Overweight people are at a greater risk of gallbladder problems, but losing weight quickly can also cause gallstone and gallbladder problems. Weight loss or weight gain that occurs rapidly causes an imbalance of cholesterol and bile salts in the gallbladder and can cause stones to form. Gradual weight loss is the key to preventing gallbladder disease and stones from forming.
Gastric Bypass and Gallstones
The development of gallstones is very common in patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery because in the first six to 18 months they consume a liquid diet that is very high in protein. This diet causes an imbalance in the cholesterol and bile salts in the gallbladder and results in gallstones.
Removing the gallbladder at the time of the gastric bypass surgery is one of the solutions for preventing gallstones. The medication Actigall can restore balance to the gallbladder during gastric bypass diet. Actigall increases the amount of bile salts in the gallbladder during weight loss.
Obesity vs. Gallbladder Disease
The risk of developing gallbladder disease must be weighed against the health concerns that are caused by obesity. Obesity is linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. The risk of these serious conditions almost certainly outweigh the risk of developing gallstones and gallbladder disease caused by significant weight loss.
A well-balanced diet may not prevent the development of gallstones when losing a large amount of weight, but it is a healthy approach. In a well-balanced diet, 30 percent of calories per day should come from lean protein, 30 percent from fat and 40 percent from healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. Whole grains and high-fiber carbs are a healthier choice in a well-balanced diet than processed foods.
Gradual Weight Loss
Weight loss should not exceed one to two pounds per week. Eliminating or burning only five hundred calories a day will result in a one-pound weight loss per week. Rapid weight loss is linked to gallstone development, but there have been no studies showing a gradual healthy weight loss will decrease the chance of this condition.
One factors that leads to the formation of gallstones is when the gallbladder does not completely empty the bile. Extremely low-calorie diets may not have the amount of fat that the gallbladder needs to empty its stores of bile.
Gallbladder Removal and Weight Loss
After gallbladder removal there may be weight loss. The gallbladder is no longer storing the bile produced by the liver and it is dumped directly into the intestines. This may affect the body’s ability to digest fats.