We usually underestimate the first signals that our gallbladder’s in trouble. Many of us simply get used to a dull ache in the right upper quadrant that appears after a heavy meal. We occasionally reach for herbal tea, get some gallbladder pain relief from Ibuprofen and forget about the problem until the next time.
Meanwhile, symptoms such as recurring indigestion, frequent belching, and pain under the right rib may indicate cholelithiasis- gallstones formation and presence in the gallbladder and bile ducts area. Although this gallbladder disorder may not give severe symptoms for a long time, it should never be ignored and must be checked out and taken care of. Once we know what causes the ailments, we may be able to help ourselves and with proper medications, diet and supplementation we should be able to reach not only temporary but a long-lasting gallbladder pain relief.
Where is Gallbladder Pain Felt?
If you suffer from a mild form of gallbladder disorder, you may feel no symptoms at all. There might be some signs, such as general discomfort in the abdomen, heartburn, feeling of fullness or stifle sensation around the right hypochondriac region. When severe pain occurs, it usually means that you are going through biliary colic- the main symptom of gallstone disease. During the colic episode, gallbladder pain can be felt in the epigastric region, radiating to the right shoulder or intercostal area. It is sudden, paroxysmal and acute.
Gallbladder Pain Types
Pain After Eating
In some patients, gallbladder pain may not be very strong. Mild symptoms such as dull ache that appears or worsen after having a heavy meal can indicate a condition called chronic cholecystitis. Gallbladder pain after eating should be consulted with a doctor and if chronic cholecystitis is the case, then gallbladder removal will probably be inevitable. However, there are some ways to reduce symptoms and improve the patient’s comfort before the treatment.
Biliary Colic Pain
Gallbladder pain associated with cholelithiasis can occur in many forms. While some of them are mild and can easily be overlooked, the pain that comes with biliary colic (sometimes referred to as gallbladder attack) is always alarming and brings the patient to a doctor. Biliary colic pain can be characterized by several features.
- Can be relieved with painkillers
- It cannot be relieved with movement, change of body position or defaecation.
- Is sudden, paroxysmal, acute, steady, unusually strong
- It lasts up to 6 hours
- It starts in the right upper quadrant of the epigastric region, radiating to the right shoulder.
Read more on Biliary Colic symptoms and treatment here.
Gallbladder Pain Remedies
Whether the pain associated with the gallbladder is mild or severe, the good news is that there are some ways to reduce it and bring at least a temporary relief. Check your drawer for common NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, it won’t hurt and can bring the pain relief. However, you should always remember to consult your symptoms with a doctor.
OTC Pain Medications
- Diastolic medications (i.e drotaverine, hyoscine, papaverine ) can be used to relieve spasm of smooth muscles. They prove to be helpful in gallstone-related pain, also in case of an episode of biliary colic.
- Analgesic medications, especially Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen are safe and effective in gallbladder pain relief.
Gallbladder Pain Home Remedies
- Drink 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup organic apple juice. The pain should subside within 15 minutes.
- A warm compress placed on the abdomen’s right area should also bring some relief.
- You can also alleviate the pain with herbs of choleretic effects, such as St. John’s Wort, Rowan Blossom, Elderberry Leaves and Fruits, Knotweed, and Buckthorn Bark.
Gallbladder Pain Prevention
Looking closely to your every-day menu and applying some adjustment may not only help in pain relief but can also spare you the risk of serious complications. There are certain foods to avoid and some that should be included in the every-day meal plan. To know more, read about Gallbladder Diet here.
Physical activity reduces the risk of cholelithiasis, reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the good one. The less cholesterol remains in the bile the less the chance of gallstone formation. You need to stay active. End of story.
Many herbs and plants are known and appreciated for their advantages in gallstones treatment. Due to their choleretic, cholagogic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and bactericidal features they can provide an organic and all-natural alternative for gallbladder pain relief. In order for the treatment to be effective, use the chosen product for at least six months.
Top Five Natural Gallbladder Supplements
Here is a list of the most popular and effective supplements used in gallbladder stones treatment and prevention. Click on images or links to see details on Amazon.
Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) demonstrates strong cholagogic and choleretic effects. It increases bile production and facilitates its transport. For this reason, it is commonly used in the liver and biliary tract disorders.
Milk thistle contains silymarin, a substance that was proven to increase the ability of bile dissolution. It supports the reduction of cholesterol concentration in the bile. For this reason, it is commonly used in the prevention and treatment of gallstones. Additionally, it protects liver cells from toxic substances, regenerates them and demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric has strong antibacterial, antioxidant and antiseptic properties. It increases the solubility of bile, therefore it may be helpful in dissolving gallstones. Additionally, it may contribute the body cleanse and smooth and accelerated digestion.
Both the leaves and the root of the dandelion show a positive impact on the gallbladder and are used to treat and prevent the formation of gallstones. This plant will help to increase bile secretion in the liver, facilitate its flow in the bile ducts and counteract stagnation by increasing bile ductile contractility.
For gallstone-related pain treatment and prevention, you could also try a complex supplement, containing combined herbs mix, enriched with Zinc, Calcium, Vitamins, and oils. Click on link or image to see details on Amazon.
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