Dissolving gallstones?

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I would love to hear from anyone who believes they have successfully dissolved or flushed their gallstones? I have read that this is not actually possible as the 'stones' that are eliminated are actually just hard blobs formed from the ingredients used to do the flush.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I've only heard of people doing a cleanse to help rid them of the body, but never heard of them dissolving. They're hard like pebbles, so I would imagine that it would take a long time to dissolve them even if it's possible.

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  • Posted

    I've heard that they've stopped trying to dissolve as its only a temporary solution as they reform :-)

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  • Posted

    I read that this is not really possible due to the composition of the stones and the size of the duct.

    ​The methodogy is also potentially risky

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    • Posted

      Definitely risky. I had a stone dislodge, and make a new home on my pancreas. Nothing like hearing "you have a mass on your pancreas" and not knowing what it is right away. My liver enzymes were all out of whack, and I was quite ill. Had the gallbladder removed in May, because it was half calcified, had no bile, loaded with stones, not working, and after surgery I found out that it had fused itself to my liver. There's no way I would have ever done a cleanse or try to dissolve the stones, even if my gallbladder wasn't that bad. A stuck stone can do a lot of damage.

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  • Posted

    I've not personally seen any compelling evidence that flushes work and I would never try one as drinking oil in quantity would likely send me to A & E! That said, there seem to be many people with anecdotal reports that they worked for them, but without a control and proper trials it may just be they would have improved regardless and the "stones" as you say are not the real thing just soapy grease. I'd say speak to a doctor as you would not actually want stones getting stuck due to this - the bile duct is only 4 mm I think so you'd need to know the size of the stones first.

    As to dissolving, orthodox medicine for this has concluded it is not very effective, takes ages, side effects and stones recur. Also you need to only have one or few small stones and the Gb must still be working. It is more often reserved for treating those fo whom surgery would be too risky I think.

    I have heard of some countries doing research on "natural" remedies such as herbs and essential oils for dissolving stones but no real conclusive evidence. I have heard of peppermint oil being used in a trial and strangely I have craved this and used it to subdue my nausea and pain. I have multiple stones and scarred gb so I don't know if it helped though as the hospital just offer removal and do not re scan. I would prefer to keep the Gb but it has caused me so much illness and pain, cannot continue in the way it is. Hope you find a solution.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for replies. I actually just want to explore all avenues before I commit to having the gb removed. I have only had two significant attacks and gp wants it out! It seems a bit dramatic to me when I feel really well. But one thing keeps shouting in my head- DO NOT DO A FLUSH! That's the only thing I know for certain. So apart from that I am sitting on the fence wondering which way to go. I have no thickening, just gravel. GP says that now the attacks have started I will only get more and worse attacks so he wants it out while I am still relatively young and healthy (59) Crikey, I am in a bit of a dilema!

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    • Posted

      I've had many attacks, but didn't know what they were. The pain wasn't in a typical location, and the many times that the doctor pushed on my stomach, there was never any pain. For a long time the stomach issues were chalked up to infections or gastritis. It turns out that my liver is in a slightly different position, and the gallbladder squished itself up, and to the back of the liver. The bugger also stretched to try to form itself kinda in the shape of the liver. By trying to do that, the gallbladder ended up fusing itself to the liver. It's quite strange. The surgeon said that I should have had it out years ago, but I never had any typical symptoms. There was only issues with greasy food, but I thought that was because my stomach wasn't really used to it since I never really ate much of it.

      Personally, I wouldn't make a decision to remove the gallbladder unless there were different scans done, and they all showed that something was bad. Nobody knew the extent of mine until surgery, but I had an ultrasound, CAT scan with and without contrast, and an MRI with and without contrast. Nothing that drastic has to be done, but having more than one scan would give you a better idea on what to do. I hope all goes well for you.

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    • Posted

      I have only had an ultrasound which revealed the gravel. I also didn't yelp when doc prodded and i also had my pain in a different spot- right in the middle between my ribs and nowhere else.

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    • Posted

      That's exactly where my pain was. Sometimes I would be in an almost frog looking position for days, and convinced that it was an infection because that's what the doctor said.

