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Reducing Your Risk of Gallstones

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Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce your risk of gallstones:

Make Changes to Your Diet

Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of gallstones. Also, increasing your intake of various nuts may also reduce your risk.

Be Aware of Side Effects From Medications

If possible, avoid the use of estrogen, ceftriaxone, and octreotide, which are known to increase the risk of gallstone formation.

Achieve and Maintain a Healthful Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is a key to lowering your risk of future gallstones. If you are overweight, a slow loss of weight is advised. Fasting and extreme dieting can lead to gallstones. Ask your doctor for a weight loss plan that will be safe and effective for you. Your doctor can also refer you to a registered dietitian who can help you change your eating habits for weight loss.

Exercise Regularly

Regular, vigorous exercise may reduce the risk of gallstones. In addition to controlling weight, exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels. When these levels are abnormal, they may contribute to the development of gallstones.

Revision Information

  • Gallstones. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 23, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2013.

  • Venneman NG, van Erpecum KJ. Gallstone disease: primary and secondary prevention. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006;20:1063-1073.