The main problems which afflict the gall-bladder are an inflammatory condition known as cholecystitis and the presence of gallstones in the gall-bladder. The latter condition is called cholelithiasis. The former often leads to the latter. Gallstones are usually caused by disturbances in the composition of the bile.
Causes and Symptoms
The main symptom of gall-bladder disease is acute or inter¬mittent pain in the abdomen. Indigestion, gas, a feeling of fullness after meals, constipation, and nausea are the other usual symptoms. Intolerance to fats, dizziness, jaundice, anaemia, acne, and other lesions may also occur.
The main cause of gall-bladder disorders is overnutrition resulting from excessive intake of refined carbohydrates, especially sugar. Overnutrition also leads to increased cholesterol secretion.
Meals rich in fats may cause an attack of gall-bladder pain or gallstone colic. Other causes are chronic constipation, poor health, hereditary factors, and stress. The Chinese relate gall-bladder disorders with the emotion of anger.
Beet: The fresh juice of beets, and the juices of carrot and cucumber in quantities of 100 ml each, are one of the finest cleansers of the gall-bladder. This combined juice has proved beneficial in the treatment of all disorders related to this organ, and should be taken twice daily.
Pear: The pear is another excellent remedy for gall-bladder disorders. The fruit or its juice should be taken liberally by the patient with beneficial results. It exercises a special healing effect on all gall-bladder disorders, including gallstones. Chicory: The flowers, seeds, and roots of chicory or the endive plant are considered valuable in gall-bladder disorders. A decoction of about 30—60 ml of the flowers, seeds, or roots can be used three times daily with beneficial results in the treatment of these disorders. Endive or chicory juice in almost any combination promotes the secretion of bile and is, therefore, very good for both liver and gall-bladder dysfunctions.
Dandelion: Dandelion has a beneficial effect on the gall-bladder. About 125 ml each of the juices of dandelion and water cress shoulcl be taken twice daily. Combined with a vegetarian diet, without much sugar and starch, these juices help to make the gall¬bladder normal.
Olive and Sunflower Oil: An oil cure has been advocated by some nature cure practitioners for the removal of gallstones. Haw, natural, unrefined vegetable oils of olive or sunflower are used. The procedure is to take 30 ml of vegetable oil, preferably olive oil, first thing in the morning and follow it immediately with 120 ml of grapefruit juice or lemon juice. This treatment should be taken every morning for several days, even weeks, if necessary.
Smaller gallstones can usually be cleared through dietetic cure. ln cases of acute gall-bladder inflammation, the patient should fast f”r two or three days until the acute condition is cleared. Nothing but water should be taken during this period. After the fast, the Patient should take fruit and vegetable juices for a few days.
Carrots, beets, grapefruit, pears, lemons or grapes may be taken in the form of juice. Thereafter, the patient should adopt a well- balanced diet, with emphasis on raw and cooked vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, and a moderate amount of fruits and seeds. Yoghurt, cottage cheese, and a tablespoon of olive oil twice a day should also be included in the diet The patient should avoid meat, eggs, animal fats, processed and denatured foods, fried and greasy foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, products made with sugar and coffee, as well as spices, condiments, and pickles. The patient should eat frequent small meals rather than three large meals.
The pain of gallstone colic can be relieved by the application of hot packs or fomentation to the upper abdominal area. A warm- water enema at body temperature will help eliminate faecal accumulations if the patient is constipated. Physical exercise is also essential. Surgery becomes necessary if the gallstones are very large or in cases where they have been present for long.