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  • Posted

    As you say, you have a dilemma.  However, you are correct in your approach of analysing all the options, and I would encourage you to be thorough.  See your research through to the end so that you make an informed decision that you are comfortable with.

    I would try and research outside the box but be very aware of quackery.  I don’t think that doctors have all the answers, which is partly due to their training and vested interest.  The same applies to the quacks and supplement pushers.

    I undertook what I believed was a fairly thorough piece of investigation, but could have taken it further.  I didn’t believe the general medical opinion that the GB was virtually a vestigial organ that we could manage quite easily without.  I was always a proponent of healthy fats before this became recently fashionable, as I knew they are necessary for brain function and hormone production.  That is why I would never ever take statins.

    I wanted to hold onto my GB but two visits to accident and emergency in extreme pain and subsequent jaundice due to a blocked bile duct led me towards removal.  I had an ERCP performed to remove the offending stone as a holding operation prior to surgery.  A sphincterotomy was done at the same time just in case the other stones in my GB decided to pop into the bile duct.  At that stage I felt good and looked up the research on mortality concerning ECRP and sphincterotomy versus GB removal.  Once you are over 65 the stats come down in favour of GB removal.  I therefore opted for GB removal but it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

    I had no problems whatsoever post-surgery and following a consultation with a dietician was advised to eat normally as before, which I did.  Aparently this is the latest wisdom.  I had not the slightest problem for about 4 months but recently I have been experiencing what is either acid or bile reflux and general digestive discomfort during the day.

    I have now embarked on further research to cope with this in as natural a process as possible.  I am and have always been concerned over the processing of fats to obtain absolutely essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins post GB surgery.  I am also now researching into the appropriate supplements etc to compensate for what will be an obvious deficiency.  I want to stay as healthy as possible into old age.

    I am not advocating this, but given my experiences, if I was in your position with no thickening and simply gravel, I personally would be trying to hold onto my GB after of course getting all the liver etc function tests.  I would also be exploring how to improve my diet and taking supplements etc to support my liver and GB functions.  I am not a medical person but came to the conclusion that my problem resulted from being too cautious with fats in my diet.  The expression ‘use it or lose it’ comes to mind.  I think my GB was not called upon often enough and the bile thickened and crystallised.  When the surgeon removed it he said it did not look too healthy.  There was no time allocated but I now wish I had asked to see it and the surgeon point out why he thought this.

    In conclusion I would say that everyone’s physiology is different.  The post GB surgery issues on this site are evidence of that.  I have always taken responsibility for my own health and tried to do my own research.   I have never put doctors on a pedestal and believed their word is absolute.  I advocate that you do the same so that you are comfortable and confident with your decision as far as you can be.

    Good Luck.

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    • Posted

      Interesting account, John. I have a similar view to yourself, lots of research (it was once my job) and also taking into account our own unique situation. Having also been trained as a nurse in the distant past, I recall that Drs are human and whilst they may have experience in their field they rarley have the time or inclination to offer an holistic approach.As you say, the complementary and alternative practitioners can also have limited breadth of knowledge and experience.

      I'm now over 60 and awaiting gb surgery after years of less bothersome symptoms while retaining it, the consensus is now it is time to deal with it as things are worsening.

      Absolutely agree about eating suffiecient fats - as I ate "healthily" I did not realise I was subconsciously avoiding them as they caused me trouble and slowly my range of"safe" foods was reducing. But it was stress in life that finally seemed to cause the whole digestive system to have a breakdown for me.

      The gut is being found to hold the key to so many health conditions.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou John for your lengthy answer. Don't worry, I am a child of two health fanatic parents and was raised on health foods and supplements etc so I have a healthy distrust of doctors! My doc however is a little bit different in that he lived in India for 3 years and that opened his eyes a bit. He also knows me well having been my doctor for 30 years. Having said that though I am still not going to let him rip my GB out without a bloody good reason! I have researched supplements and come up with Ox bile, milk thistle, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to name a few so am going to start by having lemon juice first thing with a teaspoon of apple CV to support the GB. Lemon juice is supposed to stop the liver from making cholesterol but I will research that one further (I do have high cholesterol)

      I do think though that in your case you really didn't have a choice but to have it out and I would have done the same thing!

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