Do doctors have the right approach to preventing gall stones?

From WedMD. Typical doctors’ advice. Seems way off the mark to me:

“Your chances of forming gallstones that can cause symptoms may be higher if you:

  • Are female. Females are twice as likely as males to have gallstones.
  • Are older than 55.
  • Are overweight.
  • Lose weight rapidly. Gallstones develop in about one-fourth of very overweight men and women who are on strict diets and in about half of people who have gastric bypass surgery for obesity. Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of the stomach and connects the smaller stomach to the middle section of the small intestine.
  • Have low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL or high-density lipoprotein) and elevated triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood and in foods.
  • Have a disease of the small or large intestine, such as Crohn’s disease.
  • Have a family history of gallstones.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Are taking estrogen (after menopause) or high-dose birth control pills.
  • Are Native American or Hispanic.
  • Have sickle cell disease.
  • Are taking certain medicines. Ask your doctor if your medicine may be causing your gallstones.
  • Have cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
  • Get very little or no exercise.
  • Do not eat for a period of time (fast).”

And more advice from WebMD:

“Gallstones – Prevention

There is no sure way to prevent gallstones. But you can reduce your risk of forming gallstones that can cause symptoms.

Maintain a healthy weight

Stay close to a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, do so slowly and sensibly. When you lose weight by dieting and then you gain weight back again, you increase your risk for gallstones, especially if you are a woman. If you diet, aim for a weight loss of only 1 lb (0.5 kg) to 1.5 lb (0.7 kg) a week. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.

Eat regular, balanced meals

Try not to skip meals. Eat on a regular schedule. And eat meals that contain some fat (which causes the gallbladder to empty). This can help prevent gallstones[emphasis is mine. Wow! a modicum of sense] Eat plenty of whole grains and fiber. And be sure to often have servings of foods that contain calcium (milk products and green, leafy vegetables). Limit saturated (animal) fat and foods high in cholesterol.

Exercise regularly

If you exercise more, you may be able to reduce your risk for gallstones. Along with eating a low-fat diet, exercise is also an effective way to help you stay close to a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Deciding whether to take estrogen

Some evidence shows that taking hormones such as estrogen after menopause or taking high-dose birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of gallstones that cause symptoms. If you are taking such hormones, talk with your doctor.”


Wow! Only a few words of sense in the whole thing. Let me summarize what common sense tells us:

1. Notice that nowhere is maintaining proper hydration even mentioned. When the body is dehydrated, the body goes in search of water wherever it is. In the colon, in the gall bladder, in the skin, everywhere. Want to bet that overly dehydrated, concentrated bile is more likely to form a stone?

2. Cholesterol per se is not the issue – the proper conversion of cholesterol to bile salts keeps cholesterol soluble even in 10x concentrated bile. The proper reabsorption of cholesterol and bile salts during the 10x concentration of bile is critical as well. The systems regulating these two critical processes must have proper nutrition to function correctly.

3. What is important: sufficient hydration, sufficient exercise, losing weight gradually with proper whole foods’ nutrition the whole time, containing sufficient fat to satisfy the appetites and stimulate strong gall bladder emptying, sound sleep, and an effective method of responding to life’s stressors.


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