Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid called bile that’s released into your small intestine.
Gallstones range in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Some people develop just one gallstone, while others develop many gallstones at the same time.
- 1 Causes
- 2 Symptoms
- 3 Prevention
- 4 Remedies
According to Harvard Health Publications, 80 percent of gallstones are made of cholesterol. The other 20 percent of gallstones are made of calcium salts and bilirubin.
It’s not known exactly what causes gallstones to form, though there are some theories.
Too much cholesterol in your bile
Having too much cholesterol in your bile can lead to yellow cholesterol stones. These hard stones may develop if your liver makes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve.
Too much bilirubin in your bile
Bilirubin is a chemical produced when your liver destroys old red blood cells. Some conditions, such as liver damage and certain blood disorders, cause your liver to produce more bilirubin than it should. Pigment gallstones form when your gallbladder can’t break down the excess bilirubin. These hard stones are often dark brown or black.
Concentrated bile due to a full gallbladder
Your gallbladder needs to empty its bile to be healthy and to function properly. If it fails to empty its bile content, the bile becomes overly concentrated, which causes stones to form.
The majority of people with gallstones experience no symptoms at all. This is because the stones stay in the gallbladder and cause no problems.
Sometimes, however, gallstones may lead to cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder).
Gallbladder inflammation symptoms
The primary symptom is pain that comes on suddenly and quickly gets worse. This pain can occur in the right side of the body, just below the ribs, between the shoulder blades, or in the right shoulder.
Other symptoms include:
- pain on the right-hand side of the body, just below the ribs
- back pain between the shoulder blades
- pain in the right shoulder
Other possible symptoms can occur in association with complications:
When a stone gets stuck in the opening of the gallbladder, and will not easily pass through, the contraction of the gallbladder may cause severe pain. When this happens, the patient may experience biliary colic – a painful condition.
The pain is felt in the upper part of the abdomen, but can also exist in the center or to the right of the abdomen. Pain is more common about an hour after eating, especially if the patient has had a high-fat meal. The pain will be constant and last a few hours, and then subside. Some patients will have non-stop pain for 24 hours, while others may experience waves of pain.
If the gallstones have caused a gallbladder infection, the patient may have a fever and experience shivering. In the majority of gallstone infection cases, the patient will be hospitalized and have the gallstone surgically removed.
If the gallstone leaves the gallbladder and gets stuck in the bile duct it may block the passage of bile into the intestine. The bile will then seep into the bloodstream, and the patient will show signs of jaundice – the skin and the whites of the eyes will be yellow.
In most cases, this complication will require the surgical removal of the gallstone. For some patients the gallstone eventually passes into the intestine.
If a small gallstone passes through the bile duct and blocks the pancreatic duct, or causes a reflux of liquids and bile into the duct, the patient may develop pancreatitis.
Ideally, it would be better if gallstones could be prevented rather than treated. Prevention of cholesterol gallstones is feasible since ursodiol, the bile acid medication that dissolves some cholesterol gallstones, also prevents them from forming. The difficulty is to identify individuals who are at a high risk for developing cholesterol gallstones over a relatively short period of time so that the duration of preventive treatment can be limited. One such group is obese individuals losing weight rapidly with very low calorie diets or with surgery. The risk of gallstones in this group is as high as 40% to 60%. In fact, ursodiol has been shown in several studies to be very effective at preventing gallstones in these individuals. It is important to stress that no dietary changes have been shown to treat or prevent gallstones.
These natural remedies will not only cure the symptoms like nausea, vomiting and indigestion along with pain but will also make you get rid of your gall stones.
Beetroot, Cucumber and Carrot Juice
Juice therapies are what are mostly recommended by traditional natural remedies for gallstones. Among these juices, one that is made from the combination of beetroot, cucumber and carrots is highly effective for gallbladder. Beets not only strengthen and cleanse gallbladder and your liver but also help in cleansing colon and your blood. Cucumber, with its high water content, is great for detoxifying liver as well as gallbladder which is also done by carrot juice high in vitamin C and other rich nutrients.
Dandelion herb helps support your liver which aids your gallbladder in its functioning. The dandelion Leaves help in promoting bile excretion from the liver thus detoxifying it and metabolize fat efficiently. They are also effective when it comes to stimulate your sluggish gallbladder. So, it does make sense to use dandelion to cure your gallstones. You can always add the tender dandelion greens to your salad or steam them and have it. You can also have dandelion tea. Here’s the recipe for the same.
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.
Peppermint aids digestion by stimulating the flow of bile and other digestive juices. Plus, it has a compound called terpene that can effectively dissolve gallstones. It is also believed to help relax spasms and relieve acute gallbladder pain.
Castor oil has many medicinal and healing properties that can help minimize and reduce the number of gallstones. Its anti-inflammatory properties help neutralize inflammation and reduce pain. Plus, castor oil packs have a positive effect on the immune and lymphatic systems.