A bowl of double dark chocolate ice-cream before bed comforts the soul, but could also lead to a gallbladder jammed with stones. About 1/2 a million people a year lose their gallbladder due to stones. 10% of all medical spending a year in the US is spent on gallbladder removal. When you repeatedly indulge in heavy foods like cheesecake, pizza, candy, steak, fries and other such rich foods - your fluids start to thicken. They become like sludge or molasses. This sets up the conditions for stone formation and eventually, a painful gallbladder attack.
A gallbladder attack can be a life threatening situation. It happens when sludge or a dislodged stone blocks your bile ducts. Painful pressure builds up in this system, and makes you feel like you are about to get a heart attack. Gallbladder attacks often come the night of a celebration or holiday, or a binge at your favorite fast food restaurant. These foods cause your liver & gallbladder to work extra hard, and release lots of bile.
Years ago, I had a roommate who knocked on my door in the middle of the night. He'd been sleeping for hours since attending a Passover Seder celebration with friends. By 2am, he woke up intense colicky pain in the midriff and nausea. His pain would come and go in waves. He was scared and could hardly breathe. He thought he was having a mild heart attack so we took him to the emergency room. Sure enough, his gallbladder was full of thick sludge and his biliary system was congested. Luckily, there were no stones and we were able to treat this condition with herbs.
The gallbladder's sole purpose in life is to concentrate and thicken your bile (a fluid that helps in fat digestion). If your fluids are too thick because of a rich, carb heavy or sweet diet, the contents of your gallbladder turn to sludge, then paste, and finally to stones.
Reversing Gallbladder Disease Naturally
It's important to nip this condition in the bud before these stones form. Once you have gallstones, they are difficult to dissolve and remove. If you have sludge only, there's still time to save your gallbladder. Ayurveda offers many diet and herb remedies for healthy bile production.
Many clients are rushed into gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy), even when they only have bile sludge. Those people who have the gallbladders removed often have the same symptoms after the surgery. Stones should be immediately removed when they are large and obstructing the bile duct, or threatening to rupture the gallbladder or inflame the pancreas.
If you suspect your gallbladder is full of sludge, like my old roommate's, consider taking some steps to clean your gallbladder and thin your bile. Replace refined biscuits and bread with fiber rich whole grains, fruits and veggies. Favor proteins over carbs. A protein rich diet forms more bile acids which lessen the chance of gallstone formation. Replace hot wings with lean proteins like nuts. Nuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are the preferred fats in gallbladder protection.
Next are cholagogues. What's a cholagogue you say? Cholagogues stimulate the flushing of bile out of your gallbladder. Exactly what you're looking to do! Beets and bitters like kale, dandelion, arugula, chicory and aloe vera juice all fall into this category. Garlic and onion purges the liver and gallbladder as does vegetable juicing. The sour flavor of lemons, grapefruit and vinegar is also sludge-busting. The sour taste of plain yogurt makes it a cholagogue, and an excellent replacement to cheese or milk. Cholagogues are contraindicated in large stones that may obstruct the bile duct.
Plenty of water is the best way to keep fluids thin and moving. Bitter or aromatic herbs like mint, fennel and cardamom also serve to thin the bile out. Turmeric is an ideal biliary antispasmodic and blood thinner. As pungent spices heat up the liver, they increase production of bile, flushing out the system. Exercise can help too. Finally your gallbladder's well being offers the gazillionth reason to quit smoking.
Bile Sludge - When bile becomes thick and sluggish. This condition frequently precedes gallstone development.
Biliary Dyskinesia - A condition where movement of bile through the bile duct is partially or completely obstructed. Obstructed bile can back up into the liver causing inflammation. Pregnant women are at risk of reduced bile flow (cholestasis) due to high hormone levels.
Bile Insufficiency - When inadequate bile is released into the small intestine, due to the conditions above. Causes stool to be light colored.
Cholecysitis - Inflammation of the gallbladder due to irritation from gallstones
Cholangitis - Inflammation of the bile duct.
Biliary Colic - Spasms of the bile duct that occur due to obstruction, similar to a gallbladder attack.
Biliary Cirrhosis - A fibrotic condition that results from inflammation of the bile duct.
All conditions of biliary dyskinesia can quickly become life threatening and require immediate treatment by a qualified western medical doctor. Antispasmodics such as mint, chamomile, and wild yam are traditional remedies for this condition but do not replace a visit to the emergency room. Biliary dyskinesia generally results from:
Obstruction from gallstones or bile sludge
Inflammation of the duct, causing the lumen to narrow
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care.
Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
Balance Your Body with Diet, Herbs, & Lifestyles Having These Biocharacteristics
Everything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using biocharacteristics (gunas).
Biocharacteristics are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body.
Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism.
Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism.
For 'Gallstones / Attack', you should select foods with the following biocharacteristics.
Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
FOODS TO FAVOR
MATCH WITH YOUR WELLNESS PROFILE
ABOUT CLEAR BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
GALLSTONES / ATTACK IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE #3 - ATTACKING TISSUE
If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances are becoming stronger and weakening your body's resistance.
Most people have a weakness in one or more organs.
These areas of weakness are the 'weak link in the chain.'
They are first to succumb when an imbalance reaches a tipping point.
Repairing imbalances in this category often represent your last opportunity to prevent disease.
At any moment, these imbalances could overwhelm weakened tissue and develop into a disease.
You may feel pain or discomfort in the weakened area.
At this stage you will need to support the weakened tissue with specialized foods and herbs for the weakened tissue.
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
According to Ayurveda, one or more of the following
and biocharacteristics may aggravate 'Gallstones / Attack'.
If you have an excess of one of these doshas or biocharacteristics below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them.
Click on the biocharacteristic to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A Story
The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms.
Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances.
Symptoms show you where your body is weakened.
Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself.
Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & biocharacteristics.
If you notice a biocharacteristic or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms,
it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Gallstones / Attack'.
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type.
Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
Risk Factor: 80% more often Complication: +1.8 times as often
Please login or create a free account to see research statistics filtered on Gallstones / Attack and Abdominal pain worse after eating.
Biocharacteristics of 1,914 People Reporting Gallstones / Attack
On average the biocharacteristics
of people reporting Gallstones / Attack were more aggravated than 77% of other symptoms.
From the 1,914 people who reported Gallstones / Attack in this research study of 74,671 individuals,
average deviation in biocharacteristic levels were the following:
Please login or create a free account to see research statistics filtered on Gallstones / Attack and Astringent.
8,068 have Astringent constitution
Risk Factors of Gallstones / Attack
Below you will see general risk factors as well as the greatest risk factors, i.e. those who were also more likely to report Gallstones / Attack.
Overall, 4.95% of people surveyed in this research study reported Gallstones / Attack.
DISCOVER YOUR BODY WITH YOUR FREE INDIVIDUALIZED BODY MAP
Find ideal foods, herbs and lifestyle tips.
See your imbalances, and locate intervention points.
Your body map contains a complete analysis of your Ayurvedic imbalances, organ by organ.
Give your chart to your functional medical doctor or any alternative health practitioner.
Ayurveda strengthens the body while opposing disorders. It takes a holistic,
systemic approach that looks at the whole body. Ayurveda
shows how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them
using diet, lifestyle adjustments, and herbs. It shows a person how to optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't
take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you.
Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?
Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type,
which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths).
It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders.
Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder.
It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of biocharaceristics (gunas).
For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc.
This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalanced biocharacteristics.
By eating an optimal diet that balances your biocharacteristics, your whole body is strengthened
and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease
are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies -
such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance
To get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body
type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so
by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics.
His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda,
offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel,
as well as public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem.
His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.