Gall Bladder And Alcohol: Can Your Favorite Tipple Prevent Gall Stones?

Gallbladder, which is located in the right upper corner of your abdomen. Its function is to collect bile. Bile is a thick liquid produced by the liver and helps in the digestion of fats. Alcohol is a beverage that contains ethanol and is produced by fermenting sugar, fruits, and grains. So, what effect does alcohol have on the gallbladder? Does alcohol contribute to or prevent the formation of gallstones? Let us learn the connection between gall bladder and alcohol.

Effects of alcohol on gallbladder

The well-known disease that occurs in the gallbladder is the formation of gallstones. Gallstones are solid substances that are formed when there is a chemical imbalance in the bile juice inside the gallbladder. 

So, does alcohol contribute to the formation of gallstone? What is the relation between gall bladder and alcohol consumption? You will be surprised to hear that limited consumption of alcohol helps in the prevention of gallstones! 

Though the reason behind alcohol being a saviour here is unknown. But various theories have said that consuming alcohol speeds up the process of emptying the gallbladder. This reduces the amount of bile in the gallbladder, which is produced by the liver, lowering the risk of getting gallstones.  

As gallstones are mainly formed by the amount of cholesterol in a body, having a high amount of it causes gallstones in the gallbladder. Alcohol seems to contain certain compounds that help in lowering cholesterol in the body. Hence, lowering the risk of getting gallstones. 

Diseases caused in the gallbladder

Gall Bladder And Alcohol

Apart from gallstones, there are chronic and non-chronic diseases that can occur in the gallbladder:

Cholecystitis

Cholecystitis occurs when inflammation is caused to the gallbladder. Though this can happen due to growths like tumours or polyps. But this mainly occurs when gallstones block one of the biliary ducts restricting the bile juice to flow out. The stock of bile juice causes inflammation. The symptoms accompanying this disease are fever, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The pain associated here is greater than the gallstones.

Gallbladder polyps

These are tiny growths that occur in the gallbladder. The reason behind this growth is the cholesterol deposits on the wall of the gallbladder. Though these are mostly non-cancerous in rare cases, they can be. It has the same symptoms as cholecystitis and the cancerous part of it can only be known through diagnosis.

Choledocholithiasis

This disease occurs when gallstones block the bile duct. The bile duct is a tube through which bile juice is transferred from the liver to the small intestine. Due to this blockage, the bile juice gathers in the liver which gives rise to Choledocholithiasis. 

While suffering from this disease, one experiences pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. The symptoms are almost similar to other gallbladder related diseases but it also included yellowing of skin or eyes, urinating dark urine, and pale stool.

Acalculous

This is a gallbladder disease without involving stones. This occurs when gallbladder inflammation takes place but in the absence of the gallstones. The symptoms include having a headache with rising fever, vomiting, and nausea. 

The risk of getting this disease increases for someone who has undergone heart or abdominal surgery. Also, for someone who has experienced severe trauma or burns.

Steps to take for a healthy gallbladder

1.Cutting down cholesterol: 

Apart from alcohol, many other edible food products will help in cutting down the cholesterol level in the body. Cholesterol and fat not only cause gallstones but can also cause other gallbladder diseases such as cholecystitis, gallbladder cancer, etc.

2Raise fiber intake: 

You can increase your fiber level by including good fats (avocado, dry fruits), whole grains, fruits (apple, kiwi), and vegetables (broccoli and spinach) in your diet. Fiber helps in breaking down complex carbohydrates into simple ones thus, aids in digestion. 

3.Cutting down fat: 

There is a difference between fat and cholesterol which is that cholesterol cannot be brought down by sweating or exercise whereas fat can be reduced by burning energy. Excessive fat can increase the cholesterol level.

Cutting down fat helps in the same way as cholesterol does in preventing diseases in the gallbladder.

4.Lose weight: 

If your weight is more, the chances of getting unhealthy gallbladder are higher.

How does alcohol consumption benefits gall bladder?

All the points given below will only affect when alcohol is consumed at a moderate level. By moderate level, we mean that one should consume 1 to 2 drinks, once in 3 days and not more than this. 

  • Consuming alcohol moderately increases good cholesterol in the blood.
  • It lowers blood pressure which is a risk for heart disease.
  • Fibrinogen, a substance responsible for blood clotting. Consuming alcohol lowers the blood concentration of fibrinogen.
  • It lowers the risk of diabetes.
  • Helps in reducing stress and anxiety for a temporary period. 

Which alcohol is best for health?

Not all alcohol can be considered healthy. The process of making alcohol and the ingredients involved makes a huge difference.

  • Tequila: 

This low-calorie alcohol has numerous benefits. The reason behind is that it contains natural sugar, acts like fiber, and lowers cholesterol level. 

  • Red wine: 

Out of all the wines, red wine is considered to be the healthiest one. There are active compounds in red wine such as polyphenols, resveratrol, and quercetin, which help in maintaining heart health.

  • Rum: 

It is made from molasses and other sugar by-products which helps in enhancing mental health, such as anxiety.

  • Whiskey: 

The amount of antioxidants here is equal to that of red wine. Experts also say that taking a shot of whiskey helps in preventing or reducing cold.

Bad effects of alcohol

The bad effects of alcohol will not affect you if you are drinking moderately. Drinking alcohol frequently will cause not only various health issues but it will affect your behaviour too.

  • Numerous road accidents are caused due to drinking and driving.
  • One may engage in having sex with no prior conscience. 
  • Drinking frequent alcohol affects mental health in the long term.
  • Cancer such as breast cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer are mainly contributed by the alcohol drinking problem
  • It may increase the risk of dementia. 
  • Not setting alcohol limits can affect your relationships too. 

So keeping these in mind, the consumption of alcohol must be done accordingly. 

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