Does Cabbage Cause Gallbladder Attacks?

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Cabbages don’t have a direct influence or correlation with gallstones. The actual reasons that trigger a gallbladder attack would be sudden weight loss due to strict diets, obesity, and certain medications used to treat high cholesterol and hormone replacement therapy. Different foods can affect your gallbladder health in positive and negative ways. While acidic foods can trigger a gallbladder attack, whole grains can relieve it. 

The biggest slap in the face you’ll get from your body to let you know that you’re having a gallbladder attack would be severe pain in your right abdomen. Various scans like ultrasounds exist to determine a diagnosis, after which your doctor will provide you with the necessary treatment.

The gallbladder, a plum-sized organ located right beside your liver, is responsible for the digestion of fatty foods.

Gallbladder attacks are triggered by gallstones which are small tough ‘stone-like pebbles’ composed of fats, minerals, and proteins in our body. If these gallstones develop in size, they could block the bile duct, blocking the bile’s exit from your gallbladder, which can cause severe pain.

While most patients will undergo excruciating pain, a 1985 study shows that death from gallstones is not very common.

Since food intake plays a significant role in diseases like this, it’s important to know if veggies like cabbages can be adding an extra burden on your gallbladder.

Can cabbages actually give you gallbladder attacks? If so, how would that happen? What foods can trigger a gallbladder attack?

What foods can relieve the pain involved with a gallbladder attack? Do cabbages provide health benefits to our bodies? What are the symptoms of a gallbladder attack? How can you treat a gallbladder attack, and what tests or scans can you do for a proper diagnosis?

Can cabbages actually give you gallbladder attacks and how?

In short, no, cabbages don’t directly affect your gallbladder in any negative way. There’s a common misconception that raw vegetables can cause stones to form.

What really happens is that when you abruptly adopt a dietary restriction and stick to meals with only veggies, a sudden weight loss can occur. And this unexpected weight loss can cause gallstones in your bladder.

It may seem like the veggies were the reason for it, but as we know, now it’s not. Diets that are specifically high in fat and cholesterol contribute more intensely to the development of gallstones.

When taking into account all risks involved with weight loss, you should know that there’s a high risk of getting gallstones, especially if you’ve lost above 24% of your total body weight or if you’ve lost above 3.3 pounds in just a week.

Therefore, it’s always recommended to adopt a gradual and slow dietary plan instead of taking drastic diets all at once.

The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that if you’re suffering from obesity, to begin by losing only about 5 to 6% of your weight throughout 6 months.

What foods can trigger or relieve a gallbladder attack?

It’s best to understand foods that can ease your pain during a gallbladder attack and foods that can worsen it side by side through a table.

Foods that trigger gallbladder attacksFoods that relieve gallbladder attacks
Fried foodsUnprocessed foods
EggsWhole grains
Highly acidic foodsLean meat and fish
Dairy productsFruits and vegetables
High sugar productsSprouted nuts and seeds
Vegetable and peanut oilBell pepper and tomatoes
Triggers and Relief

Are cabbages healthy for our body?

Cabbage is an easy-to-get veggie that most of us include in our day-to-day meals. So, it’s important to know of its richness in nutrients to make sure it’s good for our overall body health.

A young woman is eating some Chinese cabbage, a healthy vegetable.

When speaking of the nutritional value of cabbages, its low in fat and calories, which is why many like to include them in dietary plans.

However, it’s equally important to make sure you don’t restrict yourself too much to minimize the possibility of developing gallstones. Cabbage contains potent anti-oxidants that prove to be highly beneficial for your body.

Its vitamin C helps in offering your body the necessary potassium, manganese required. It also has essential vitamins like Vitamin B5, B6, and Vitamin K. Such vitamins help to nourish your skin and protects your skin from ultraviolet rays.

Cabbage also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, proven by many studies, including a 2018 experiment conducted by the US National Library of Medicine.

Beta carotene in the cabbage decreases your chances of getting prostate cancer, while its chemical, known as ‘apigenin,’ helps reduce tumors in breast cancers.

Apart from these, cabbages are known for their aid in improving your brain health, regulating blood pressure, and digestive system health, as shown by a 2014 study.

How can you know if you’re experiencing a gallbladder attack?

Various symptoms can appear when you’re going through a gallstone attack, and the symptoms may vary from person to person.

  1. Sharp pain in the upper right side of the abdomen – This is the most common symptom that you may experience as per a 2018 study which shows 95.7% of patients experienced this. However, this could also indicate other complications in your body like kidney infections, appendicitis, severe constipation, and pancreatitis.
  2. Pain in the right shoulder or right backside – A 2018 study shows that 37.1% of patients in a medical experiment complained of this symptom.
  3. Vomiting – This is also a common symptom as it was noted in 52.9% of the patients of the same study.
  4. Chest pain and heartburn – These symptoms are less common than the rest and could hint at other illnesses such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  5. Indigestion – This too is acknowledged as a possible symptom of a gallbladder attack as per the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

How can I treat a gall bladder attack and how can I recover?

You must visit your local doctor immediately after realizing that you have gallstones to medically assess the situation and confirm whether it has developed into a dangerous state.

To confirm if the pain you’re suffering from is, in fact, a gallbladder attack, your doctor may conduct ultrasound scans, abdominal x-rays, CT, and HIDA scans. Out of all these options, the best resort would be an abdominal ultrasound as it’s much faster and easier.

After getting diagnosed, you would receive pain killer medications and anti-nausea drugs if you’re also experiencing vomiting as a symptom.

Apart from pain relievers, the chances that your gallbladder attack goes away with time are quite high as long as they don’t cause any complications.

After getting discharged from the hospital, you can start up a fiber-rich modified diet to ease your symptoms since such foods help in absorbing and getting rid of excess bile and undigested fats.

However, just like we mentioned before, it’s mandatory that you don’t abruptly shift into a diet and instead gradually make small changes in your diet. Eating smaller and more frequent meals are also recommended rather than eating huge meals.


While cabbages are well-known for their beneficial qualities, it’s also important to be aware of your dietary intake because any diet directly implemented will mean that you’ll have to suffer through various consequences to your body.

Otherwise, including cabbages into your meal poses zero threat to your gallbladder health.

So, a balanced diet is crucial in implementing a proper weight loss meal plan to ensure that you don’t run the risk of walking into a risky health situation.

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Kavisha Rodrigo
I'm a sports person that enjoys researching into pushing the limitations of the human body. When it comes to health, I'm a big fan of working out and staying healthy. For hobbies, I'm a big fan of Pokemon and Coldplay.

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