Few things are as painful as the gripping pain of gallstones. Sleep at night can be interrupted by the throbbing pain, or work interrupted when the pain comes after eating a heavy meal. Regardless of when you experience a gallstone attack, getting rid of the pain will be a top priority.
How to Stop An Attack Right Now
Here are some options to stop a gallstone attack now:
- Lay down on your left side. Some people use heating pads or have their spouse massage the area of pain
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen.
- Take a shower and let the water massage the pain area
- Some find that Shiatsu massage will help
- After the pain subsides, try a tea mixture with peppermint and cardamom
These will only provide temporary relief, and should only be used while pursuing alternative treatments for gallstones.
What is a Gallstone Attack?
A gallstone attack often occurs suddenly and is the result of blockage in the flow of bile. When a gallstone blocks one of the bile ducts, bile is unable to flow normally, which results in pressure and pain. Gallstone pain frequently occurs after eating a heavy meal, or one with high fat content. Gallstone attacks also occur at night.
The symptoms of gallstones are primarily pain, and include:
- Upper Abdomen Pain – the most common gallstone symptom is increasing pain on the upper right side of the abdomen, directly below the ribcage. It can be mild at first, but usually increases and lasts from several minutes up to several hours. Severe pain is usually called biliary colic
- Back Pain – the pain from gallstones can radiate from the abdomen to the back, usually on the right side under the shoulder.
While pain is the primary symptom, other symptoms include:
These are primarily due to poor digestion of fats, but may also be due to more severe blockage. If severe pain continues without relief, fever persists, and vomiting continues, it is important to go to the hospital immediately.
Gallstone Pain Treatments
Doctors often recommend removing the gallbladder as a solution. However, there are some other treatments to think of as well.
- Dietary Change – making quick and lasting change to your can help regulate gallstones. Keep in mind that this will not be a quick fix for an acute case of gallstones. The main considerations are elimination of saturated fats, fried foods, other high fat foods, and an increase in dietary fiber.
- Herbs – there are a number of herbs that have been proven to support gallbladder health. These can be used at the same time as dietary change for more effective results. They include milk thistle and globe artichoke. These herbs help produce more bile as well as detoxify the liver and gallbladder. Additional bile may help to flush out gallstones.
- Bile Acids – some doctors prescribe bile acids to help dissolve cholesterol related gallstones. These therapies may take up to two years to work, and the gallstones sometimes return after the treatment stops.
- Gallbladder Flush – many people have found help for their gallstones by doing a gallbladder flush. These treatments usually involve, simple, easy to get ingredients, and work by dissolving and flushing out the stones. This can be a very effective treatment, especially when coupled with dietary change and herbal support.
When pursuing an alternative therapy for gallstones, it is often recommended to combine several methods to achieve greater results. Also keep in mind that natural therapies should be taken with care, and the condition should still be monitored by a doctor.