A surprising number of Americans suffer from gallbladder problems. The World Gastroenterology Organisation reports that about 20 million people in the United States have gallstones. In severe cases, surgical removal of the gallbladder is necessary to alleviate symptoms.
Although your body can function without a gallbladder, it’s important to consider that there are a number of natural treatments that might stop your painful gallbladder attacks.
If you are suffering from gallstones, a change in diet may help to alleviate the pain. Because the main contributor to most gallstones is an excess of cholesterol in the body, a dietary focus on low-fat and low- cholesterol foods is very beneficial.
It is important to include high fiber foods like fruits and vegetables that will help your body to eliminate any extra cholesterol. Dairy products are acceptable in moderation, as long as you choose the low-fat versions. Your protein should include lean chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, and limited amounts of red meat.
Although a low-fat diet is recommended, you should not move to an extremely low-calorie diet. If you find that you are losing weight at a rate of more than one to two pounds per week, you should increase the number of calories you are consuming. Rapid and frequent changes in weight are believed to be one of the causes of gallbladder stress.
Foods high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats should rarely be eaten. When eaten in excess, they can cause spasms in the gallbladder that may compress on a stone that is lodged in the neck of the gallbladder or one of the bile ducts. This compression is what causes you pain.
For more information on the best diet to help cure gallstones, read Gallstones Natural Solution, written by David Smith. Smith is a natural health researcher who cured his own gallstones using diet and natural remedies. In this e-book, he shares with you exactly which common foods and drinks are most helpful for your gallbladder.
There are many natural herbs that can help improve liver and gallbladder health, reducing inflammation. These herbs help the body to regulate its production and use of cholesterol. The three most popular herbal supplements are peppermint, dandelion, and milk thistle.
Peppermint is known for its ability to aid in digestion by stimulating the flow of bile and other digestive juices. It is composed of a compound called terpene that has been reported to relax spasms, relieve pain, and dissolve existing gallstones.
Dandelion root is used in the treatment of gallstones because it acts as a natural diuretic and helps the liver eliminate toxins. It contains a compound known as taraxacum that aids the liver in excreting bile and metabolizing fat. A well-functioning liver is necessary for a healthy gallbladder.
Milk thistle is another herb that helps to detoxify the liver making it easier for the body to eliminate gallstones. This herb contains a compound called silymarin that stimulates bile production. Increased bile production prevents the concentration that causes crystals which become stone. The increased bile also helps to flush out any existing gallstones. The easiest form of milk thistle to use is ground seeds which you can brew into a tea.
To make tea from any of these herbs, add one teaspoon of the herb to one cup of boiling water and allow to steep. Peppermint and dandelion root should steep for five minutes and milk thistle needs to steep for twenty minutes.
After the tea has brewed for the appropriate time, strain out the herbs. It is preferable that you drink the tea without adding sweetener but milk thistle is known to be quite bitter, so if you must add sweetener, use a natural option such as honey or stevia. Drink this tea two to three times a day until your symptoms subside.
In Smith’s book, he shares more detailed information on how to use simple herbs to reverse years of damage to your gallbladder.
Another popular natural treatment is a gallbladder cleanse. The preparation for the cleanse involves eating large amounts of apples or drinking apple juice. The actual cleanse itself prescribes drinking Epsom Salts dissolved in water and a mixture of olive and grapefruit juice. (Safety Note: Check your medications to make sure they will not clash with the grapefruit juice.) This is thought to help your body pass and excrete any stones that have accumulated in your gallbladder.
Surgery is not always necessary to achieve relief from gallstones. Before considering surgery, be sure to read about Smith’s experience and the information he learned that doctors aren’t likely to share. If you have had a gallbladder attack or suspect that you may have gallstones, try one or even a few of these natural remedies to help support a healthy liver and gallbladder.