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HOMEOPATHY & GALLSTONES

Gallstones are small, hard deposits, made up of cholesterol, calcium salts, and bile pigments called bilirubin — that form in the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is a small, muscular, pear-shaped organ located under the liver. It stores a greenish-yellow fluid secreted by the liver, called bile. This is required to help digest and absorb fat. When needed, bile flows from the gallbladder into the small intestine through a passage called the common bile duct.

Gallstones can form in or pass into the bile duct. Gallstones in the gallbladder are called cholelithiasis. Gallstones in the common bile duct are called common-duct stones, or choledocholithiasis.

Gallstones are common in the age-group 40+, especially women.

Symptoms include nausea, tummy upset, hyperacidity [dyspepsia] and gas. When a gallstone blocks the bile duct, nausea, vomiting, chills, and fever may result. There may also be a yellowish tint on skin and whites of the eyes [jaundice]. This shows that the infection has progressed to the liver.

Small gallstones don’t cause problems or symptoms. Larger gallstones can, because they may obstruct the passageway and cause infection. Typical symptoms, in such cases, include extreme abdominal pain that radiates to the back, chest, or in-between the shoulder blades.

  • Your homeopathic doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination, looking for signs of tenderness [sensitivity to touch] in the abdomen and jaundice
  • Tests that are recommended include blood investigations, ultrasound scan and X-ray of the gallbladder [cholecystogram]
  • A dye test called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatoscopy [ERCP], or a radioisotopic scan, may also be used to diagnose gallstones in the ducts.

Not all gallstone patients require surgery. Some cases of gallstones can be treated with homeopathy. When the gallstones are small, homeopathic medicines for gallstones often help in dissolving them.

Homeopathy also helps to control the tendency, or recurrence, for gallstones.

However, when gallstones are big and impacted, they would call for surgery.

SELF-HELP

  • Maintain ideal or healthy weight. Avoid coffee and eat low-fat diets. This helps to prevent gallstones and also reduce pain and inflammation
  • Eat healthy foods, high in fibre, to improve bowel transit time and give bulk to stools
  • Eat amla [Indian gooseberry] and other citrus fruits rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to prevent the formation of gallstones
  • When you suspect a flare-up of gallstones’ symptoms, or are taking birth-control pills, seek your doctor’s opinion promptly.

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