How do I Prevent Gallstones?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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You may be able to prevent gallstones from forming if you avoid foods high in cholesterol, exercise regularly, and keep your weight in the healthy range for your height. Women who take birth control pills are usually considered at greater risk for developing gallstones, and pregnancy can also cause them to form. Another factor that may contribute to the formation of gallstones are starvation diets, which typically result in very rapid weight loss. The chances of getting gallstones from these diets may be even greater if the weight loss is also gained back at a rapid rate.

Foods that are very high in bad fats and cholesterol tend to cause gallstones. If your body is faced with an excess of these substances, they often turn into gallstones and remain inside your gall bladder. These stones can cause intense pain that may last for hours on end, and there is usually very little that can be done to manage the discomfort until the gallstone attack passes. It may be possible to prevent gallstones from forming if you make an effort not to eat too many high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. If you already have gallstones, eating these types of foods can bring about painful attacks.


Regular exercise may also do a lot to prevent gallstones from forming. Exercise can help to keep your weight stable, which is important because both gaining and losing weight too rapidly can cause gallstones. There is also a good chance that exercising might help to lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which would also probably help to prevent gallstones. Additionally, people who are overweight tend to have more problems with gallstones than those who are not, and exercising could contribute to healthy weight loss when combined with healthy eating.

Women who take estrogen, either in the form of birth control pills or hormones, are at greater risk for gallstone formation than women who are not taking them. If you are on hormones and already have an increased risk of gallstones due to other factors such as diet and weight, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about alternative medications. Pregnant women and women who have had more than one consecutive pregnancy also tend to be in a higher risk group for developing gallstones. This may be another good reason to eat healthy and exercise regularly during your pregnancy, although it is important to speak with your doctor before starting any regular exercise routine if you are expecting.



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