Gallstones are small, hard and crystalline mass that form in the gallbladder, a small sac under your liver that stores and releases a substance called bile which emulsifies fat. The presence of gallstones can cause blockage of the bile duct as well as severe pain. That is why the prevention of gallstone formation and the removal of present ones are important.
Bile pigments and calcium salts may form into gallstones. However, experts say that as much as 80% of all gallstones are out of cholesterol. There are many different risk factors for the development of gallstones. Some of them include genetics, age, gender, ethnic background, diabetes, rapid elimination of body weight, and high levels of estrogen.
One of the biggest risk factors is obesity. It’s for this reason why maintaining an ideal weight and having a healthy diet can considerably reduce your chances of having gallstones. Let’s take a closer look at controlling your weight and eating the right kinds of food in order to keep your risk of having gallstones low:
Controlling Your Weight
One of the best ways to keep gallstones at bay is by maintaining an ideal weight. It’s important to note that gradual reduction in weight is ideal because rapid elimination of excess pounds can actually trigger gallstone formation. The same is true with weight cycling wherein you lose and gain pounds repeatedly. Lose excess weight gradually and try to keep it off.
Having a Healthy Diet
Carefully watching what goes into your mouth allows you to maintain an ideal weight as well as keep the levels of cholesterol in the blood low. Health authorities say that your everyday diet should consist of:
- Good fats. Don’t assume that all fats are bad for you because they are not created equally. Some of them are actually good for you and may help keep gallstones from forming. Fats from the likes of oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil and almond oil allow you to stay in the pink of health. They also help lower the amounts of bad cholesterol in the blood.
- Dietary fiber helps prevent the absorption of some of the bad fats in food. This helps keep the levels of bad cholesterol in check.
- Fruits and vegetables. Other than being packed with fiber, fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals necessary for the attainment of optimum health.
While there are foods that you should have in your everyday diet, there are also those that you should try to limit or stay away from. They include bad fats, sugars, high-carbohydrate foods, coffee and alcohol.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Working out at least 5 times a week and not less than 20 minutes each time is a great way to shed off excess pounds and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, thus helping in lowering your risk of having gallstones.
Ways to Dissolve Gallstones Naturally
There are times when a doctor may recommend surgery to remove gallstones. Before you undergo the knife, it’s a good idea to try at least any one of the various home remedies for dissolving gallstones. Some of them are the following:
- Apple juice and apple cider vinegar mix. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of apple juice. Drink this gallstone dissolver once per day. This powerful mix helps soften and dissolve gallstones, and provide pain relief too. Eating apples on a regular basis is recommended because malic acid in them helps in dissolving gallstones.
- Carrot, cucumber and beetroot juice. The combination of these vegetables helps in detoxifying the liver and cleansing the gall bladder where gallstones form. Use your juicer at home to extract the juice of 4 medium-sized carrots, 1 cucumber and 1 beetroot. Try to consume this anti-gallstone juice twice a day.
- Dandelion tea. Dandelion is an herb known to purify the liver, promote the excretion of bile and stimulate the action of the gall bladder. To make a powerful tea against gallstones, simply place a tablespoon of dried dandelion leaves in a cup of hot water. Allow to steep for a while and drink. You may add a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste. Take your dandelion tea 2 to 3 times daily.
Lemon juice. Something as simple as drinking lemon juice on a regular basis can help in dissolving those gallstones. You may also choose to consume the juice of other citrus fruits that you prefer. However, there’s a powerful home remedy out of lemon juice that many gallstone sufferers swear by. To do this anti-gallstone drink, simply combine equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil.