Can gallstones be removed without removing the gallbladder

Contents

Gallstones

Do You Have Gallstone Pain?

Gallstones are stone-like objects that develop in the gallbladder or bile ducts (the pipe-like system within the liver). Gallstones can range dramatically in size, from tiny grains of sand to golf ball-sized objects. Interestingly, small stones can often cause the most trouble. These are stones that can leave the gallbladder and get stuck. Larger stones tend to remain quietly in the gallbladder. It is important to know that many people who have gallstones are never bothered by them and may not know the stones are even there. In these cases, no treatment is needed.

What are gallstones made of?

Gallstones are made up of hardened materials in your body. Typically, there are two types:

  • Cholesterol: Made up of fatty substances in the blood, cholesterol is found throughout the body. These are the most common type of gallstones.
  • Pigment Stones (mainly made of bilirubin): This substance is created when red blood cells break down in the liver. Too much bilirubin can actually leak into the bloodstream and cause the skin and eyes to turn yellow (jaundice).

Gallstones that are made up of cholesterol tend to be greenish in color. It is more common to have gallstones made of cholesterol than other types of stone.

Where do gallstones develop?

Gallstones are most commonly found in the gallbladder, as cholesterol stones. Gallstones can also travel from the gallbladder to the common bile duct, which is the largest of the ducts (pipes) in the liver.

Common bile duct stones are much less common than gallstones. Stones that find their way into the common bile duct can create more serious medical situations than just gallstones that remain in the gallbladder. Common bile duct stones can block the common bile duct, resulting in a serious infection called cholangitis. These stones can also cause pancreatitis, a painful condition caused by inflammation of the pancreas. Stones in the common bile duct can be removed without surgery by using a scope. Removal of the gallbladder requires surgery, which is typically done laparoscopically (a minimally invasive surgical procedure).

Illustration showing the gallstones and organs around the gallbladder.

What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small organ tucked up under the liver, on the right side of your body. It is shaped like a swollen pea pod. The gallbladder’s job is to store and dispense bile—a fluid that helps digest fats in the food you eat. Similarly to a pea pod, the gallbladder is green. This is due to the bile inside the gallbladder. Bile is a mixture of cholesterol, bilirubin, bile salts and lecithin.

The gallbladder is connected to other parts of the digestive system through a series of ducts, or tunnels. These ducts help to carry bile and aid in the entire process of breaking down food. Ultimately, the bile finds its way into the common bile duct, where it passes through a special sphincter (a valve made of muscle), into the small intestine. Once there, the bile can mix directly with food that’s waiting to be digested. The common bile duct then empties bile into the duodenum, the first portion of the very lengthy small intestine.

Not all bile travels directly from the liver into the duodenum. Another portion of bile moves from the liver into the gallbladder through a special duct called the cystic duct. The gallbladder stores bile, which is available to be used for digestion on very short notice. If a fatty meal is eaten, then the gallbladder is signaled to contract and to squeeze some stored bile into the common bile duct where it’s passed into the small intestine to mix with food. All bile ends up in the small intestine, where it helps digest food.

What is bile and what is it used for?

Produced in the liver, bile is a combination of cholesterol, bilirubin, bile salts and lecithin. This solution helps break down fat during the digestion process. Bile is either released directly to the small intestine from the hepatic duct (coming straight from the liver) or from the bile ducts after being stored in the gallbladder. The entire system of ducts is called the biliary system. Bile is an important part of digestion and exits the body with your feces.

Why do gallstones develop?

Gallstones can develop for several reasons, including:

  • Forming when there is a critical concentration of cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile.
  • Developing if the gallbladder is lazy and does not completely empty itself of bile.
  • Occurring in people with other conditions, like:
    • Cirrhosis of the liver.
    • Blood disorders.
  • During pregnancy.
  • When you rapidly lose weight.

What are the symptoms of gallstones?

The symptoms of gallstones can vary based on the size of the gallstone. Most gallstones do not cause any symptoms at all. These gallstones are known as silent stones and require no treatment.

When the gallstones cause symptoms, they may include:

  • Pain in the upper mid abdomen or upper right abdomen.
  • Associated pain in the right shoulder.
  • Chest pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Repeated similar episodes.
  • Jaundice (a yellow tint to the skin and eyes).

Pain is the main symptom most people experience with gallstones. This pain is steady and can last from around 15 minutes to several hours. The episodes, which can be severe, generally subside after one to three hours or so. People who have these painful attacks, while uncomfortable, are not in any medical jeopardy. Gallstones can cause acute cholecystitis, which is a more serious condition when the gallbladder is actually inflamed. This happens if a stone blocks off the cystic duct, which increases the pressure within the gallbladder. This condition may require antibiotics, hospitalization and even urgent surgery. Stones that pass out of the gallbladder and into the common bile duct can cause a complete blockage of the duct with jaundice, infection and pancreatitis.

You may feel pain in several places, including:

  • Upper part of the abdomen, on the right side.
  • Between the shoulder blades.
  • Under the right shoulder.

When people experience pain with gallstones, it is sometimes referred to as a gallbladder attack or biliary colic.

There are two special conditions that could mimic gallstone symptoms. First, some gallbladders contain a thick sludge, which has not formed into actual stones. Sometimes sludge is felt to cause symptoms similar to actual gallstone pain. Secondly, there is an uncommon condition called acalculous cholecystitis, when the gallbladder becomes inflamed, but no stones are present. This is generally treated by surgical removal of the gallbladder.

Who is at risk for gallstones?

You may have an increased risk for developing gallstones if you:

  • Are a woman.
  • Are over the age of 40.
  • Have a family history of gallstones (members of your family have had gallstones).
  • Are overweight.
  • Have lost a large amount of weight over a short amount of time.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have Crohn’s disease.
  • Eat a diet that is high in fat and cholesterol.
  • Take drugs that lower cholesterol.
  • Take various medicines including oral contraceptives.
  • Have certain blood disorders.
  • Are of Native American or Mexican descent.

Does my diet or weight place me at risk for gallstones?

People who are overweight or planning to lose weight –either through a planned diet program or a surgery—are actually at an increased risk of developing gallstones. The risk is higher for several reasons.

  • People who are overweight may have diets that are high in cholesterol. Your bile has cholesterol in it already, but if your diet has excessive amounts of cholesterol, there is a higher chance it will collect in your bile and create a cholesterol gallstone.
  • Rapid weight loss is also a concern. The gallbladder is a part of the digestive process. It holds bile to the side like a storage tank. Then the gallbladder releases the bile through the ducts and into the intestine to help break down food. If you go on a diet plan that significantly reduces your calorie intake or you have a weight loss surgery, your liver secretes extra cholesterol into the bile. The gallbladder can sometimes be ‘lazy’ and not able to contract vigorously, which also leads to gallstone formation. Patients who are undergoing a gastric bypass or other surgical procedure that will lead to rapid weight loss are at risk of gallstone formation. For this reason, surgeons may remove the gallbladder prophylactically (a preventive measure) at the time of the weight loss surgery.

If you are considering a weight loss program or surgery, it is important to discuss your risks with a doctor. This could be especially important if you have had stones in the past. It is common for gallstones to happen more than once.

Can children get gallstones?

Gallstones can happen to both children and adults. It is most common to see gallstones in middle-aged adults. However, adults are not the only ones who experience gallstones. One challenge with gallstones in children is identifying symptoms. Young children may have difficulty expressing where the pain is located. If you child has any unusual symptoms or abdominal pain, call your doctor.

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Signs and Symptoms

Gallbladder disease

Table of Contents > Conditions > Gallbladder disease

Signs and Symptoms What Causes It? What to Expect at Your Doctor’s Office Treatment Options Following Up Special Considerations Supporting Research

The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fats, and is released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine (duodenum) in response to food, especially fats.

Types of gallbladder disease include:

  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
  • Cholelithiasis (gallstones)

You can have gallstones without any symptoms. However, if the stones are large, they can block the duct that leads from the gallbladder. This can cause pain and require treatment. At first they may block the duct and move away, causing only occasional pain. Continuous blockage of the duct, however, can be life threatening and requires surgical removal of the gallbladder.

  • Pain, mostly on the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Pain following meals, intolerance of fatty foods
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

What Causes It?

A gallbladder attack usually happens because a stone is blocking a passageway in the gallbladder. Gallstones develop in the gallbladder when substances in bile form hard particles. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Women are at higher risk of developing gallstones than men, and the risk increases the more children a woman has had.

Pregnancy is also a risk for gallstone formation. The increased risk associated with having children can be offset by breastfeeding. Women who use hormone replacement therapy are also at higher risk of developing gallstones. Being overweight and rapid weight loss followed by weight gain are other risk factors for gallstones. Having coronary artery disease is also associated with gallbladder disease.

