If you suffer from cramping and abdominal pain after eating a meal, it is possible that you may have gallstones. Typically, the pain will come and go and can worsen over time. While gallstones may be uncomfortable there are many options to remove them including surgical procedures and nonsurgical remedies.
Before we talk about how to remove gallstones, you need to understand the function of your gallbladder and how it forms stones. This organ is a small sack located below the liver that acts as a bile reservoir. Bile is a thick green liquid that is made in the liver then transferred and stored in the gallbladder. The purpose of bile is to break down the fat that you eat.
Bile is made up mostly of cholesterol. When there is an abundance of cholesterol in the gallbladder, the bile becomes over-saturated and can form stones. This type of gallstone is called a cholesterol stone and is the most common.
Gallstones don’t always require treatment. Very often people have gallstones with no symptoms, in which case surgery is not necessary. However, if you are having frequent and worsening symptoms it may be necessary to remove the gallbladder.
While the gallbladder does serve an important function in digestion, the body is able to compensate without it. Gallbladder removal is considered one of the safest of all surgical procedures. Each year approximately 750,000 Americans have their gallbladder removed. Makes one wonder how safe is all this processed food we are eating.
The surgery is performed by making several small incisions in the abdomen. A small surgical microscope and video camera are inserted through one of the incisions and then the gallbladder is extracted through another. Once this organ is removed, it is highly unlikely that you would develop any future occurrences of gallstones.
Surgery is not always the best solution, as David Smith shares in his book, Gallstones Natural Solution. Smith, a natural health researcher, states that gallstone problems don’t end once they’ve taken out your gallbladder because your liver continues producing bile, whether your gallbladder is there or not.
There are several nonsurgical alternatives that you can try such as dietary changes, home remedies, and even a gallbladder specific cleanse. If your pain is severe, you should seek medical advice before treating yourself. You may also need to check with a Homeopathic Doctor to make sure you have the proper supplements in your system to handle a cleanse. Beware with any cleanse, if you are lacking certain minerals, you can do more harm than good.
If you decide to skip surgery, the first alternative to try is a change in diet which may help to alleviate the pain. Because the main contributor to most gallstones is an excess of cholesterol in the body, you should focus on a low-fat, low-cholesterol eating plan.
Avoid foods high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. Overindulgence in fatty foods causes a pulsation in the gallbladder that may compress on your stones causing you pain. Eating high fiber foods will help your body to eliminate any extra cholesterol.
Healthy high fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables. 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.
There are additional home remedies that can enhance the effects of your dietary changes. Drink lemon juice or apple cider vinegar diluted with water at the onset of gallbladder pain. This increases the alkalinity of your body and reduces the production of cholesterol in your liver.
Because gallstones are made up of cholesterol, this helps to aid recovery. Other drinks that may help to reduce symptoms include caffeinated coffee and wine.
Drinking one to three cups of coffee and other caffeinated products can help to prevent the development of gallstones. If you drink a glass of wine at the onset of gallstone pain, you should get some relief within twenty minutes.
A great resource for additional home remedies is Gallstones Natural Solution. This book provides step by step instructions on how to get rid of your gallstones safely and naturally.
The other nonsurgical treatment that is quite popular is a gallbladder cleanse. The preparation for the cleanse involves eating a large quantity 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 cleanse is thought to help your body pass and excrete any stones that have accumulated in your gallbladder.
Although having a gallbladder attack can be quite painful, nearly half of the people who experience one never have recurring symptoms. If your pain is frequent or severe, your doctor might recommend surgery but there are many alternatives to surgery that you can try in the comfort of your own home.