Alternative treatments are a great possibility to heal diseases which are difficult to treat normally. What came into my mind lately is if it possible to get rid of gallbladder stones without surgery, as surgery is the normal way of removing them.
Your gallbladder is a small organ beneath the liver that stores bile- a body enzyme that is released in the small intestines and helps in digestion and breaking down nutrients from food to useable form.
Sometimes, when you have high levels of cholesterol; fat hardens inside the gallbladder. These hardened fat deposits are called gallstones.
Other causes of gallstones are liver or blood diseases- but these are rare.
The most common case (about 80%) of gall stones are those formed from having too much cholesterol- usually due to an unhealthy diet.
Gallstones: Pain and More!
Actually, gallstones themselves have no symptoms. They can stay there inside your gallbladder, swimming in bile. They are not even that harmful on their own, especially if the are smaller and lesser in number.
These stones can in some cases, block the ducts through where the bile exits. The bile therefore, cannot be excreted to the small intestines which in turn creates a number of problems.
This blockage can cause you intense pain in your abdomen’s upper right portion and centerline. It can also cause a sharp pain in your shoulder-blades and may even give you nausea and vomiting due to pain. These stones can also cause diarrhea and dehydration. (www.mayoclinic.org)
Other, more serious symptoms are-
1) A pain too intense that you cannot stand up.
2) You are experiencing a high fever – 38 degrees Celsius above with chills.
3) Your skin and eyeballs are turning yellowish.
If you are experiencing these, it is best to have a diagnosis from a doctor to know if you have gallbladder stones and act on healing the problem.
There could be terrible consequences if gallbladder stones are left unchecked.
Bile from your gallbladder that is continually blocked and cannot be excreted can cause long term, chronic and fatal problems.
These conditions are:
- Inflammation of the gallbladder- a condition that can shut down the production of bile, making it hard for you to digest food. This could lead to worse problems like obesity, constipation heartburn and possibly, heart attack.
- Punctured gallbladder- a condition where the gallstones “try” to get out of the gallbladder by puncturing a hole in it.
This situation could cause bile to leak out to different parts of the body which can cause infections.
The infection can cause pus to develop in the areas where it leaks. If this pus reaches the lungs or the liver- it can be fatal.
- Gallstones transferring to the small intestines- This is a case that warrants emergency surgery. In this condition, the gallstones attach itself to the small intestines, making your body incapable of bowel movement.
As you can see, the problems arising from gallbladder stones can be fatal; but only if we let it linger.
The quote “prevention is better than an ounce of cure” is so applicable here. You must act on the symptoms immediately and not wait for the condition to worsen. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311357.php)
Gallstones Treatment – The Standard Way
We can take medicines to help remove gallbladder stones by dissolving them. The standard pharmaceutical medicines are chenodeoxycholic and ursodeoxycholic acids. These acids however, can cause harm and ulcers on the stomach lining and cannot be taken in large doses. Doctors agree that taking these medicines will not work in healing bigger gallstones.
But how big can gallstones grow? It may sound crazy, but in the worse of cases these stones can grow up to the size of a golf ball. Imagine the pain of having that in your gut.
Bigger gallstones will require you to have medical intervention.
According to medical statistics- about 90% of people who suffer from gallbladder stones require a surgery called cholecystectomy. It is the most common surgery performed by doctors around the world. (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/gallbladder-gallstones-and-surgery).
A cholecystectomy can be done in two ways.
The first method is when doctors usually open a 5 to 7-inch incision in your stomach to extract the gallstones. You will also need to be confined in the hospital for recovery purposes. You will also lose 3 to 4 liters of blood in this surgery.
The second method can be done via laparoscopy. This method is more technologically advanced and more expensive.
In a laparoscopy, surgeons insert a small camera through your throat to identify the stones. They then use a small drill to create 4 small holes through your stomach and gallbladder. After which they then insert special tools through these holes to slowly chip away on the stones. This would dissolve the stones and allow the surgeons to get the smaller residual stones easily.
A laparoscopy is less taxing to your body because the wounds that the surgery created are smaller.
Both surgeries require you to be under general anesthesia. In short- you will have to be put to sleep in order to perform it. That is not a welcoming condition to be in.
Aside from the pain and the recovery process, these surgical processes can be very expensive.