What to Expect at Your Doctor’s Office

If you are having a gallbladder attack, you will feel tenderness when the upper right side of your abdomen is touched. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin) occurs when the bile duct (a tube between the liver and gallbladder) is also blocked. If your doctor thinks you have a gallstone, you will probably need an ultrasound. During an ultrasound, sound waves take pictures of your gallbladder. This test is fast and painless.

Treatment Options

Doctors typically remove gallbladders that cause pain. There are no known problems caused by living without a gallbladder. Today, most gallbladder surgeries are performed with a laparoscope. This instrument shows the surgeon pictures of your gallbladder as it is being removed. The minimally invasive procedure allows for a smaller incision and a shorter hospital stay than traditional surgery.

Some drugs can dissolve stones, eliminating the need for surgery. They include:

  • An oral bile acid, ursodeoxycholic acid (Ursodiol), can dissolve cholesterol stones that are quite small (less than 15 mm in diameter). The drug is successful in about 40% of patients.
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether and monooctanoin (Moctanin) are solvents that are infused directly into the bile duct or the gallbladder to dissolve stones.
  • Doctors may use shock wave therapy (lithotripsy) to break up stones.

However, it can take 2 years for a stone to dissolve, and gallstones often return.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Gallstones should always be treated by a doctor. If you would like to add complementary remedies to your treatment, see your doctor for tests before you start any therapies. This will help determine the remedies that are right for the size of your stone and your condition. DO NOT attempt complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) on your own. Work with an experienced provider. Keep all of your physicians informed regarding CAM, as some therapies may interfere with conventional medical treatments. Work with a provider who is knowledgeable in complementary medicine to find the right mix of treatments for you. If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, do not use any CAM therapies unless directed to do so by your physician.

Nutrition and Supplements

These nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:

  • Eliminate suspected food allergens, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives and chemical food additives. Eggs, especially, may irritate the gallbladder. Your doctor may test you for food allergies.
  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
  • Eat more fiber. Consider fiber supplements, such as flaxmeal. Combine 1 heaping tsp. of flaxmeal in 8 oz. of apple juice for a drink high in fiber and pectin.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Avoid alcohol, and tobacco. Some evidence suggests that people who drink caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of gallstones, though study results are mixed. Talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, as caffeine can affect several conditions and interact with medications.
  • If possible, exercise lightly 5 days a week.

You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
  • Vitamin C, as an antioxidant and for immune support.
  • Phosphatidylcholine, may help dissolve gallstones. May interfere with some medications, including anticholinergic medications used in the treatment of Alzheimer disease and glaucoma, among others. Talk to your doctor.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid, for antioxidant support. It is possible that alpha-lipoic acid could interact with some chemotherapy agents.
  • Magnesium, for nutrient support. Magnesium can potentially react with a variety of medications, including some antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, diuretics, muscle relaxers, and others. Large doses of magnesium may result in dangerously low blood pressure and slow breathing. People with kidney disease may have problems clearing magnesium from their body.
  • Taurine, for nutrient support. Taurine can potentially interact with lithium. People with a history of bipolar disorder should take taurine with extreme care.
  • Vitamin D, for immune support. Preliminary studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and gallstones.

Herbs

Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your doctor before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, or teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures. Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures singly or in combination as noted. If you are pregnant or nursing, speak to your doctor before using any herbal products.

A gallbladder attack can be a medical emergency. DO NOT use herbs to treat gallbladder disease on your own. Work with a trained herbal practitioner under the supervision of your doctors. The following herbs are sometimes used to treat gallbladder disease:

  • Green tea (Camelia sinensis). For antioxidant effects. You may also prepare teas from the leaf of this herb. Note: green tea extracts may contain caffeine. Look for decaffeinated products.
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum). For liver and gallbladder detoxification support. Patients with allergies to ragweed or a history of hormone-sensitive cancers should take milk thistle with caution.
  • Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus). For support of gallbladder and liver function. Due to its ability to increase bile production, globe artichoke could trigger a gallbladder attack if there is bile duct obstruction. Talk to your doctor.
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) standardized extract. For support of liver function. High doses of turmeric can have blood thinning effects. Care should be taken if you are on other blood-thinning medications.

Homeopathy

Few clinical studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. However, a professional homeopath may recommend one or more of the following treatments for gallbladder disease based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person’s constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.

Some of the most common remedies are listed below. A common dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X – 30C remedy every 1 to 4 hours until your symptoms improve.

  • Colocynthis. For colicky abdominal pains that are lessened by pressure or bending double.
  • Chelidonium. For abdominal pain that moves to the right shoulder area.
  • Lycopodium. For abdominal pain that is worse with deep breaths.

Physical Medicine

Castor oil pack. Apply oil to a clean, soft cloth and place on abdomen. Cover with plastic wrap, place a heat source (hot water bottle or heating pad) over the pack, and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. For best results, use for 3 consecutive days. Apply to abdomen, especially the gallbladder area, to help reduce swelling.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be especially helpful in pain relief, reducing spasm, easing bile flow, and restoring proper liver and gallbladder function.

Following Up

Early surgery usually ends symptoms and recurrence. Stones may appear again in the bile duct, however.

Special Considerations

If you have diabetes or are pregnant, you have a higher risk of complications from gallbladder attacks. If you are pregnant, use choleretic (bile-stimulating) herbs with caution. Milk thistle and dandelion root are safe in pregnancy. Talk with your health care provider before you take any medication or supplement.

Supporting Research

Allan PL, Baxter GM, Weston MJ, eds. Clinical Ultrasound. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2011.

Cabrera C, Artacho R, Gimenez R. Beneficial effects of green tea — a review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006;25(2):79-99.

Etminan M. Oral contraceptives and the risk of gallbladder disease: a comparative safety study. CMAJ. 2011:183(8):899-904.

Gaby AR. Nutritional approaches to prevention and treatment of gallstones. Altern Med Rev. 2009:14(3):258-67.

Jeong SU, Lee SK. Obesity and gallbladder diseases. Korean J Gastroenterol. 2012;59(1):27-34.

Jiang ZY, Sheng X, Xu CY, et al. Gallbladder gallstone disease is associated with newly diagnosed coronary artery atherosclerotic disease: a cross-sectional study. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e75400.

Ko, CW. Prefac: Gallbladder disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2010;39(2):xiii.

Liu B, Beral V, Balkwill A. Childbearing, breastfeeding, other reproductive factors and the subsequent risk of hospitalization for gallbladder disease. Int J Epidemiol. 2009;38(1):312-8.

Liu B, Beral V, Balkwill A, et al. Gallbladder disease and use of transdermal versus oral hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women: a prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2008;337:a386.

Marx J, Hockberger R, Walls R, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014.

Shaffer EA. Gallstone disease: Epidemiology of gallbladder stone disease. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006;20(6):981-96.

Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, et al. Long-Term Effect of Magnesium Consumption on the Risk of Symptomatic Gallstone Disease Among Men. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007; .

Völzke H, Baumeister SE, Alte D, et al. Independent risk factors for gallstone formation in a region with high cholelithiasis prevalence. Digestion. 2005;71(2):97-105.

Walcher T, Haenle MM, Mason RA, et al. The effect of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine consumption and vegetarian diet on gallstone prevalence. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;22(11):1345-51.

Wang F. Oral contraceptives and risk of gallbladder disease. CMAJ. 2011:183(13):1517.

Review Date: 4/1/2016
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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What to do about gallstones

Published: March, 2011

Gallstones are one of the most common digestive problems treated in women.

More than 25 million people in the United States have gallstones, and 65% to 75% of them are women. Fortunately, for most people, gallstones are “silent” — they don’t cause major symptoms. When they do act up, there are effective ways to address the problem.

What are gallstones?

Gallstones begin with bile, a substance that helps with the digestion of fats and the absorption of certain vitamins. Bile is made in the liver and carried to the gallbladder, a small, pear-shaped organ that concentrates and stores it. The fat in food triggers the release of a hormone that causes the gallbladder to contract and release bile into the intestine.

Gallstones are solid lumps that develop when the stored bile crystallizes. Most are less than an inch in diameter, but they can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Most gallstones are composed mainly of cholesterol. The rest — known as pigment stones — are made of calcium salts and bilirubin, a breakdown product of red blood cells.

Cholesterol stones form when liquid bile in the gallbladder contains more cholesterol than the bile salts can dissolve. Cholesterol stones may also develop if the gallbladder doesn’t contract and empty as it should. Pigment stones are associated with certain medical conditions, including liver disease, some types of anemia, and infection of the bile ducts.

