Sludge in your tank?

By Lori Drummond, R.D., L.D.
GoodHealthConsulting LLC founder

Do you have sludge in your tank?

Sludge…in the gallbladder, that is?

The gall bladder is our holding tank for bile.

Gallbladder sludge, a/k/a, biliary sludge, is “a common term that is applied to an abnormality of bile … of the gallbladder.” Specifically, the bile within the gallbladder contains microscopic particles, usually cholesterol or pigment, embedded in mucus secreted by the gallbladder. Over time, sludge may remain in the gallbladder, it may disappear and not return, or it may come and go.” (

Ever wonder if you have sludge? Or gallstones?

A friend had a recent bout with gallstones that painfully alerted her that she had them. Of course, her helpful physician would liked to have assisted her by removing her bile tank — the gall bladder. But there are better ways of dealing with such an issue.

The best way, I believe, are simple steps of prevention.

I read a recent Scripps Howard News Service article by Elaine Marsilio entitled, “More gallbladder disease occurring in children.”

According to Dr. Emram of Driscoll Children’s Hospital in south Texas, gallbladder removal is becoming more common and now affecting children and teens.

The big culprits? Poor eating habits and childhood obesity.

Okay, so if it’s poor eating habits and obesity that lead to more sludge that leads to gallstones, it stands to reason that healthy eating habits and losing weight should lead to prevention of the same. Other influencing factors to keep in mind is that some people are genetically predisposed to gallstones.

So you might be asking, what can I do to avoid the sludge? Healthy tips include:

Reduce consumption of dietary cholesterol found in animal foods (beef, chicken, pork, etc.) in order to help prevent the formation of gallstones. For example, one egg is known to have about 212 mg of cholesterol. Eggs are a wholesome food. However, it’s best to limit their intake to three or four servings per week.

Eat more plant–based foods that have no cholesterol and very little saturated fat. Five to nine servings of fruit and veggies a day is recommended.

Avoid trans-fats such as fried foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

Replace refined (low-fiber) carbohydrates with complex (high-fiber) carbohydrates.

Exercise to lower cholesterol and burn body fat (weight).


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