Saturday, July 27, 2013

Natural Cures for Gallstones

The gallbladder is a small sack that collects and holds the bile that is produced by the liver. The gallbladder concentrates the bile and releases appropriate amounts when required. The bile is dispensed via a narrow tube (the common bile duct) into the digestive tract after eating meals containing fats and oils. This bile is necessary for the efficient digestion of fatty foods.
Have you ever seen one of those television commercials marketing "concentrated dishwashing detergent"? They usually show how effective just a very small amount of the concentrate is, in just a little water, at dissolving greasy fats and oils on frying pans or dishes. Typically they show greasy 'before' followed by sparkling clean 'after' images. They may also show some close-up action shots of the concentrate at work, where you will see the fats lifting as they break down into smaller and smaller globules and are easily rinsed away.
Well, bile works just like those detergents. It emulsifies, that just means breaks down into tiny globules or fatty droplets, all the fatty substances you eat. It basically breaks the fats up into extremely fine particles so other digestive enzymes can efficiently access the increased surface area of the fats. This is important since some fats are essential for good nutrition, such as the fat soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids for example.
Bile in the digestive tract also has a stimulating effect on peristalsis, the action of movement in the bowel. This helps ensure waste is actually passed through and eliminated from the colon.
Gallstones A common condition of the gallbladder is gallstones (cholelithiasis). In Western countries gallstones are found at autopsy in 20% of women and 10% of men over forty years of age.
There are not necessarily any symptoms associated with these gallstones. However, remember that tube mentioned above, the one bile is sent through between the gallbladder and the small intestine? If the stones obstruct the common bile duct severe pain may occur just under the ribs on the right hand side and sometimes into the upper central part of the abdomen radiating under the right shoulder blade.
Nausea, vomiting, bloating or belching may accompany this gallstone colic. Sometimes the pain subsides and this can mean that the stones have fallen back into the gallbladder or have passed into the intestines. Sometimes an infection can occur as a result of the obstruction resulting in fever, chills or jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
The composition of gallstones varies and can be divided into three main types.
70% are cholesterol plus an admixture of calcium salts and bile ingredients
20% are pigment stones
10% consist mainly of calcium bilirubinate
The gallbladder has the role of concentrating the bile from the liver to about four times its initial strength. The liver, which produces the bile, is the seat of all metabolic processes and a sluggish liver is found to be related to many disorders involving poor digestive function. It is considered that the sluggish flow of bile is, at least in part, the reason for the development of gallstones. It is also thought that when the bile becomes oversaturated with cholesterol or calcium the extra compounds may crystallize forming gallstones.
The stones that form can vary in size from smaller than a pea to larger than and egg. The gallbladder itself can become irritated and diseased by the gallstones. Using natural cures it is possible to dissolve the stones themselves - although this is a lengthy process (but the stones themselves were not made quickly so it is only reasonable that the process of 'unmaking' them will also take some time).
What can you do to treat gallstones? The place to start, not surprisingly, is to change the diet. This needs to be the same diet as outlined above for an inflamed gall bladder.
In addition:
  • Vitamin C deficiencies have been linked to the formation of gallstones.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to prevent gallstone formation.
  • Essential fatty acids help to control the cholesterol levels and digest other fats. You can obtain these in Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil.
  • Take probiotics as one of their functions is to reduce high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Increase your intake of fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that some fibers, such as psyllium husks and pectin, have a cholesterol lowering effect on the blood.
  • An increase in your fiber and some changes to your diet will assist in dealing with gallstones.

Herbal Medicine for Gallstones Herbs can assist the body to eliminate the stones - with a minimum of pain. A mixture that can do this is:
  • 2 parts marshmallow root
  • 1 part balmony
  • 1 part boldo
  • 1 part fringetree bark
  • 1 part golden seal
Combine all the ingredients. Take 1 teaspoon of the herb blend and place into a suitable sized saucepan and pour on a cup of boiling water. Allow this to stand for 10-15 minutes. Strain out the herbs. Drink this tea three times per day. The golden seal in this mixture may be substituted with barberry or mountain grape as they all contain similar alkaloids that work on the gallbladder. If the nervous system is under stress herbs to aid this should also be included.
There are other naturopathic procedures that can be used to remove gallstones. However these must be professionally supervised. While large stones have been passed this way we think a thorough prior assessment of the size and number of the stones is essential.
In addition to treating the gallbladder it is also appropriate to look after the liver which will also be under a toxic burden. The liver filters toxins from your blood and is the first port of call for the blood enriched by everything absorbed from your food through your intestines. One of the means by which the liver removes toxic residues from your body is in the bile via the bowel elimination route. It is therefore important to ensure complete internal detoxification by following the methods in Safe Colon Cleansing. And remember, if your doctor suggests that you have your gallbladder removed, you should seek a second opinion from a naturopathic doctor.
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