Gallstone trouble

Gallstones cause problems when they block any of the ducts carrying bile from the liver or gallbladder (or digestive enzymes from the pancreas) to the small intestine.

Why are women at greater risk?

It’s the effect of female hormones. Estrogen increases cholesterol in the bile, and progesterone slows the emptying of the gallbladder. That may explain why the risk for women, relative to men, decreases with age. Before age 40, women are diagnosed with gallstones almost three times more often than men are (pregnancy, for example, increases the risk), but by age 60, their risk is just slightly greater. Estrogen therapy increases the risk, especially when taken as a pill rather than a patch. Oral contraceptive pills also increase the risk slightly, but only in the first decade of use.

Obesity is another risk factor, because bodies with more fat produce more estrogen. Paradoxically, rapid weight loss also increases the risk, because very low-calorie diets interfere with bile production and therefore cause more crystallization of cholesterol. Gallstones are so common after weight-loss surgery that patients are often advised to have their gallbladders removed at the same time. Gallstones are also more likely to occur in people with diabetes or any condition that decreases gallbladder contractions or intestinal motility, such as a spinal cord injury. Finally, there’s some evidence for genetic vulnerability to gallstone formation.

What are the symptoms?

Most people who have gallstones don’t know it. Their gallstones stay silent and may only be discovered incidentally, through an ultrasound or CT scan performed for other reasons. Symptoms arise mainly when stones pass through a bile duct or obstruct it, causing biliary colic — better known as a gallbladder attack. These attacks occur when the gallbladder contracts (usually in response to a fatty meal) and presses the stones so as to block the gallbladder duct. The main symptom is pain, usually in the right upper or middle abdomen (just below the rib cage), which builds to greatest intensity within an hour and can persist up to several hours. It can be either sharp and knifelike or a deep ache; sometimes it radiates to the back or the right shoulder. There may also be nausea and vomiting. The pain subsides as the gallbladder relaxes.

A stone lodged in a duct can also cause more serious problems, including acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), or cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts in the liver). Any of these conditions can cause severe pain and other symptoms, including jaundice, high fever, chills, and vomiting. Treatment usually requires intravenous antibiotics and often surgical removal of the stone.

If you think you’re having a gallbladder attack, your clinician will probably order several blood tests and an abdominal ultrasound (after you fast for at least eight hours). Ultrasound is particularly helpful in diagnosing acute cholecystitis because it also picks up any thickening of the gallbladder wall and indicates the presence of fluid, which may suggest inflammation. Other diagnostic techniques include cholescintigraphy, a radioactive injection used to view a possible blockage of the cystic duct; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the bile ducts; endoscopic ultrasonography, which introduces an ultrasound device through the mouth, esophagus, and stomach to the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) to get images of the area; and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, which uses a scope inserted through the mouth to the duodenum to view the biliary ducts.

How are gallstones treated?

Gallstones should be treated only if they cause symptoms. For recurrent gallbladder attacks, the most effective treatment is surgical removal of the gallbladder, or cholecystectomy. In the past, the standard procedure was surgery requiring a five-inch incision and a hospital stay of up to a week. This approach has largely been replaced by laparoscopic cholecystectomy, in which the gallbladder is removed with instruments inserted through small incisions in the skin. This procedure requires only an overnight hospital stay and a week of recovery at home. However, there’s a slight risk of injuring the bile ducts, and in 5% to 10% of cases, the surgeon may have to switch to an open surgery with a larger incision because of complications.

You can easily live without a gallbladder. The liver produces enough bile for normal digestion. When the gallbladder is removed, bile simply flows directly into the small intestine through the common bile duct. When no food is present, loose stools may result, but you can treat that with a bile acid–binding medication, such as cholestyramine (Questran, Locholest).

Medical options

If you can’t or don’t want to undergo surgery and your gallstones are small, one option is to take ursodiol (Actigall, Urso), a naturally occurring bile acid that helps dissolve cholesterol stones when taken by mouth two to four times a day. It’s also used to prevent the formation of gallstones in people who are losing weight quickly. Ursodiol dissolves only those gallstones made of cholesterol, and it may take several months before it has an effect.

Drug therapy is occasionally combined with lithotripsy, in which sound waves from outside the body are used to break gallstones into pieces that dissolve more easily or are small enough to safely pass through the bile duct. Unfortunately, stones are likely to recur after medical treatment.

How can I reduce my risk for gallstones?

There’s no proven way to prevent gallstones, but research suggests some possibilities. Eat three well-balanced meals daily, maintain a normal weight, and get regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week). Several studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption to a lower risk for symptom-causing gallstones. The Nurses’ Health Study also found that women with more fiber in their diets and those who ate several 1-ounce servings of nuts per week were less likely to need gallbladder surgery. Avoiding fatty foods won’t prevent or get rid of gallstones, but it may reduce the frequency of attacks.

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Treatment for Gallstones

How do health care professionals treat gallstones?

If your gallstones are not causing symptoms, you probably don’t need treatment. However, if you are having a gallbladder attack or other symptoms, contact your doctor. Although your symptoms may go away, they may appear again and you may need treatment. Your doctor may refer to you a gastroenterologist or surgeon for treatment.

The usual treatment for gallstones is surgery to remove the gallbladder. Doctors sometimes can use nonsurgical treatments to treat cholesterol stones, but pigment stones usually require surgery.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the gallbladder, called cholecystectomy, is one of the most common operations performed on adults in the United States. The gallbladder is not an essential organ, which means you can live normally without a gallbladder.

A health care professional will usually give you general anesthesia for surgery. Once the surgeon removes your gallbladder, bile flows out of your liver through the hepatic duct and common bile duct and directly into the duodenum, instead of being stored in the gallbladder.

Surgeons perform two types of cholecystectomy:

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Almost all surgeons perform cholecystectomies with laparoscopy. Surgeons perform many laparoscopic cholecystectomies on an outpatient basis, meaning you may be able to go home the same day. You will probably be able to return to normal physical activity in about a week.

Open cholecystectomy. A surgeon performs an open cholecystectomy when your gallbladder is severely inflamed, infected, or scarred from other operations. Your doctor may perform a cholecystectomy if problems occur during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. After the surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for up to a week. You will probably be able to return to normal physical activity after about a month.

Surgery to remove the gallbladder, called cholecystectomy, is one of the most common operations performed on adults in the United States.

What happens after gallbladder removal?

A small number of people have softer and more frequent stools after gallbladder removal, because bile now flows into your duodenum more often. Changes in bowel habits are usually temporary; however, discuss them with your doctor.

All surgeries come with a possible risk of complications; however, gallbladder surgery complications are very rare. The most common complication is injury to the bile ducts, which can cause infection. You may need one or more additional operations to repair the bile ducts.

Nonsurgical treatments

Doctors use nonsurgical treatments for gallstones only in special situations, like if you have cholesterol stones and you have a serious medical condition that prevents surgery. Even with treatment, gallstones can return. Therefore, you may have to be regularly treated for gallstones for a very long time, or even for the rest of your life.

A doctor may use the following types of nonsurgical treatments to remove or break up cholesterol gallstones:

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Sometimes doctors use ERCP to remove a gallstone that is stuck in the common bile duct.

Oral dissolution therapy. Ursodiol (Actigall) and chenodiol (Chenix) are medicines that contain bile acids that can break up gallstones. These medicines work best to break up small cholesterol stones. You may need months or years of treatment to break up all stones.

Shock wave lithotripsy. A doctor can use shock wave lithotripsy to blast gallstones into small pieces. Doctors use this procedure only rarely, and sometimes along with ursodiol.

How can I help prevent gallstones?

You can help prevent gallstones by

  • adjusting your eating plan to include more foods high in fiber and healthy fats, fewer refined carbohydrates, and less sugar
  • losing weight safely if you are overweight or have obesity
  • maintaining a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity

Are There Natural Ways to Treat Gallstones?

Gallstones can cause sharp, intense pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. This pain may radiate to your back and up to your shoulder blade. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, light-colored or gray stool, and diarrhea.

Talk with your doctor before trying to treat gallstones on your own. Your doctor can help you receive the correct diagnosis. They can also advise you on all of your treatment options. If you have yellowing of the eyes, fever or chills, and intense abdominal pain, seek medical care immediately.

1. Gallbladder cleanse

There are several reasons why gallstones may form:

  • Your liver may secrete more bile than it can dissolve.
  • Your body may have excess pigment called bilirubin, which cannot be dissolved.
  • The gallbladder might not empty completely or as frequently as it needs to.

Some people claim that a gallbladder cleanse or flush can help break up the gallstones and empty the gallbladder. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, however. The body is able to cleanse and flush itself.

