The heightened susceptibility of individuals with diabetes to develop issues with their gallbladder

Why Diabetes Patients Are At A Higher Risk Of Gallbladder Problems

Gallstones are more prevalent among individuals with diabetes, which is unsurprising given the numerous associated risk factors. Factors such as intestinal dysmotility, obesity, and hypertriglyceridemia are frequently observed in people with diabetes, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, leading to a higher incidence of kidney stone development.

If you have diabetes, your susceptibility to gallbladder issues is heightened, but there are various strategies to mitigate this risk. A meta-analysis published in March 2016 in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications provided compelling evidence for the increased likelihood of gallbladder disease in individuals with diabetes. There are several theories regarding the influence of diabetes and insulin resistance on overall gallbladder health.

The editorial team at OnlyMyHealth interviewed Dr. Tribhuvan Gulati, a Diabetologist Expert at Apollo Spectra Delhi, to gain insight into why diabetes patients face a greater risk of gallbladder problems, particularly the formation of gallstones.

Diabetic individuals face an elevated susceptibility to gallbladder issues

diabetes gallstones

Diabetes and insulin resistance typically affect gallbladder health. Obesity, a prevalent condition among type 2 diabetics, is a primary risk factor for gallbladder disease. Excess weight increases cholesterol production in bile, leading to the accumulation of cholesterol in the gallbladder and the formation of gallstones.

Moreover, individuals with diabetes often have higher levels of triglycerides, a type of fat associated with gallstone formation. Proper management of diabetes is crucial for preventing gallbladder problems in diabetic patients.

Strategies for controlling diabetes

Below are several recommendations for effectively managing your diabetes:

  • Collaborate with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that prioritizes nutrition and physical activity.
  • Adhere to prescribed medication regimen.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly as instructed by your healthcare professional.
  • Maintaining proper control of diabetes reduces the likelihood of autonomic neuropathy and
  • lowers triglyceride levels, thus decreasing the risk of developing gallstones.
  • Be aware of symptoms such as sudden and prolonged right upper abdominal pain, discomfort in the right shoulder or beneath the shoulder blades, right side-centered abdominal discomfort exacerbated after eating, as well as unexplained vomiting or nausea.
Tips to manage diabetes


Individuals with diabetes are often considered high-risk candidates for various surgical procedures, including gallbladder removal. Nevertheless, when gallstones pose a threat, surgery to remove the gallbladder typically represents the most effective course of action. Following gallbladder removal, the management of diabetes remains unchanged.

Proactively maintaining a well-balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and effectively managing overall health can help prevent gallbladder issues for most individuals, irrespective of whether they have diabetes.