Gallstones are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder, a small organ that sits below the liver. They are made up of cholesterol, bile salts, and other substances. Gallstones are more common in women than men, and the risk increases during pregnancy.
There are several reasons why gallstones are more common during pregnancy. One reason is that the hormone estrogen increases cholesterol production. Another reason is that the hormone progesterone slows down the movement of bile, which can make it more likely for gallstones to form.
Most of the time, gallstones that form during pregnancy do not cause any symptoms. However, in some cases, they can cause pain in the upper right abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If a gallstone blocks the bile duct, it can cause a more serious condition called cholecystitis, which is inflammation of the gallbladder.
If you are pregnant and have gallstones, your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatment first. This may include changes to your diet, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding processed foods and inflammatory oils like vegetable oil and canola oil.
If conservative treatment is not effective, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder. This is usually done laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive procedure.
I encourage you to try to save your gallbladder through dietary changes and safe supplements. I created an online course to teach you how to reverse gallbaldder disease. You can learn more here:
Gallstones during pregnancy are not usually a serious problem, but they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. If you have any symptoms of gallstones, it is important to see your doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat the condition.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about gallstones and pregnancy:
- The risk of developing gallstones during pregnancy is highest in the third trimester.
- If you have a history of gallstones, you are more likely to develop them again during pregnancy.
- There is no evidence that gallstones during pregnancy harm the baby.
If you are pregnant and have gallstones, talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your condition. With proper care, you can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Here are some tips to help prevent gallstones during pregnancy:
- Eat a healthy diet that has plenty of protein and healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like salmon.
- Exercise regularly. Walking is a perfect way to stay active.
- Avoid sudden weight loss by eating small meals every 3 hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially salted, purified water.
- If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about whether they could increase your risk of gallstones.
Following these tips can help reduce your risk of developing gallstones during pregnancy. However, even if you do develop gallstones, there are effective treatments available. With proper care, you can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.