Still, some people consume a combination of olive oil, juice, and herbs for two or more days. During that time, they’re not supposed to consume anything other than the oil mixture. There’s no standard mixture or recipe. This mixture can be dangerous for people with diabetes, or those who experience low blood sugar.

One study looked at the role of olive oil and sunflower oil on gallstones. The researchers found that while olive oil had an effect on bile consumption, it did not affect the gallstones.

Talk to your doctor before beginning any type of cleanse. It may not be safe for all people.

2. Apple juice

Some people use apple juice to treat gallstones. That’s because they believe apple juice may soften gallstones and can help you pass the stones.This claim has spread due to a letter published in 1999, which detailed an anecdotal account of a woman successfully passing her gallstones with the use of apple juice. There are no scientific studies that support this claim, however.

Drinking lots of fruit juice may not be healthy for you if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, stomach ulcers, and other conditions.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a popular health supplement that’s often included in cleanses. While ACV may have positive effects on blood sugar, there are no studies to support the use of ACV for the treatment of gallstones. There is little evidence that cleanses are needed or effective.

4. Yoga

There are some claims that yoga may help you naturally pass gallstones. Yoga was found in one study to improve lipid profile in people with diabetes. In another study, researchers looked at people with cholesterol gallstones and found that people with these types of gallstones were more likely to have abnormal lipid profiles. The researchers were unable to find a connection between these abnormal levels and the presence of gallstones, however.

While yoga may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with gallstones, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of yoga for the treatment of gallstones.

5. Milk thistle

Milk thistle, or Silybum marianum, may help treat liver and gallbladder disorders. It’s thought to stimulate both organs, but researchers have not specifically looked at the benefits of milk thistle for the treatment of gallstones.

Milk thistle is available in pill form as a supplement. Talk to your doctor before using milk thistle, especially if you have diabetes. Milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s also possible to be allergic to milk thistle.

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6. Artichoke

Artichoke has been found to be beneficial for gallbladder function. It helps stimulate bile and is also beneficial for the liver. No studies have looked at the effect of artichoke on the treatment of gallstones.

Artichoke can be steamed, pickled, or grilled. There is no harm in eating artichoke if you’re able to tolerate it. Artichoke in pill form or sold as a supplement should only be taken after you speak to your doctor.

7. Gold coin grass

Gold coin grass, or Lysimachiae herba, is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gallstones. It’s been linked to reduced gallstone formation. Some people recommend taking gold coin grass before beginning a gallstone cleanse to help soften the stones.

You can purchase gold coin grass in powder or liquid form.

8. Castor oil pack

Castor oil packs are another folk remedy, and some people choose to use this method instead of a gallbladder cleanse. Warm cloths are oaked in castor oil, which you then place on your abdomen. The packs are supposed to relieve pain and help treat your gallstones. There are no scientific studies to support claims that this treatment is effective.

Shop for castor oil

9. Acupuncture

Acupuncture may help relieve some of the pain from gallstones by reducing spasms, easing bile flow, and restoring proper function. Acupuncture has been reported to treat gallstones, but more research is needed.

One small study was done to look at the effects of acupuncture on cholecystitis in 60 participants. Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. Acupuncture was found to relieve symptoms and reduce the volume of the gallbladder.

More research is needed to specifically look at the benefits of acupuncture for the treatment of gallstones.

Acupuncture is relatively safe. When choosing an acupuncturist, look for a licensed acupuncturist and make sure that they are using new, single-use needles. In some cases, your insurance provider may cover part of the cost. Many cities also have community acupuncture centers. Acupuncture is administered in a room with other people instead of in a private setting. The cost for community acupuncture is often a lot more affordable than private acupuncture.

Gallstones

As with any surgery, there are some risks, but it is a relatively safe procedure. Some people have more frequent bowel movements or diarrhoea following gallbladder removal, but these symptoms usually lessen over time.

Oral dissolution therapy (medicines to dissolve the gallstones)

There are various forms of non-surgical treatment available, one of which is the use of oral medication to dissolve gallstones. However, this treatment is only effective in the treatment of small, non-calcified gallstones and they have to be cholesterol gallstones. It is used only in rare circumstances such as in people for whom surgery is not an option.

With oral dissolution therapy, medication is taken by mouth to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the bile and to gradually dissolve cholesterol-containing stones. This form of treatment does not offer a particularly effective solution, as less than 50 per cent of stones are dissolved, and 50 per cent of these commonly recur after the medication has been stopped.

It can take months to years for the stones to dissolve.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)

Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) is another form of non-surgical intervention. It involves the generation of shock waves outside the body. Ultrasound is used to locate the gallstones, and the shock waves are directed at them until they shatter. Following lithotripsy, most people need to take medication to dissolve the fragments.

This treatment is generally only used for single, small gallstones, because it is not effective for multiple or large stones. As with any treatment that leaves the gallbladder in place, there is a risk of recurrent stones.

Removal of bile duct stones

Stones that are lodged in the bile duct can cause serious problems and need to be removed either surgically, or by means of an endoscope (a flexible instrument that is passed down through the gastrointestinal tract). If your doctor suspects a gallstone may be lodged in the bile duct and it cannot be detected using ultrasound, they may request an investigation called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

ERCP involves looking at the bile duct through a small flexible tube called an endoscope, which is inserted into the mouth and directed carefully through the oesophagus and stomach, down into the duodenum (where the opening to the bile duct can be seen). A dye is then injected through the tube and into the bile duct and X-ray images taken to demonstrate any blockages that may be present.

If gallstones are found to be blocking the bile ducts, they can be removed during the ERCP procedure. This involves passing a small instrument through the endoscope and making a small cut in the lower part of the bile duct (called endoscopic sphincterotomy). This will allow the doctor to remove stones by catching them in a tiny basket and removing them through the endoscope. Alternatively, with bile duct entrance widened by the cutting, the stones are freed up to pass into the small intestine, from where they will continue through the digestive system and exit the body.

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Last Reviewed: 01/09/2015

Your Doctor. Dr Michael Jones, Medical Editor.

What are the natural ways to get rid of gallstones?

Although there is no reliable evidence that these remedies work, the following treatments are popular natural alternatives to medical interventions.

One of the most common treatments for gallstones is a gallbladder cleanse. Proponents of this method claim it breaks down the gallstones and flushes them from the body. A 2009 paper states that although scientific evidence to support a gallbladder cleanse is minimal, anecdotal reports indicate it may be helpful for some people.

A gallbladder flush involves consuming a blend of apple juice, herbs, and olive oil for 2 to 5 days. Recipes vary, and some procedures allow a person to eat food while others do not.

This diet may be unsafe people with diabetes or blood sugar problems, who do not consume solid food during the cleanse.

2. Apple cider vinegar with apple juice

Some people believe that apple juice softens gallstones, allowing them to be excreted from the body with ease.

One cleanse involves mixing apple cider vinegar into the apple juice before drinking it. Although there is limited evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar does have some health benefits, no studies support its use as a treatment for gallstones.

Furthermore, people with diabetes, stomach ulcers, and hypoglycemia should be wary of consuming large amounts of fruit juice.

Apple cider vinegar is available to buy in health stores and online.

3. Dandelion

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, dandelion has been used historically to treat gallbladder, liver, and bile duct problems. Supporters believe that the bitter roots may stimulate bile production in the gallbladder.

People usually drink dandelion teas or coffees to remove their gallstones. However, there is no evidence to suggest this is beneficial. Furthermore, people with gallstones, gallbladder problems, or kidney problems should speak with a doctor before consuming dandelion.

A range of dandelion teas and supplements are available to purchase in health stores and online.

4. Milk thistle

Milk thistle has been used medicinally to detoxify the liver for centuries. While it may support the liver and gallbladder, there are no studies evaluating its effects on gallstones.

A person can take milk thistle as a tonic or in a capsule or tablet form. People with diabetes, ragweed allergies, or a history of hormone-sensitive cancers should discuss the use of milk thistle with their doctor.

Milk thistle is available to buy in health stores and online.

5. Lysimachiae herba

Lysimachiae herba or gold coin grass is a popular traditional Chinese remedy for gallstones. Research suggests it may be beneficial for treating or preventing cholesterol gallstones.

The supplement is available as a powder or liquid.

Share on PinterestExtract of artichoke may aid gallbladder function.

Extracts of artichoke have been shown to stimulate bile production and aid both gallbladder and liver function.

However, there is no research specifically focusing on the effects of artichoke on gallstones.

Globe artichokes can be cooked and prepared in various ways. But the research is based on artichoke extract supplements, which are probably more potent than the vegetables.

