Gallstones and biliary colic
Gallstones (cholelithiasis) can form directly in the gallbladder (cholecystolithiasis) or in different bile ducts (choledocholithiasis). In many cases, the gallstones go unnoticed for years. If there are complaints, they range from simple nausea after high-fat food to biliary colic, which can be very painful. Gallstones consist of approximately 80% cholesterol, often mixed with calcium and bilirubin. Medicinal plants from natural medicine and foods that stimulate the flow of bile can of course be prevented and treatment can be supported.
Gallstone disease; Cholelithiasis, cholecystolithiasis; Choledocholithiasis, gallstones.
Bile structure and function
Medical laypersons mostly use the term "bile" both to designate the gallbladder and the bile contained in it. The system actually consists of a gallbladder, bile and numerous bile ducts, some of which are finely branched within the liver and lead to the gallbladder and from there lead out of the liver as a bile duct. Together with the pancreatic duct, the bile duct ends up in the papilla of the duodenum, where the digestive process is to take place.
The gallbladder is located on the underside of the liver, with the capsule of which it has grown together. It is a pear-shaped hollow organ that stores the bile produced by the liver, thickens it and then releases it into the duodenum if necessary (for example after a high-fat meal) via the bile ducts. On the one hand, with its fat-soluble constituents, it serves in particular to digest fat. Another important function is the removal of fat-soluble breakdown products from the liver, which enter the intestine with the bile and are excreted there. In naturopathy, the bile juice is also referred to as “bowel movements of the liver”.
The main symptom of biliary colic
In only about 25% of cases, the gallstones cause complaints. If a stone is flushed out of the gallbladder and closes a biliary tract, biliary colic typically occurs. This occurs with the most severe abdominal pain. These are usually described as cramp-like pains in the upper and middle abdomen that radiate into the right back or the right shoulder. In addition, there may be pallor, sweating, nausea and vomiting as well as a circulatory collapse as accompanying vegetative symptoms and possibly fever. Now there is an emergency with the image of an acute abdomen (acute abdominal pain).
If several bile ducts are blocked, one can Occlusion icterus come with yellowing of the skin because the blood pigment bilirubin cannot leave the liver and is pushed back into the blood. If bile and mucus cannot leave the gallbladder, there is a risk of gallbladder hydrops, which - together with bacteria - lead to Gallbladder empyema can develop with purulent content. In the same way, inflammation of the gallbladder and biliary tract can develop, but also acute inflammation of the pancreas. If the stones penetrate the biliary tract or gallbladder, there is a risk of peritonitis, which can be associated with intestinal obstruction and sepsis.
Origin, causes and risk factors
From a medical point of view, gallstones arise when the components of the cholesterol, bilirubin and calcium contained in the bile crystallize due to an imbalance in the solution conditions and grow into so-called concretions. These then fill the gallbladder, close the gallbladder or bile duct and sometimes block the duct of the pancreas.
This can be due to a reduced breakdown of cholesterol in the body, an insufficient intake of bile acids in the (functionally restricted) small intestine, but above all an excess supply of cholesterol in the diet. Too much animal fat from meat, bacon and sausage, tarts, sweets, cream, eggs or white bread combined with a sedentary lifestyle, just like stress-related cramps in the bile ducts, contribute significantly to the formation of gallstones. Favorable factors for the development of gallstones include movement disorders and inflammation of the gallbladder, lack of exercise, obesity, obesity, diabetes mellitus, a chronically increased blood lipid level as well as pregnancy and increased occurrence in the family.
The gallstones are (often randomly) identified using ultrasound. No symptoms are treated at all, while an acute biliary colic is treated with pain-relieving and antispasmodic medication. In the event of recurring complaints or the risk of breakthrough or degeneration, surgery is recommended to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). Sometimes stones can be removed as part of a mirroring (ERCP).
Treatment in naturopathy
Naturopathic diagnostic procedures such as face or iris diagnosis provide constitutional indications of gallstone formation early on, which can be responded to therapeutically. Naturopathy has many options that prevent the development of gallstones. Regular cures with preparations made from dandelions, wormwood, boldo leaves, yarrow or artichoke leaves, depending on the recipe with other medicines, have a prophylactic or anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory effect on existing gallstones.
In his "Naturopathic Nutrition Certificate" Walter Binder recommends, as a gallstone diet, the frequent consumption of honey, olives, paprika juice, radishes and radishes, artichokes and turmeric as well as the avoidance of high-calorie, high-fat foods. If there is cramp-like pain, the Schüßler salt No. 7, Magnesium phosphoricum can relieve the pain, while the No. 10, sodium sulfuricum is generally known as a supportive agent for the liver and bile.
Numerous naturopathic treatments are used in naturopathy to restore health, e.g. the classic drainage procedures, neural therapy, homeopathy and microbiological therapy for proven intestinal dysbiosis.
The psychosomatic view takes us directly to the subject of aggression through language. We “run over the bile”, we “spit poison and bile” or are called “choleric” (chole = bile). In their classic "Disease as a Path", Dahlke and Detlefsen (1990) describe gallstones as "petrified aggression", whereby their own aggressive energy is held back, built up and solidified.
The majority of women are still affected by the disease, perhaps because they subordinate themselves to external (family, professional) structures rather than live out the aggressive energies according to their own nature. Advisory and therapy offers are particularly recommended here, which can help to implement individual personality development in a socially largely acceptable manner (self-organizational hypnosis according to Renartz, systemic (family) counseling, psychokinesiology, talk therapy according to Rogers or catathymic imaginary psychotherapy according to Leuner, among others ). (Dipl.Päd. Jeanette Viñals Stein, naturopath)