Could a liver and gallbladder cleanse make your pain worse?

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gallbladder flushYou may have heard and read about liver and gallbladder cleanse. It is also sometimes called liver and gallbladder flush or liver and gallbladder detoxification. There are different methods for cleansing the liver and gallbladder, but they are similar in many respects.

Most of these methods involve the use of olive oil, fruit juice, Epsom salt, and certain types of fruits and vegetables.

Cleansing methods typically call for fasting and rest at some point.

The expected side effects are diarrhea, weakness, nausea, and general discomfort. Cramps and abdominal pain are also common reactions.

What’s the purpose of doing a liver and gallbladder detox?

This article will not provide the exact ingredients and proportions for gallbladder cleanse. You will have to find another resource if you’re interested in that. However, we are well aware of the purpose of performing a liver and gallbladder detox.

When you take about a cupful of olive oil, you’re telling your liver to produce and release a large amount of bile.

The goal is to flush the gallstones with bile, force them out of the gallbladder, and expel them out in the toilet.


What happens inside the body during a cleanse?

Every time you eat food, your brain sends a signal to the gallbladder to contract and release bile. If you eat a highly-fatty food, such as a cup of olive oil, the brain interprets this as something that requires a large amount of bile. In fact, a high fat intake will stimulate the gallbladder to empty out its bile content.

The combined contraction and emptying action will cause the gallstones to move and be displaced.

Since bile will always flow out toward the opening and the narrow passage, that will be the same direction that the dislodged stones will take. If the gallstones are smaller in diameter than the average bile duct diameter(less than 6 mm average), the stones may be expelled with the stools without any trouble.

But why do some people experience cramping pain?

can a liver and gallbladder cleanse work

Most gallstones are less than 5 mm in diameter. Though they will slow down bile flow, they will still be able to pass through the duct unobstructed. In such cases, there will only be minimal pain if at all.

However, bigger gallstones may cause blockage on the neck or along the length of the bile duct.

When this happens, many problems will ensue. The most urgent concern will be the excruciating pain that most patients experience.

With a blocked bile duct, there will be disruption of bile flow. Accumulated bile will create pressure in the gallbladder, which will be another source of pain. There will be swelling and inflammation. The rupture of the ducts is possible. In such cases, the immediate remedy is the surgical removal of the obstruction.

So will a gallbladder flush make the pain worse?

The pain associated with the presence of gallstones is often referred to as a gallstone attack. This happens after a huge meal, particularly a very fatty one.

As described earlier, high-fat food will stimulate the release of large quantities of bile. These physiological dynamics often disturb silent stones, which could potentially cause obstruction and pain.

This is the reason why people with gallstones are advised to take smaller, but more frequent, meals instead of one or two large meals. Smaller meals will not trigger the overproduction and emptying of bile and, thus, will not displace gallstones.

A gallbladder flush achieves what that advice hopes to avoid. It forces the liver to produce more bile, which is dumped into the bladder. The bladder is then triggered to contract and release its content to the duct. As explained before, this causes the stones to move.

Take note that gallbladder cleanse recipes involve cupsful of oil, which contains many times more fat than a fatty dinner.

This will trigger the flooding of bile from the liver and intensify the other effects including pain.


Final Thoughts

Gallbladder or liver cleanse is an alternative method of eliminating gallstones. Many patients attest to its efficacy.

It may work for people with gallstones that are small in diameter.

However, patients with ultrasound results showing larger gallstones are well advised to refer to their physicians for proper guidance before undergoing gallbladder cleansing of any type.

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