There is a tube-like structure fitted inside our liver, which is known as the gallbladder. When stone-like objects vary in size (from the size of a grain to that of a golf ball) are formed in the gallbladder, they are known as Gallstones. While those larger in size tend to remain in the gallbladder without any symptom, the smaller stones cause trouble in most cases. They leave the gallbladder and get stuck ahead, which can cause pain. Mostly, gallstones don't tend to bother people and remain dormant. In such cases, not taking any treatment won't do any harm.
Gallstones are made up of hardened materials present in the human body; Following are the two common types of gallstones-
1. Cholesterol - Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in our entire body. Gallstones made up of cholesterol are usually green in colour. Cholesterol based gallstones are most common.
2. Pigment Stones - Red blood cells breaking down in the liver lead to the formation of a substance called bilirubin. Excess of bilirubin can cause jaundice (skin and eyes turn yellow) when it leaks into the bloodstream.
The stones that move from gallbladder to common bile duct are known as common bile duct stones. The common bile duct is the largest duct that is found in the liver. These stones that travel to the common bile duct can cause severe medical conditions but are rarely found compared to gallstones. Common bile duct can be blocked due to common bile duct stone and can lead to a serious infection known as Cholangitis. Inflammation of the pancreas, commonly called pancreatitis, can also be a result of these stones. You can avoid surgery in cases of common bile duct stones, and instead, they can be removed using a scope. Laparoscopy, a less invasive surgical process, is suggested to remove the gallbladder.
Did you know that 80% of gallstones are cholesterol made, and the remaining 20% are made up of bilirubin and calcium salts? It remains unclear as to why exactly gallstones are caused, but some of the causes can include-
Your bile has more cholesterol than it needs
When your liver produces more cholesterol than the bile can dissolve, it results in yellow and hard cholesterol stones.
Your bile has excess bilirubin.
The liver destroys old red blood cells, and as a result, bilirubin is produced. Liver damage and some blood disorders may lead your liver to produce excess bilirubin. When the gallbladder fails to break down this extra bilirubin, dark brown or black coloured Pigment gallstones are formed.
Periodically, your gallbladder must empty the bile for healthy functioning. If the bile is not emptied, it becomes overly concentrated, causing the formation of stones.
One of the most common gallstone symptoms is intense pain in the upper right abdomen. You usually feel this pain after consuming food with high-fat content, such as fried food. The pain lasts only up to a few hours.
Other symptoms (known as biliary colic) may include-
- Clay-coloured stools
- Dark urine
- Stomach pain
Gallstones are usually painless, but it leads to pain when it blocks the bile movement from the gallbladder. Interestingly, 80% of the gallstones are often "Silent Gallstones".People who have "silent gallstone" do not experience any pain or symptoms. A doctor can detect them via X-rays or during abdomen surgery.
The following procedures are used to diagnose gallstones and the related complications-
- Abdominal Ultrasound -
A device is moved back and forth on your stomach; the signals are sent back to a computer by a transducer. The computer then creates visuals of the structures in your abdomen. Abdominal ultrasound is the most commonly prescribed test for detecting gallstones.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) -
Smaller stones are not easily found using abdominal ultrasound. EUS can help detect those smaller stones by passing a thin and flexible tube (endoscope) through your mouth and digestive tract. The tube has an ultrasound device known as a transducer that produces sound waves to create an image of surrounding tissue.
- Other Imaging Tests-
Various other imaging tests are also suggested. Oral cholecystography, Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) are some of the tests included. Gallstones that are detected during the ERCP procedure can be removed immediately.
- Blood Tests -
Infections, jaundice, pancreatitis and other complications that are caused due to gallstones can be detected with the help of blood tests.
Homoeopathic medicines can help to further reduce the size of stones, given that the stones are of smaller size. These medicines can also reduce the severity of pain. Gallbladder inflammation is also caused due to gallstones, and it can be treated with homoeopathy. You can also control further stone production. What is the exact cause of excess biliary secretion of cholesterol? Reasons are varied, and a single reason cannot be pinpointed. The secretion is the most critical part as they result in the formation of stones. Regulation of secretion of cholesterol is necessary to get an average density of bile. It will help the process of dissolving the stone. Homoeopathic medicines can facilitate this.
In some cases, the stone does not melt even if the disease is cured and the bile is normal. Homoeopathic medicines help manage the stones to become silent and stable in one place. The patient can live a symptom-free life from then onwards. Homoeopathy offers particular medication for treating pathological gallbladder. Hence, an operation is not the only alternative to get rid of gallstones; treatment using homoeopathy medication should be offered first.
Homoeopathy helps you avoid surgical removal of the gallbladder by dissolving small and even medium-sized gallstones. Homoeopathy can help give immediate relief in cases of gallbladder attacks. It can also be used as a preventive treatment for biliary colic. As a natural and effective medication, homoeopathy medicines have no side effects. After surgery, digestive disorders are seen in patients who undergo gallbladder removal, a disorder that you can treat with homoeopathy.
Homoeopathy is a very effective non-surgical alternative to the treatment of gallstones. The bonus is that the medication will have no side effects.