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Frequently Asked Questions about gallstones

1. What are gallstones?
2. Where do gallstones form?
3. Why do gallstones form?
4. How do I know if I have gallstones?
5. Can I have gallstones even if the X-ray or ultrasound is negative?

Frequently Asked Questions about gallbladder removal

1. What are the risks of gallbladder surgery?
2. What are the symptoms of a complicated gallbladder surgery?
3. What are the consequences and long-term side effects of gallbladder removal?
4. Can gallstones come back after gallbladder removal?
5. What can I do about gallstones which recur after gallbladder removal?
6. How does the cleanse help a person with no gallbladder?

Frequently Asked Questions about the treatment

1. How does the flush work?
2. How do I know the "stones" in my stool are real?
3. Can the gallbladder hold so many stones?
4. Why do the stones float?
5. Why are the stones soft?
6. How can large stones pass through the narrow bile ducts?
7. How many times do I need to take the treatment?
8. What are the side effects of this remedy?
9. No stones in my ultrasound - will stones appear if I take the treatment?

Answers to FAQ about gallstones

Q1. What are gallstones?
Gallstones are lumps of hardened bile containing cholesterol (which needs to be eliminated), bile pigments (dead red blood cells), bile salts, calcium salts, and excretory elements from the breakdown of toxins and other chemicals. Physical properties like hardness and color may vary according to the proportions of each content. In rare cases,a gallstone can be formed by dead parasites like roundworms or liver flukes.
Q2. Where do gallstones form?
Gallstones can form anywhere along the biliary tract where bile is present - in the gallbladder, in the various bile ducts, and in the liver.
Q3. Why do gallstones form?
Gallstones form when chemical imbalances cause the cholesterol in the bile to become less soluble and to crystallize. These chemical imbalances could be due to a poor diet, an unhealthy liver, excessive drugs and ingested chemicals, stagnant bile, or simply the individual's natural tendency.
Q4. How do I know if I have gallstones?
Ultrasound scanning is the most common method used to detect gallstones. Gallstones are often discovered unintentionally during scans or X-rays for other concerns. They may exist for many years without notice if they remain in the gallbladder. In autopsies, examiners often find gallbladders filled with stones although the deceased never complained about them.

Gallstones cause severe upper abdominal pain when they pass from the gallbladder into the cystic duct or from the liver into the hepatic duct, and then into the common bile duct. The pain can radiate to the back, the shoulders and even the back of the neck. When they block the flow of bile, the bile and its toxins back up into the liver and seeps into the bloodstream, causing jaundice.
Q5. Can I have gallstones even if the X-ray or ultrasound is negative?
Yes. The major component of most gallstones is cholesterol which is not radio-opaque. This explains why many gallstones do not show up on a plain X-ray; only stones with high calcium content are radio-opaque and visible.

Ultrasound scans have a better chance of detecting gallstones, but may still miss:
  • stones in the bile ducts.
  • stones in the liver.
  • stones fully packed in the gallbladder. Unlike the hollow gallbladder, the packed gallbladder and the liver are both denser organs which reflect sound waves off their outer surface instead of the stones.
  • stones in a gallbladder surrounded by excess fatty tissue which blocks the sound waves. In a study by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the diagnostic test most frequently compromised by excess fat was abdominal ultrasound. In other words, too much fat can produce a false negative result.
fattyscan

                Left:
an upper abdominal ultrasound image of a 197.7kg patient.

Right: an image produced by the same device on a normal-weight person.

All the above conditions are easily mistaken as an absence of gallstones, despite strong symptoms of gallstone colic.
Answers to FAQ about gallbladder removal

Q1. What are the risks of gallbladder surgery?
Getting a good surgeon is extremely important. A punctured bile duct or a poorly clipped cystic duct can cause bile to leak and poison the adjacent organs. A punctured bowel can release excrement into the pelvic area. In both cases, pus will develop in the infected areas, leading to organ failure and a painful death if not expertly repaired.

Nicking the common bile duct can cause it to scar, become narrow, and block the flow of bile, resulting in jaundice and liver congestion. Cholangitis, or inflammation of the bile ducts may develop due to bacterial infection of the stagnant bile. 
Q2. What are the symptoms of a complicated gallbladder surgery?
At first, patients may only feel unwell and vaguely uncomfortable, but gradually they will experience severe pain in the abdomen. Breathing difficulties shortly after surgery is a sign of bile leakage. Discharging a patient with these symptoms is medically negligent.

Unfortunately, jaundice caused by a scarred bile duct does not appear immediately, and the patient is sent home with a condition waiting to erupt. It takes a few days for the stagnant bile to back up into the bloodstream and show up as yellow discoloration of the skin.

If reparative surgery is deemed necessary, it is advisable to request to be transferred to a tertiary referral center with more experienced surgeons.

Q3. What are the consequences and long-term side effects of gallbladder removal?
After successful removal of the gallbladder, the body loses its ability to store and regulate bile. Immediate consequences would be felt in the digestive system, for example chronic diarrhea or indigestion when you eat fatty or oily foods. Some people avoid dining in restaurants for fear of inconvenience and embarrassment. To be fair, there are also people who have no complaints after gallbladder removal.

