Though we know that “gallstones” can occur from heredity, which is unavoidable, it cannot be denied that most patients come to receive gallbladder surgery for gallstones mainly due to their own behaviors. Heredity makes up only a small portion of the reason for developing gallstones.
Which behaviors can be risky for gallstones?
First of all, it should be known that the gallbladder is used to collect the bile that is produced by the liver to digest the food that contains fat. The bile consists of cholesterol, bile acid, phospholipids, and other substances. However, if the chemicals in the gallbladder are unbalanced or the congestion of bile in the duct inside the gallbladder is abnormal, the bile will crystalize into a lump, which becomes a gallstone. The causes that make the chemicals in the gallbladder become unbalanced are:
• Eat food that contains high fat: Many delicious foods, whether they are lean pork or Thai BBQ that we like to eat, contain fat because the fat will help the food taste mellow and soft. The main responsibility of the bile is to dissociate the fat in order to make it easier to digest with gastric enzyme. Food that contains high fat and low fiber will cause an accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the body and the incomplete digestion of the fat. When the accumulation occurs for a long time, gallstones will definitely occur.
• Let yourself gain weight: Obesity can increase the quantity of cholesterol in the bile. Therefore, do not allow yourself to enter a state of obesity. If you know that you are about to reach obesity, choose the proper method to lose weight by having more food that contains fiber, whether they are vegetables or fruits. Try to lose weight gradually. Do not overdo it because it might increase the risk of having gallstones. When we try to lose weight very quickly in a short period of time, the liver will secrete more cholesterol. The contraction of the gallbladder will become less frequent. Therefore, the bile will remain in the gallbladder longer, which can increase the chance for the bile to precipitate. Moreover, some types of lipid-lowering drugs can also be risk factors.
• Lack of exercise: Exercising regularly can create immunity for the body, which can also reduce the development of gallstones. Therefore, those who lack exercise will have a higher risk than those who do exercise, and they will also be at risk for the development of other diseases, especially diabetes. Diabetic patients tend to have a high level of cholesterol and triglyceride (Triglyceride is another type of fat that can increase the chance of gallstone development). The contraction of the gallbladder will be reduced in those with high blood sugar. Therefore, there is an easier chance for gallstones to develop.
Therefore, if you know that you have the risk of having gallstones, you should change your behavior early on for prevention. Moreover, there are other risk factors for gallstones. For example: Women who continually take birth control pills for a long time or take hormone replacements for too long, because the estrogen and pregnancy can increase the quantity of cholesterol and reduce the movement of the gallbladder.