10 Things You Should Know About a Gallbladder Flare Up

If your gallbladder has been giving you grief then you need to read this. Listed below are some of the most frequently asked gallbladder questions my site receives on a daily basis.

I was once looking for answers to these very questions. I hope these answers will assist your gallbladder in calming down and just like me; you will be able to get your gallbladder under control without requiring surgery.

1. What are the symptoms of a gallbladder flare up?

Some of the most common symptoms of a gallbladder flare up are burping after meals, feeling full hours after you have eaten, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, chalky or white bowel movements, and pain in the stomach, belly button or lower back.

Find more gallbladder flare up symptoms here.

2. What causes a gallbladder attack?

A gallbladder attack is usual diet-related.

3. What foods cause the gallbladder to flare up?

Consuming a fatty meal or a large portion of food at one sitting can trigger an attack.

4. What can I do to calm down a gallbladder?

The most important thing you can do is switch your diet immediately to healthy wholesome foods and drink plenty of water.

Find out how to calm down a gallbladder flare up here.

5. What foods should I avoid eating when my gallbladder flares up?

During a flare-up, you’ll want to completely eliminate fried and greasy foods; this includes fast foods, baked goods, and pastries. Be sure to eliminate fiber and fats, including healthy fats. Both fiber and fat take longer to digest and aren’t recommended for a sluggish gallbladder.

6. What can I eat when my gallbladder flares up?

You’ll want to consume fresh organic foods or foods that are closest to their natural state as possible. Organic foods are free of herbicides and pesticides and will place less stress on your liver and already overstressed gallbladder.

Lightly cook or gently steam your food. Try celery, green beans, parsley, zucchini, garlic, beets and dandelion as they can be very soothing to an overstressed gallbladder.

7. What is the best way to deal with a severe gallbladder attack?

If your gallbladder attack is severe you may have to switch from solids to liquids until your gallbladder calms down. Consuming beet juice can calm your gallbladder down considerably.

For extra calories try consuming a plant or rice based protein powder. You can also consume baby food. When I had severe gallbladder flare ups, I would make a smoothie with a plant based protein powder and add several jars of fruit to it. You might be surprised to find that both baby food and the cereals work well for you; they did for me, but you’ll have to experiment.

8. What kind of treatment is there for a gallbladder flare up?

Heating pads and digestive enzymes may provide you with some relief. Exercise and massage and can assist in getting the lymphatics fluid moving. I know for myself personally acupuncture provided me with some relief because acupuncture enables you to hit the trigger points for the gallbladder.

9. How long after you eat would your gallbladder flare up?

I would say within thirty minutes of eating, I would have severe chest pains. But in some individuals it may go unnoticed for 2-4 hours.

Check out Foods to Eat and Avoid During a Gallbladder Flare up.

10. Can your gallbladder flare up and get better?

Yes. I had several severe attacks and overtime, my gallbladder did get better and it did not require surgery. The best thing I did was to listen to my body. When I was unable to eat solids, I immediately switched to liquids.

Next, I got in to my doctor the same week and we were able to come up with a game plan. Finally, make sure you find a good doctor that will want to run the proper tests and discuss a line of treatment for you, not just surgery. With some dietary changes you may be able to avoid the surgery, but that will be up to you and your doctor.

*Again, remember to always seek professional medical care immediately.

Did this information help you? Please let me know in the comment section below.

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  1. i”ve had gallstones since 2009 but ignored it and never took care of it or any other health issues,for that matter.For the pain i took pharmacudical drugs or streeet drugs that lead me on a road to distruction.I’m now getting my life back on track but still suffer with the pain of gallbladder flare ups.With saying all this i never thought to google “what causes gallblader flare ups or attacks,or rather never took the time.As we speak i’m in bolted over in pain and thanks to you ,under stand “why”…”what causes it”…and “what not to eat”.This seems like a simple task but for me it was an excuse to ruin my life(for a few years)Again thanks for the help…………….Terri in Pain…….

