Gallstones Don’t Belong At Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Emergency room on thanksgivingER trips on Thanksgiving and Christmas are surprisingly common. Even more surprising is the cause.

Often, the visits aren’t because of a sliced thumb attained while carving the bird, or a bout of food poisoning from spoiled milk.

Instead, they’re the result of some serious upper abdominal pain that’s caused by gallstones that have formed over months or years.

Gallstones are believed to be the result of over-consumption of fats and refined sugars, as well as bacterial imbalances caused by lack of nutritive intake and dehydration.

But what do the holidays have to do with gallbladder pain?

Consider the meal.

When you eat a huge meal full of fat and sugars (gravy, pie, buttered rolls, anyone?), your body will release CCK, the hormone cholecystokinin from the upper small intestine.

Many people don’t realize they have any gallbladder issues at all, because of a lack of symptoms. But when CCK is released, it triggers gallbladder contractions that can move stones into the cystic duct.

That movement can cause inflammation and obstruction – leading to the severe pain we mentioned at the beginning of this post.

If you’re unsure of your gallbladder’s current health status, or you have smaller attacks that you manage on your own, take great care this holiday.

thanksgiving meal Those buttered potatoes look excellent, but when you combine them with a few glasses of rum and eggnog or a gravy-soaked stuffing helping, your body will be tested. Here’s how to avoid an ER visit and still get your fill.

• Eat smaller portions of any of the high fat or high
sugar treats

• Chew and chew and chew!

• Start dinner conversations so you’ll eat less, and
more slowly, giving your body time to
digest what you’ve already ingested

• Take some digestive enzymes to support your normal processes*

• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

To avoid gallstones in general, adjust your diet to a high fiber, plant-based regimen.

Consider probiotic supplements to support your normal bacterial balance, and get regular check ups, where you can always bring up your digestive system.*

Do you have any tips for eating well on the holidays? Share them on our Facebook page.