The Importance of Gallbladder Health: Food for Thought

The Importance of Gallbladder Health: Food for Thought

While the gallbladder may be viewed as a relatively unimportant organ (like the appendix), a healthy gallbladder is essential to maintaining a functional digestive system.

Without a gallbladder, patients may have trouble in digesting foods efficiently, especially when fatty foods are consumed.

One can take several steps to help maintain a healthy, efficient gallbladder:

  • Regular mealtimes allow for bile within the digestive system to release efficiently, keeping cholesterol levels healthier and reducing the opportunity for gallstones to develop
  • Consumption of whole grain foods lower the ‘bad’ cholesterol within the digestive system, reducing the opportunity for gallstones to form
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the development of gallstones by up to 300%
  • Consumption of fresh produce provides the body essential vitamins necessary for gallbladder health
  • Limiting the amount of fatty and fried foods allows patients to foster a healthy weight and reduces the amount of saturated fat within the digestive system
  • Drinking healthy amounts of water assists the gallbladder in its functions and allows the organ to flush itself more efficiently, reducing the build up of bile and gallstones.

There are many healthy, nutritious, and tasty foods that assist in keeping the gallbladder healthy and fully functional.  

Gallbladder Disease Can Present Itself in Various Ways

Inflammation or blockage within the gallbladder may present itself in through several different physical symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain and/or bloating
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Fever, and Chills
  • Abnormal bowel evacuation
  • Pain in the right shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • The appearance of jaundiced skin

A more extensive list of symptoms and risk factors contributing to the development of gallbladder disease is available through the Cleveland Clinic

Science Care Donors Aid in Treatment of Patients Experiencing Gallbladder Diseases

The National Institute of Health estimates that roughly 1.2 million gallbladder removals are performed annually in the United States.

Where diet and exercise can help foster a healthy, functional gallbladder, the need for treatment of patients experiencing gallbladder disease is a constant.

Members of the Science Care Donor community assist in the treatment of gallbladder disease by:

  • Contributing to the development of medications intended to lower cholesterol in patients
  • Allowing surgeons to develop the skills necessary for successful and efficient gallbladder removal
  • Aiding in the development of minimally invasive and robot guided surgical techniques used in gallbladder removal 

Over the past decades, the development of minimally invasive techniques used in the performance of gall bladder surgeries has decreased the incision size necessary to complete the operation from 10 inches to only 1 inch in some instances. 

Smaller incision sites result in shorter hospitalization and recovery times, reduced post-operative pain, and decreased opportunity for the incision site to become infected or require re-closure post-surgery.

We express our sincere thanks to all members of the Science Care Donor Community who have contributed to advancements in the treatment of patients experiencing diseases of the gallbladder!

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