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Gallbladder cleanse: A ‘natural’ remedy for gallstones?

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A gallbladder cleanse — also called a gallbladder flush — is a popular alternative remedy for ridding the body of gallstones. However, there is no reliable evidence that a gallbladder cleanse is useful in preventing or treating gallstones or any other disease.

In most cases, a gallbladder cleanse involves eating or drinking a combination of olive oil, herbs and some type of fruit juice over several days. Proponents claim that gallbladder cleansing helps break up gallstones and stimulates the gallbladder to release them in stool. Although olive oil can act as a laxative, there’s no evidence that it is an effective treatment for gallstones. Also, people who try gallbladder cleansing may see what looks like gallstones in their stool the next day. But what they are really seeing is globs of oil, juice and other materials — not the remnants of gallstones.

Gallbladder cleansing is not without risk. Some people have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea during the flushing or cleansing period. Individual components of the herbal mixtures used in a gallbladder cleanse may present their own health hazards.

Gallstones that cause no symptoms require no treatment. If you have gallstones that require treatment, discuss proven treatment options with your doctor, such as surgical removal, bile salt tablets or sound wave therapy.

(Source: MayoClinic: February 2008)

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Posted On: 1 March, 2008
Modified On: 16 January, 2014


Created by: myVMC