What if the indigestion you’re suffering with is actually a gallbladder attack? Many people do not know they have gallstones until they suffer a painful and scary gallbladder attack. Knowing the symptoms is important because a mild attack can usually be comfortably managed at home and strategies can be put in place to reduce the risk of a more severe attack in the future. A severe gallbladder attack is a medical emergency and possibly life threatening.

A gallbladder attack can occur if a gallstone gets trapped in the neck of the gallbladder, or gets stuck in a bile duct.  This can inhibit the normal flow of bile and lead to a build up of pressure within the biliary system.  Spasms of the bile ducts can also lead to pain and discomfort.

It is also possible to have a gallbladder attack when no stones can be found in the gallbladder.  These symptoms can be caused by inflammation to the walls of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), or gallbladder sludge or a stone trapped within a bile duct inside the liver.

The following signs and symptoms may indicate you are having a gallbladder attack:

  • Intense pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen (just behind the lowest rib on the right).  The area can be so tender that it takes your breath away if you apply pressure to it.
  • Nausea that may lead to vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Flatulence (intestinal gas)
  • Diarrhea
  • Belching (burping)
  • A fever
  • Pain may radiate to the right shoulder blade, or between the shoulder blades
  • The pain may be so intense that it becomes impossible to walk unless hunched over
  • The pain may come and go or it may be constant

The symptoms of a gallbladder attack usually last between one and four hours.  It most frequently occurs after a heavy meal, high in fat; typically after dinner.  Therefore most gallbladder attacks occur at night.

Beverages that offer relief for gallbladder pain

Warm apple cider vinegar drink

This is excellent for relieving nausea. It is important to include apple cider vinegar in your diet regularly if you want to dissolve gallstones, but sipping on diluted apple cider vinegar during a gallbladder attack is a useful first aid remedy.

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one mug of warm water and sip slowly during a gallbladder attack.

Strong peppermint tea

Peppermint helps to relieve spasms in the digestive tract, thus can help to settle down your gallbladder.

You can alternate these drinks during a gallbladder attack, or stick to the one that offers you most relief.

Magnesium helps to reduce painful gallbladder spasms, therefore dissolving half a teaspoon of Magnesium Ultra Potent powder in a little warm water should also help reduce pain. You may need to take this every hour. Please make sure you see your own local doctor if you have any health concerns.

Ox bile supplements help to make the bile thinner and can help dissolves gallstones in time. They need to be taken with meals.

There is a great deal of information you may find helpful in the book Save Your Gallbladder, and what to do if you’ve already lost it.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.