Gallbladder Pain Relief – Are There Alternatives To Surgery?
Gallbladder removal surgery is known as cholecystectomy. Today, this is the most common surgery performed in the US every year due to gallbladder pain. Most gallstones don’t cause any symptoms and may sit silently in the gallbladder for years. The body will naturally break them down and flush them out of the system regularly.
Trouble arises when a gallstone becomes lodged in a bile duct and causes biliary colic. This severe, gnawing, visceral pain will last between 30 minutes and several hours until the body passes the stone. When blocking the common bile duct, a stone can wreak havoc as bile will not flow into the small intestine, and instead backs up in the bloodstream.
A sign that such an obstruction has occurred is stool that is light and chalky in color because it is missing bilirubin- a bile pigment.
This same pigment flooding the kidneys will darken urine to a cola color. If you have a bile obstruction, you may note yellow-toned skin as well, known as Jaundice.
When gallbladder attacks occur very rarely, or if gallstones are picked up on abdominal imaging such as ultrasound- but they aren’t causing any gallbladder pain, then doctors may advise no intervention. If they are causing pain on a regular basis- surgical intervention is often the only one offered. The more natural approach is somewhere in the middle.
Whether you are having regular attacks or none at all yet, taking action through diet and exercise changes plus naturally flushing the gallbladder, will help to dispel stones and prevent them from forming again. There are a number of changes you can make to treat and prevent gallbladder disease.
Increase daily exercise and lose excess weight. Obesity and inactivity are both linked to gallstone formation. Having excess cholesterol in the blood can increase cholesterol stones and increasing daily activity seems to improve the function of all organs, including the gallbladder. When dieting, try to avoid losing weight rapidly or depravation/starvation diets. Ironically, reducing dietary fat completely causes the gallbladder to store cholesterol and the lack of regular stimulation to contract means that thickened bile builds up inside.
One nutritional gallstone treatment involves modifying your diet. Reduce high fat meals and fried foods. A number of foods we consume can irritate the bladder by overstimulating it. Large amounts of saturated, hydrogenated and trans fat are hard to break down.
Eating processed foods and these types of fat may encourage inflammation and gallbladder pain, especially if you already have stones. You need healthy fat in your diet but reduce the amount and ensure you choose sources such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocadoes, seeds, nuts and other whole, unprocessed fats.
Increase green, leafy vegetables and liver friendly foods. Bitter green plants and various herbs act as a tonic for the liver, improving its function and increasing bile output. Thinning the bile and helping it to flow freely flushes out small stones regularly and prevents biliary sludge.