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Is their another form of treatment for gallbladder problems than surgery

By Anonymous October 8, 2011 - 6:18pm
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HI Anon,

The only time it is appropriate to use alternative treatments for gallstones is during the interval before cholecystitis develops. Once the gallbladder has become completely blocked, surgical treatment is urgent.

However, during the initial period in which pain is only occasional or intermittent, the risks incurred by postponing surgery are slight. If your doctor feels that a trial of stone-dissolving medications might be appropriate, some of the agents described here could present alternate possibilities. Unfortunately, none are well established as effective. Medical supervision is definitely essential.

Preliminary clinical trials suggest that formulas containing peppermint and related terpenes (fragrant substances found in plants) can dissolve gallstones.

The herb milk thistle , standardized to its silymarin content, has been shown to improve the liquidity of bile, although its actual effects on gallstones in real life are unknown.

Several herbs are prescribed in Germany for gallbladder pain, including artichoke leaf , boldo , dandelion root, fumitory, greater celandine, and turmeric . These herbs are thought to work by causing the gallbladder to contract and thereby expel its stones. However, such an effect is a mixed blessing: expelled stones might become lodged in the duct of the gallbladder, or, worse, the common bile duct. Furthermore, if the duct is already blocked, gallbladder contraction will lead to increased pain and perhaps rupture. Finally, some of these herbs are potentially toxic to the liver. The bottom line: consult a qualified physician before trying these treatments.

If your doctors are suggesting surgery at this point, then you are past the point of using natural treatments. Herbal supplements should be consulted with your doctor prior to being taken due to possible interactions with medications.


Best of luck!


October 9, 2011 - 7:26am
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