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Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Is genetic gallbladder disease preventable?


Hello! There wasn't a specific gallbladder section for me to ask this, but this is the closest I could find.
I am a healthy 18 year old female. I am 5'7 and weigh 128 pounds. However, for the past few years, I've suffered from very mild gallbladder usually only occurs when I consume fatty or processed foods, and the pain is just a dull ache around the area of my gallbladder that doesn't last for more than 15 minutes. I have never had an attack and it is not acute pain. My family has a history of gallbladder problems, most of which resulted in removal, leading me to believe that it is genetic.
My concern is that I am subject to this disease, which is why I am experiencing mild pain now. My question is, is there any way to prevent gallbladder disease at this stage, through either dietary means or medication? I would like to keep it healthy as long as possible. Also, what does it mean to have only mild gallbladder pain exclusively? Is that an indication of disease?
Thank you!

Hi Lucy - I am so sorry, this is really outside my area. I'd make an appointment with both a GI doc and a dietitian and see if they can give you good info here.

In general, I believe you are on the right track, in that the lower your fat intake (especially animal fats) the more you can lessen your risk of gallbladder problems. If I had to guess I'd say that vegans probably have the lowest risk of gallbladder issues. You might check a book like Campbell's the China Study, which has an assessment of very large scale, worldwide, diet/health disease comparisons.

You might also use peppermint, which increases bile production. That can help with gallbladder issues, so it might help prevent issues as well. Again, I'm not sure.


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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

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