Gallstones are hard lumps of digestive fluid that form inside the gallbladder. The gallbladder is filled with bile, which gets released into the small intestine as part of the digestion process. Cholesterol, calcium carbonate, and calcium bilirubinate can form into gallstones if they are out of balance. Ranging in size, gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball. People may only develop one or many gallstones, and it is a fairly common condition in America.
Most doctors aren’t sure of the exact cause of gallstones, but the common belief is that they are the result of an imbalance in the gallbladder. About 80% of gallstones are comprised of cholesterol and the other 20% are made up of calcium salts and bilirubin. Another probably cause is if the gallbladder isn’t functioning properly. If the gallbladder is not emptying bile, gallstones can form.
Avoid Fad Diets
Try to avoid rapid weight loss and fad diets, for example, low calorie diets. The rapid weight loss can trigger nutritional deficiencies or electrolyte imbalances, both of which can lead to the formation of gallstones. It is best to maintain a healthy diet, comprised of plant-based foods, and avoid processed foods, meat, dairy products, fried foods, sugars, and salty foods to help maintain a healthy bodyweight
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
It can be beneficial to eat anti-inflammatory foods, as well as foods that help promote optimum kidney and gallbladder health. The anti-inflammatory foods help regulate your body’s cholesterol and reduce overall inflammation. Green leafy vegetables, celery, beets, blueberries, pineapple, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, turmeric, ginger, and coconut oil are great anti-inflammatory foods to incorporate into your diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great home remedy because it can stop the liver from making the cholesterol that comprises most gallstones. If you have a gallstone attack, mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of fresh apple juice, which you juice yourself. Alternatively, you can mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and consume it once or twice a day.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Drinking peppermint tea can be helpful because peppermint aids healthy digestion by stimulating bile flow. It also contains a compound that can help dissolve gallstones. It is best to drink a cup of peppermint tea twice a day if you have gallstones, or immediately after you feel a sharp pain near your gallbladder.
Use A Castor Oil Pack
It may be beneficial to place a warm castor oil pack on your upper right abdomen, where your gallbladder is, to help relieve pain or the number of gallstones you have. You can purchase a castor oil pack, or you can make your own. Apply the castor oil pack four times a week for one month, or until symptoms subside.
Be More Active
You can help yourself by being more active. As well as contributing to overall health, exercise helps to promote better circulation, proper digestion, and keeps your weight in check. It is optimal to exercise for about 30-60 minutes, three or four days a week. Beneficial and moderate exercises include swimming, walking, cycling, Tai Chi, yoga, or Pilates.
Women…Avoid Birth Control Pills
If you are a woman, you may want to reconsider taking birth control pills because these can cause the formation of gallstones by changing your hormonal balance. Birth control pills increase the body’s estrogen stores, which increases cholesterol production as a result. Non-hormonal birth control pills may be worth looking into.