Before getting that gallstone operation, read this!
TWO Sundays ago, my brother called from a hospital in Zamboanga City where he was rushed after complaining of intense abdominal pain and low grade fever. With ultrasound results confirming gallstones as the culprit, doctors recommended surgery. Another childhood friend from the medical field recommended lithotripsy—a method of concentrating ultrasonic shock waves onto the gallstones in order to break them up into tiny pieces—available at the Philippine General Hospital for P60,000, exclusive of doctors’ fees and hospital bills. My brother requested that I confirm the cost of the procedure with PGH.
However, last Sunday, he enthusiastically announced the success of the home remedy recommended by a friend who was initially advised surgery by Zamboanga doctors for the same sickness but was advised against it by Dr. Angel Gabriel of Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City when the latter’s expertise was sought. Instead, my brother’s friend used the natural and painless way of removing the gallstones through “Gallstone Flush” using either Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or Apple Juice and Epsom Salt.
The Gallstone Flush method, as devised by the Dulwich Health Society, and as culled from the article of Penny Michaels of Greenlife Direct, is as follows:
- For six consecutive days drink two liters of fresh, pure apple juice per day. Beg, borrow or steal a juicer if you can and use organic green apples, which have higher pectin content than red apples. The pectin in the apple juice will begin to soften the gallstones. If you do not have a juicer, ensure you purchase organic apple juice, and eat organic green apples. It also helps to drink 5 cups of camomile tea per day. During this time eat sensibly, following the guidelines on page 3.
- On the sixth day, eat nothing after lunch but continue to drink the apple juice and camomile tea.
- At 9.00 p.m. on the sixth day, take 1-2 level tablespoons of Epsom salts* dissolved in a little warm water. Prepare another dose in case you need it later.
- At 10.00 p.m. mix together 60ml of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice and 120 ml of cold-pressed, unrefined extra virgin olive oil. Drink as slowly as you can manage. (Drinking it through a straw helps, so that the oil does not come into contact with the lips.)
- Got to bed immediately and lay on your right side for 30 minutes with your right knee drawn up to your chest before you go to sleep, to help the olive oil mix drain.
- During the next day you should pass gallstones that are as soft as putty. *The Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) are used to dilate the bile duct, to reduce the risk of a stone becoming lodged there. If you suspect that a stone may have become lodged (which will produce a mild, dull pain in comparison the extremely sharp pain of a gallstone attack), repeat the procedure.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PERFORM THIS FLUSH UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD AN ULTRASOUND SCAN TO DETERMINE THE SIZE AND QUANTITY OF THE STONES. IF THEY ARE TOO LARGE TO BE SUCCESSFULLY PASSED USING THIS METHOD AND BECOME LODGED IN THE BILE DUCT, SEVERE PAIN AND POSSIBLE SURGERY MAY BE THE RESULT.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Gallstone Formation Diet:
- • Eat whole grains, unrefined carbohydrates (brown bread, rice and pasta etc) and plenty of dietary fiber.
- Increase intake of vegetable proteins (especially soy products), decreasing intake of animal proteins.
- Consume plenty of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, especially those containing pectin (especially green apples) and cellulose (especially celery and crisp fruits and vegetables).
- Eliminate intake of saturated fats, and ALL products containing white sugar and white flour.
- Eat no fried foods, especially those that are deep-fried.
- Avoid ice-cold foods and drinks – room temperature or slightly warm is best.
- Avoid coffee.
- Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to keep the water content of your bile topped up, plus chamomile tea if possible
- NEVER skip meals and ALWAYS eat breakfast.
- Every meal or snack should contain 10g of fat to enable the gallbladder to contract.
- Drink a little unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil each day (see Daily Flush Drink above). Olive oil will help the gallbladder to contract vigorously and thus cleanse itself.
- Do not eat excessively large meals, which put an unnecessary burden on the digestive system.
- Vegetarians have a much lower incidence of gallstones, so adopting a vegetarian diet will certainly help.