The Gallstone Flush
If you haven’t had the chance, check out the post on liver cleansing and gall bladder stones. Many people believe that swallowing concoctions of oil and citrus juice will clean their liver and remove gall stones. Marlene Curyer, a woman who tried this strategy, was kind enough to write in to clarify her experience further:
Ultrasound of gallbladder with stone, credit radiology.med.sc.edu
“Stumbled across this article. I’m the Marlene Curyer quoted in the extract from the Ed Friedlander extract. I can clarify my comment – might help some people. I had an ultrasound Feb 2006 to determine whether or not I had an ulcer or gallstones. Turned out to be the latter – quite a few small ones. I was referred to a surgeon but didn’t want an operation; I wanted to try to resolve it via natural means. It wasn’t bothering me too much and I eventually learned about gallstone flushes. I tried at least 3 flushes over the months, one was just the lemon juice and olive oil type and two involved a course of Chinese herbs for 2-3 weeks first (ordered from a website specifically for this). After the last flush, I felt almost constantly nauseous and in pain. After 8-9 acute attacks (and I say “acute” – got an idea of what childbirth might be like) – one of which took 5 days to resolve and caused jaundice – I decided I just wanted the gallbladder out. Got another scan done about Feb 2007 (i.e. a year later) and there were visibly more gallstones. I still have copies of both scans. I suspect that, if the flush had done anything, it may have moved some stones from the gallbladder (where they cause discomfort) to the common bile duct (where they cause acute attacks if they get stuck and can be life-threatening if the pancreas gets affected, I believe). The second scan showed my common bile duct had stretched by 40% – no wonder it hurt! So, had the op Sep 2007 and felt immediately better from the time I woke up, despite the physical trauma.”
Marlene is basically right. Stones within the gallbladder rarely cause discomfort. The pain comes when they try to squeeze our through the cystic duct and get caught. Big stones are too large to navigate the entrance to the cystic duct and remain rather harmlessly in the gallbladder. Small stones may flush right through. But the medium sized stones? They can get pulled into the ductal system from the gall bladder but then get stuck – and that’s when they cause pain, inflammation, and potentially life-threatening pancreatitis.
Natural therapies are often a better alternative than pharmaceuticals and surgeries, but there are some instances when a scalpel can do wonders with little risk.