GALLSTONES / ATTACK (Cholelithiasis)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT'S CAUSING IT? WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Are you prone to a problem with 'Gallstones / Attack'?
A bowl of double dark chocolate ice-cream before bed comforts the soul, but could also lead to a gallbladder jammed with stones. About 1/2 a million people a year lose their gall bladder due to stones. 10% of all medical spending a year in the US is spent on gallbladder removal. When you repeatedly indulge in heavy foods like cheesecake, pizza, candy, steak, fries and other such rich foods - your fluids start to thicken. They become like sludge or molasses. This sets up the conditions for stone formation and eventually, a painful gallbladder attack.
A gallbladder attack can be a life threatening situation. It happens when sludge or a dislodged stone blocks your bile ducts. Painful pressure builds up in this system, and makes you feel like you are about to get a heart attack. Gallbladder attacks often come the night of a celebration or holiday, or a binge at your favorite fast food restaurant. These foods cause your liver & gallbladder to work extra hard, and release lots of bile.
Years ago, I had a roommate who knocked on my door in the middle of the night. He'd been sleeping for hours since attending a Passover Seder celebration with friends. By 2am, he woke up intense colicky pain in the midriff and nausea. His pain would come and go in waves. He was scared and could hardly breath. He thought he was having a mild heart attack so we took him to the emergency room. Sure enough, his gallbladder was full of thick sludge and his biliary system was congested. Luckily, there were no stones and we were able to treat this condition with herbs.
The gallbladder's sole purpose in life is to concentrate and thicken your bile (a fluid that helps in fat digestion). If your fluids are too thick because of a rich, carb heavy or sweet diet, the contents of your gallbladder turn to sludge, then paste, and finally to stones. It's important to nip this condition in the bud before these stones form. Once you have gallstones, they are impossible to remove. If you have sludge only, there's still time to save your gallbladder.
BileIf you suspect your gall bladder, like my old roommate's, is full of sludge, consider taking some steps to clean your gallbladder. Replace refined biscuits and bread with fiber rich whole grains, fruits and veggies. Favor proteins over carbs. A protein rich diet forms more bile acids which lessen the chance of gallstone formation. Replace hot wings with lean proteins like nuts. Nuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are the preferred fats in gallbladder protection.
Next are cholagogues. What's a cholagogue you say? Cholagogues stimulate the flushing of bile out of your gallbladder. Exactly what you're looking to do! Beets and bitters like kale, dandelion, arugula, chicory and aloe vera juice all fall into this category. Garlic and onion purges the liver and gallbladder as does vegetable juicing. The sour flavor of lemons, grapefruit and vinegar is also sludge-busting. The sour taste of plain yogurt makes it a cholagogue, and an excellent replacement to cheese or milk.
Plenty of water is the best way to keep fluids thin and moving. Bitter or aromatic herbs like mint, fennel and cardamom also serve to thin the bile out. As pungent spices heat up the liver, they increase production of bile, flushing out the system. Exercise can help too. Finally your gallbladder's well being offers the gazillionth reason to quit smoking.
Disclaimer: 'Gallstones / Attack' could be serious and should be checked by a medical doctor.
WHAT HAS HELPED YOU HEAL?
DIET REMEDIES FOR 'GALLSTONES / ATTACK'
HERBS & PRODUCTS FOR 'GALLSTONES / ATTACK'
MORE LIVER AND GALL BLADDER TIPS
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body. The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care. Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'GALLSTONES / ATTACK'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTSAccording to Ayurveda, one or more of the following doshas and qualities may aggravate 'Gallstones / Attack'. If you have an excess of one of these doshas or qualities below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them. Click on the quality to learn what foods and lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A StoryThe first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances. Symptoms show you where your body is weakened. Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself. Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & qualities. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
V = VATA, P = PITTA, K = KAPHA
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTSEverything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using gunas. Gunas are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body. Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism. Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism. For 'Gallstones / Attack', you should select foods with the following qualities (gunas). Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
Liver & Gall Bladder:
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
Mind, Stress & Sleep:
ANALGESICRelieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
ADDRESS ISSUES IN STAGE OF DISEASE 3GALLSTONES / ATTACK IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 3 - ATTACKING TISSUE
If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances are becoming stronger and weakening your body's resistance. Most people have a weakness in one or more organs. These areas of weakness are the 'weak link in the chain.' They are first to succumb when an imbalance reaches a tipping point. Repairing imbalances in this category often represent your last opportunity to prevent disease. At any moment, these imbalances could overwhelm weakened tissue and develop into a disease. You may feel pain or discomfort in the weakened area. At this stage you will need to support the weakened tissue with specialized foods and herbs for the weakened tissue.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITSThe following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Gallstones / Attack'. See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR UNIQUE BODY?
What aggravates it? What heals it? Then get your Personal Ayurvedic Body Book! This book, written by founder and director of Joyful Belly, John Immel, is individually formatted for your unique body and will help you confidently choose food that restores your healthy glow to get you feeling like your best self. Just $19.99!
HOW AYURVEDA WORKSARE YOU WONDERING HOW AYURVEDA CAN HELP YOU?
WHY IS AYURVEDA THE RIGHT SOLUTION?Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic, systemic approach, instead of myopically focusing on the disorder in question. Ayurveda shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you. Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type, which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths). It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders. Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder. It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of gunas / qualities. For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc. This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalances (gunas). By eating an optimal diet that balances your gunas, your whole body is strengthened and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies - such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance your healing.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda and its step-by-step approach to healing? Click below.LEARN MORE
GET STARTEDTo get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
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