Gallstones can be as large as a pea, or larger. The larger sizes tend to block the bile duct and this can cause the severe pain. Your doctor may want you to undergo surgery to remove your gallbladder but why not look at a gallstones diet as a remedy?
Gallstones Diet – Some Basics
Ideally, your diet would contain 75 percent raw foods. Fried, fatty, and fat-containing dairy products, as well as refined white sugar, all tend to dramatically increase the chance of gallstone formation.
Coffee (even decaffeinated) is unhelpful – it may contract the gallbladder and reduce bile flow.
If you are overweight, a sensible weight loss program can reduce the impact of risk for gallstones.
Supplement your diet on a daily basis:
- vitamin C (3000 mg in divided doses) because Vitamin C helps reduce gallstone formation
- vitamin E (600 IU)
- lecithin (1200 mg) which is said to aid fat digestion
- choline (1000 mg) which assists liver and gallbladder functioning
- L-glycine (500 mg, taken with juice) is a vital part of biosynthesis of bile acids
- taurine (1 g twice daily) is said to increases bile formation
A flushing remedy
A liver flush of olive oil, lemon juice, and spices may be helpful, but only with the approval of your doctor.
Bodywork and Somatic Pradices
Reiki and Therapeutic Touch, as well as Oriental bodywork therapies and reflexology are good for these painful conditions.
Many herbs are recommended as a component of a gallstones diet, easing the flow of bile, and stopping new gallstones forming. Herbalists suggest combining equal amounts of tinctures of wild yam, fringetree bark, balmony and milk thistle, and then ingesting a teaspoonful of the blend up to five times a day.
Chamomile and lemon balm tea, or a tea made from of balmany and fringetree is also good. These remedies can be made by steeping 1 or 2 teaspoons of the herb in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes and then straining off the sediment.
And you may well see other herbal remedies recommended, including catnip, cramp bark, dandelion, fennel, ginger root, and horsetail. Find otu more about gallstones diets here.
The Basics of A Diet For Gallstones Diet
As a woman whose husband has experienced the pain of gallstones, I’d like to offer you some help in getting rid of this painful and debilitating condition. I know, from seeing my hubbie suffer, just how bad gallstones can be.
And I want you to benefit from the research we did, since it helped us his gallstones, and it may very well help you to cure yours, too. That’s my hope, anyway.
As you may know, gallstones (aka cholelithiasis) form in the gall bladder – a small organ which lies just below the liver – and seem to be caused by high levels of cholesterol, phospholipids and bile acids. The liver has a variety of functions; the main one is to excrete toxins from the body, and bile is the substance it produces to do this.
The bile moves through the gallbladder to the bile ducts and passes into the small intestine from where it is eliminated with the feces.
Around ten percent of people suffer from gallstones; the stones can be as small as a grain of salt and go up to half an inch in diameter. Some of these contain calcium salts and are called pigment stones. The remainder are cholesterol stones.
Cholelithiasis may cause inflammation of the gall bladder, vomiting, nausea, fever and severe pain in the abdominal area and (occasionally) across the chest. Other symptoms manifest as constant pain under the breast bone, which lasts from half an hour to several hours. This pain may radiate into the shoulders and back.
Many dietary options are available for gallstones. Herbs that have been said to help include ginger root, yam, parsley, fennel, horsetail, dandelion, catnip, peppermint and more.
So to recap, gallstones are small, hard crystalline deposits that form in the gallbladder – this liquid may begin to crystallize into hard stones.
In the case of large stones, surgery may be needed, but small ones can be eliminated naturally with the right diet. Symptoms of larger stones include an acute pain beneath the ribs on the right side of the abdomen, a few hours after consuming a high-fat meal.
Before adopting a gallstones diet, inflammation of the gallbladder needs to reduced, usually with a 2 or 3 day fast, with water only, followed by only vegetable or fruit juices: the best juices include grapefruit, grape, pear, beetroot, lemon, or carrot juices.
After this, a well-balanced veggie gallstones diet which contains essential nutrients is the main way forward. Things which seem to help include:
- Fresh fruit, especially pears
- Cottage cheese (also good for weight loss, of course!)
