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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Gallstones

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common name

Bilestone, cholelithiasis, gallbladder attack, biliary colic, gallstone attack, biliary calculus.

Gallstones are hard particles that form in the gall bladder or its ducts. Gallstones can appear as tiny stones like a grain of sand or it can also be as large as a golf ball. It is the most common disorder of the biliary tree - formed when bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin and these two bile pigments harden and block the bile duct.

Types

  • Cholesterol gallstones- hardened cholesterol deposits
  • Pigment stones- stones made of bilirubin.
Symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice
Risk Factors
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Estrogen
  • Pregnancy
  • Ethnic background (Native Americans and Mexican Americans)
  • Female
  • Old age
  • Cholesterol drugs
  • Diabetes
  • Rapid weight loss/fasting
  • Infected bile
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Hemolysis
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid - also known as ursodiol (UDCA). It is used to dissolve certain types of gallstones and to treat primary biliary cirrhosis. However, it may take years until the stones go away, and there is a big chance that stones will return after treatment.
Treatment and Management
  • Asymptomatic gallstones - detected coincidentally without any abdominal complaints or symptoms usually caused by gallstones. Diagnosed through ultrasound. Expectant management or watchful waiting is the best way to approach this type of gallstones. Treated only when it causes biliary pain.
  • Symptomatic gallstones - treatment is done through laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery
Home Remedies
  • Lemon Juice - Have a daily intake of 4 freshly extracted lemons on an empty stomach. This therapy may last for a week. Drinking lots of water make gallstone elimination easier.
  • Citrus Fruit - Pectin found in citrus fruits help in managing gallstones.
  • Vegetable Juice - Blend equal portions of the juice of beets, carrots, and cucumber. A two-week regimen taken twice daily is good for the gallbladder.
  • Veggies - Eat vegetables since it helps lessen cholesterol production in the bile and can prevent gallstones formation.
  • Pears - Helps provide relief from pain and softens up gallstones.
  • Herbal Tea -Take St. John's Wort as a tea by simply boiling water with 4 or 5 leaves. Taking a cup of it a few times during the day can help in treating gallstones.
  • Turmeric - Add 1 teaspoon of honey in turmeric and take daily until the gallstones disappear.
  • Salmon - Omega-3 fatty acids that help stop gallstones formation.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar works quickly in relieving gallstone pain. Mixing it with apple juice can make it more palatable.
  • Heat Packs - Temporarily reduces the pain and distress caused by the gallstones.
  • Fiber - Eat cereals and other grains that are rich in fiber content. It limits the metabolic rate and eliminates cholesterol from the bodies.
  • Epsom salts - Drink Epsom salts dissolved in water at night. This facilitates the easy movement of the stones through the bile duct.
  • Lentils - Builds resistance against gallbladder problems.
  • Red Bell Peppers - Contains a lot of vitamin C that prevents the formation of stones in the gallbladder.
  • Wine- A half glass of wine can help prevent gallstone formation.
Doctors to Consult
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