Natural home remedies for gallstones
Gallstones are solid crystalized deposits that form from cholesterol and bile pigments in the gallbladder. There are two types of gallstones: cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones. Cholesterol gallstones account for 80 percent of gallstones and are usually yellow-green in color. Pigment gallstones are small and dark, and made up of bilirubin.
Gallstones affect approximately 20 percent of women over 40 and eight percent of men. They can contribute to infection, which needs to be treated with antibiotics, but natural treatments can be effective in managing gallstones, too.
Below you will find some natural treatment options for gallstones to help you relieve the symptoms and speed up the recovery.
Natural treatment for gallstones
Before we explain the natural treatment options for gallstones, it’s important to understand the risk factors for gallstone formation. The following risk groups are more likely to develop gallstones:
Diet can play a role in the development of gallstones.
- Overweight or obese people – especially women
- Pregnant women
- People who have lost a lot of weight
- People who practice weight cycling
- Women who take oral contraceptives
- Women undergoing hormone therapy
- People with a family history of gallstones
- People who consume high amounts of dietary fat
- People over the age of 60
- Native Americans
- People who take statins
For example, a diet high in calories and refined carbohydrates and low in fiber can contribute to gallstones. As mentioned, being obese or experiencing rapid weight loss can also contribute to gallstone formation. Although a high body mass index has been associated with the development of gallstones, rapid weight loss can contribute to gallstones, too. Rapid weight loss causes fat to be burned off quickly, which in turn allows for cholesterol to seep into bile and lead to cholesterol gallstones.
Some methods that make you lose weight rapidly and can lead to gallstones are weight loss surgery and consuming a very low calorie diet. Furthermore, weight cycling can also lead to gallstones, as you dramatically lose and gain weight, thus increasing your risk of developing gallstones.
Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid crash diets or dramatic weight loss, especially if you want to avoid developing gallstones.
Here are some home remedies and diet tips you can use to help treat gallstones.
- Drink apple cider vinegar in water or apple juice to help relieve pain brought on by an attack. Apple cider vinegar also reduces cholesterol produced by the liver.
- Drink lemon juice.
- Drink vegetable juice – not the premixed cocktail versions, but pure juice from vegetables.
- Increase fiber intake.
- Rub castor oil over your abdomen, especially where your gallbladder is located.
- Drink pear juice or consume pears.
- Drink moderate amounts of wine.
- Cut down on fatty foods.
By implementing these lifestyle changes and natural treatments for gallstones, you can have greater success in preventing and treating gallstones.
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