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Gallbladder cleanse: A 'natural' remedy for gallstones?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gallbladder-cleanse/AN01283
- With Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist
Michael F. Picco, M.D.read biographyclose window
Michael F. Picco, M.D.Michael F. Picco, M.D.
Dr. Michael Picco has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Picco is an assistant professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and a consultant in gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
He has authored numerous publications in the area of gastroenterology, including original research, editorials and textbook chapters. He works with a team of gastroenterologists that takes care of complex gastrointestinal conditions and has a particular interest in diarrheal illnesses and inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease). He is also active in medical education in training new gastroenterologist and internists.
"Mayo Clinic's website is an invaluable resource for patients and their families," Dr. Picco said. "Informed patients are better able to participate in their own health care. A patient's participation is vital to the treatment of his or her disease. I hope to assist in helping patients understand their digestive problems and current treatments that are offered. This will allow for better communication between patients, their physicians and other health care professionals."
Dr. Picco serves as a reviewer of new research for several medical journals in the area of gastroenterology and is an active member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He serves on numerous committees that address physician training, research and clinical practice in gastroenterology, both at Mayo Clinic and at the national level.
"Patients need to know about their disease, what to expect, the latest treatments and side effects so that they can make informed decisions about their health care. Gastrointestinal disease affects not only patients but also their families. My goal is to assure that our website provides accurate, reliable information and resources for patients. We must always provide the latest, most cutting-edge information to assist patients in dealing with their medical problems," Dr. Picco said.
Treatments and drugs (2)
- Can you recommend a diet after gallbladder removal?
- Chronic diarrhea: A concern after gallbladder removal?
Alternative medicine (1)
- Gallbladder cleanse: A 'natural' remedy for gallstones?
Gallbladder cleanse: A 'natural' remedy for gallstones?
What is a gallbladder cleanse? Is it an effective way to flush out gallstones?
from Michael F. Picco, M.D.
A gallbladder cleanse — also called a gallbladder flush or a liver flush — is an alternative remedy for ridding the body of gallstones. However, there is no reliable evidence that a gallbladder cleanse is useful in preventing or treating gallstones or any other disease.
In most cases, a gallbladder cleanse involves eating or drinking a combination of olive oil, herbs and some type of fruit juice over several hours. Proponents claim that gallbladder cleansing helps break up gallstones and stimulates the gallbladder to release them in stool. Although olive oil can act as a laxative, there's no evidence that it's an effective treatment for gallstones. Also, people who try gallbladder cleansing may see what looks like gallstones in their stool the next day. But what they are really seeing is globs of oil, juice and other materials.
Gallbladder cleansing is not without risk. Some people have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain during the flushing or cleansing period. Individual components of the herbal mixtures used in a gallbladder cleanse may present their own health hazards.
Gallstones that cause no symptoms typically require no treatment. If you have gallstones that require treatment, discuss proven treatment options with your doctor, such as surgical removal, bile salt tablets or sound wave therapy.Next question
Can you recommend a diet after gallbladder removal?
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2954-0..50048-X--cesec2&isbn=978-1-4160-2954-0&sid=1275843284&uniqId=321215166-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2954-0..50048-X--cesec30. Accessed Feb. 26, 2012.
- Liver flush. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/PharmacologicalandBiologicalTreatment/liver-flush?sitearea=ETO. Accessed Feb. 26, 2012.
- Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gallstones/. Accessed Feb. 26, 2012.