If a diagnosis of gallbladder sludge alarms you, it should. Sometimes called biliary sludge, gallbladder sludge is composed of calcium salts and cholesterol crystals. Unless you flush it from your system quickly, it can lead to gallstones, or worse, painful pancreatitis and inflammation of the gallbladder. If it isn’t resolved, surgical removal of the gallbladder is sometimes called for.
How Do I Know its Gallbladder Sludge, and How Did I Get It?
Gallbladder sludge can develop after fasting, rapid weight loss, or pregnancy. Certain medications will also cause it. Symptoms of gallbladder sludge include pain in the abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. Your doctor can diagnose it with an ultrasound. However, it’s a little alarming that many times there are NO symptoms at all, even though untreated gallbladder sludge is the precursor to more serious complications.
Since gallbladder sludge is often undetected, maintaining gallbladder health is of utmost importance.
Am I at Risk?
Listen to your body. You could be at risk if…
- you’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period of time
- you’re fasting
- you’re pregnant
- you’ve taken the antibiotic Rocephin
- you’ve been given Sandostatin, an anti-diarrheal used to treat some abdominal tumors, AIDS, or acromegaly (the condition of too much growth hormone)
- your cholesterol level is high
- you’ve suffered any other drug or alcohol damage
Even if none of the conditions listed applies, it’s important to be proactive; gallbladder sludge and gallstones can sneak up on us at any time. The good news is that with a few simple changes (and in a completely natural way), you can avoid or completely flush away gallbladder sludge in only days.
How Do I Get Rid of Gallbladder Sludge?
- Change your diet. At least ½ of your intake should be raw vegetables, fresh fruits and fruit juices, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. High fiber/low saturated fat should be your guideline. (Interestingly, vegans have the lowest rate of gallbladder symptoms!)
- Flax seed oil contains essential fatty acids which repair and prevent gallbladder sludge.
- Herbal Detox can quickly flush away gallbladder sludge. Look for a formula with whole, organic herbs, including Peppermint Leaf, Ginger Root, and Fennel Seed
- Vitamin C can help stave off gallbladder disease.
Along with these changes, you should avoid…
- animal and dairy foods (butter, milk, cheese, eggs)
- processed foods
- caffeine, sodas, and coffee
- refined white flour (substitute breads and pastas with whole wheat)