It is essential to speak with a doctor before taking artichoke extract because it may cause a gallbladder attack if a bile duct is obstructed.

7. Psyllium husk

Psyllium is a soluble fiber derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. Research has shown it to benefit the heart, pancreas, and other areas of the body.

A very old study found that psyllium husks protected hamsters from the formation of cholesterol gallstones. A more recent study, from 1999, supports these findings.

Castor oil packs are a popular remedy among naturopaths and natural living enthusiasts for a wide variety of complaints.

To apply a castor oil pack, soak a cloth in warm castor oil and place on the abdomen. Cover with a towel. Some people choose to place a heat source, such as a hot water bottle or heating pad, on top. Leave the pack on the abdomen for up to an hour.

There are no scientific studies to support the use of this treatment for gallstones.

Acupuncture may relieve gallstone symptoms, although the research is very limited.

In one study on 60 people with cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation), acupuncture was found to alleviate back pain, stomachache, and nausea, while also regulating the volume of the gallbladder.

It should be noted that this research does not look specifically at gallstones, and it may only relieve symptoms, rather than helping people to pass the stones.

10. Yoga

Some yoga poses are said to cure gallstones, although no studies support this claim. The following poses are believed by some to be beneficial for people with gallstones:

  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Pachimotasana (Seated forward bend)
  • Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
  • Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Doctors typically remove gallbladders that cause pain. There are no known problems caused by living without a gallbladder. Today, most gallbladder surgeries are performed with a laparoscope. This instrument shows the surgeon pictures of your gallbladder as it is being removed. The minimally invasive procedure allows for a smaller incision and a shorter hospital stay than traditional surgery.

Some drugs can dissolve stones, eliminating the need for surgery. They include:

  • An oral bile acid, ursodeoxycholic acid (Ursodiol), can dissolve cholesterol stones that are quite small (less than 15 mm in diameter). The drug is successful in about 40% of patients.
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether and monooctanoin (Moctanin) are solvents that are infused directly into the bile duct or the gallbladder to dissolve stones.
  • Doctors may use shock wave therapy (lithotripsy) to break up stones.

However, it can take 2 years for a stone to dissolve, and gallstones often return.

Gallstones should always be treated by a doctor. If you would like to add complementary remedies to your treatment, see your doctor for tests before you start any therapies. This will help determine the remedies that are right for the size of your stone and your condition. DO NOT attempt complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) on your own. Work with an experienced provider. Keep all of your physicians informed regarding CAM, as some therapies may interfere with conventional medical treatments. Work with a provider who is knowledgeable in complementary medicine to find the right mix of treatments for you. If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, do not use any CAM therapies unless directed to do so by your physician.

Nutrition and Supplements

These nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:

  • Eliminate suspected food allergens, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives and chemical food additives. Eggs, especially, may irritate the gallbladder. Your doctor may test you for food allergies.
  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
  • Eat more fiber. Consider fiber supplements, such as flaxmeal. Combine 1 heaping tsp. of flaxmeal in 8 oz. of apple juice for a drink high in fiber and pectin.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Avoid alcohol, and tobacco. Some evidence suggests that people who drink caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of gallstones, though study results are mixed. Talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, as caffeine can affect several conditions and interact with medications.
  • If possible, exercise lightly 5 days a week.

You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
  • Vitamin C, as an antioxidant and for immune support.
  • Phosphatidylcholine, may help dissolve gallstones. May interfere with some medications, including anticholinergic medications used in the treatment of Alzheimer disease and glaucoma, among others. Talk to your doctor.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid, for antioxidant support. It is possible that alpha-lipoic acid could interact with some chemotherapy agents.
  • Magnesium, for nutrient support. Magnesium can potentially react with a variety of medications, including some antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, diuretics, muscle relaxers, and others. Large doses of magnesium may result in dangerously low blood pressure and slow breathing. People with kidney disease may have problems clearing magnesium from their body.
  • Taurine, for nutrient support. Taurine can potentially interact with lithium. People with a history of bipolar disorder should take taurine with extreme care.
  • Vitamin D, for immune support. Preliminary studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and gallstones.

Herbs

Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your doctor before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, or teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures. Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures singly or in combination as noted. If you are pregnant or nursing, speak to your doctor before using any herbal products.

A gallbladder attack can be a medical emergency. DO NOT use herbs to treat gallbladder disease on your own. Work with a trained herbal practitioner under the supervision of your doctors. The following herbs are sometimes used to treat gallbladder disease:

  • Green tea (Camelia sinensis). For antioxidant effects. You may also prepare teas from the leaf of this herb. Note: green tea extracts may contain caffeine. Look for decaffeinated products.
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum). For liver and gallbladder detoxification support. Patients with allergies to ragweed or a history of hormone-sensitive cancers should take milk thistle with caution.
  • Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus). For support of gallbladder and liver function. Due to its ability to increase bile production, globe artichoke could trigger a gallbladder attack if there is bile duct obstruction. Talk to your doctor.
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) standardized extract. For support of liver function. High doses of turmeric can have blood thinning effects. Care should be taken if you are on other blood-thinning medications.

Homeopathy

Few clinical studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. However, a professional homeopath may recommend one or more of the following treatments for gallbladder disease based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person’s constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.

Some of the most common remedies are listed below. A common dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X – 30C remedy every 1 to 4 hours until your symptoms improve.

  • Colocynthis. For colicky abdominal pains that are lessened by pressure or bending double.
  • Chelidonium. For abdominal pain that moves to the right shoulder area.
  • Lycopodium. For abdominal pain that is worse with deep breaths.

Physical Medicine

Castor oil pack. Apply oil to a clean, soft cloth and place on abdomen. Cover with plastic wrap, place a heat source (hot water bottle or heating pad) over the pack, and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. For best results, use for 3 consecutive days. Apply to abdomen, especially the gallbladder area, to help reduce swelling.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be especially helpful in pain relief, reducing spasm, easing bile flow, and restoring proper liver and gallbladder function.

A small, hard, abnormal mass composed chiefly of cholesterol, calcium salts, and bile pigments, formed in the gallbladder or in the bile duct. Gallstones can form when there is an imbalance in the substances that make up bile. Gallstones are more common among women and older people.

Types of gallbladder stones:

  • Cholesterol stones may develop as a result of too much cholesterol in the bile. Another cause may be the inability of the gallbladder to empty properly. Usually yellow-green in color, approximately 80% of gallstones are cholesterol stones.
  • Pigment stones are more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as cirrhosis (a liver disease in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue) or blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia. These stones are smaller and darker and are made up of bilirubin.

Causative factors for gallbladder stones

Several factors may come together to create gallstones, including:

  • Genetics factors- Family history of gallstones are increased risk of developing gallstones.
  • Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors. Obesity can cause a rise in cholesterol and can also keep the gallbladder from emptying completely.
  • Some cholesterol-lowering drugs increase the amount of cholesterol in bile, which may increase the chances of developing cholesterol stones.
  • Estrogen can increase cholesterol and decreased motility of the gallbladder. Women who are pregnant or who take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy have higher levels of estrogen and may be more likely to develop gallstones.
  • Diabetes tend to have higher levels of triglycerides, which is a risk factor for gallstones.
  • Rapid weight loss causes liver secretes extra cholesterol, it may lead to gallstones. Also, fasting may cause the gallbladder to contract less.

Symptoms

Gallstone attacks often occur after eating a meal and especially fatty person. Symptoms are

  • Pain in the upper abdomen and upper back. The pain may last for several hours. In most cases, this causes abdominal pain, although some people also experience other symptoms if the blockage is more severe or a blockage develops in another part of the digestive system.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Bloating of abdomen
  • Belchings
  • Other gastrointestinal problems, including bloating, indigestion and heartburn, and gas
  • 70-80% of people with gallstones never know they have them and no symptoms. These are called “silent gallstones”.
  • Gallstone attacks often occur after eating a meal and especially fatty person.

Small number of people, gallstones can cause more serious problems if they obstruct the flow of bile for longer periods or move into other organs (such as the pancreas or small bowel).

  • High temperature
  • More persistent abdominal pain
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Itching of the skin
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chills or rigors
  • Confusion of mind
  • Loss of appetite

How to diagnose gallbladder stones?

