Have you ever experienced an unbearable pain on the upper right part of your stomach coupled with nausea, bloating, or the urge to throw up? If yes, then this could be a symptom of gallstones blocking your bile duct.
Your gallbladder is responsible for receiving and storing bile, a fluid released by your liver essential for digesting fat. However, when the amount of cholesterol (and sometimes, calcium) becomes too much for the bile to process, the remains may harden and become gallstones. These, in turn can be stuck in the bile tube where the bile flows through to reach the small intestine.
The size of the stones can range from a pea-sized grain to the size of an egg. Many people who have them may not be aware of their condition because the symptoms are not always present. Gallstones are very common and there are millions who are diagnosed with it. A lot of them even go through surgery to have their gallbladders removed because of accumulated gallstones.
Just like any disease, what you eat is one of the top causes of gallstones. Since bile is the substance the body uses to breakdown fat, regularly consuming fatty foods or foods high in sugar and protein makes one at risk of having this condition. Just the same, if the cholesterol level in your body is high, or if you are allergic to certain foods, and if you have gone through something that made you lose weight rapidly, these makes you prone to stones in the gallbladder.
Obesity among women with children is another risk factor. This is because during pregnancy, there is an imbalance of bile acids and cholesterol and this increase the chances of a woman to develop gallstones. Again, watching your weight gain by having a pregnancy meal plan, avoiding too much sweets and fatty foods, drinking lots of liquids and involving yourself into safe exercises for pregnant moms will be beneficial not just for the baby but for your body as well.
A change in diet can help those with gallstones and those who want to avoid it. According to health experts, lowering your intake or completely removing saturated fat and hydrogenated fats like red meats, fried foods, margarine and commercial oils from your diet is effective. You should also reduce on sugary foods, chocolate, coffee and snacks loaded with refined carbohydrates. Food supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Taurine, Lecithin, essential fatty acids and hydrochloric acid can be your reliable assistants in fighting the risks of forming gallstones.
If you already have gallstones, it will be highly beneficial for you to stick to a low-fat meal plan but high in raw foods. Replace your red meats with lots of grilled fish and fiber-rich fruits and veggies like tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, lemons, apples, grapes, oranges, celery, melons and dates. Instead of sodas, satisfy your thirst with plenty of water and fresh juice like beetroot juice for its liver and blood cleansing power.
Several herbs and spices aid in improving this gallbladder condition, namely turmeric, dandelion, peppermint, milk thistle and artichoke. Most of these herbs are known traditionally for the healing benefits they give to the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion root is a treatment used for improving the liver and promoting the production of bile while milk thistle is known for its ability to support, cleanse, repair and protect the liver, as well as lower cholesterol levels in the bile. Others like artichoke and turmeric are known for their effectiveness in reducing and dissolving cholesterol.
In using these herbal remedies, one should still practice care and have the right knowledge on how it should be administered to get the results they want. Also, it is essential to know what typical dosage to take for maximum effectiveness and find out if they have no allergies to these herbs and spices. Generally, herbal medicines are not safe to take for pregnant women.
For most doctors, surgery is the better treatment for gallstones than drugs. When you say surgery, it involves the removal of the gallbladder. On the other hand, there are new techniques used for laser surgery, which results to minimal cut and give way to fast recovery. Lithotripsy, another new treatment disintegrate the stones using sonic shock waves, while another method dissolves the stones with a solution administered to the gallbladder through a tube. In the end your doctor will be the best person to recommend the treatment that is best for you.