Gallstones Information and Herbal Supplements

 

Gallstones

Definition
Gallstones are round or oval, smooth or faceted lumps of solid matter found in the gallbladder, the sac under the liver where bile is stored and concentrated.

Signs and Symptoms
Gallstones may be without symptoms or may be associated with periods of intense pain in the abdomen that radiates to the upper back. Symptoms begin only when a gallstone gets stuck in the duct leading from the gallbladder to the intestine. An ultrasound exam provides definitive diagnosis of gallstones.

Causes

Gallstones arise when there is an imbalance among the bile components. Bile is composed of bile salts, bilirubin, cholesterol, phospolipids, fatty acids, water, electrolytes, and other substances. The most common stones are mixed, containing cholesterol and inorganic salts of calcium.

A low-fiber diet is one of the main causes of gallstones. Such a diet, which is typically high in refined carbohydrates and fat and low in fiber, leads to a reduction in the synthesis of bile acids by the liver, which in turn significantly reduces the solubility of the bile. A high intake of refined sugar is a major risk factor for gallstones.

Natural Medicines¹

Aloe Vera


¹The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines, Michael Murray N.D., 04/2002

Natural Medicines

Milk Thistle


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