The diagnosis of gallstones is to verify that abdominal pain is caused by stones and not by some other condition. Ultrasound or other imaging techniques can usually detect gallstones. Gallstone attacks often occur after eating a meal and especially fatty person. Symptoms can include pain for up to several hours in the upper, back, or under the right shoulder together with nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating or indigestion. These symptoms can mimic those of other problems, including heart attack so accurate diagnosis is important. ‘Silent’ gallstones that do not cause any symptoms, are sometimes detected incidentally during other procedures such as ultrasounds, X-rays, or CT scans. If symptoms develop that suggest gallstones and doctor will take a physical examination to check your skin and eyes for jaundice and your abdomen for tenderness. If gallstones blocking the bile ducts may result in a combination of abdominal pain, jaundice and fever. This suggests a diagnosis of cholangitis means inflammation of a bile duct, a condition requiring urgent medical attention. As a number of other conditions, such as pancreatitis, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome and gastric ulcers, may produce symptoms similar to those of gallstones, it need to additional tests to make a definitive diagnosis. Some tests may include

  • An abdominal ultrasound and a computerized tomography (CT) scan to create pictures of your gallbladder. These images can be analyzed to look for signs of gallstones.
  • Tests to check your bile ducts for gallstones. A test that uses a special dye to highlight your bile ducts on images may help to doctor determine whether a gallstone is causing a blockage. Tests may include a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Gallstones discovered using ERCP can be removed during the procedure.
  • Blood tests may reveal an infection, jaundice, pancreatitis or other complications caused by gallstones.

How Homeopathy helps to cure gallbladder stones?

When the stones are of a smaller size, homeopathic medicines will help in possibly reduce the size of the stones. Homeopathy medicines are effective in alleviating pain as well as chronic inflammation of gallbladder associated with the condition. Homeopathy also helps to control further stone production activity. The most important mechanism in the formation of stones is increased biliary secretion of cholesterol. This may occur due to many reasons that cannot be pinpointed. Homeopathic medication, the secretion of cholesterol is regulated and the density of bile is made normal then the stones melt. In some cases even if the disease is cured, i.e. the bile is made normal, the stones do not melt. By homeopathic medicines, the stones can be made to become silent and fixed in one place. The patients become symptom-free, for the rest of their lives. All cases of gallstones are not required to be operated upon. Homeopathy has specific medicines for the treatment of pathological gall bladder. They should first be treated with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy successfully dissolves small and medium-sized gallstones and help you avoid the gallbladder removal. Homeopathy also provides fast pain relief in gallbladder attacks and can be used for prevention and treatment of biliary colic. The medicines are natural, effective and have no side effects. In patients with gallbladder removal homeopathy can alleviate the digestive disorders after surgery.

Commonly indicated Homeopathic remedies:

Cardus marinus: One of the great medicines for gallbladder stones. There is increased acidity in the stomach. Empty eructations, heartburn and nausea; vomiting of bile, followed by burning, stitching, sore pains in the stomach. Much distension and sharp wandering colic pains and stitching in the abdomen. Terrible attacks of gall-stone colic. Pain on the right, bellow the last ribs in the region of the liver, the taste in mouth is bad and the skin is yellow-coloured. The gall-bladder is enlarged and tender, the region of the liver is uncomfortable and there is sensation of fullness and constipation alternates with diarrhea with clay color stools. The complaints are aggravated by lying on the right side, and on stooping causes stitches on the right bellow ribs, worse from motion and pressure on the affected part. Better from sitting up in bed and from lying on the unaffected side.

Berberis vulgaris: This remedy may be indicated when stitching pains extend from the gallbladder region to the stomach and sometimes to the shoulder. Sharp twinges radiating outward can be felt in the groin and pelvic bones and may seem to come from the lower back. Pain can be worse when the person is standing up, and from changing position. The person may be constipated and have a tendency toward gout or joint pains

Calcarea carbonica: The abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest and are worse from stooping, the person feels worse from standing, exertion, and better from lying on the painful side. Calcarea carbonica is often indicated for people who tired easily, feel cold and sluggish with clammy hands and feet, crave sweets, and tend to feel anxious and overwhelmed when ill.

Chelidonium majus: This remedy is indicated when pain upper abdomen extends to the back, right shoulder, and shoulder-blade. The abdomen is distended, with a constricting feeling as if a string were pulled across it. Pain is worse from motion, and lying on the left with the legs drawn up may help. The person may feel nauseous, especially after eating fat or drinking something cold. The person may feel tired, worse from being cold, and worse in the early morning.

Dioscorea: This remedy is indicated when abdominal pain from gallstones is relieved by bending backward, and is worse when the person is bending forward or lying flat. Standing up and moving around in open air can also bring improvement. Pains can spread to the back, chest, and arms, or may shift around. The person tends to feel worse in the evening and at night, and also when lying down. Other indicated remedies: Phosphorus, Lycopodium clavatum, Nux vomica, China sulphuricum, Thuja occidentalis.

The gall bladder in our body has a great role to play when it comes to digestion of fat in the body. The bile present in the gall bladder helps in emulsifying the fat which is required for the digestion process to take place smoothly. Gall stones are produced when the cholesterol and calcium salts produced by the liver harden and block the bile ducts that connect the gall bladder to the liver. Whilst some gall stones can be non symptomatic, others can be very distressing and painful. Symptoms of a gall stone include pain in the rib cage that extends to the back, severe abdominal pain, pain around the right side of the rib cage, bloating, nausea, jaundice, anaemia etc.
Gall bladder plays an important part in proper digestion of food and hence it is important to treat gall stones as soon as they are discovered. Absence of bile production will result in fat not getting digested, leading to many complications. The good news is that gallstones can be treated with many natural remedies that nature has so lovingly gifted in our hands.

Ginger Root for Gallstones
Ginger root is an amazing herb with properties that are used for treating various forms of disorders. The herb is easily available and is therefore, a very popular herbal remedy. Studies have revealed that ginger can help shrink the size of liver tumors. It also discourages cholesterol absorption in the body and aids in converting cholesterol to bile acids that helps cleanse the liver and gall bladder. Drink two litres of ginger water daily to treat gallstones.
Barberry Bark for Gallstones
Barberry is considered among the best herbs for regularizing the function of gallbladder and for stimulating bile flow. Barberry is often used in the treatment of jaundice as well.The herb is a good source of berberine, an active ingredient that promotes the presence of macrophages or the white blood cells that eliminate infectious microorganisms from the liver and the surrounding areas. Barberry is available in tea and pill form and should be used as per doctor’s recommendations.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Gallstones
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar stops the liver from making cholesterol that is responsible for forming the most common type of gallstones. It also plays a key role in dissolving gallstones and alleviating pain.Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of apple juice. Drink it whenever you have a gallstone attack. This will significantly ease the pain within 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. Drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. Doing this regularly for weeks can dissolve gallstones and prevent pain.

Lemon Juice for Gallstones
Another good ingredient for keeping gallstone attacks under control is lemon juice. It stops your liver from making cholesterol, which helps in faster recovery. The pectin in lemon juice is believed to help get rid of gallbladder pain attributed to stones.
Plus, the vitamin C in lemon juice makes cholesterol more water soluble, which promotes faster elimination of waste products.
Drink fresh juice squeezed from four lemons each day on an empty stomach. Follow the drink with a glass of water. Continue this therapy for a week.
Alternatively, you can drink four tablespoons of lemon juice mixed in a glass of warm water every day on an empty stomach. Continue this treatment for several weeks until the gallstones are eliminated from the body.
Radishes for Gallstones
Studies suggest that taking half a dozen of radishes every day can remove gall stones. Take radishes every day to keep away from gall stone attacks as well if you are susceptible. This treatment could take time and hence best used along with other home remedies. For gall stones that are small, radish treatment would be all you require.

Vitamin C for Gallstones
Intake of vitamin E supplements help in converting the LDL cholesterol into bile acids. Bile acids help in naturally dissolving the gall stones present in the gall bladder. Vitamin C can be taken as supplements and included in the diet for disintegrating the gall stones. Around 1000 mg should be consumed a day for its action to take place.
Turmeric for Gallstones
Turmeric is found to be very effective in treating gallstones. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and it has one main ingredient called cur cumin.

  • Turmeric helps in easily solubility of bile and will also help in easier dissolution of bile and its compounds.
  • It is ideal for you to take half a teaspoon of turmeric everyday as it has the powers to dissolve 80% of the gallstones.

Blackseed Oil for Gallstones

  • Grind 250 grams of blackseed and make it into a fine powder form.
  • Mix this powder with 250 grams of pure honey.
  • Add a teaspoon of blackseed oil to this mixture and mix well.
  • Now, pour this mixture in half a cup of hot water.
  • You need to consume this mixture with water everyday in the morning on empty stomach for three to five days to reduce gallstones effectively.

Coffee for Gallstones
Coffee is a natural product that is generally used as drink. Drinking a cup of coffee on daily basis will make sure to avoid the formation of gallbladder problems. Pure coffee beans should be used for drinking process and the best benefits of coffee will help to avoid the accumulation of gallstones.

