carrots, and celery being great choices when looking for high fiber options.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish oil, various types of nuts, and some types of seeds. This consumable substance can help lower high triglyceride levels, effectively decreasing your risk for heart disease. It also can be beneficial for preventing gallbladder sludge. Omega-3’s can also be great for curbing stiffness and joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
Related: Foods that lower triglycerides naturally
A great natural source of essential vitamins and minerals, consuming about three to four servings of raw fruit daily is recommended to help reduce gallbladder sludge. However, it is important to note that despite being good for you, fruits still contain high amounts of calories and can lead to weight gain. Fruits such as apples, berries, melons, papayas, guavas, and pears are all great choices.
Lean poultry meat
Choosing to cut excess fat from your meat is a great way to reduce your dietary consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol, both of which contribute to the development of gallbladder sludge. Choosing to avoid red meat is also recommended, as it tends to have a higher fat content that is not easily removed. Instead, choose lead poultry meats such as chicken breast and turkey.
Cereals and whole grains
A great source of fiber that is low in calories. Cereals and grain can be found in many products these days and can be simply enjoyed raw. They also have the added benefit of keeping you fuller throughout the day, helping to decrease your appetite.
Natural herbs and spices
These food items have been used for centuries to help combat health-related issues and promote healthy bodily function. Spices such as chilies, mustard, wasabi, and garlic are great for promoting digestive function and can even help reduce the formation of gallbladder sludge. Herbs such as mint, shallots, and coriander are also known for being great choices for cleansing the body.
Low-fat dairy products
Not only does this ease the work needed by the gallbladder, it’s also a healthier choice. While it is not bad to occasional consume full-fat food items, they should only be enjoyed in limited amounts.
Drink lots of water and healthy juices
Staying hydrated is an important part of the gallbladder sludge diet, as it helps to flush out unhealthy toxins. Fresh fruit juice is also a great way to stay hydrated but may have a high-calorie content.
Foods to avoid
It is recommended to avoid the following foods as part of a gallbladder sludge diet:
- Processed meats
- Seafood in oil
- Cream soups
- Snack chips
- Most pancakes and waffles
- Ice cream
- High-fat desserts
- Fried food in general
- Sweet rolls
- Cheese bread
- Non-dairy creamer
- Knowing what to eat and what not to eat can be a great start for anyone trying to adhere to a gallbladder sludge diet, however, it can hard. We have provided some tips to make it easier for you to make the right decisions about the foods you eat.
- Choose foods that contain less than three grams of fat per serving
- Consume only “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods
- Eat breakfast in the morning to prevent bile from sitting and separating in your gallbladder
- Choose to consume several smaller meals throughout the day instead of a few big ones. This helps to prevent the proteins from sitting at the bottom of your gallbladder
- Eating fewer calories will help reduce the chances of developing biliary sludge
Gallbladder sludge natural remedies
Finding ways to combat symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort often lead people to pursue gallbladder sludge natural remedies. Several options exist to help you achieve this, and understanding which items to choose and why can better help you find relief from your symptoms. By simultaneously following these recommendations, you can be certain you are doing the best you can before seeking professional medical attention.
Related: Lower abdominal pain in women: Causes and treatments
Increase bile production
The purpose is to stimulate the liver to produce more bile or simply take bile salts to maintain adequate bile flow. This can help to flush out gallbladder sludge and stones that may have accumulated over time. Substances that achieve this effect are referred to as “choleretics.” Some popular food items working in this respect are artichokes, young beet greens, and herbal supplements such as chamomile, chicory, and blessed thistle.
Liquify and move the bile
Promoting bile flow helps to prevent stone production and allows the gallbladder to expel its contents more completely. Cholagogues a medical agent, can help facilitate this process by helping to keep bile moving downward out of your liver and gallbladder. Bitter greens like arugula and dandelion greens can also help in this respect.
Shrink the stones
Gallstones are a major source of abdominal pain and can be easily avoided naturally by making the right dietary choices. Consuming foods that are acidic in nature can help leech calcium from bothersome gallstones, but this may take too long for some people to have any practical effect. Also, the long-term consumption of acidic foods can damage your teeth.
Dumb the bile
Bile is excreted by your gallbladder when eating meals, with your intestines reabsorbing and recycling a portion of it to be used again. Preventing this process can help keep your bile fluid flowing, thus reducing the chances of gallbladder sludge buildup. This can be achieved by consuming large amounts of fiber as bile tends to stick to it preventing it from being reabsorbed.
If you continue to experience symptoms despite all your efforts, going to the emergency room is a wise choice for severe abdominal pain. If you choose not to seek professional care, you may experience the eventual complications of gallbladder pain, which include discomfort while eating, weight loss, electrolyte abnormalities, and a decrease in quality of life. Seeing a medical professional is always a great idea when you are not sure why you are experiencing pain.
Related: Healthy gallbladder diet: Foods to eat and avoid for gallbladder problems