Cholelithiasis is the medical term used for gall stones. Gallstones are formed due to condensation of digestive juice (bile) secreted by liver. These stones remain silent without causing any symptoms. When the stones obstruct the passage of bile juice, there will be symptoms of Cholelithiasis.
Gall bladder is a small organ adjoining the liver on the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. The main function of the gall bladder is storage and concentration of bile. The possibility of stones in the gall bladder can be due to the following pathologies:
- Cholesterol: When the cholesterol saturation in the bile is high, the cholesterol gets hardened and forms as a stone blocking the duct. These stones are yellowish in colour.
- Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a compound secreted by the liver for degeneration of the old RBC’s. In some cases, if the liver function is poor, bilirubin gets excessively secreted leading to hardening and stone formation. These are pigment stones that are dark brown or red in colour.
- Concentrated bile: When the bile is not poured in to the intestine at proper intervals, it gets stored and saturated which leads to the formation of stones in the gallbladder.
The problem arises when the stone blocks the pathway of bile flow into the intestines and causes various symptoms.
Symptoms of Gall stones:
- Pain and discomfort in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen.
- Referred pain int eh right shoulder region.
- Digestive disturbances like indigestion, bloating and burping.
- Nausea, vomiting, Dark urine, diarrhoea.
- Clay- coloured stools: This is the classical feature of gall stones. The stools becomes whitish/clay coloured due to deprivation of bile.
Symptoms of Acute attack:
- Other above mentioned symptoms of biliary colic.
Following are the factors which increases the chance of formation of gallstones
- Certain medications
- Eating diet rich in fat and low in fiber
- Having family history of gallstones
- Females in their forties are prone to gallstones
Diagnosis of Gallstones:
Diagnosis is done by the following methods:
- Ultrasound abdomen
- CT scan
- Blood tests
Complications of Gallstones
- Obstruction in bile duct or pancreatic duct leading to jaundice and pancreatitis respectively.
- Inflammation of gallbladder causing fever and pain.
If there are many stones with obstruction, surgical removal is mandatory. There are ayurvedic treatments for the treatment of gall stones.
Ayurvedic treatment for Gallstones:
In Ayurveda, following are the medicines suggested for gallstones:
- Varanadi kashayam tablets – 2 tablets twice a day before food.
- Kanchanara guggulu tablets – 2 tablets after breakfast and dinner
- Triphala churnam -1 tsp with warm water in the night before sleep.
Diagnosed as Pittashmari in Ayurveda, Every patient requires individual medical attention and same medicines might not work for all.
Home remedies for gall stones:
- Water boiled with milk thistle seeds, added with honey is known to cure gallstones.
- Drinking lemon juice, pear juice and apple juice frequently is known to be effective.
- Triphala churna mixed with water, taken twice a day is known to prevent and cure gall stones.
- Intake of Bottle gourd Soup with pepper (without adding salt) is known to prevent and cure gall stones. Bottle gourd is a cholegogue and hence dissolves the stones.
Foods that trigger an attack:
- Non vegetarian food – Fowl, pork, red meat .
- High fat dairy based food
- Junk and fried food
- Black tea (for some people)
- Alcohol – wine, beer, liquor.
Yoga postures helps in emptying the gall bladder and then wards off the stones. The following Yoga postures are beneficial for Gallbladder stones:
Dos and Don’ts
– Include horse gram, radish,bottle gourd, gooseberry, pomegranate, grapes, raisins, coconut water in your diet.
-Take diet rich in fibre.
– Avoid heavy, oily, deep fried, fat rich foods.
– Minimise salt intake.