If you haven’t yet run into me on the street, at the store or via text/Facebook/any avenue in which I can complain, then you may not yet know that for the past eight weeks, I’ve been dealing with gallbladder attacks.
My first attack happened when I was working at the local college. Suddenly, a wave of pain crossed the top of my tummy and I found myself lying in the fetal position on the bathroom floor when I wasn’t vomiting. Classy. I know. I got myself home and 1.5 hours later, the pain subsided.
I initially thought it was a severe indigestion attack, but I later learned that gallstones attacks are pretty common in pregnancy and it can be passed down from your family members. So when I learned my mom suffered from gallbladder attacks when pregnant with my brother, it all made sense.
Two more attacks came along and I was sent in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed I have gallstones, but removing the gallbladder during pregnancy won’t happen unless there’s an emergency situation (e.g., it’s leaking bile into my liver and we’re all going to die).
For me, gallstones attacks always come on following a meal, and my doctors, including Dr. Google (P.S. don’t ever, ever Google image search ‘gallstones’), tell me that diet changes can at least lessen the likelihood of attacks. There’s no cheating, because it’s like playing a game of Fear Factor when I sit down to eat, as I’m terrified another attack may emerge.
So – what do I eat now? As the ER nurse said: “You’ll be eating twigs and berries”.
I have to cut fats from my diet, because that’s what can spur on an attack. I’ve thus cut out dairy, high-fat meats, caffeine, egg yolks, nut butters, nuts, oils, healthy fats and refined sugars from my diet.
So – again – what do I eat now?
I’ve been trying to be creative with my meals and snacks. I’m eating a lot of veggies, fruits, hummus, egg whites, multi-grains and low-fat meats to get through the rest of the pregnancy.
Every morning for breakfast, I eat an oatmeal pancake, which includes half a mashed banana, quick oats, egg whites, baking powder and vanilla extract. It’s delicious and filling and makes me feel half normal.
Ultimately, it’s good for the baby as he/she isn’t snacking on garbage.
Although, usually when I go on a clean-eating kick, I don’t crave bad foods after about a two-week cleanse. But pregnancy cravings don’t work that way. I would actually chew off my right arm for a cheese pizza or a slice of chocolate cake. Even an avocado would be great at this point.
I’ll likely get my gallbladder taken out before Christmas once the baby is born. Following that surgery, I plan to eat my face off.
If you have some low-fat or no-fat meal ideas, then I’d love to hear from you!
You Google image searched ‘Gallstones’, didn’t you?