Gallstones, or also known as cholelithiasis is a very common problem among native Americans, especially in women. As we all know, the gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ which stores a substance called bile (bile is produced by the liver). After meals, your gallbladder will contract and release bile into the intestines to help in digestion. And gallstones are formed when one of the substances used to produce the bile (either bilirubin or cholesterol) becomes too thick and turns into a hard stone. They are very common and are rarely harmful. A problem may occur only when gallstones block the cystic duct, which is the exit of your gallbladder. This triggers inflammation and often result in pain and bacterial infection. This time, HNBT will bring to you the conditions that trigger gallbladder stones, its treatments and several common gallstones symptoms.
Gallstones Symptoms and Its Treatments
If you’re having any of the following symptoms, there’s no doubt that your gallstones are to be blamed. So here are few of the common signs and symptoms of gallstones.
- Abdominal pain in the right, upper part of your abdomen
- Back pain
- Pain in right side under ribs
- Fever and chills
- Bloating and gas
- Pain when urinating
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What Causes Gallstones?
Following are the causes and risk factors that contribute to it:
- Excessive amount of bilirubin in bile, or,
- Excessive amount of cholesterol in your bile
- Low concentration of bile salts to dilute the bilirubin and cholesterol
- A family history of the same
- Sudden loss of weight
- Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapies or pregnancy
- Being overweight
- Eating foods that are high in cholesterol and no enough fiber
Gallstones Treatments and Home Remedies
There are a number of gallstones treatment available, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the side effects they might trigger. Possible gallstones treatment include :
1. Surgery called Cholecystectomy.
Your doctor might suggest a surgery to remove your gallbladder to avoid any re-currency. Worry not, there will not be any complications from this surgery. This is because although your gallbladder is removed, your bile will still flow from your liver directly into the intestines. But however, for few days after the surgery, you might have diarrhea.
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Medication is a very slow method to dissolve the stones. It may take up to months or even years. A few types of medication will be given, including bile salts which will help break down the small gallstones and dilute cholesterol and bilirubin in the bile as well.
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This is a treatment in which sound waves are directed to your gallbladder to help breakdown the stones into smaller fragments. And later, a type of medication will be given by your doctor to dissolve those tiny pieces.
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Home Remedies for Gallstones
Take these juices to help treat and prevent gallstones. These are also the foods to eat with gallstones:
1. Apple juice with apple cider vinegar. The malic acid present in apple softens the stones and dissolves them easily. While the apple cider vinegar prevents the liver from producing lumpy cholesterol that are responsible for this condition. Add a tablespoon of ACV and a tablespoon of honey into a glass of fresh apple juice. Stir well and drink daily.
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2. Milk thistle leaves. It is a type of herb from the Mediterranean region. It detoxifies liver and naturally dissolves gallbladder stones. Add a tablespoon of crushed milk thistle leaves with its seeds into a cup of hot water. Let it steep for about 5 minutes. Later, strain this drink out and add some honey for taste. Taking it daily can help to reduce the pain too.
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3. Peppermint. This is certainly the easiest and best way to treat gallbladder stones. Peppermint contains a substance called terpene, which naturally dissolves gallstones. You can take a peppermint extract, peppermint oil capsules, or some homemade peppermint tea. It also helps in relieving pain.
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Now that you learnt gallstones symptoms, its causes and the treatments available for it, we hope you can nip any gallstone problem in the bud. Not only that, make sure to take measures to prevent them too. Some of the measures include maintaining an ideal weight, exercising frequently and practicing a diet that covers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. If there are any other home remedies, or gallstones treatment that you know, do not hesitate to share them with us.
It is often best to leave gallstones alone if they cause few or no symptoms. If symptoms are problematic after fatty food, it makes sense to avoid that type of food. See our gallstones diet sheet for further information.