For more information on Gallstones visit read2healthblogspot

Beat Gallstones Naturally

Gallstones are crystalline formations of cholesterol and calcium formed within the gallbladder and biliary tracts. These stones can vary widely in size from as small as a grain of salt to nearly the size of a golf ball. Gallstones are a sign of incomplete liver detoxification and pose a significant threat to the body (1). You can beat gallstones naturally with an anti-inflammatory diet and advanced cleansing strategies (2).

The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for the bile that is produced by the liver. Bile is necessary to digest and metabolize fatty acids. The extra bile storage allows the body to effectively metabolize fat rich foods such as steak and eggs.

How do Gallstones Develop?

Problems occur when the gallbladder doesn’t effectively get the signal to squeeze out bile. This is a condition known as stasis where bile sits in the gallbladder for long periods of time and moves slowly when it finally gets going.

Additionally, if the gallbladder is filled with thick bile that has more cholesterol and less phospholipids and bile salts, it can become a supersaturated sludge. This sludge allows for the development of crystal-like compounds to form that precipitate out of the solution (3).

We call these structures gallstones and they can irritate the gallbladder. If the stones become large enough, they may even lodge into the bile duct and cause a physical obstruction that would be extremely painful and possibly life threatening. Reports show that 25% of women and 20% of men develop problems with an overproduction of gallstones (4).

Gallstones and Gallbladder Surgeries:

Research shows that 42 million Americans suffer from gallstones but most are unaware of it. Gallbladder removals are one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures with over 500,000 being performed every year. A review study in the British Medical Journal found that 50% of patients who had a gallbladder surgery didn’t see improvement in their digestive health complaints (5).

The individual may experience sharp pain in their abdomen, radiating into their back. Sometimes it just feels like right shoulder blade pain. This may be accompanied by gas and indigestion.

If gallstones block the bile duct, the risk of infection go up. If the individual has the pain but is also experiencing fever, chills, nausea and vomiting than an infection has most likely begun. If nothing is done, it can spread to the liver where it can cause jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and the eyes.

Another condition, called gallbladder ileus happens when a gallstone slips into the small intestine and blocks the entry of bile to the small intestine. This can only be corrected by surgery, but nutritional support should still be used.

11 Major Causes of Gallstones:

1. Blood Sugar Imbalances: When we have poor blood sugar regulation, it causes stress and inflammation in the liver increases the production of cholesterol which concentrates in the bile. This causes a thicker, slower moving bile. Poor blood sugar regulation will lead too higher LDL cholesterol, higher triglyceride levels and lower HDL cholesterol. This triad is not only a risk for heart disease, but also gallstones (6).

2. Estrogen Dominance: When we have an overabundance of natural estrogen production or a buildup of artificial estrogen substances within our body it leads to increases in cholesterol that create thicker, sluggish bile . Women who have used birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have an IUD are at a higher risk for gallstone formation (7). Several studies have shown that the use of HRT doubles or event triples the risk of developing gallbladder disease (8)

3. Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Food allergies and sensitivities cause a stress response in the body and cause the liver to work harder. Additionally, food sensitivities dehydrate us as our body uses water to deal with increased stress. This hampers proper bile production and leads to the development of a thicker, sluggish bile.

In 1968, Dr J.C. Brenemen published a paper in the Journal Annals of Allergy (9). He was remarkably able to relieve the symptoms associated with gallstones in 100% of the subjects with a one week elimination diet. Once he added the foods back into the diet, the symptoms returned.

The most common foods these individuals were reacting too included eggs (93% of the time), pork (64%) and onion (52%). By removing these foods, people saw relief from their symptoms.

4. Chronic Stress: Chronic stress reduces digestive juice production and dehydrates the body. We also use key electrolytes at a higher rate under stress. This all leads to a thicker, sluggish bile production.

5. Low Fiber Diet: Fiber is critical for the elimination of cholesterol and estrogenic molecules in the body. Additionally, fiber helps to feed good bacteria that enhance the detoxification processes of the body. A low fiber diet has been shown to cause that same thick sluggish bile production.

6. Low Stomach Acid Production: Stomach acid is necessary to sterilize the gut environment, metabolize proteins and stimulating all the digestive juices – including bile production in the liver and its release from the gall bladder.

7. Obesity: Individuals who are overweight or obese produce more cholesterol which thickens the bile and causes sluggish movement through the bile duct. This process increases the production of gallstones.

8. Rapid Weight Loss: Weight loss in one who is overweight or obese is a great thing, however, if it happens too quickly it can increase the risk of gallstone formation. The most common example of this is a bariatric surgery where the individual’s stomach is shortened.

Additionally, yo-yo dieting increases cholesterol production in the liver creating a super saturated, slow moving bile. Healthy weight loss would be no more than 3 lbs per week over a period of time. Getting the weight off is key, but doing it in a gradual way and keeping it off long-term is important.

9. Low Fat Diets: A low-fat diet for a long-period of time reduces the overall secretions of bile, which can cause the bile to become stagnant. The stagnancy of the bile increases the risk of bile stone production.

10. Cholesterol Lowering Medications: Certain types of cholesterol lowering medications increase the amount of cholesterol being bound into the bile. This will cause more concentrated bile that is sluggish and at greater risk for forming stones (10).

11. Leaky Gut Syndrome: When we have damage to the intestinal lining, it reduces CCK and secretin levels. This inhibits the ability of the gall bladder to contract effectively and can lead to biliary stasis.

It is important to remember that the environment (sluggish bile motility) that creates the production of gallstones has been causing issues with poor digestion and sterilization of the small intestine for many years before a stone would develop. It is important to focus on optimizing bile well in advance of developing gallstone like symptoms.

Organic Acids and Natural Enzymes:

An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is necessary to inhibit gallstone formation. This diet consists of phytonutrient rich organic fruits & vegetables, grass-fed animal products and healthy fat sources such as avocados, coconut, grass-fed butter & olive oil. Be sure to consume these fats in small quantities at a time with ox bile and a high quality digestive enzyme.

Foods that are rich in organic acids and natural enzymes are especially important for the entire digestive system including the liver and gall bladder. These foods include apple cider vinegar (ACV), fresh squeezed lemon/lime, kombucha, kimchi, & red cabbage sauerkraut.

Liver health is dependent upon a regular fasting cycle to effectively cleans and detoxify. A 12 hour fast between dinner and breakfast is a great daily habit. If one were to finish their final solid food meal at 8pm they should not attempt another solid food meal until at least 8am. This gives the body 4 hours to digest and metabolize the food and then 8 hours for the liver to cleanse.

The Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle:

Once you incorporate the 12 hour daily detox cycle into your lifestyle you can choose to increase this period of time. Two to three 16 hour liquid fasts each week and/or a 24 hour liquid fast will keep the liver well flushed.

These fasting periods are much easier than most people believe. Many individuals will drink fresh vegetable juices and functional beverages such as coconut water kefir made and water with lemon. The fluid and nutrients supplies the body with very clean energy that enhances the liver’s ability to purge toxins and facilities bowel movements.

Anyone with pronounced and symptomatic gall stones should go on a liquid diet with lots of water & lemon, ACV, coconut water kefir and fresh organic vegetable juices. Try to limit solid food to one meal per day with very moderate portions of anti-inflammatory foods.

10 Tips To Help Reduce GallStones

1. Lemon Water: Drink 8-16 oz of clean water with lemon and/or apple cider vinegar (1-2 tbsp per 8oz) each morning upon arrising.

2. Fix the Gut: Find out what is wrong with your digestive system through functional testing and work with a practitioner to fix the dysfunctions. You can follow our 30-day digestive health restoration program to cleanse your system.

3. Super Hydrate: Drink at least 3/4 of your body weight in ounces of clean, purified water. You can add in anti-oxidant extracts and drink fermented beverages like coconut water kefir.

4. Fresh Vegetable Juices: Juicing fresh veggies such as kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, watercress, bok choy, beets, carrots, mustard greens, cucumbers, celery, etc. is highly advised. The phytonutrients are highly bioavailable in fresh juice and they will help to cleanse the liver and gallbladder. I recommend 16-32 oz daily. No more than 4-8 oz of it should be with beets and carrots due to the sugar. Be sure to get most of it from the greens, using bok choy, celery or cucumber as the main juicing base.

5. Practice Intermittent Fasting: Take stress off your digestive system by doing a water/green juice fast for 16-20 hrs each day. Consume only 2 meals and make one of those a protein shake and one can (dosn’t have to be) a solid food meal such as a homemade chicken soup or high quality meat with steamed veggies and a big salad with good fats.