  2. Hi. As a new gallstones sufferer, I am encouraged that you have avoided surgery. How did you find a doctor that didn’t want to jump to surgery right away? I would really like to avoid surgery. Did you adhere to a low fat diet? Do you take any medications like Actigall? Thank you.

    • I was very fortunate, most surgeons want to jump the gun and go right for surgery. It’s been my experience that most people I speak with that do have the surgery still suffer from serious issues, most can be attributed to diet. I changed up my diet and made modifications which helped me tremendously. I’m not on any medications and was able to totally avoid surgery and no longer have flare ups.

      During a flare ups I did go low fat, but it’s no longer needed. I’d be happy to help you work on your diet and get you out of the pain zone. If you’re interested please check out the Health & Wellness Service I offer and we can get you on the right road. I truly believe with making the necessary modifications you can avoid surgery and minimize or eliminate the use of prescription meds which all have bad side effects.

  3. Hi Lisa, very interesting article to read. I have just been diagnosed with gallstones after years of pain and do not want to go through surgery but am unable to eat grapefruit re your beastly cure, can I substitute something else?

    • Hi Anne,

      You might want to try replacing the grapefruit with organic/unsweetened apple juice. Also you’ll want to make sure your diet is in check. Eliminate processed food as this will put an extra strain on both your gallbladder and liver. If you need help with your diet, please check out my Health & Wellness service. I’d be happy to work with you.

  4. Thanks for your information! I went gluten free in 2009 and have been doing well until THANKSGIVING when I must have eaten too much! I haven’t had a gall bladder flare up in a good long while but now I seem to have one on a daily basis. I’ve got to do the liquids for maybe a couple of days…or should I try to eat a can of beets?

  5. Hello Lisa – Your article was very helpful- Great tips – Thank you – Can you tell me why my gall flares up when I’m empty? (I haven’t eaten at all) My main flare up reaction of late has been a tight cramping sensation where the g/bladder sits – very uncomfortable ! – I used to suffer with very bad stomach pains, gas pains across my shoulders and chest – just horrible – but lately those seem to be pretty much non-existent (knock on wood) – I have noticed that eating pasta, like macaroni & spaghetti etc (more so than fatty foods) tend to really set off the bad pains – I’m not even game to eat any pasta or high-carb foods anymore – And as you mentioned, eating too large a portion of food at one sitting also causes flare ups – Once again thank you for your good advice

    • Hi Charmaine,

      Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you found the information useful. I’m no doc by any means, but from personal experience I can tell you that I had slow motility. Meaning anything I ate even hours later wasn’t digesting properly. They did what was called a gastric emptying study, this determines how slow the food is moving through your system. That’s why avoiding fats (because they are very slow digesting is a good thing!) You might want to try a gallbladder flush. Let me find the article and I will add the link here.https://nutritionbeast.com/2014/04/how-to-calm-down-a-gall-bladder/



  6. Thank you. This is very helpful. I actually thought I was about to have a kidney stone problem when I went in and the P.A. told me it was likely my gallbladder. Ultrasound at the end of this week. My “flare-ups” if that’s what they are, last for days, even up to two weeks. Looking back, I had some of these symptoms off and on for a year or more. I actually fainted and hit my head-slight concussion-due to the pain back in October. If that’s the problem, I actually don’t mind surgery, and I’m on Medicare and am hoping I can persuade the Dr. to do some type of bariatric surgery at the same time (it looks to me like Medicare covers a couple types). I’m slowly killing myself with this obesity, and from what I’ve read, if I manage my diet right afterwards, that could quickly eliminate both my sleep apnea AND my need for diabetes medications. I’m going into town tomorrow and will try to find the various juices you’ve suggested at the Wegmans there (I’d be shocked if they DIDN’T have most of them).

  7. Thank you for the post! Last night I had pain for 4 hours in my gallbladder area and it was my first time. I’m very happy to know if I eat healthy I can avoid it getting worse


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