see also Cholecystitis
Solid accretions of various substances present in bile, including calcium and cholesterol, may be few and large, or many and small, and cause few symptoms while they remain in gall bladder; in fact, many gallstones are discovered during routine scans or X-rays.
However, if a stone blocks exit from gall bladder or becomes stuck in duct leading to duodenum, gall bladder becomes swollen with trapped bile and fats in duodenum pass into small intestine undigested, causing pain and tenderness under right rib cage, Nausea with or without vomiting, and discomfort after eating fatty food - all the symptoms in fact of acute Cholecystitis.
Women are more at risk than men, especially women who take or have taken oral contraceptives, and risk increases with age and being overweight; gallstones also seem to increase risk of acute Pancreatitis. Cause may be under-production of bile by the liver, excessive elimination of toxins through the liver, food Allergy, or abnormally high blood cholesterol levels.
Conventional treatment for gallstones is removal of the gall bladder, even if symptoms are not those of full blown cholecystitis, on the principle of 'better safe than sorry'; occasionally, it may be feasible to dissolve chemically stones in situ or remove than using an endoscope but there is a risk of recurrence. If stones are present but causing no symptoms, consult your homeopath.
Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 14 days while seeking homeopathic treatment
- Berberis 6c
- If Berberis is not effective, and person is nervy, chilly, and oversensitive China 6c
Self-help: Both as a preventive and after removal of the gall bladder, cut rich fatty foods, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates down to a minimum, and eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and fibre. The possibility of a food allergy would also be worth investigating.
If gallstones have been diagnosed, and provided no symptoms of Cholecystitis are present, it is possible to flush out the stones yourself using the following method, called a liver and gall bladder flush: in the five days leading up to the flush, eat a normal diet but drink as much fresh-pressed apple juice as possible; on the day of the flush, eat a normal lunch but for supper have only citrus fruit or juice; at bedtime, blend ½ cup pure warm olive oil with ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and drink it; go to bed and lie on your right side, with your knees pulled up to your chest for the first 30 minutes. When you open your bowels the next day, the gallstones will appear as irregular, gelatinous, green objects in the stools. If you are constipated, take 2 dessertspoons Epsom salts in warm water 4 hours before taking the oil/lemon mixture, and repeat the Epsom salts the next morning.
There is a theoretical risk that flushing may cause stones to lodge in the bile duct rather than pass into the duodenum, but in the author's experience this has never happened; if the oil/lemon mixture can be kept down, and not vomited up, flushing can be extremely effective. You should always check with your homeopath or medical doctor before doing the flush to make sure that your gall bladder is not inflamed.