Can Eating Popcorn Bring a Gallbladder Attack?

Close-up of popcorn
Can eating popcorn bring a gallbladder attack? (Image: Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The gallbladder is an organ that is located near the liver. It serves as a storage center for bile, which is a fluid that helps digest fats. The main cause of issues with the gallbladder is if something blocks the release of bile. In most cases the blockage is caused by a gallstone. When a blockage occurs it is referred to as a gallbladder attack. Certain foods can cause gallbladder attacks to occur, while other foods such as popcorn can aid in decreasing frequency of attacks.

The Gallbladder

The gallbladder is pear-shaped and sits near the liver. It stores the bile that is necessary to help digest fats. Bile is made of water, cholesterol, bile salts and other types of chemicals. Occasionally the bile forms stones, which can block the bile from leaving the gallbladder. This can be very painful. Pain can appear in the abdomen or between the shoulder blades. Gallstones can cause nausea, fever, chills and vomiting. If you have any symptoms you should consult medical attention.

Decreasing Gallbladder Attacks

There are many ways to decrease the frequency and severity of gallbladder attacks. Losing weight and eating the correct foods have been shown to be beneficial. High-fat foods such as fried chicken, onion rings, french fries and foods with a lot of butter can trigger a gallbladder attack. To avoid an attack you should aim for foods that are high in fiber such as grains, nuts, vegetables and air-popped plain popcorn.

Popcorn

There are many different types of popcorn. The type you chose can either increase or inhibit gallbladder attacks. Foods that are high in fiber, such as air-popped plain popcorn, can aid the digestive system and decrease the frequency of gallbladder attacks. However, adding butter, cheese and other high-fat products to the popcorn can actually increase the severity and frequency of attacks.

Special Considerations

Popcorn can come in many different types and flavors. The more ingredients in popcorn the harder it will be to digest. The more sugar, fat and salt added to the popcorn the more calories it contains. Weight gain is also a risk factor for gallbladder disease. Consuming popcorn that is high in fat, cholesterol and calories can cause gallbladder attacks.

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