When bile is thin, it flows easily but there is no gallbladder for storage, so it constantly drips into the duodenum even when no food is present. This irritates the intestinal walls, causing diarrhea in the short-term, and other intestinal problems in the long-term.

In some people, bile is thick and does not flow easily but there is no gallbladder to squirt enough of it into the duodenum even when food is present. This causes indigestion and constipation (insufficient peristalsis and lubrication) in the short-term, and the more serious liver congestion in the long-term. Stagnant bile which used to be stored in the gallbladder may crystallize into stones in the bile ducts and liver.
Q4. Can gallstones come back after gallbladder removal?
Yes, because removing the gallbladder does not address the cause of the problem. The liver continues to produce the same unhealthy bile that had previously hardened into stones in the gallbladder. Gallstones can still form in the various bile ducts and in the liver to give you that "same old feeling". Unfortunately, some people have been told that it is due to stress or just their imagination!
Q5. What can I do about gallstones which recur after gallbladder removal?
You need to change your diet. Get to know the foods which give you diarrhea or indigestion, and the foods which don't. Eat according to what your body will allow. In general, avoid fatty foods, deep-fried foods, and high cholesterol foods like eggs and meat. Eat a high-fiber diet which includes vegetables, beans, fruits, and cereals.

Needless to say, you can also do the gallstone flush periodically to get rid of the stones in the bile ducts and liver, and ease the general feeling of discomfort.
Q6. How does the cleanse help a person with no gallbladder?
It stimulates the liver to flood the biliary tract with a large volume of bile. Even if your gallbladder has been removed, the pressure from the overflow of bile is enough to push stones, stagnant bile, and toxins from the liver and bile ducts, into the intestines and out with bowel movement. You will feel much better after the treatment.
Answers to FAQ about the treatment

Q1. How does the flush work?
The treatment triggers a dramatic jump in liver and gallbladder activity, causing the liver to produce an extreme amount of bile, and the gallbladder to contract vigorously. The sudden surge of fresh unsaturated bile softens the cholesterol stones, lubricates the ducts, and forces out the stones with help from the gallbladder acting as a pump. The gallstones are literally "squirted" out into the intestines as the body reacts to the treatment.
Q2. How do I know the "stones" in my stool are real?
To put this argument to rest, just take the stones to a reliable laboratory for analysis. You will find the results consistent with gallstone content - cholesterol, bile pigment, bile salts and other trace elements. Alternatively, scan your gallbladder after a few flushes and compare the images before and after. More importantly, watch for improvements in your symptoms, overall health and general well-being.
Q3. Can the gallbladder hold so many stones?
Depending on the size of the stones, the gallbladder can contain up to thousands of small stones. The huge number of stones you see after the flush may also come from the liver, which is a much larger organ.
Q4. Why do the stones float?
They float because the major component of most gallstones is cholesterol, which has a lower specific gravity compared to water. In rare cases, calcified stones which are denser than water will sink.
Q5. Why are the stones soft?
Flushed stones are relatively softer than surgically removed stones because the large amount of bile produced during the flush dissolves the cholesterol stones to a certain degree, like a partial reversal of the gallstone forming process. Again in rare cases, flushed stones with high calcium content can be quite hard.
Q6. How can large stones pass through the narrow bile ducts?
An ultrasound scan cannot distinguish between a single large stone in the gallbladder, and multiple stones positioned close to each other. In the case of large cholesterol stones, repeated flushes can soften and gradually dissolve them until they are small enough to pass through the elastic bile ducts. Nature has similar examples where a large object goes through a narrow passage - a snake swallowing a meal larger than its head, or a mother giving birth to her child.
Q7. How many times do I need to take the treatment?
Several rounds of treatment are usually required to clear up the gallbladder. Individual results may vary - some are clean after 2 rounds, while one particular customer took a record 10 rounds to clear up her gallbladder. If your gallstones have been confirmed by ultrasound scan, simply repeat the treatment until no more stones are passed, then scan again to compare the images before and after treatment.
Q8. What are the side effects of this remedy?
The term "side effects" is associated with prescription drugs which produce new problems in the process of suppressing the original symptoms. On the other hand, the discomfort caused by this remedy is only temporary, until you pass the stones out. Some of our customers do not feel any discomfort other than the urge to stool.

About 4 hours after taking the remedy, you may feel slightly uncomfortable around the abdomen. Among other experiences are: dizziness, nausea, headache, fever, or cold sweat. A few of our customers describe a feeling of "things" moving in the abdomen. Do not be afraid, the treatment is doing its work.
Q9. No stones in my ultrasound - will stones appear if I take the treatment?
Yes, if the stones in the gallbladder have been missed, or if the stones come from the liver and the various bile ducts.

Home :: Gallstones :: Options :: FAQ :: About Us :: Contact

Disclaimer: This website is intended to provide general information about gallstone disease and management. It is not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner. Please use the information at your own discretion. Yong An Alternative Treatment will not be liable for unsatisfactory results arising from decisions based on the information in this website. Online December 2005.
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