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Gallstones are a misery worth avoiding. The condition is not life-threatening, but causes more than 800,000 hospitalizations every year, a number that's rising right along with our average weight.
I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you The Skinny on Your Health.
Gallstones are a common digestive ailment among Americans, who typically eat a very high-fat diet. The gallbladder stores bile to help us digest fats.
Regularly consuming more fat than our gallbladder can handle results in excess cholesterol that solidifies into gallstones.
In addition, people who have gone on drastic liquid diets to drop weight but then binge on high fat meals can send their gallbladder into spasm, leading to its removal.
If you have recurrent indigestion after fatty meals, upper abdominal pain, nausea, and pain in your back after eating, you might want to ask your doctor about gallstones.
And you might want to lower your risk by reducing the fat in your diet and losing some weight"but do it sensibly. You don't want to avoid gallstones by losing your gallbladder!
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