The gallbladder helps digest fats by producing bile (a compound of cholesterol, bile pigments and salts). But if you eat a lot of fatty and fried foods, gallbladder bile fluids often become saturated with cholesterol, the cholesterol precipitates into solid crystals, then accumulates into stones. The stones enlarge, the gallbladder becomes inflamed, and severe pain that feels like a heart attack ensues. It can be life threatening if left untreated. Stones may also block the bile passage, causing pain and digestive harm. About 20 million Americans have gallstones, and gallbladder cholecystitis (acute gallbladder inflammation); three fourths of them are women.
High risk factors for gallbladder disease include a poor diet with high cholesterol and low bile acids, chronic indigestion and gas from too much dairy and refined sugars, obesity, and Crohn’s disease. Research shows that even birth control pills or HRT, hormone replacement drugs, which change estrogen balance, increase cholesterol production by the liver. Yo-yo dieting increases risk of gallstones. (I personally knew a 64-year-old woman who died from her gallstones that became severe through twenty-five years of yo-yo dieting.)
Gallstones are far easier to prevent than to reverse. Research shows eating just one large orange a day may reduce gallstone risk. The sharp rise of three conditions in America affect our ability to digest cleanly… 1) food allergies - because they affect the ability to digest (eliminate the offending food to stop attacks), 2) parasite infections - because they can lead to calcium composition stones, 3) lack of regular exercise which stagnates digestive activity.