The cost of these surgeries ranges from 5000 to 10000 US Dollars. The price can be more painful than the entire process! (https://amino.com/blog/gallbladder-removal-cost/)
There are also risks involved- especially when general anesthesia is administered. This is especially for older individuals or for those with diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure).
It is studied that 10% of people aged 65 above, and 5% for those aged 65 and below who undergo surgery with general anesthesia; die from complications. This is due to stress in the body caused by the entire surgical process.
Bad surgeries can also cause wound infections, hemorrhage and sepsis- a fatal blood infection.
Clearly, surgical processes- no matter how important they are to solve some health problems; have a ton of risk involved. (www.pubmed.com).
Wouldn’t you like it if there are safer alternatives?
I Don’t Want Surgery. Is There Any Other Natural Way?
An alternative you can look into is to try and naturally dissolve gallbladder stones. These alternatives are safer than using acids. Since they are from natural sources, they can be used daily without fear of harming the stomach lining or ulcer. They can also help you avoid surgery
The most common natural alternative is undergoing gallbladder flushing using natural ingredients.
Gallbladder flushing involves using a mixture of compounds that you can drink for 3 to 7 days.
Dr. Josh Axe recommends following ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil.
¼ cup flax oil.
1 cup grapefruit juice.
4 tablespoons Epsom salts.
He suggests taking this for 3 to 5 days every night. You must also add bone broth, vegetables and green apples to your diet.
Another source called Natural Ways, suggest that you drink 1 liter of apple juice a day for 6 days. After 6 days of drinking apple juice- you can easily flush gallbladder stones by drinking a flushing solution made of water, Epsom salt and olive oil.
To start the flush, you must eat your final meal of the day by 1 PM on the 7th day. By 6 PM, you should follow this process:
6PM- Drink one 8-ounce glass of water with 1 and a quarter tablespoon of Epsom Salt.
8PM- Drink another 8-ounce glass of the Epsom salt mixture.
10PM- Drink a mixture that contains ¾ cup (about 6 ounces) of grapefruit or lemon juice mixed with ½ cup of olive oil (about 2 ounces).
10PM to 530AM- sleep with your back propped up in a 45 degree angle, almost in a sitting position.
530AM the next day- Drink a third glass of the Epsom salt mixture.
830AM- Drink the final glass of the 8-ounce glass of water with 1 and a quarter tablespoon of Epsom salt.
You can start eating your normal meals by 11AM. The flushing is done by this time. You will also experience having green urine and bowels of more than three times a day.
It is suggested that during this one-week time period, you should not eat any refined sugar and process foods. You should also stop eating meat in the last 3 days of the cleanse.
Aquilino Onez, a naturopath and a patient suffering from gallstones has experience of being able to clean the gallbladder of stones within a 6-day period. He suggests that we should eat 2 apples every day for 5 days. On the 6th day, instead of eating dinner; you should instead take 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt mixed in a cup of water. This should be done by 6PM. By 8PM, you can take another cup of the Epsom salt mixture.
By 10 pm, you can finish the cleanse by taking a mixture that contains ½ cup of lemon juice mixed with ½ cup of olive oil.
He argues that apples soften the gallstones while Epsom salts opens up the ducts where the gallstones are stuck, making softer stones easier to excrete and dissolve.
This process can be repeated every 6 months for maintenance purposes. He also cautions that this is only possible for smaller gallstones.
Aquilino has been free of gallstones for 5 years now.
It seems that common ingredients for the gallbladder flush are olive oil, apples and Epsom salts. It is up to you to see what works- although users of these three methods all reported radical improvement on their gallbladder stones.
Other methods to remove gallbladder stones naturally
Aside from the Gallbladder flush method, you can also use supplements to help in improving gallbladder health. Supplements are usually substances that you can take every day for maintenance purposes. Most of these supplements are naturally sourced.
RL Healthcare suggests that a supplement of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with an 8-ounce glass of apple juice can help alleviate the pain of gallstones and dissolve them. This can be done daily as long as you are not suffering from ulcers or diabetes.
Taking apple cider vinegar also has other health benefits such as helping in weight loss and keeping gut bacteria at bay. It also provides the added benefits of solving bad breath and can give you healthy, glowing skin.
The American National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health suggests that Dandelion Root can also cause gallbladder stones to dissolve by improving bile production. This extra bile can be a strong dissolving agent.
There are a lot of dandelion root teas, coffees and powders available for purchase in the market. These can be taken as a substitute for your regular coffee or tea in the morning.
