The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located underneath the liver which stores bile. This bile helps in the breakdown of fat from food in the intestine. The bile is transferred from the gallbladder to the small intestine via the bile duct.
Gallbladder could be plagued by a number of conditions. These conditions include; gallstone, biliary colic, dysfunctional gallbladder, and cholecystitis.
Gallbladder conditions could affect anybody. However, some risk factors could make you more susceptible to gallbladder problems. The two major factors being obesity and gender (women are more susceptible to gallbladder problems). Also note that pregnancy, diabetes, high fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity can increase the risk of developing gallstones.
The nature and severity of a gallbladder problem would determine the symptoms exhibited. The symptoms could include; pain around the upper abdominal area, pain after eating a high-fat meal, heartburn, chest pain, bloating and indigestion.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with gallbladder problem;
- Ensure you maintain an exercise routine. Exercising can reduce your risk of having gallbladder problems by half.
- Ensure you maintain an optimal Body Mass Index. Being overweight increases your chances of developing gallbladder problems.
- Reduce your consumption of saturated fat. Excessive consumption of saturated fat can increase the risk of developing gallstones.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for preventing and treating gallbladder problems;
1. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in polyphenols which lowers cholesterol concentration and improves the flow of bile. Other than that, green tea has antioxidant properties which aid the body in eliminating harmful free radicals. So, instead of taking coffee, it’s time you switch to green tea.
Simply put some green tea leaves in a cup of water and allow it to steep for five minutes. Add some honey to taste. To curb gallstones, drink three cups of green tea on a daily basis. You could also take any readily available tea, such as black tea, for similar but less potent effect.
2. Moderate Exercises
You can reduce the risk of getting gallstones by exercising 30 minutes a day. For this reason, you should get used to different forms of exercising like swimming, bicycling, walking, jogging, among others. When you do this, you not only keep your weight down but also reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood. While you don’t have to do strenuous exercise to reap the benefits, it’s crucial that you seek guidance from an expert if you’re new to workouts.
3. Dietary Changes
To prevent gallstones, you must make some changes in your diet. Since one of the contributing factors to this condition is overweight, you should avoid diets high in cholesterol and fat. Some of the gallbladder-friendly foods include citrus fruits, pepper, milk, tomatoes, lentils, beans, fish, green leafy vegetables, etc. Also, if you are not getting sufficient nutrients, you should incorporate supplements into your daily diet.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
This is a natural cure that gives immediate relief to gallstone pain. ACV is rich in acetic, citric and malic acids which are beneficial in relieving gallbladder problems. Vinegar ensures there is no fat build up which can cause blockage to the gallbladder. Just mix one tablespoon of unfiltered vinegar with one teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm water. Drink two times a day to minimize gallbladder pain.
5. Healthy Weight
One of the risk factors for gallbladder problems is overweight. When you are overweight, you can block the flow of bile. A person with a large amount of fat, especially around their waist, is more prone to getting gallstones than a person with a large amount of fat around their thighs or hips. If you are overweight, focus on losing a few pounds a week. You need a lot of dedication to achieve your desired look.
6. Drink Wine In Moderation
When you drink a glass of wine every day, you reduce the risk of getting gallstones by more than 30%. For women, they should take half a glass. However, an excess consumption of wine will not only damage your gallbladder but will have adverse effects on your kidneys and liver.
7. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is rich in sulfate, magnesium and oxygen compounds. It dilates the bile duct to ensure the gallbladder is not clogged. Apart from that, it helps the body to eliminate toxins. If you suffer from gallstones, dissolve one cup of Epsom salt into a bathtub and enjoy a relaxing detox bath. Use this treatment once a week.
8. Drink Vegetable Juices/Smoothies
Natural juices play an important role to those with gallbladder problems. In this context, the vegetable juice will not only breakdown gallstone formations but will also detoxify your body. To keep your gallbladder healthy, drink a glass of fresh vegetable juice every day. Make use of vegetables such as spinach, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, and beetroot. This remedy works best when you take the juice early in the morning when on an empty stomach.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You can get rid of gallbladder problems if you consume omega-3 for a long period. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements encourage emptying of your gallbladder, especially if you suffer from high triglyceride levels. You can also get omega-3 from salmon fish. Consult your doctor before you start to take any supplement.
Artichoke is not just a nutritious vegetable but is also a natural cure for gallstones. The leaves contain caffeoylquinic acid which promotes bile flow. Place two artichokes in a baking dish and then add some water. Cook them for five minutes under high heat. Once they cool down, eat the fresh part of the leaf and discard the pithy part.
11. High-Fiber Foods
When you supply your body with fiber, you get some relief from gallbladder attacks. It’s crucial that you take fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and oranges. Also, take foods such as air-popped popcorn, brown rice, and oats.
Dandelion is rich in taraxacin compound which aids in metabolizing the fat that accumulates in your liver. You can either take dandelion as a salad or make dandelion root tea. Put dried dandelion in a pot of hot water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Take one cup of the solution every day to prevent gallstones and other gallbladder issues.
13. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar can irritate any pre-existing stones and increase the risk of developing new ones. When you take sugary foods, you increase your chances of being overweight. That’s why you should reduce the intake of refined foods with plenty of sugars.
14. Drink Plenty Of Water
Apart from being an essential part of our everyday life, water can cure many diseases. Ideally, when you drink a lot of water on daily basis, you flush out the toxins from your body. Water also helps to regulate bile in your gallbladder. This way, your body can easily break down the fat.
15. Turmeric And Honey
Turmeric minimizes cholesterol production in the liver. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can prevent gallstone formation. The curcumin compound, in turmeric, helps in making of bile while curcumin’s antiseptic properties prevent infections. To make this remedy more effective, you should combine turmeric with honey. Mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of turmeric powder in a cup of water and drink once a day.
16. Castor Oil Compress
Castor oil is packed with anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce pain associated with the gallbladder. Simply soak a cotton cloth in castor oil and press it directly over your stomach. You may also consider placing a hot water bottle on top of the cloth. This method relieves pain fast and effectively.
17. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits contain pectin compound which helps to soothe a gallbladder. Citrus fruits also have a cleansing effect on your liver and reduce the chances of developing gallstones. You should take citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. While all these fruits can be used, lemon is the most effective. Just mix some citrus juice in a cup of water and drink every morning.
18. Herbal Teas
Both peppermint and chamomile teas are rich in sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, they can help in relieving pain. Other herbs that fall into this category include goldenseal, rosemary, calendula, garlic, blackberry bark among others. You should take a few leaves of your favorite herb and boil in a pot of water for 30 minutes. Drink two cups of herbal tea every day.
19. Take Lemon Water
Since lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, it reduces calcification by dissolving gallstones. It also stimulates your bladder to produce sufficient amount of bile for digestion. And since lemon is a known aid for weight problems, you should start your day with a glass of lemon water. Just add some lemon in a glass of water and drink when on an empty stomach. Use this remedy a few times throughout the day to help the body get rid of toxins.
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