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Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce your risk of gallstones:

Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of gallstones. Also, there is evidence that increased intake of various nuts may reduce your risk, as well.

If possible, avoid the use of estrogen, ceftriaxone, and octreotide, which are known to increase the risk of gallstone formation.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a key to lowering your risk of future gallstones. If you are overweight, a slow loss of weight is advised because fasting and extreme dieting can lead to gallstones. Ask your healthcare provider for a weight loss plan that will be safe and effective for you. Your doctor can also refer you to a registered dietitian (RD) who can help you change your eating habits for weight loss.

Regular, vigorous exercise may reduce the risk of gallstones. In addition to controlling weight, exercise normalizes blood sugar and insulin levels. When these levels are abnormal, they may contribute to the development of gallstones.

References:

American College of Gastroenterology website. Available at: http://www.acg.gi.org.

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov.

Venneman NG, van Erpecum KJ. Gallstone disease: primary and secondary prevention. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006;20:1063-1073.

Last reviewed October 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.