Gallbladder pain can be miserable, even unbearable, whether it is a chronic ache that comes and goes or a full-blown gallbladder attack. There is no way to make peace when your gallbladder declares war.If right now you have acute gallbladder pain, the natural remedies below can buy you the time you need to make an informed decision. 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 relief comes and the doctor says you need cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) to rid yourself of gallstones, saying yes can seem like a no-brainer.
But there is more to the story, and doctors who are quick to recommend the procedure 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, which is simplistic at best.
Without a gallbladder for storage, bile drips continuously from your liver into your digestive tract with nothing to stop it. So when you do need bile to digest a fatty meal, hardly any is available. This can lead to uncomfortable indigestion, poor absorption of healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins, hormonal imbalance, diarrhea, and the need to take bile salts with every meal to correct the problem.
Cholecystectomy 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.
Removing your gallbladder is not a guaranteed cure. In fact, it could make your situation worse. It is a radical procedure that should be done only when absolutely necessary.
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. Soak a small flannel cloth or hand towel with castor oil, place it against the skin over your gallbladder, then cover it with a towel or plastic to hold in the moisture. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on top for at least 30 minutes. The castor oil reduces inflammation, increases liver activity, and stimulates faster healing.