Gallstones are tiny, stone-like matter, found in the gallbladder – an organ in the shape of a “sac” that primarily stores bile made by the liver. They can vary in terms of size, shape, composition, density and severity of symptoms.
Several factors, such as diet, age, gender, body composition and genetics can make people more susceptible to developing gallstones. They’re more common in women, people over the age of 40, and people who are overweight or obese.
Symptoms of Gallstones include:
- Pain and nausea in the abdomen
- Tension around the stomach, intestines, and other organs, especially after meals
- Severe pain in the upper-right side of the abdomen, usually which comes on suddenly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours
- Pain under the right shoulder or within the back by the right shoulder blade.
Natural Treatments for Gallstones
The following are some natural ways to treat gallstones.
1. Have a healthy body weight
Being overweight or obese might increase your chances of having gallstones, since studies suggest that obese people produce higher levels of cholesterol in their livers. Research shows that people who don’t have a healthy weight may experience more inflammation and swelling within the gallbladder, especially if they have a lot of fat around their waist. Maintaining a healthy body weight and staying within a healthy range can help avoid and treat gallstones.
2. Avoid Rapid Weight Loss and Fad Diets
Fad diets and rapid weight loss can trigger deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances and other issues that increase the odds of gallstone formation. According to research, people who lose more than 2 kilos per week may have an increased risk of getting gallstones than those who lose weight slowly.
3. Follow a diet that supports Liver and Gallbladder health
What you eat can have a direct impact on your liver and gallbladder health. It affects your body’s ability to produce and release cholesterol particles into bile. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods can lower the risk for gallstones. Try including more high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds, beans/legumes and some gluten-free grains. Avoid processed foods. You may also try eating beetroot and artichokes, which are great for supporting digestive health and improving bile flow, which breaks down fat.
4. Enjoy an Active Lifestyle
People that keep themselves engaged in an active lifestyle are at a lower risk against gallstones. Exercise and regular physical activity not only improves your general health, but it can also be beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight and improve digestive functions. Try to aim for 30-60 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day, or a bit less if you practice high intensity workouts.
5. Limit Birth Control pills and Unnecessary Medication
Birth control pills and certain hormonal medications increase the body’s estrogen stores, which have an impact on cholesterol production and storage. Researchers of a study concluded that there was a significant increase in the risk of gallbladder in women who took oral contraceptive. If you’ve been experiencing gallstones or you have a family history of the same, talk to your doctor about alternate treatment options.
These natural remedies can help get rid of gallstones without the use of any medical intervention.