Does Dairy Cause Gallbladder Pain?

No matter how much you enjoy dairy products, if you have gallbladder disease you may need to avoid consuming milk products. Most dairy products, such as butter, ice cream and half-and-half, are high in fat content, which will require your gallbladder to contract, leading to gallbladder pain. If you have consistent gallbladder pain after ingesting dairy products, your doctor may recommend surgically removing your gallbladder.

Ice cream is made from dairy. (Image: Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Gallbladder Disease

If you have gallbladder disease try to avoid high-fat foods. (Image: indigolotos/iStock/Getty Images)

Gallbladder disease is the result of an inflamed gallbladder or the presence of gallstones. The gallbladder helps store extra bile for the digestive system in the event you eat foods that are high in fat. In conjunction with the pancreas, the bile in the gallbladder helps to digest the fat, proteins, carbohydrates and sugars in the foods you eat. If you are diagnosed with gallbladder disease, your doctor may recommend that you avoid all foods that are high in fat, such as dairy products, fried foods and foods high in fat, such as nuts.


Your doctor may recommend a dairy-elimination diet (Image: IndigoBetta/iStock/Getty Images)

If you experience pain resulting from a gallbladder attack when you consume dairy products, your doctor may recommend a dairy-elimination diet. If the pain subsides and is not triggered by other foods, you may not need to remove the gallbladder. The presence of gallstones may be treated with certain medications that slowly dissolve the stones over a period of a few years. Shockwave therapy may also be used to help break up gallstones if you cannot medically have the sac removed, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dairy-Free Diet

Dairy-free diets should eliminate all foods that contain milk and milk by-products. (Image: Mypurgatoryyears/iStock/Getty Images)

A diary-free diet needs to be implemented only while under the direction of a medical doctor. Dairy products are the primary source of calcium for many people, which needs to be taken into consideration. Eliminate all food that may contain milk and milk by-products. The Cleveland Clinic identifies whey, curds, butter, cream, cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk, milk solids, dry milk, sour cream, cream, ice cream, nougat, malted milk, white sauces, chocolate, candies, creamed foods and margarines as milk-containing products. Many nondairy alternatives are fortified with calcium and vitamin D to effectively supplement cow's milk.

Milk Allergy Consideration

If you develop other symptoms you may have a milk allergy. (Image: LarsZahnerPhotography/iStock/Getty Images)

If you develop other symptoms aside from just pain in your chest, abdomen or right shoulder, you may have a milk allergy. Milk is one of the most common food allergies that can cause various symptoms throughout your body, according to Kids Health. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, skin rashes, hives, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea.

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