Gallstones are solid deposits mineral salts that form in gallbladder or nearby bile ducts.
In many cases they do not cause a problem or symptoms. But in some cases gallstones develop a gallbladder attack, which causes abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.
Problematic gallstones are treatable with medications or surgery. Changing lifestyle and taking natural supplements can go a long way to help prevent gallstones and also to help eliminate them.
In some cases risk of gallstones may be can increased by rapid weight loss from fad dieting. Skipping meals or cutting fat out of your diet reduces gallbladder emptying and this also increases your risk of gallstones.In fact, losing more than 3 lbs a week may increase your risk of developing gallstones when compared with losing weight more gradually.
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Milk thistle: May help prevent gallstones from occurring. The active component, silymarin, helps to reduce cholesterol levels in bile and improve bile flow.
Peppermint oil: Aids digestion; some research has shown that it can help dissolve gallstones.
Lecithin: Contains phosphatidylcholine (PC), which helps to protect against gallstone formation. Some preliminary studies suggest that 300–2,000 mg per day of PC may help dissolve gallstones.
Vitamin C: Needed to convert cholesterol to bile acids. A low intake of vitamin C is associated with increased risk of gallstones. Dosage: 500 mg daily.
The herbs artichoke leaf, dandelion root, and turmeric are often used to treat gallstones. It is thought that they work by improving bile flow and stimulating the gallbladder to contract and expel the stone. The research to support the benefits of these herbs is weak and there are certain side effects, so it is important to consult with your health care provider.
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