Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Foods To Eat When You Have Gallstones

Having just spent a lovely Easter weekend with my family eating lots of delicious food made me think back to two years ago. This time two year's ago I was 32 week's pregnant with baby number two and I spent all of the Easter weekend in extreme pain in hospital. After a week in hospital and numerous tests, it turned out I was suffering from gallstones. 

I had no idea what gallstones were and being on a maternity ward I don't think the medical team caring for me knew very much either as I was giving no information. I had an ultrasound scan, and was told I had small gallstones in my gallbladder and not to eat anything with fat in. That was it, no advice on what food to eat or anything. 

I thought I would write up about what I found I could eat in case anyone else out there is suffering and has no idea what they can actually eat, that hopefully will not trigger an attack. One piece of advice I was told was not to eat anything with more than 5 % fat in, so I checked everything before I ate it to make sure It had less than 5% fat. By following this advice I never had another attack and I had my gallbladder removed when my daughter was four months old.


Tips
  • Don't eat anything with more than 5 % fat in.
  • Swap your normal milk to red skimmed milk
  • Avoid any kind of butter or margarine.
  • Avoid chocolate.
  • Cut out sauces such as mayonnaise.
  • Check all food labels before you eat.
  • Drink lots of water
  • Cut out coffee and alcohol
  • Don't cook anything in any kind of oil. 
  • Drink apple juice as this is meant to help with gallstones.
  • Try not to eat late at night, I ate at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid red meat and eat lots of lean chicken and turkey and white fish.
  • Avoid spicy food's.

Breakfast's 

  • Cereal that is less than 5% fat with a dash of skimmed milk.
  • Toast with jam, no butter.
  • Toast with laughing cow extra light cheese spread, no butter.
  • Fruit and a fat-free yoghurt. 
  • Dry fried low fat Turkey rashers & mushrooms sandwich with ketchup.
  • Tinned tomatoes on dry toast. 

Lunch
  • Turkey or chicken salad sandwich, no butter/margarine or dressing.
  • Turkey or chicken salad
  • Fat-free super noodles
  • Low-fat vegetable soup, such as Heinz vegetable soup or the big soup.
  • Tinned spaghetti on dry toast.

Tea
  • Chicken or turkey stir-fry, with stir-fry sauce (check the fat content in the label first)
  • Chicken or Turkey with steamed veg and a small amount of gravy.
  • Turkey mince (less than 5% fat) bolognese with pasta
  • Sweet and sour or lemon chicken with boiled rice.
  • Mild fajitas in a reduced fat wrap or with steamed rice.
  • Baked fresh white fish ( no sauce) with low-fat oven chips and salad.
  • Grilled lean gammon steak with a baked potato.
Snack's
  • Fruit
  • Crab sticks
  • Fat-free yoghurts
  • Very low-fat crisps (less than 5% fat) such as the special k ones.
  • Rich tea biscuits.
  • Low fat cake bars (check less than 5% fat)
  • Fat-free jelly pot's.
  • Jelly sweets, such as Haribo. 
Drinks
  • Tea with a dash of skimmed milk.
  • Water
  • Apple juice
  • Diet Coke
  • Diluted squash juice. 
Eating out.

I was so scared about eating out but I found a few things that I could eat without having any pain. I could have Subway chicken or turkey salad sub with no dressing or cheese. I could eat at carvery's I would just have turkey and then lots of steamed vegetables and a small amount of gravy and avoided the roasted vegetables, Yorkshires and stuffing. I could also eat salads and grilled chicken with plain jacket potatoes and salad if we ate out and I would ask for it with no sauces or butter. I could also eat a takeaway grilled chicken kebab with salad and pitta bread without any sauce. I found if I stuck to plain grilled meats and avoid any dressings or high-fat foods eating out was okay. 

So that is what I ate when I had gallstones, it is just basically eating very healthy avoiding red meat and processed foods and only eating foods that are 5% fat or less. By changing my diet and eating this way I never suffered another gallstone attack and I lost a lot of weight too as I actually weighed two stone less after my daughter was born then before I fell pregnant.

* Please note these are just the foods that I found I could eat when I was suffering from gallstones, I just came up with this list of foods myself as these were my 'safe' foods. But everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for you as what you can eat with gallstones varies from person to person and is very much trial and error. 
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19 comments

  1. Oh gosh! What a nightmare....So glad you are better now :) x

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    1. Thank you Kim, it really was such a nightmare was torture not being able to eat when pregnant haha. xx

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  2. That must have been a really tough time at the end of pregsncy. Glad you're better now. I had raised blood sugar at the end of mine so no sweet things at all for 3 months, that was tough but I didn't have any side effects at all to deal with.

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    1. It really was, something i had no idea could even happen in pregnancy. So glad i got my gallbladder removed and can eat 'normal' again. Oh that would of been tough , the things we go through in pregnancy xx

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    2. I this is my first child I am 29 weeks and I have gallstones this is probably one of the worst things in my life that has ever happened

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  3. Fab tips that I'm sure will help lots of people in similar situations. Pleased you are all better now xx

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    1. It was horrendous way more painful then childbirth which i never thought possible. It is very common to happen when pregnant or after you have children, something to do with your hormone levels. But there is no information out there on what you can eat , hopefully someone will see this post one day and find it useful xx

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  4. Thank you so much that will help me loads i didnt know what i could eat sick of it hurting me cant wait till i get it out when ever that is lol thanks again x

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    1. I am glad you found it helpful and I hope you are feeling better now x

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  5. I was in A&E a couple of days ago with suspected gallstones and was told to eat healthy but with me being a bit fussy I didn’t know what I could have. This has helped me so much!! Thank you for posting this!!

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    1. I am glad that you have found it useful, I hope your feeling better now x

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  6. Thank you I am currently waiting to have my gallbladder out as it is full of stones. I was in emergency room about a month ago and have had about 3 really painful attacks since didn't really know what to eat too,feeling so nauseous all the time at the moment. I brought some peppermint tea as it suppose to help with nausea and help with pain I've been eating grapes for 3 day but have had a stew about 20 mins ago and a tea and for the first time in ages seems to be subsiding thanks again for your information x

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  7. I’ve been in hospital with gallstones and the pain was horrendous the hardest thing I have found is I’m a great lover of cheese and it’s a no no I will be glad when I have the op I found you’re information was wonderful and the list of things. I can have 😊 thank you so much

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    1. Glad you have found it useful, ah you need to avoid cheese - I stuck to skimmed milk as I was told some gallstones are trigged by calcuim in dairy (not 100% sure how true that is mind as I am not medically trained).

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  8. ihave just been diagnose with fatty liver and one gaul stone i just dont know what t eat for the best

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  9. I have been in so much pain for the last 2 years still waiting on my opp but covid hit i can't eat or drink any thing in the last week is so hard im on very strong pain killers I'm going to try home made chicken soup tomorrow thank you for sharing your story I feel so guilty on my children because some days the pain is the
    at bad I can't get out of bed xx

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    Replies
    1. I hope you feel better soon. They really are awful, hope you get it removed soon.

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