Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Death Of The Gall Bladder

So many friends and family have had their gall bladder removed, I wondered if the incidence is increasing?  Our surgeon friend who removes them says not but it seems like I meet more and more people who have had the operation to remove it.

One doctor said if you are female, over 40 and have had children, your chances are increased.   Another doctor noticed that fatty diets in colder climates seem to have some correlation.  Is fast food a culprit?  One dietician friend says that many people on a NutriSystem diet seem to have a lot of problems with their gall bladder.

Contributing factors include:
    • Heredity. Gallstones occur slightly more frequently in Mexican Americans and Native Americans but also are common in people of northern European stock.
    • Age. Gallbladder disease often strikes people older than 60 years of age.
    • Gender. In medical school, the “five F’s” help doctors to remember the usual patient with gallbladder disease: “fair, fat, forty, fertile and female.” Sexist as it sounds, it describes the group most frequently affected by gallbladder disease: overweight middle-aged white women with a history of several pregnancies. Excess estrogen may be implicated, since hormone replacement after menopause increases the likelihood of stones.
    • Diet. The propensity of Western diet to predispose one to gallbladder disease was commemorated by journalists during the Persian Gulf War—the prevalence of gallbladder disease among Saudis had gone up 600 percent since the 1940s, when they began “enjoying” more and more Western foods! Most people know that there is an established link between fat intake and gallbladder disease, but many don’t realize that there also is a significant correlation with high sugar intake as well.
In my limited research and talking to doctors the past month, these seem to be the most contributing factors to gall bladder failure.

Diets rich in sweet potatoes and soy seem to have less problems.

Do you still have your gall bladder?



  1. It's not sexist, they call it the gal bladder for a reason... ;)
    I didn't know about the Five "F," what about the Gazillion "G:" Genetics, Girl, Grand-mother, etc.?
    Still got mine, I suspect the Western diet is exerting this organ way beyond its original specs, we'll need to upgrade to Gallbladder revision 2.0 when biologists release it!

  2. Revision 2.0, they are working on that. Look up BioTime or BTX on the NYSE.

  3. Not blond so I still have mine. Interesting info on sweet potatoes. We had a bumper crop and really enjoy them. Indeed a super food. linda