The gallbladder often produces tiny formations of material that are shaped like stones or pebbles. These are commonly known as gallstones.
They vary in shape and size, sometimes being as small as the point of a needle, and other times as large as a golf ball.
There can be a combination of tiny gallstones and large ones, or only one type.
Types of Gallstones
Gallstones come in two varieties. One is a cholesterol stone and the other a pigment stone. Pigment stones are tiny and darkish in color. They are made of both bilirubin and calcium.
Cholesterol stones are greenish yellow and made of cholesterol that has hardened. 80% of the time this is the type that occurs.
Gallstones form when the bile inside the gallbladder begins to harden. This bile is made of many things including water, bilirubin, cholesterol, protein, fat and bile salts.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Gallstones
There is usually no pain with a gallstone so many times people do not even know they have them. If they end up traveling out of the gallbladder they can become stuck in the passage that leads to the intestine.
If this happens severe pain can occur in the upper back and abdomen. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the gallbladder, through surgery, and this is fine because it is an organ we can live without.
When the surgery is complete a duct attaches the liver directly to the small intestine so the bile can flow freely, again.
A meal that includes a lot of fats is usually enough to cause a painful gallstone attack. If you choose to not do anything about this for a long time other medical conditions can follow.
Sometimes tests for other medical problems can lead to a discovery of gallstones. If the doctor thinks you might have gallstones then they might perform other tests like ultrasound, CT scan, bloodwork, HIDA scan or an ERCP.
Natural Gallstones Treatment
Herbal remedies have been used for hundreds of years to support the liver. They are safe to use and give the body the added advantage of being detoxified and clean. Milk Thistle is really good for your liver and also is a powerful antioxidant.
Dandelion helps the gallbladder to function better and stimulates bile flow. Vervain, or Wild Hyssop, is good for your body in general but especially so for the liver. An herbalist can help you to determine which combination of herbs will work best for you.
It is always better to listen to your body and get to the doctor as soon as you feel the pain developing. This will lower the chance that a simple problem will lead to a more dangerous, or complicated, problem.
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