Gallstones are deposits that are formed within the gallbladder. They are hard clumps that can range in size from minuscule to as large as a golf ball. The most common cause of gallstones is stones that are made out of cholesterol. The gallbladder is a sac that is located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver. This bile aids in the digestion of fat and is released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine in response to food, especially fats. An estimated 20 million people in America currently have gallbladder disease. Factors that contribute to the disease include heredity, age, gender, diet and obesity.
Symptoms of gallbladder disease and/or gallstones can include pain in the area of the back between the shoulder blades or under the right shoulder, nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, gas, belching, indigestion, and recurring intolerance of fatty foods. A gallstone attack, as it is commonly referred to, is steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that increases quickly and can last for several hours. These can be extremely painful and nausea or vomiting may accompany them.
Flax Seed Tea
Boil 1 tablespoon of organic flax seeds in 2.5 cups of water for 5 minutes. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly. You can purchase organic flax seed from your local health food store.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some people have found that taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, sometimes in unison with apple juice, reduces their pain from gallstones.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice has been noted in its ability to provide relief for gallstone pain.
Drinking a full glass of water at the onset of the attack can be helpful, as it regulates the bile in the gallbladder.
Lecithin is a key component of bile. Some animal studies have suggested that lecithin-rich soy and buckwheat protein may protect against gallstones. Lecithin is available in health food stores and is also found in eggs, wheat germ, soybeans, liver and peanuts.
A high-fiber diet has been proven to help people who suffer from gallstones.
Magnesium can be taken as a supplement in vitamin form or can be found in fresh, green vegetables. Magnesium has been proven to help prevent gallstone attacks and decrease cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon and Cloves
Cinnamon and cloves are wonderful spices to add to the gallstone diet.
Bitter drinks, such as coffee or Swedish bitters, are sometimes helpful, as they stimulate bile flow.
Dry Figs and Nuts
Dry Figs and nuts are great snacks for a gallstone diet.
Some studies have indicated that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, protects against the development of gallstones.