Gallstones

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Gallstones

 

Is hard, round lumps of solid material normally composed of either cholesterol or bile.

What to look for

 

fever
jaundice
severe nausea and vomiting
indigestion
severe pain

Gallstones develop in the gall bladder (a small, organ that stores bile which a digestive juice produced by the liver. They can be as small as a pinhead or even as large as a golf ball. the texture and hardness may be different. You may have one or several gallstones.

The symptoms may not be obvious and people often don’t know that they have gallstones. if the symptoms do occur, its normally because the gallstone has moved and become lodged in the bile duct which is at the side of the gall bladder. The symptoms may begin now especially after you have eaten a large meal.

Causes

 

The job of the gall bladder is to store bile, a brown or greenish fluid that helps the body break down fatty foods. The bile is produced in the liver and drains from the liver to the bile duct.
If you eat a meal, the gall bladder releases its stored bile into the cystic duct. 
And from there the fluid passes through the common bile duct and into the small intestine.
Bile consists of bile acids and cholesterol. Usually, the strength of bile acids is high enough to break down the cholesterol in the mixture and keep it in liquid form. but, when we eat too much fat, our the liver will produce extra cholesterol - too much for the bile acids to break down. As a result, some of this excess cholesterol begins to thicken into crystals, which we call gallstones.
People who are on a low fat diet can also develop gallstones. Our gall bladder hardly gets used, and because of this the cholesterol has more time to solidify. There are other factors that can cause gallstones to form like reducing the activity of the gall bladder and these include, pregnancy, cirrhosis and the use of oral contraceptives.

Dietary Considerations

 

An improved diet may help relieve gallstone symptoms, this depends on the severity of your condition.

You have to eat a high fibre, low-fat foods and lots of raw fruits and vegetables. Whole grain cereals and bran. You should add fresh lemon or lemon juice o your meals. Overweight people are more likely to getting this condition than people closer to their normal weight.

Prevention

 

By having a high-fibre, low-fat diet it helps keep the bile cholesterol from hardening. But, don't cut out fats suddenly or eliminate them altogether, as too little fat can also result in gallstone formation.
Moderate consumption of olive oil (about 2 tbsp a day) may actually lower your chances of developing gallstones.

When to seek further professional advice

 

If you have any of the above symptoms

Alternative/Natural Treatment

 

These options may destroy some of the gallstone symptoms.
Chinese Herbs : the ingestion of Chinese herbs such as rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) and Pyrrosia leaf (Pyrrosia lingua) may dissolve very small gallstones.

Homoeopathy : there are a number of Homoeopathic remedies can be used to treat gallstone-related symptoms - Chelidonium majus, Berberis vulgaris, Dioscorea, Colocynthis, or Belladonna or Hydrastis. You must consult a professional homoeopath for the exact medicine and dosages.

Bach Flower Remedies : most recommended for this complaint is willow.

Traditional Treatment

Treatment is not necessary if you don’t know that you have gallstones. but it may be advisable to start a routine to alter your lifestyle a little to prevent them from ever becoming a problem. doctors will recommend the removal of the gall bladder if the pain from gallstones become unbearable.
There are alternative treatments that has been found to be effective in relieving the symptoms of troublesome gallstones.
Now and again a person will have a once off attack and the stone removes itself and never returns. In this case doctors will wait and see if you have any further problems.
Your doctor may recommend one of the several techniques if you have further trouble with your gall stones.
There are some gallstones that can be dissolved through the use of a bile salt.
There is a method called contact dissolution that can also be used to dissolve gallstones.
Also there can be the surgical removal of the gall bladder. This type of operation is done by "keyhole" surgery and normally means one night in hospital. This is very effective and safe.
After you have had this operation you must always limit the fat you eat.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-21