6. Use Lots of Anti-Inflammatory Herbs: Look for ways to get more ginger, turmeric, oregano, garlic, basil, thyme, milk thistle, stinging nettle, peppermint, etc. into your system. You can add dried or fresh herbs to your meals. You can use organic herbal teas and apply essential oils among other things.

7. Fermented Foods: Consuming small amounts of fermented foods can be very therapeutic for the liver and gall bladder. This includes kimchii, saeurkraut, coconut milk kefir, apple cider vinegar, natural pickles, coconut yogurt and coconut water kefir.

8. Coffee Enemas: This is not the most pleasant but perhaps the most powerful way to help detoxify your liver and gallbladder. Read all about coffee enemas in this article.

9. Use Healthy Fiber Sources: Fiber helps to grab up toxins in the digestive system and feeds the microbiota. Be sure to get over 30 grams of fiber daily through non-starchy veggies and good seeds like chia, flax, pumpkin and hemp seeds. Nuts and fermented vegetables are also a great source of healthy fiber. Be sure to only take in moderate amounts of nuts and seeds (2 oz at a time max – small handful) to reduce stress on the liver and gallbladder.

10. Use a Good Liver Detoxifying Supplement: The Gut Healing Protein is my go to detoxification product for my clients. This is not a harsh colon cleanse that leaves you on the toilet all day, but instead it promotes a gentle and comfortable detoxification process that will not interfere with your daily life.

The nice thing is that it is also a protein powder…simple to add to smoothies and it works! Within days most people notice they have improved energy, less pain, mental clarity, improved complexion and they sleep deeper. I have seen fantastic health results both personally and professionally using this product.

Flushing Out Gallstones

This is a great cleanse and one of the best ways to flush out gallstones. Be sure to get medical help if you are dealing with intense pain and any feverish type of symptoms. If you decide to do this cleanse, be sure to have guidance with a natural health practitioner familiar with the protocol.

I would recommend doing the 7-day liver cleanse beforehand in order to improve all the detoxification pathways and prepare your liver. You want your kidneys, bladder and urinary tract in top working condition so they can efficiently remove any undesirable substances incidentally absorbed from the intestine as the bile is being excreted. This will also soften the bile duct to help it relax, so when we do stimulate contractions it will have the best chance to expel the stones.

Green Juice – get a good juicer and do these if you can find all the ingredients. Preferably organic.

Drink as many of these as you can – like 5-6 per day for 3 days and then do Gall Bladder flush. You can add a bit of pink salt to the juice or your water, especially if feeling dehydrated and light headed going through the process.

You can also drink beet-carrot juice (8oz daily) and apple cider vinegar and water – 2 tbsps per 8oz throughout the day.

I would also recommend Traditional Medicinals – Smooth Move Tea to help with bowel movements and Nighty Night tea to help you get good sleep which is key for healing and detoxifying.

I also recommend doing Bile Flow Support and Activated Charcoal to help during this process. Do 2 caps with each meal or green juices of the Bile Flow Support and 2 caps – 2x daily (away from meals or green juices) of the Activated Charcoal. I usually recommend the charcoal about 1 hour before meals.

You can do these supplements on the days leading up to the Liver cleanse and while doing the 3-day green juice cleanse.

GallBladder Flush Ingredients:

4 Tbsps of Epsom Salts

1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 large or 2 small pink grapefruits (enough to squeeze 3/4 cup of juice) or you can do fresh squeezed lemons or an organic lemon juice concentrate to make it easier.

Bile Flow Support: This is optional but can help you get a better bile release, take 4 caps after the olive oil mixture. I also recommend taking it for several weeks after you do this cleanse to support your bile flow. Simply do 1-2 caps after each meal.

Pint Jar with lid

Choose a day like Saturday for the cleanse, since you will be able to rest the next day.

Take no medicines or pills that you can do without; they could prevent success.

2:00 p.m. on the Day of The Cleanse:

Do not eat or drink after 2 o’clock. If you break this rule you could feel quite ill later.

Get your Epsom salts ready. Mix 4 tbs. In 3 cups or 24 oz of water and pour this into a jar. This makes four servings, ¾ cup (6 oz) each. Set the jar in the refrigerator to get ice cold (this is for convenience and taste only).

6:00 p.m.

Drink one serving (3/4 cup or 6 oz) of the ice cold Epsom salts. If you did not prepare this ahead of time, mix 1 tbs. in ¾ cup water now. You can add 1 tsp of fresh or concentrated lemon juice to improve the flavor. You may also drink a few mouthfuls of water afterwards or rinse your mouth.

Get the olive oil and grapefruit out to warm up.

8:00 p.m.

Repeat by drinking another ¾ cup of Epsom salts.

You haven’t eaten since two o’clock, but you won’t feel hungry. Get your bedtime chores done. The timing is critical for success, don’t be more than 10 minutes early or late.

9:45 p.m.

Pour ½ cup (measured) olive oil into the pint jar. Squeeze the grapefruit by hand into the measuring cup. Remove pulp with fork. You should have at least ½ cup, more (up to ¾ cup) is best. You may top it up with lemonade (lemon/water/stevia). Add this to the olive oil. Close the jar tightly with the lid and shake hard until watery (only fresh grapefruit juice does this).

Visit the bathroom one or more times, even if it makes you late for your ten o’clock drink. Don’t be more than 15 minutes late.

10:00 p.m.

Drink the potion you have made and take 4 bile flow support right after finishing the drink if you are using these. The bile flow support are not necessary but can help you get even more stones out.

Lie Down Immediately:

You might fail to get stones out if you don’t. The sooner you lie down, the more stones you will get out. Be ready for bed ahead of time. Don’t clean up the kitchen. As soon as the drink is down, walk to your bed and lie down on your back with your head up high on a pillow.

Try to think about what is happening in the liver. Try to keep perfectly still for at least 20 minutes. You may feel a train of stones traveling along the bile ducts like marbles. There is no pain because the bile ducts valves are open (thank you Epsom salts!). Go to sleep, you may fail to get stones out if you don’t.

Next Morning:

Upon awakening, take your third dose of Epsom salts. If you have indigestion or nausea, wait until it is gone before drinking the Epsom salts. You may go back to bed. Don’t take the Epsom salts before 6:00 a.m.

2 Hours Later:

Take your fourth (the last) dose of Epsom salts. Drink ¾ cup of the mixture. You may go back to bed.

After 2 more hours you may eat.

Start with fruit juice. Half an hour later eat fruit. One hour later you may eat regular food, but keep it light. By supper you should feel recovered.

How Well Did You Do?

Expect diarrhea in the morning. Use a flashlight to look for gallstones in the toilet with the bowel movement. Look for the green kind, since this if proof that they are genuine gallstones, not food residue. Only bile from the liver is pea green. The bowel movement sinks, but gallstones float because of the cholesterol inside.

Count them all roughly, whether tan or green. You will need to total 2000 stones before the liver is clean enough to rid you of allergies or bursitis or upper back pains permanently. The first cleanse may rid you of them for a few days, but as the stones from the rear travel forward, they give you the same symptoms again. You may repeat cleanses at two week intervals. Never cleanse when you are ill.

Sometimes the bile ducts are full of cholesterol crystals that did not form into round stones. They appear as a “chaff” floating on top of the toilet bowl water. It may be tan colored, harboring millions of tiny white crystals. Cleansing this chaff is just as important as purging stones.

How safe is the gallbladder cleanse? It is very safe. According to renowned physician, Huda Clark, who has implemented this with over 500 cases, including many persons in their seventies and eighties. None went to the hospital; none even reported pain. However, it can make you feel quite ill for one or two days.

Sources for This Article Include:

4. Stinton LM, Shaffer EA. Epidemiology of Gallbladder Disease: Cholelithiasis and Cancer. Gut and Liver. 2012;6(2):172-187
5. Bateson MC. Gallbladder disease. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 1999;318(7200):1745-1748
6. Tsai C-J, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. Dietary carbohydrates and glycaemic load and the incidence of symptomatic gall stone disease in men. Gut. 2005;54(6):823-828.
7. Dhiman RK, Sarkar PK, Sharma A, Vasishta K, Kohli KK, Gupta S, Suri S, Chawla Y. Alterations in gallbladder emptying and bile retention in the absence of changes in bile lithogenicity in postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy. Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Aug;49(7-8):1335-41. PMID: 15387365
8. Thijs C, Knipschild P. Oral contraceptives and the risk of gallbladder disease: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Public Health. 1993;83(8):1113-1120
9. Breneman JC. Allergy elimination diet as the most effective gallbladder diet. Ann Allergy. 1968 Feb;26(2):83-7. PMID: 5638514

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