This is a frequently asked question, “ I have been trying to cut down on caffeine, but I read that coffee is beneficial for gallstones. Is it true?” The answer is “MAYBE YES”. There are various studies that show regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing gallstones. Coffee seems to provide unexpected health benefits that people are not even aware of. According to a survey, people with high coffee intake, 5-6 cups every day have noticed their gallstones risk drop by 23%. Now you must be thinking that what about those who consume just two cups of coffee a day. The study says that even two cups appear to lower the risk of gallstones. (Quick Check: 7 Reasons Behind Gallstones )
The gallbladder contracts after consuming coffee which discourages the development of gallstones. But if the gallstones are big and large in number, it may or may not help you depending on the consumption of caffeine.
What are gallstones?
Gallstones are hard chemical stones accumulating in gallbladder blocking the bile duct and causing pain in the abdomen. The most common types of gallstones are cholesterol stones. When there is severe pain in the abdomen due to gallstones, surgery is the best option to treat them. Surgery includes removal of the gallbladder, the process is known as a cholecystectomy. Symptoms of gallstones in the gallbladder are:
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pale yellow eyes
- Fever and shivering
- Grey colored stool
There are different situations of gallstones
There are gallstones in the gallbladder but they do not show any symptoms. They are also known as silent gallstones.
The gallstones block the bile duct and there is infrequent pain in the abdomen that lasts for hours. The pain may be when you eat fatty food or skip meals.
Symptomatic or complicated gallstones
This a serious gallstones problem that leads to inflammation of gallstones, high fever, continuous abdominal pain and even jaundice.
Also Read: 5 Foods To Avoid When You Have Gallstones
The relation between coffee and gallstones
These may be the reasons why you think coffee is good for gallstones:
Coffee gives rise to gallbladder contraction
Coffee increases the gallbladder contraction and increases the levels of cholecystokinin. When we eat food, this hormone is released which is further responsible to trigger bile from the gallbladder. Bile is the digestive fluid that helps in food digestion.
Gallbladder contraction helps release more bile but if there is inflammation in the gallbladder, contraction may be harmful. This happens when you are are not aware of the gallstones and consume more caffeine than the required amount.
Weight loss from coffee
Obesity is one of the major reasons you get gallstones. It is a researched analysis that after consuming coffee, the body is able to burn more fat. Coffee lowers the hunger level and suppresses the urge to eat more. The urge to eat food is no more there that helps in weight loss.
At the same time, it may also lead to a deficiency of other vitamins and minerals in the body. There are chances of dehydration which you have to take care of.
Coffee also supports liver
Coffee contains some strong antioxidants that help detoxify the liver which further increases the flow of bile. When the bile flow increases, it prevents the formation of gallstones.
How coffee negatively affects some people?
While coffee may prevent gallstone formation, it is also very addictive and can cause or worsen other troublesome health issues such as headaches, anxiety, insomnia, palpitations, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal and urinary disorders, prostate trouble and PMS.
Gallstones can only be treated with surgery. You may be able to prevent the formation of gallstones by consuming coffee but it can not cure gallbladder stones for sure!
Also Read: Diet to Cure Gallbladder Stones
Above all, the amount of caffeine consumption may decide the pros and cons of coffee for gallstones. There are chances that consuming more than 500 – 600mgs of caffeine may result in insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, upset stomach, and increased heart rate. Talk to a doctor as every individual body has different needs and requirements. Therefore, check with your doctor if coffee is beneficial for gallstones in your case.
Also Read: 5 Signs That a Woman has Gallstones