- Olive oil (Olive oil is said to stimulate lipase or fat-destroying enzymes in the gallbladder)
- Probiotic bacteria
- Vitamin supplements (Vitamin C & E deficiency has been linked to gallbladder disorders)
More Detail About Gallstones Diets
Like most people, you probably don’t even think about your gall bladder until it causes you problems. That’s quite understandable, because it is an insignificant little organ beneath the liver, responsible for storing bile.
What’s bile, you say? Well, it’s a substance the body produces to help it digest fats. So, after you have eaten a meal, bile is released into the small intestines from the gall bladder via the bile duct.
The strange thing is that around one woman in 5, and one in 10 men, have gallstones by the age of 60. These little “stone-like” particles can cause all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms including nausea, bloating, vomiting and pain.
Now the truth is that gallstones are not caused directly by a particular diet, but there is an association between certain foods, certain ways of eating, and the risk of developing gallstones.
For example, we know that having too much animal fat in your diet, eating high levels of cholesterol, and having plenty of refined carbohydrates will make gallstone formation more likely. And also, fiber is also essential in your diet for gallstones.
Gallstones are small, hard lumps which form when substances – mainly cholesterol – in the bile form insoluble crystals.
In the worst cases they can actually block the flow of bile, and this, unsurprisingly, can cause a number of difficulties.
The truth, however, is that most people with gallstones don’t actually know they have them until they’re detected during a medical examination.
These are what are known as silent gallstones, and are untreated in the majority of people. But sometimes they cause pain, and about 20% of people require treatment.
Before we go on, it’s worth pointing out that there is actually a genetic link of some kind at work here. People with a family history of the condition are at greater risk of getting gallstones.
What Can A Gallstones Diet Do For Me?
Now, it’s been said that changing your diet will get rid of gallstones if you already have them … . What we do know, however, is that changing your diet is certainly easier symptoms if you experience discomfort.
Furthermore, it can precautionary measure, which stops silent stones becoming symptomatic. More to the point, dietary changes can help you gallstones from forming.
So what you need to do is cut back on saturated fat and anything that contains cholesterol. That would be achieved, for example, by eating lean cuts of meat, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. It’s also been suggested that olive oil can reduce cholesterol and bile.
If you want to go down this road, there are other oils that are said to have the same quality: canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, and various other nut oils. Cholesterol rich foods which you certainly need to avoid include egg yolks, shrimp and liver.
There’s a link with dietary fibre. A diet for gallstones will always be high in fibre, because fibre prevents the absorption of cholesterol through the gut wall. Insoluble fibre, the kind found in wheat bran and wholemeal bread as well as vegetables, nuts and seeds is generally regarded as one of the best things that you can eat with gallstones.
It follows that things like chickpeas and kidney beans are helpful, as are lentils – they also help to limit the risk of gallstones. A good diet for gallstones is designed to reduce gallstone formation.
But you should modify your sugar intake by increasing the levels of complex carbohydrate you eat, and reduce refined sugars.
So if you adopt a diet which limits your daily sugar intake to 5% of calories — which is about 5 teaspoons sugar a day — you should be doing fine. But since sugar comes in many forms, you also have to spend some time and effort to remove soft drinks, fruit juices, and other drinks from your diet.
The same is true of processed foods that contain sugar, and replacing them with vegetable juice, unsweetened tea or coffee, breakfast cereals with no sugar added, and so on. Another great approach is to eat whole grain starch foods such as brown rice, quinoa, both flakes and so forth.
It’s really a matter of common sense, but it may be difficult to follow gallstones diet because the most attractive foods are often the ones that are most damaging to our metabolism and health. There are plenty of other things you can do to reduce the risk of developing gallstones in addition to adopting a healthy gallstones diet.
For example, reducing the amount of abdominal fat you have is of major importance, because this direct link between body mass index and the risk of developing gallstones.
If you do plan to lose weight, do it slowly because rapid loss of weight increases the risk of gallstone formation. This is because increases the amount of cholesterol in your bile.
A useful and healthy target is to reduce your weight by around two pounds a week, using a well-balanced diet, but never fasting or eating a very low-fat diet.
Apparently skipping meals, and other dramatic ways of losing weight connections stopped gall bladder working properly, which increases the risk of gallstone formation.
Other factors to keep in mind include the fact that you should increase your vitamins C intake, and you should also increase your calcium and magnesium intake, as these assist in the elimination of bile acids in the gut.