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Gallstone disease Gallbladder concentrates bile formed in the liver and stores it until needed for digestion of fat. The entrance of fat in the duodenum stimulates the secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin by the intestinal mucosa. This hormone reaches the gall bladder via the blood and causes it to contract releasing bile. Interference with the flow of bile may cause impaired fat digestion.

Cholecystitis involves the inflammation of the gallbladder usually due to a low grade chronic infection. Such a infection affects the absorptive powers of the gall bladder mucosa, in turn affecting the solubility ratios of the bile ingredients. Thus, cholesterol may precipitate out causing gall stones to form. Gallstone formation or cholethiasis may occur when along with cholesterol bipigments, bile salts, calcium and other substances precipitate out of the bile.


The main aim of dietary treatment is to reduce discomfort by providing a diet restricted in fat. In acute cases, it is advisable to keep the gall bladder at rest and minimize contractions. Thus fat is excluded from the diet.

A liquid diet, given as hourly or two hourly feeds daily for a few days, would be beneficial. When the condition settles down, clear soups. weak tea milk, refined cereals may be added

The gallbladder disease is more prevalent in communities consuming significantly more calories. The minimum amount of calories to maintain normal bodyweight is therefore advised.

Higher protein intake also increases biliary cholesterol concentration. A normal 60 to 80 grams of protein intake is permitted.

Since the fat is the major cause of pain, the energy needs should mainly be met from carbohydrates and not fat sources. The fat intake may be limited to 20 to 30 g per day and later increased to 40 to 45 g per day, thus increasing the palatability of the diet. Control of fat also contributes to fatloss.
For patients in whom fats do not produce symptoms, administration of vegetable oils like olive oil and unhydrogenated ground nut or till oil is recommended

Increased intake of simple sugars in drinks and sweets is associated with gallstone formation.

Deficient fiber intake is also considered as a cause of gallstone formation, but fiber has been shown to have very little effect on cholesterol metabolism

If a low fat diet is prescribed, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K should be given as supplements

A high fluid intake should be encouraged