Once the stone causes an obstruction, the typical treatment involves surgical removal of the gallbladder. After surgery, many patients may experience chronic diarrhea, due to the lack of extra bile to absorb fat.
Some patients are not good candidates for surgery, and these will more often undergo lithotripsy– that is, breaking up the stone with sound waves.
Prior to this, some medications can be given to dissolve the stones – but these take two years or longer to work, and they don’t address the reason for the stones in the first place. Therefore the stones are likely to recur.
THE NATUROPATHIC APPROACH
There are a few other risk factors to consider – among them a high fat diet, low antioxidant or B vitamin status, food allergies (especially a few in particular), low stomach acid, constipation, and proton pump inhibitors (including omeprazole). Of course, we will need to determine which, if any, of these are factors and address them.
In the meantime, for chronic cholesterol-based gallstones (acute is a different story), the philosophical approach involves stimulating the gall bladder to move bile more freely, supporting the liver in its detoxification process, encouraging cholesterol excretion and reducing stone formation. There are a number of tricks we can use in order to do this, but most of them involve a low fat diet full of fiber and gallbladder-stimulating foods (calledcholegogues), slow and steady weight loss, botanicals and nutrients specific for the liver and gallbladder, and some home hydrotherapy treatments.
Want to keep your gallbladder where it is? Make an appointment for a consultation!
MY SUITE OF SUPPLEMENTS FOR GALLBLADDER SUPPORT
Click on each product for a description and dosing recommendation.