There is no sure way to prevent gallstones. But you can reduce your risk of forming gallstones that can cause symptoms.
Maintain a healthy weight
Stay close to a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, do so slowly and sensibly. When you lose weight by dieting and then you gain weight back again, you increase your risk for gallstones, especially if you are a woman. If you diet, aim for a weight loss of only 1 lb (0.5 kg) to 1.5 lb (0.7 kg) a week. For more information, see the topic Reference Weight Management.
Eat regular, balanced meals
Try not to skip meals. Eat on a regular schedule. And eat meals that contain some fat (which causes the gallbladder to empty). This can help prevent gallstones. Eat plenty of whole grains and fiber. And be sure to often have servings of foods that contain calcium (milk products and green, leafy vegetables). Limit saturated (animal) fat and foods high in cholesterol.
If you exercise more, you may be able to reduce your risk for gallstones. Along with eating a low-fat diet, exercise is also an effective way to help you stay close to a healthy weight and lower your Reference cholesterol Opens New Window and Reference triglyceride Opens New Window levels.
Deciding whether to take estrogen
Some evidence shows that taking hormones such as Reference estrogen Opens New Window after menopause or taking high-dose birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of gallstones that cause symptoms. If you are taking such hormones, talk with your doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 15, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology