What Do You Know About Gallstones?

What do you know about gallstones?

Gallstones: one of the most important factors to be aware of is that very often they do not cause any symptoms. They tend to cause symptoms when they are trapped in the bile duct, causing intense pain that may last between one and five hours. This is a condition known as biliary colic. In medical terms, it’s called gallstone disease or cholelithiasis.

It’s even possible for gallstones to move into the pancreas, which will cause acute pancreatitis, and pain which gets progressively worse

You may know that the gall bladder is a small organ situated underneath the liver, the purpose of which is to store bile. Bile is actually produced by the liver, and it’s a substance that helps to digest fats. It is passed through a series of the bile ducts into the gall bladder, where it is stored and over time becomes more concentrated..

When the digestive system requires bile to digest fats, the gall bladder is able to release it into the gut as necessary.

Symptoms of gallstone disease include pain in the center of the abdomen, just below the breastbone but above the navel.

Alternatively, the pain may be felt in the upper right of the abdomen pain travelling towards the shoulder blade. This tends to be a dull, consistent pain and is not relieved by going to the toilet, being sick or passing wind. This is known as biliary colic.

And although many believe the pain is triggered by eating fatty foods, the truth is that the pain may wake you up in the night, or it may be several weeks between episodes of pain caused by biliary colic. Oddly enough, some of the other symptoms of biliary colic include feeling sick and, actually vomiting, and excessive sweating.

These symptoms will actually progress to a more serious form of gall bladder disease in around one in 20 people. Jaundice, abdominal pain that lasts longer than eight hours, high temperature, and abdominal pain that is extremely intense, are symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

Formation of Gallstones

Gallstones form when cholesterol and other substances found in bile coagulate into a hard pellet-like object known as a gallstone. It’s also possible for these things to form when the gall bladder doesn’t empty as quickly as it should do. Needless to say, people are overweight, as well as those who trying to lose weight quickly, will find that they are more likely to suffer from gallstones.

Gallstones can vary in shape, and indeed they can also differ in size, being as small as a grain of sand, or as large as a golf ball, in extreme cases. Together with thick secretions, they indicate the presence of gallstones of various types. Cholesterol stones vary in colour from light yellow to dark green and brown, and between two and 3 cm long. Generally there are about 8% cholesterol. By contrast, pigment stones are made of bilirubin and calcium salts, and contain less than 20% cholesterol.

The risk of gallstones increases for women and the people nearer 40 years of age. Although more prevalent among people of European descent than among other ethnic groups, gallstones can affect all people.

Causes of Gallstones

Theories as to the causes of gall bladder problems and gallstones include a lack of melatonin, because melatonin inhibits cholesterol secretion, and other factors such as body chemistry, obesity, gall bladder motility and possibly diet.

There is no explicitly clear relationship between one’s diet and gallstone formation, although low fiber and high cholesterol diets are likely candidates as causes of this problem.

Other nutritional factors associated with an increased risk of gallstones include rapid weight loss, eating fewer meals per day, constipation, low intake of folic acid, as well as a low intake of calcium, vitamin C and magnesium.

Proton pump inhibitors taken for acid reflux and heartburn are interesting factors in the cause of gall bladder disease, because they do in fact decrease gall bladder function which may which may exacerbate the formation of gallstones.

Diagnosis of gall bladder gallstones is made by ultrasound scan..

A small number of gallstones can be broken up by the application of ultrasonic shock waves which causes them to shatter into tiny pieces and allows them pass safely into the gut.

Gall bladder removal or cholecystectomy, is almost guaranteed to eliminate the recurrence of gallstones pain, though is not needed in asymptomatic patients. In many cases, gall bladder removal will not have any adverse consequences, but between 10 and 15% of the population may develop postcholecystectomy syndrome, which can cause persistent pain and possibly chronic diarrhoea.

Laparoscopy it tends to be a more effective and less damaging form of gall bladder removal.

There is also a regime of gall bladder flushes which has gained popularity in the field of alternative medicine.. If you want more information on this, it’s worth reading about it.

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Foods That Are Critical In Controlling Gallstones

Gallstones can be as large as a pea, or larger. The larger sizes tend to block the bile duct and this can cause the severe pain. Your doctor may want you to undergo surgery to remove your gallbladder but why not look at a gallstones diet as a remedy?

Gallstones Diet – Some Basics

Ideally, your diet would contain 75 percent raw foods. Fried, fatty, and fat-containing dairy products, as well as refined white sugar, all tend to dramatically increase the chance of gallstone formation.

Coffee (even decaffeinated) is unhelpful – it may contract the gallbladder and reduce bile flow.

If you are overweight, a sensible weight loss program can reduce the impact of risk for gallstones.

Supplement your diet on a daily basis:

  • vitamin C (3000 mg in divided doses) because Vitamin C helps reduce gallstone formation
  • vitamin E (600 IU)
  • lecithin (1200 mg) which is said to aid fat digestion
  • choline (1000 mg) which assists liver and gallbladder functioning
  • L-glycine (500 mg, taken with juice) is a vital part of biosynthesis of bile acids
  • taurine (1 g twice daily) is said to increases bile formation

A flushing remedy

A liver flush of olive oil, lemon juice, and spices may be helpful, but only with the approval of your doctor.

Bodywork and Somatic Pradices

Reiki and Therapeutic Touch, as well as Oriental bodywork therapies and reflexology are good for these painful conditions.

Herbal Therapy

Many herbs are recommended as a component of a gallstones diet, easing the flow of bile, and stopping new gallstones forming. Herbalists suggest combining equal amounts of tinctures of wild yam, fringetree bark, balmony and milk thistle, and then ingesting a teaspoonful of the blend up to five times a day.

Chamomile and lemon balm tea, or a tea made from of balmany and fringetree is also good. These remedies can be made by steeping 1 or 2 teaspoons of the herb in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes and then straining off the sediment.

And you may well see other herbal remedies recommended, including catnip, cramp bark, dandelion, fennel, ginger root, and horsetail. Find otu more about gallstones diets here.

The Basics of A Diet For Gallstones Diet

As a woman whose husband has experienced the pain of gallstones, I’d like to offer you some help in getting rid of this painful and debilitating condition. I know, from seeing my hubbie suffer, just how bad gallstones can be.

And I want you to benefit from the research we did, since it helped us his gallstones, and it may very well help you to cure yours, too. That’s my hope, anyway. 

As you may know, gallstones (aka cholelithiasis) form in the gall bladder – a small organ which lies just below the liver – and seem to be caused by high levels of cholesterol, phospholipids and bile acids. The liver has a variety of functions; the main one is to excrete toxins from the body, and bile is the substance it produces to do this.

The bile moves through the gallbladder to the bile ducts and passes into the small intestine from where it is eliminated with the feces.

Around ten percent of people suffer from gallstones; the stones can be as small as a grain of salt and go up to half an inch in diameter. Some of these contain calcium salts and are called pigment stones.  The remainder are cholesterol stones.

Cholelithiasis may cause inflammation of the gall bladder, vomiting, nausea, fever and severe pain in the abdominal area and (occasionally) across the chest. Other symptoms  manifest as constant pain under the breast bone, which lasts from half an hour to several hours. This pain may radiate into the shoulders and back.

Many dietary options are available for gallstones. Herbs that have been said to help include ginger root, yam, parsley, fennel, horsetail, dandelion, catnip, peppermint and more.

So to recap, gallstones are small, hard crystalline deposits that form in the gallbladder – this liquid may begin to crystallize into hard stones.

In the case of large stones, surgery may be needed, but small ones can be eliminated naturally with the right diet. Symptoms of larger stones include an acute pain beneath the ribs on the right side of the abdomen, a few hours after consuming a high-fat meal.

Before adopting a gallstones diet, inflammation of the gallbladder needs to reduced, usually with a 2 or 3 day fast, with water only, followed by only vegetable or fruit juices: the best juices include grapefruit, grape, pear, beetroot, lemon, or carrot juices.

After this, a well-balanced veggie gallstones diet which contains essential nutrients is the main way forward. Things which seem to help include:

  • Fresh fruit, especially pears
  • Cottage cheese (also good for weight loss, of course!)
  • Yogurt
  • Olive oil (Olive oil is said to stimulate lipase or fat-destroying enzymes in the gallbladder)
  • Probiotic bacteria
  • Vitamin supplements (Vitamin C & E deficiency has been linked to gallbladder disorders)

More Detail About Gallstones Diets

Like most people, you probably don’t even think about your gall bladder until it causes you problems. That’s quite understandable, because it is an insignificant little organ beneath the liver, responsible for storing bile.

What’s bile, you say? Well, it’s a substance the body produces to help it digest fats. So, after you have eaten a meal, bile is released into the small intestines from the gall bladder via the bile duct.

The strange thing is that around one woman in 5, and one in 10 men, have gallstones by the age of 60. These little “stone-like” particles can cause all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms including nausea, bloating, vomiting and pain.

Now the truth is that gallstones are not caused directly by a particular diet, but there is an association between certain foods, certain ways of eating, and the risk of developing gallstones.

For example, we know that having too much animal fat in your diet, eating high levels of cholesterol, and having plenty of refined carbohydrates will make gallstone formation more likely. And also, fiber is also essential in your diet for gallstones.

Gallstones are small, hard lumps which form when substances – mainly cholesterol – in the bile form insoluble crystals.

In the worst cases they can actually block the flow of bile, and this, unsurprisingly, can cause a number of difficulties.

The truth, however, is that most people with gallstones don’t actually know they have them until they’re detected during a medical examination.

These are what are known as silent gallstones, and are untreated in the majority of people. But sometimes they cause pain, and about 20% of people require treatment.

Before we go on, it’s worth pointing out that there is actually a genetic link of some kind at work here. People with a family history of the condition are at greater risk of getting gallstones.

What Can A Gallstones Diet Do For Me?

Now, it’s been said that changing your diet will get rid of gallstones if you already have them … . What we do know, however, is that changing your diet is certainly easier symptoms if you experience discomfort.

Furthermore, it can precautionary measure, which stops silent stones becoming symptomatic. More to the point, dietary changes can help you gallstones from forming.

So what you need to do is cut back on saturated fat and anything that contains cholesterol. That would be achieved, for example, by eating lean cuts of meat, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. It’s also been suggested that olive oil can reduce cholesterol and bile.

If you want to go down this road, there are other oils that are said to have the same quality: canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, and various other nut oils. Cholesterol rich foods which you certainly need to avoid include egg yolks, shrimp and liver.

There’s a link with dietary fibre. A diet for gallstones will always be high in fibre, because fibre prevents the absorption of cholesterol through the gut wall. Insoluble fibre, the kind found in wheat bran and wholemeal bread as well as vegetables, nuts and seeds is generally regarded as one of the best things that you can eat with gallstones.

It follows that things like chickpeas and kidney beans are helpful, as are lentils – they also help to limit the risk of gallstones. A good diet for gallstones is designed to reduce gallstone formation.

But you should modify your sugar intake by increasing the levels of complex carbohydrate you eat, and reduce refined sugars.

So if you adopt a diet which limits your daily sugar intake to 5% of calories — which is about 5 teaspoons sugar a day — you should be doing fine. But since sugar comes in many forms, you also have to spend some time and effort to remove soft drinks, fruit juices, and other drinks from your diet.

The same is true of processed foods that contain sugar, and replacing them with vegetable juice, unsweetened tea or coffee, breakfast cereals with no sugar added, and so on. Another great approach is to eat whole grain starch foods such as brown rice, quinoa, both flakes and so forth.

It’s really a matter of common sense, but it may be difficult to follow gallstones diet because the most attractive foods are often the ones that are most damaging to our metabolism and health. There are plenty of other things you can do to reduce the risk of developing gallstones in addition to adopting a healthy gallstones diet.

For example, reducing the amount of abdominal fat you have is of major importance, because this direct link between body mass index and the risk of developing gallstones.

If you do plan to lose weight, do it slowly because rapid loss of weight increases the risk of gallstone formation. This is because increases the amount of cholesterol in your bile.

A useful and healthy target is to reduce your weight by around two pounds a week, using a well-balanced diet, but never fasting or eating a very low-fat diet.

Apparently skipping meals, and other dramatic ways of losing weight connections stopped gall bladder working properly, which increases the risk of gallstone formation.

Other factors to keep in mind include the fact that you should increase your vitamins C intake, and you should also increase your calcium and magnesium intake, as these assist in the elimination of bile acids in the gut.

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Elements Of The Gallstones Diet

Gallstones can be painful – and believe me, I know it! I’ve watched my husband suffer – an “attack” could stop him in his tracks.

So when we found a way of dealing with this problem – a gallstones diet in fact – I felt compelled to share this with you.

