Nutrition Articles

Gallstones Linked to Gut Circumference

Nutrition News Flash

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Anyone who has experienced gallstones is familiar with the accompanying pain and discomfort. Gallstones are crystallized clumps of cholesterol that form in the gallbladder. After eating, one usually experiences symptoms such as indigestion, bloating and abdominal pain. A recent study found out that adult men:
  • with a 37-38 inch waist circumference had a 40% higher risk of getting gallstones
  • with a 39 inch waist circumference, had an 80% higher chance of getting gallstones and
  • with a waist circumference was 40 inches or more doubled their risk of getting gallstones.
The abdominal fat in the waist area is thought to be more metabolically active than fat distributed in the lower body areas. It releases greater amounts of substances like fatty acids and hormones.

Action Sparked
Men, take out the tape measure and do a quick circumference measurement of your waist. Shedding a few pounds and dropping a few inches can do wonders for your health, including your gallbladder.

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Member Comments

  • Weight has nothing to do with gallstones, according to my GI doctor. He says it's caused by your body not processing cholesterol properly, and not having enough fluid in your body to keep the cholesterol in your gallbladder from turning into stones. In fact, starvation diets can CAUSE gallstones.

    No one in my family ever had gallstones, but I was the skinniest one, and I do. I also never drank enough water or any kind of fluid. I really don't get thirsty. Since I started drinking more water, I've passed a couple of small stones (painful, but I didn't die) and I'm feeling much better.
  • I had my gallbladder taken out when I just 23 but had symptoms as a teenager and I was not heavy at all.
  • When I was 19 and in really good shape. The smallest I have ever been. I had gall stones. I also had a Choledochal Cyst strangling my Common Bile Duct and Gall Bladder.
  • This was very true for me. At my second highest weight of my life (when I began spark) I had my gall bladder out and have pics of it and he counted the stones....over FIFTY of them and the picture showed my gall bladder was FULL of stones!
  • What about women?
  • a friend of mine has problems with her gall bladder from time to time. Too bad this article doesn't include issues that women might have with their gall bladder
  • After passing 2 VERY painful stones, I gave up sodas and haven't had any since. I drink even more water now that I'm trying to lose weight.
  • Oddly enough most of the male relatives I have especially on my Dad's side fit in to the criteria but NOBODY had ever had gallstones,
  • Well it seems to me that when I complained about some article being only for women I was basically told to shut up. Funny that.
  • MEN? What about - ahem - WOMEN? Sheesh! Once again, HALF THE HUMAN RACE is ignored wrt health studies? What? Are we NOT impacted by this at all? Somehow - I don't THINK so....... :(
  • Someone else mentioned this below...weight loss is also linked to gall bladder issues.
  • I had gallstones and gall bladder attacks (confirmed by ultrasound) but since I changed my diet and started exercising no more attacks. I was supposed to have the gall bladder taken out but it has been 2 years with no attacks so I'm happy that I didn't. I'm sure this won't work for eveyone but maybe it would for some other like myself.
  • @SADDHU1: If you read my comment, you may have noticed the bit where I said that "my doctor told me."

    Reading is fundamental! ;)
  • @Lilliputianna, gallstones are hardened cholesterol 90% of the time and hardened bilirubin the other 10% of the time. GALLSTONES ARE NEVER MADE OF CALCIUM!!! THAT IS KIDNEY STONES--- TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Please do not mislead.
  • I recommend many natural remedies, but not a gallstone flush. If the gallstones are blocking the duct and causing extremely painful inflammation, get your gallbladder removed. I did and I am so glad! Gallstone flushes are NOT supported by science and there is zero evidence that they work. Get an ultrasound to confirm stones, then try to flush, and get another ultrasound and you will see that they haven't gone anywhere. There is a gallstone dissolving prescription medication for people who can not risk surgery, but it takes 6-12 mo to start working and does not even work that well. The standard of care is gallbladder removal. But, if gallstones do not cause symptoms, you can leave the gallbladder in most of the time.

About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.