Gallbladder Stones Diet


The gallbladder is a small organ situated right side of the abdomen below the liver. It has an integral role in the digestion process. The gallbladder stores digestive juices so that healthy digestion can happen. When this gallbladder is affected this process does not run smoothly. Gallbladder stone is a condition where an excess of digestive juices remain in the gallbladder and later it crystallizes into stones. The gallbladder can not empty all the juices. In this condition breakdown of food, especially fatty foods become difficult. Patients with gallbladder stones need to follow a strict diet. They need to include low-fat, high-fiber, and vitamin c-rich food in their diet.

Obesity is another common cause of gallstones, hence it is recommended to maintain a healthy weight.

This article will highlight the major points about gallbladder and gallstones. How they are formed and complications related to them. This will also explain how diet plays a vital role in the prevention of gallstones and it also prevents further complications or progression of this condition.

About gallbladder stones

Gall bladder stones are also called gallstones. Let us see important features related to this condition.

  • Gall bladder is a small pouch-shaped organ in our body
  • It is situated at the upper right side of the abdomen below the liver
  • The gallbladder plays a vital role in proper digestion
  • It helps to store yellow-colored liquid called bile juice
  • Bile juice helps with proper digestion
  • When there is an excess amount of bile in the gallbladder, it gets converted to yellow-colored gallstones
  • There are two types of gallstones: A) cholesterol stones: These stones are formed from the excess amount of bile. B) Pigment stones: these stones are formed due to the excess amount of bilirubin


The exact reason behind gallstone development is not clear, but some of the reasons behind gallstone formations are as follows:

  1. Deposition of excess cholesterol: bile juice is stored in the gallbladder. it helps to dissolve cholesterol released by the liver. Sometimes, the amount of cholesterol released is more than the bile juice, then this extra cholesterol turns into hard yellow stones
  2. Excess of bilirubin: Bilirubin is a type of chemical, which is produced by the liver. Bilirubin helps to break down red blood cells(RBCs) in our body. if the liver produces an excess of bilirubin, then it gets converted to gallstones

Improper function of the gallbladder: sometimes, because of health conditions, the gallbladder does not get emptied properly, which causes some amount of bile to remain in the gallbladder .this remaining amount of bile, gets converted to gallstones.


Generally, gallstones do not show any signs or symptoms, but if gallstones block the bile duct then it shows symptoms.

  • sudden/severe abdominal pain
  • Right side shoulder blade pain
  • Pain can last from a few minutes to several hours
  • Diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • acidity
  • Chills
  • High fever
  • jaundice


When gallstones block the bile duct, it can cause inflammation or infection of the gallbladder. This condition is called Cholecystitis.


Normally gallstones are not treated, if symptoms become severe then treatment is needed. with severe conditions surgery ( operation) is preferred.

  1. Surgical approach: with severe conditions, the gallbladder is removed surgically
  2. Nonsurgical method: medicines are given to dissolve gallstones. These medicines take a longer time to show their effect


With the help of a healthy diet and effective weight management, gallstones can be prevented.

  • Diet: gallstone formation is linked with an excess of cholesterol secretion by the liver. It is recommended that if low-fat diet with fresh fruit, and vegetable inclusion, helps to keep gallstones away
  • Effective weight management: Being overweight causes excess cholesterol secretion, hence it is recommended to manage weight with the help of healthy food and exercise

When to consult a doctor?

If gallstones block the bile duct, it may cause a medical emergency. If any of the following symptoms are experienced by the patient, then it is necessary to contact a doctor: 

  • High fever/chills
  • Abdominal pain lasting more than 8 hours
  • nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • jaundice1,2

About gallbladder stones

(brief information, causes, symptoms, complications, treatments, preventions, when to consult a doctor)

Diet and gallbladder stones

Gallbladder is an important organ for maintaining healthy and regular digestion. What food we eat is directly linked to the gallbladder. A person with gallbladder issues must eat the correct food to avoid further complications.

How do foods affect the gallbladder?

