Gallbladder pain can be miserable, even unbearable, whether it's a nagging ache that comes and goes or a full-blown gallbladder attack. There is no way to make peace when your gallbladder declares war.
The natural remedies below relieve pain so you can function and consider your options carefully. You may decide to keep your gallbladder after all.
Fear coupled with pain can lead to hasty decisions you later regret. And that is certainly true with severe gallbladder pain. When a doctor says you need cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) to eliminate gallstones, it can seem like your only hope.
Surgery is not an easy out. It is a drastic step that alters digestion and can potentially make your life very hard. Doctors who are quick to push surgery rarely share the whole truth. Instead cholecystectomy is presented as the only way to stop gallbladder pain and something your body will accept quite nicely. Wrong on both counts.
Cholecystectomy is a partial fix at best. It does remove the gallbladder and all the stones within, but it fails to heal the disease. Until you cleanse your liver, thickened bile and remaining gallstones in the liver will continue to cause discomfort and other problems.
If you can get control of your symptoms, you buy yourself time to work toward real healing, something no cholecystectomy can provide.
The following remedies usually work within a few minutes to an hour. If you feel you are having a medical emergency, then do seek urgent help. But if possible, try to drink some Epsom salt water or apple cider vinegar before you go. You may experience enough relief to avoid the trip altogether.
Add 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to a cup of water, and drink it on an empty stomach. Epsom salt is bitter but powerful. The magnesium relaxes and dilates the bile ducts to enable larger stones to pass, but be prepared for possible diarrhea and cramping. If you don't have Epsom salt, a magnesium supplement or a couple of tablespoons of unsulphured molasses can help.
Take 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar mixed with a little water or apple juice. The bitter vinegar stimulates bile flow and contains malic acid to soften gallstones for smoother passage and pain relief. This is a favorite for many.
Beets are very healing for gallbladder and liver issues and help thin the bile. For gallbladder pain, eating beets or drinking at least a cup of beet juice can provide relief.
A more convenient solution is to take a concentrated beet supplement to quickly stop the pain and help prevent future gallbladder attacks.
Soak in a hot bath or apply heat to your gallbladder with a heating pad or hot water bottle to relax the area and enable the stone to pass. Applying a castor oil pack is even better. The heat helps release the stone while the oil penetrates deep to reduce inflammation, increase liver activity, and stimulate healing.