Does Rapid Weight Loss Lead to Gallstones?

Getting gallstones after losing a large amount of weight is no reward. Find out how to avoid getting gallstones after weight loss.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Does Rapid Weight Loss Lead to Gallstones?

by Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.

Q.  Ten years ago, I lost about 100 pounds rather quickly and ended up with a case of gallstones—which I’ve since learned is a common side effect of rapid weight loss. I haven’t had any more trouble with gallstones but I have regained about 75 pounds and I need to lose the weight. Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid gallstones while I battle the weight?

A. Losing a large amount of weight is tough enough without painful gallstones as your “reward.” I can certainly understand your reluctance to go through that again. On the other hand, carrying 75 pounds of extra weight has its own serious complications. Fortunately, I think I can help you kill two birds with no stones. <groan>

The key is to lose the weight more slowly. Not only will that help head off those gallstones, it’s also the best way to make sure that the weight stays off this time. Rapid weight loss triggers changes in your body chemistry—such as increased appetite and lowered metabolism—that virtually ensure that you’ll gain that weight back. Although it may not be as exciting as seeing the pounds drop off quickly, the non-dieting approach I describe in this episode seems tailor made for your situation.

Glass of kefir, green apples from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.