The basic function of the gallbladder is to store and release bile juices for digestion. The gallbladder can get affected because of various reasons, such as inflammation or infection. Depending upon severity treatment is decided by the doctors. It is challenging to digest high-fat food if the gallbladder is affected. High-fat food can trigger symptoms such as pain, wind, bloating, and diarrhea. it also increases the chance of developing gallstones. it is very important to follow a healthy low-fat diet if the gallbladder is affected.

Diet before surgery

When the gallbladder is affected it is very difficult to break down fats from food, so low-fat food intake is advisable. Points to remember regarding diets before surgery are:

  • Avoid full-fat food
  • Include lean meat, white fish, and boiled egg
  • Include low-fat yogurt
  • include whole grains, low-fat cheese, and boiled vegetables
  • include good fiber intake such as extra salad
  • Avoid processed foods3

Diet after surgery

Post gallbladder surgery, many times people experienced watery diarrhea for few days. Once the gallbladder is removed, bile is not stored and it is directly released into the intestines, which triggers diarrhea. It is very essential to follow the correct diet after surgery.

  • Avoid high fat, oily,greesy diet
  • Include for a low-fat diet
  • Include fiber intakes, such as fresh green leafy vegetables, salad, and fruits rich in vitamin C
  • Soluble fibers like oats
  • Increase fiber intake gradually post-operation
  • Rather than eating one big portion, eat small quantities at frequent intervals4


Can I dissolve gallbladder stones with diet?

Gallstones can be removed from the body using natural methods. It is called gallbladder flush. There is no proper evidence supporting this method. Many people follow this natural remedy. This method includes olive oil, some herbs, and some type of fruit juice. drinking this combination for several hours helps soften gallstones and gets excreted through stools.

Olive oil act as a laxative and apple juice contains malic acid that helps to break gallstones5,1

What foods irritate gallbladder stones?

Food with high saturated fat is not good for gallstone conditions. It can trigger symptoms related to gallstones. This type of food is difficult to digest if the gallbladder is affected.2

  • Full fat yogurt, hard cheese
  • Ghee, oil, butter
  • Cream
  • Cakes, biscuits
  • Sausages
  • Fish with high fat
  • Meat pies
  • Food with coconut oil

What foods can dissolve gallbladder stones?

There are some natural remedies people follow for dissolving gallstones1,3

  1. Gallstone cleanser: it is a combination of olive oil, herbs, and apple juice
  2. Apple cider vinegar with apple juice: it is considered that malic acid in apples helps to soften the gallstones and it gets flushed out through stools
  3. Dandelion: the anti-inflammatory property is effective for the treatment of gallstones6
  4. Milk thistle
  5. Artichoke: it stimulates bile production .it supports liver and gallbladder function7  
  6. Psyllium husk: it is a soluble fiber and it helps to prevent the formation of gallstones8 
  7. Gold coin grass: it flushes gallstones from the gallbladder and toxins from the liver. It prevents gallstone formation9


Gallbladder is an organ that plays an essential role in digestion. It stores bile juices, and these juices help to break down food and prompt healthy digestion. If the gallbladder is affected then digestion becomes difficult. Gallstones are a very common condition. usually, this condition is without any symptoms. If gallstones block the bile duct then it becomes symptomatic. when it becomes symptomatic it is essential to treat it without any delay, otherwise this condition can become a serious problem.

In order to prevent gallstones or control acute episodes, diet is very important. Because of the gallstones, it is challenging to digest high-fat food.

It is recommended for patients with gallstones should include, low-fat, high-fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, lean fish, and boiled vegetables.

With the help of a correct diet and healthy weight management, it is possible to prevent gallstones as well as their related complications!


  1. Gall bladder stones hospital - treatment, removal surgery - rg hospital [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from:
  2. Gallstones [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Nov 20]. Available from:
  3. Can you recommend a diet after gallbladder removal? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Nov 20]. Available from:
  4. Gallbladder cleanse: A ‘natural’ remedy for gallstones? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Nov 20]. Available from:
  5. Li Y, Chen Y, Sun-Waterhouse D. The potential of dandelion in the fight against gastrointestinal diseases: A review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2022 Jul 15;293:115272.
  6. Gallstones - cancer care of western new york [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 20]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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