Everything You Need to Know About Gallbladder Attacks

A gallbladder attack is sometimes considered the WORST pain people have ever experienced. 

And if you’ve struggled with gallbladder attacks, you know the feeling. They can be extremely painful and last hours on end. As someone who’s dealt with the pain of attacks, I can relate. 

But, I’ve since turned my pain into passion and focused my integrative nutrition background on specifically helping those with gallbladder diseaselike me– feel better in their bodies. 

So, how can you reduce your pain during an attack, and even prevent gallbladder attacks once and for all? This blog covers ALL things gallbladder attacks so you can feel more empowered as a gallbladder patient. 

What Causes a Gallbladder Attack?

Gallbladder attacks are typically caused by a stuck gallstone or a gallstone trying to pass. 

Usually, inflammation causes a poorly functioning gallbladder, leading to a higher risk of gallbladder attacks. Everything You Need to Know About Gallbladder Attacks

Gallbladder attacks are extremely painful and uncomfortable. So I’m here to give you the tools to recover from gallbladder attacks and reduce the odds of them returning!

As a gallbladder-focused functional nutritionist, I’ve helped my clients learn how to stop their attacks and implement strategies post-attack to reduce inflammation of the gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. 

Let’s look at foods that lead to attacks, and then what to do during and after a gallbladder attack. 

Foods That Trigger Gallbladder Attacks 

The gallbladder releases bile to help break down fatty foods. So foods that are extra fatty, processed, or greasy can cause problems for someone with gallbladder issues or gallbladder disease. 

I recommend 100% avoiding fried and greasy foods to avoid gallbladder attacks! 

And always take caution when consuming common gallbladder trigger foods:

  • Fatty red meats
  • Pork and sausage
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Gluten 

Additional triggers for gallbladder attacks are sugar, coffee, and alcohol. Opt for whole foods, low-sugar options, green or herbal teas, and mocktails– at least until your symptoms fully subside!

Signs You’re Having a Gallbladder Attack

The most common symptom of a gallbladder attack is severe right upper quadrant pain. If you struggle with gallbladder disease, you may have unfortunately already experienced this. 

Other common symptoms of a gallbladder attack include: 

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Reflux 
  • Upper sternum or upper back and shoulder pain 

Everything You Need to Know About Gallbladder Attacks

Gallbladder attack pain can be excruciating and debilitating. For some, it can feel like a heart attack. Many women even consider the pain worse than natural childbirth. 

Gallbladder attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to 8+ hours. 

If your gallbladder attacks come with severe pain, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), or vomiting, seek immediate medical attention.

Quick Remedies for Gallbladder Attacks 

One of the best ways to manage a gallbladder attack is to know the warning signs. 

Common warning signs of a gallbladder attack include: 

  • Constipation
  • Clay-colored stools 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea 
  • Tenderness in the upper right quadrant 

Stay on the lookout for these warning signs, because taking action at the FIRST signs of an attack can help drastically reduce your frequency of painful gallbladder attacks! 

If you’re experiencing a gallbladder attack, here’s what to do:

Apply Heat 

Use a heating pad or warm compress on your upper right abdomen. A warm Epsom salt or magnesium bath can help, too! Heat helps the bile ducts relax. Continue applying heatEverything You Need to Know About Gallbladder Attacks on and off for several days after an attack to reduce inflammation and prevent ongoing pain. 

Sip on a Gallbladder Attack Mocktail

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water. This little mocktail can sometimes reduce the length of gallbladder attacks. Other options are milk thistle tea, flaxseed tea, or warm water with lemon. 

Try to Relax 

Getting your body in a relaxed state helps reduce pain and allows your body to work on recovering. Slow your nervous system through deep breathing exercises or meditation. 

How to Prevent Gallbladder Attacks 

Now that you know how to manage a gallbladder attack when it occurs, how can you prevent gallbladder attacks from coming back?

As a gallbladder-focused nutritionist, I’ve helped thousands of people reduce the frequency of gallbladder attacks through simple preventative measures. Here’s how: 

Avoid Gallbladder Triggers and Food Allergens 

This is my number one recommendation! I don’t usually love elimination diets, but with gallbladder issues, there’s really no way around this one. 

Allergens drive inflammation which affects your gallbladder, bile ducts, and sphincters In some cases, this resulting inflammation is what triggers attacks and pains. 

Take a look again at the common gallbladder-triggering foods above, and check out my Gallbladder Attack Meal Guide HERE to ensure you’re eating a healthy and gallbladder-friendly diet! 

Try a Low-Fat (But Not NO-Fat!) Diet

Fatty foods can trigger gallbladder attacks, so I recommend a moderate consumption of healthy fats to help prevent attacks from coming on. 

Healthy Fats include: 

  • Avocado/avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil 

I often see people replace ALL fats with processed “fat-free” foods, but this actually promotes further inflammation. Opt for healthy fats instead of NO fats! 

I go over more details of a temporary low-fat diet in my FREE Gallbladder Attack Masterclass HERE! 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 

Hydration is crucial after a gallbladder attack. Dehydration can trigger gallbladder attacks because bile is made up of 95% water. 

Everything You Need to Know About Gallbladder Attacks

It’s helpful to hydrate with minerals, too. Try Concentrate Trace Mineral Drops or hydration supplementation like Body Bio E-Lyte. 

If water gets too boring, add lemon or apple cider vinegar to it, or try teas, green juices, or smoothies! 

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals 

If you have frequent gallbladder attacks, it’s best to have about 4-5 small meals a day, rather than 3 large meals spaced out. 

A lot of my pregnant or breastfeeding clients especially benefit from eating smaller more frequent meals because they feel more satisfied and fuller longer. 

Take Charge of Gallbladder Attacks– For GOOD! 

It’s time to take what you’ve learned and put it into action. 

Because let’s face it… gallbladder attacks are crazy painful, and we just don’t need to deal with them! 

Now you have the tools to manage a gallbladder attack if it comes on, and to prevent gallbladder attacks from returning. 

Ready for even more tips and tools for managing gallbladder disease? 

Don’t miss my FREE Gallbladder Attack Masterclass where you can learn ALL you need to know about becoming an empowered gallbladder patient! 

The tips from this Masterclass have helped SO many along their gallbladder journey, and I know they will do the same for you. 

So check out the F-R-E-E GALLBLADDER ATTACK MASTERCLASS HERE, and gain instant access to all my gallbladder attack tips so you can feel your best again now, and for GOOD! 

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