I know many men and women are keen to treat health issues by using home remedies, so I’ll tell you straight away where we found the information that cured my husband: it was in a free report by Barton Publishing, a company who have spent years accumulating the best information on remedies for a variety of conditions including gallstones.

You can check it out simply by clicking on the following link – make sure your PC sound is turned on. This report recommends the most effective non-medical ways of treating gallstones available – click here to see it.

Gallstones come in many different sizes up to the larger pea-sized stones. When you have the larger sized stones, it can cut off the flow of bile.

You may feel considerable discomfort, but as long as the pain does not last for more than around two to four hours and your stones are not blocking the bile ducts, then a gallstones diet may well be the answer.

Some simple guidelines are: Start by changing your diet and eating foods low in fats. Steam or bake foods, not fry them.

When you have a high level of fat in your diet, your gallbladder has to work extra hard to break it down and this can create more stones.

Apple juice helps to break down the stones naturally and make them small enough to pass through the ducts and into the intestines. Drink apple juice twice a day to help eliminate the stones.

Olive oil is often used as a remedy for gallstones; you can take some olive oil along with half a lemon and a crushed clove of garlic; although unpalatable, one dose of this per day is a good way of dealing with this problem.

Natural ingredients are perfect for healing the body cheaply and effectively. Other suggestions you will see on the internet for a gallstones diet include:

1. Drink plenty of water: hydrating the body is supposed to soften the stones. This is a start to your gallstones diet. Apparently drinking will keep your gallbladder more fluid, and help flush gallstones out of your system.

2. Change your diet and reduce high-cholesterol food. Cholesterol is a major cause of gallbladder stones.

3. Eat plenty of vegetables, grains and fruits which are rich in fiber. Include several servings of vegetables and fruit in your daily diet.

4. Take Vitamin C supplements, every day – they help transform cholesterol into bile.

5. Take another remedy – these include artichokes, turmeric or milk thistles, a natural treatment which helps counter low bile production.

6. Try a gall bladder flush.

In the next post we will look at the specifics of a gallstones diet.

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The Best Natural Diets For Gallstones

If you are experiencing stones in your gallbladder, you have my deepest sympathy. This is a nasty condition, and the pain – as I know from watching my husband suffer – can be almost too much to bear.

The good news is that diets for gallstones are not hard to put together – and they do work.

We – my husband and I – know this from personal experience, because that’s how we helped him cure his gallstones: using all-natural remedies and a special diet.

If you’d like to see and hear how we achieved this, without reading any more, please click here (make sure your PC sound is turned up).

The link will take you to a free presentation by Barton Publishing, who are long-established experts in explaining natural health care. It was their work on gallstones diets which led me to a permanent cure for my husband’s gallstones.

Barton Publishing are the leaders in natural remedies (home remedies, that is) for medical conditions. Although you can pick up some information on how to cure gallstones on the internet, it’s all a bit “hit and miss”, so I recommend you go straight to them. They are the experts, and we can vouch for them 100% from personal experience!

Elements Of A Gallstones Diet

Here are some natural factors you can build into your gallstones diet:

To help avoid the formation of gallstones, drink more coffee, which contains caffeine – this makes the gall bladder contract. This contraction causes a disruption in the formation of the gallstones. You should drink at least one cup of coffee per day, each morning.

Junk food that is rich in saturated fat should be avoided. Focus more on eating foods in your diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and include green beans, avocados and sweet potatoes. Grapefruits, oranges and apples are also great, since they contain pectin. Pectin sees to help quite effectively against the forming of stones.

Calcium is also helpful in preventing these stones from forming. An intake of 1000-1200 mg of calcium per day seems to be about right.

One thing that should be avoided is a crash diet. Diets designed to help you lose weight fast seems to somehow promote the formation of gallstones in the galbladder. If you plan on losing weight, you should do it by eating healthy food. Allow your body to lose the weight slowly.

When it comes to the best natural gallstones diets there are other elements available that may well make a real difference to the condition.

The first thing you can try is supplements of vitamin E and vitamin C. It seems a lack of vitamin C & E can be one of the factors which plays a role in the formation of gallstones.

It can also be worth your while looking at the role essential fatty acids can play in preventing gallstones forming – and, even better, they also help your cholesterol levels to normalize. Consider taking fish oil on a regular basis.

Other remedies we have seen suggested include Epsom salts, apple juice and drinking more coffee.

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