Is A Gallbladder Cleanse A Natural Way To Get Rid Of Gallstones?

If you've ever experienced gallstones — aka cholelithiasis — you know how incredibly painful they can be. According to Web MD, pieces of solid cholesterol make up about 80% of these painful stones, and the remaining 20% are pigment stones made of bilirubin. They range in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball, and you feel pain when they block your gallbladder's bile ducts. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dark urine, clay-colored stools, stomach pain, burping, diarrhea, and indigestion (via Healthline). 

If you're experiencing symptoms, you likely need to talk to your doctor about treatment like surgery to remove the offending stones or medication to help dissolve them (via Web MD). However, due to the pain involved, it's only natural to wonder if there's another way to help alleviate the problem at home. For example, does a gallbladder cleanse work to get rid of gallstones? Read on to find out. 

Here's what a gallbladder cleanse does

If you're desperate for help when you experience gallstones, you might find yourself searching for a natural way to remedy them. If you Google the issue, a gallbladder cleanse — also known as a gallbladder flush or liver flush — might come up. However, according to Mayo Clinic, it probably won't provide the relief you're hoping to find. The cleanse involves ingesting juice, herbs, and olive oil for a period of time. The Mayo Clinic warned that the olive oil might serve as a laxative but noted that whatever came out in your stool wouldn't be gallstones. Instead, it said what you see is globs of the oil and other items. 

In addition to not working, a gallbladder cleanse could also cause unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you're experiencing symptoms, you should talk to your doctor to discuss a solution. If you aren't experiencing gallstone problems, Web MD suggests that you can keep your gallbladder happy by not skipping meals, eating whole grains, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight, drinking plenty of water, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. These healthy habits represent a natural method of helping prevent gallstones in the first place.