I have noticed a disturbing trend among our young people. I know many with gall bladder disease and others who have had their gall bladders removed. I am 62 and have all of my original parts with the exception of my tonsils. Discovering that so many very young people are in this predicament is very troubling, so I felt compelled to write this article.
There are many adult maladies that are affecting children now due to bad dietary practices that result in obesity and an avalanche of associated health problems. Discrimination against overweight children leads to psychological problems that in times past, were rare in children. Depression and anxiety are more common in children than ever before. Hyperlipidemia, hypertension and abnormal glucose tolerance occur with increased frequency among obese children and adolescents. (1) Obesity is now the most prevalent nutritional disease in children. Children are now being diagnosed with what was once called “Adult Onset Diabetes” which is caused by obesity, living a sedentary lifestyle, bad diet and at one time, increasing age. Gallbladder disease in children is becoming more common and is associated with obesity.
Bile is made by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. The gall bladder adds bile to food as it enters the small intestine to help break down fats. Keeping the gallbladder healthy is very important for digestion and preventing gallstones and possibly cancer. Up to 4 out of 5 people with gallbladder cancer also have gallstones when they are diagnosed. Gallstones are the most common risk factor for gallbladder cancer. (2)
The health of the gallbladder is directly linked to what we eat. The guidelines for a healthy gallbladder are as follows: (3)
1-High plant intake-Eating a wide variety of plant foods can help to supply a broad range of nutrients for the body.
2-Lean protein-Excessively fatty meats can put added stress on the gallbladder. Make sure that all of your protein sources are lean.
3-Fiber-Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system. Various types can keep you satiated so you are less likely to over eat. It also feeds healthy bacteria in the gut and adds bulk to the stool to assist the body in toxin removal.
4-Healthful fats-Polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3’s are recommended to help keep the gallbladder healthy and reduce the risk of gallbladder disease. These fats are found in cold water fish, nuts, seeds and fish oil or flax seed oil.
5-Coffee-Drinking coffee appears to help keep the gallbladder healthy.
6-Calcium-Increasing calcium in the diet can help the gallbladder. Calcium is in dark, leafy greens, sardines and broccoli.
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium but some have a lot of saturated fat. Choose some plant milks and lower fat options when choosing dairy.
7-Vitamin C-People with higher Vitamin C levels experience less gallbladder disease. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, potatoes and tomatoes. Eat up.
There are also foods that can contribute to gallbladder disease.
1-Refined carbohydrates-Don’t eat sugar in any form. Refined carbs also include flour, refined grains and simple starches such as those found in baked goods like cookies and cakes. They are also found in candy, chocolate, soft drinks and battered and fried foods.
2-Excessive fats such as trans fats, hydrogenated oils, fried foods and fatty cuts of meat can also be a problem.
To improve gallbladder health:
2-Avoid rapid weight loss because it works the liver and gallbladder very hard and can lead to gallstones. Slow weight loss is always best.
3-Avoid food allergens. Get tested if you believe that you have food allergies and avoid the culprits.
4-QUIT SMOKING. Tobacco smoke can contribute to stones and cancer.
We are given one body with one set of the organs we need to live a long, healthy life. Start now and protect your gallbladder. If you notice, these same strategies will protect the rest of your body. We must be accountable to ourselves and be proactive concerning our health. In today’s world people are too quick to accept disease and dysfunction as the norm. Our bodies and all of our parts were meant to last a lifetime. Take care and enjoy the benefits of extreme self care and good health. Your future is in your hands.