The ANCIH also recommends taking milk thistle capsules. This supplement keeps the liver and the gallbladder efficient and healthy by flushing out the excess fat that is found inside these organs.
For the Chinese, an herb called Lysimachiae Herba has been used extensively and since ancient times to improve the entire digestive system- the gallbladder included. The herb is said to be capable of removing unwanted toxins and foreign organisms. This herb is culturally taken as an afternoon tea, especially for older people.
Lifestyle Changes Help
A good way of preventing gall bladder stones formation is to lower the body’s bad cholesterol. You can do this by changing your diet and lifestyle can help this immensely.
Dr. Saurabh Sethi, an internal medicine doctor; believes that eating green, cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol, thus lowering the chances of developing gallstones. These vegetables can also help flush out smaller stones naturally, without the need to go through other methods.
He specifically suggests eating artichoke- as this vegetable has one of the best fiber contents of all. He even says that you can take a smoothie made from artichoke and psyllium fiber for best results. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321026.php)
Of course, it is well known that regular exercise such as running, yoga and participation in sports can help lower cholesterol and body fat- both of which are contributors to gall stones formation.
Medical doctors and nutritionists are in consensus that having lower cholesterol is better for our health.
Reviews on Removing Gallbladder Stones Without Surgery – How Are People Reacting to These Methods of Treatment?
According to individuals who tried cleansing their gallbladder naturally- these methods are effective.
A lot of them noticed that stones being excreted in their bowels.
This is evidence that the stones are soft enough to pass through the small intestines and the ducts inside their gallbladder are strong and wide enough to prevent blockages.
Stephan, from Project Life Mastery; states that there are a lot of debates regarding the Gallbladder flush/cleanse system because it is not scientifically proven.
However, him being a patient suffering from gallbladder stones as well; used the standard Epsom Salt solution as a flushing mechanism.
He noticed that his bowels that he excreted the day after the cleanse had gallstones in them. He did not feel any pain and said that the size of the gallstones ranges from as small as rice grains to being as huge as marbles. He suggests to do the cleanse every two weeks.
Another person, Montreal Healthy Girl; did three consecutive liver flushes every two weeks. She felt ill afterwards and had a case of moderate diarrhea and a dull stomach ache.
Once the diarrhea resolved, she noticed that there are a lot of stones of various colors in her stools- she estimated them to be at least 300. She also felt lighter and more energized after undergoing the gallbladder flush.
She concluded that the efficacy of the flush outweighs the side effects.
Danette May, a popular health content creator used apple cider vinegar and olive oil to help her get rid of her gallbladder stones. She said that she immediately felt energized and warm after. After a few hours, her stomach began acting up and she felt like she was having a fever.
Eventually, she had about four bowel movements- with each bowel having a number of stones in them.
She felt much better after emptying her bowels and did not feel any discomfort anymore afterwards. She still takes apple cider and olive oil once a month and she did not report any form of side effect anymore. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f-uV1c6S18).
Famous Naturopath Sun-Fruit Dan on the other hand, stated that the liver flushed harmed him. He had severe signs of dehydration after trying out a mixture of apple juice, olive oil and Epsom salt.
Although his bowels had stones in them, they were very few. He cautioned those who wish to try the gallbladder flush to be careful. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mpoME41474).
Nic Nicoloudis, a gym enthusiast; had fatty liver and gallbladder stones. He tried using Milk Thistle to improve his condition. He said that after taking the Milk Thistle supplement, he felt a pain in his liver. He then decided to lower the dosage. Eventually, his liver problems resolved and he does not feel discomfort in that area anymore.
Lastly, herbalist Charlotte Skyles states that gallbladder friendly herbs like Milk Thistle and Shisandra Berries not only keeps the gallbladder healthy, but also provides you with more energy throughout the day because your digestive system is healthy which in turns allow you to absorb more nutrients.
Those who tried the different methods to clean the gallbladder and to keep it healthy seem to agree with one thing- that although these methods are safe; you should research them well.
You should also be wary of some side effects, especially during the time when these substances are in action and are reacting to your body to start process of dissolving and removing your gallbladder stones.
What do you think about these methods?
Personally, If I want to get rid of gallbladder stones without surgery I would try these methods first. I definitely would like to avoid going under the knife and expose myself to unnecessary financial and personal risks.