How to Relieve Gallbladder Pain: 15 Steps (with Images)

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How to Relieve Gallbladder Pain: 15 Steps (with Images)
How to Relieve Gallbladder Pain: 15 Steps (with Images)

Pain in the gallbladder (upper right abdomen) can be mild or severe. Stones in many cases are to blame, but you should see a doctor to rule out other problems. When the discomfort is not too intense, over-the-counter medications can provide relief quickly; in the long term, changes in diet can decrease the chance of suffering gallstones. However, when the pain is unbearable or accompanied by fever and jaundice, go to the nearest emergency room.


Part 1 of 3: Getting Fast Pain Relief

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 1

Step 1. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen

Generally, this is what works best on gallbladder discomforts, controlling them immediately. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and be aware that the medicine can cause liver problems, so ensure that the pain does not come from the liver.

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin or iburprofen, should only be taken on the recommendation of your doctor. Such medications can irritate the stomach, making biliary pain worse.
  • When over-the-counter medications don't work, your doctor may prescribe an antispasmodic, which relaxes the gallbladder.
  • Use all medications as directed by your physician or as per the package insert recommendations.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 2

Step 2. Apply a warm compress to the affected area

For immediate relief, wrap a hot water bottle, heated pad, or store-bought compress in a towel. Place it on your upper abdomen and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes in place.

Get up and try to walk after applying the compress (every two to three hours when pain arises)

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 3

Step 3. Use a hot compress with castor oil

Prepare it by soaking a clean cloth or towel in pure castor oil, placing it over the painful area and covering it with plastic wrap. Hold the hot compress over the plastic for 30 minutes to fight pain and inflammation.

Apply with hot oil once a day for three days

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 4

Step 4. Prepare a turmeric tea

Slice a 2-inch piece of turmeric root and boil it in a pot to make tea; another option is to take a supplement of 1,000 to 2,500 mg of turmeric every day. Among other medical disorders, turmeric is used to combat biliary problems.

  • Although it usually poses no risk, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking turmeric tea or supplement.
  • Turmeric and other herbs can quickly empty the gallbladder. Even though the increased circulation of bile helps to improve the pain, there may be a blockage in the pathways, causing other complications; as always, the doctor will be able to make the best indications.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 5

Step 5. Ask the doctor about using herbs, supplements and “detox” methods

There are several types of home remedies for biliary discomfort, but the vast majority are not scientifically proven; moreover, some of them can end up worsening gallbladder disorders, other problems and interact with medications.

  • Milk thistle, peppermint, chicory and other herbs are supposed to alleviate the pain of gallstones, but there is a chance they will block the bile ducts and bring about further complications.
  • Some have heard that apple cider vinegar and olive oil are good for a "detox" in the gallbladder, but there are no confirming studies. In addition, “cleaning” methods, which replace solid meals, can end up worsening the incidence of gallstones.
  • Some people say that drinking salt water also cleans the digestive system, but this technique is dangerous and should be avoided.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 6

Step 6. Use betaine hydrochloride to improve digestive problems

Hydrochloride supplement does not directly affect the gallbladder, but it can aid digestion and combat related symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and belching. A typical dose is at least 600 mg of betaine hydrochloride with meals.

  • Betaine hydrochloride can be obtained from any pharmacy without the need for a prescription.
  • Ask your doctor if supplementing hydrochloride is right for you. It should not be taken by patients with a history of stomach ulcers, gastritis, heartburn or acid reflux. When you feel a burning sensation in your stomach, discontinue use.

Part 2 of 3: Making Food Changes

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 7

Step 1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water (2 L) of water a day, which is great for general health and can help the body break down the substances that form gallstones

When you're suffering from diarrhea related to these problems, it's even more important to stay hydrated.

The 8 cups are generally recommended; on hotter days or when exercising (intense and hot, for example), consume 450 to 900 ml per hour

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 8

Step 2. Eat foods with higher amounts of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Fiber helps to lower cholesterol in the bile, preventing the formation of stones. Fresh fruits, vegetables (especially those with green leaves), lentils, brown rice, wholegrain pastas, breads and cereals are foods rich in fiber.

If you have recently had gallbladder surgery or are on a special diet, check with your doctor first to find out how much fiber you can eat

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 9

Step 3. Increase your consumption of citrus fruits and other sources of vitamin C, which makes it easier for the body to dissolve cholesterol, meaning it reduces the chance of suffering gallstones

Get 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C a day, which is about the amount in a glass of orange juice or a medium-sized orange; it's very simple to get that amount daily.

  • Other citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, kiwi, strawberries and green and red peppers also have vitamin C.
  • If you like, ask your doctor if it is possible to take a daily vitamin C supplement. Don't forget that the body absorbs nutrients from food better than from supplements.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 10

Step 4. Limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates and artificial sugars

The first category includes non-whole grains (white bread, rice and flour); the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables are not harmful, but those with the artificial variation (sweets and soft drinks, for example) are contraindicated.

Refined carbohydrates and artificial sugars are associated with an increased risk of gallstones

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 11

Step 5. In moderation, consume healthy fats and oils

Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats are healthier options than hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Consume salmon, trout, avocado and vegetable oils (olive oil and canola) to get them, making up about 20% of daily calories or approximately 44 g in a 2,000 calorie diet.

  • Healthy fats are important; eliminating any type of fat from your diet may end up increasing your risk of gallstones.
  • On the other hand, avoid harmful fats, such as saturated and trans fats, which increase the risk of suffering recurrent discomfort in the gallbladder. They are present in fried foods, foods prepared with margarine, fatty cuts of loin and meat, chicken skin, bacon and many others.
  • Also, read the nutrition tables of foods and see the amount of cholesterol. Normally, adults should not take more than 300 mg per day; depending on the case, the doctor will recommend a daily value of 100 mg or even less.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 12

Step 6. Never skip meals or go on “fad” diets

It is important to eat at regular intervals; when the body does not receive food for a long period of time, the liver releases more cholesterol into the bile, promoting the appearance of gallstones.

Overweight or obese individuals who have biliary problems will benefit from gradual weight loss. Over a period of six months, try not to burn more than 5-10% of your initial weight

Part 3 of 3: Seeking Medical Help

Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 13

Step 1. Consult a physician when symptoms are persistent or severe

A mild pain in the upper right abdomen for a few days requires a doctor to analyze the situation; if the manifestations are severe, look for the nearest hospital.

  • Very severe pain that prevents you from being able to sit up straight or move the abdominal region, fever, chills, yellow skin and jaundice are serious and need immediate care.
  • If you suspect a gallbladder disorder, it is important to consult a doctor before trying any treatment on your own.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 14

Step 2. With your doctor's supervision, come up with a suitable treatment plan

Report your symptoms, a history of related medical conditions, and any medications you take. He should order exams, such as blood counts and imaging tests, helping the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis and outline the best possible treatment.

  • Kidney stones often cause pain in the upper right abdomen, but this can also be an infection, obstruction of the bile ducts, or some other disorder.
  • To resolve the blockage of the pathways and get rid of the stones, there are several treatment options: surgical removal of the gallbladder, use of medication to dissolve the stones, sound wave therapy to break them up, or perform an endoscopic (non-surgical) procedure to remove them.
  • For biliary infections, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics; in more severe cases, the gallbladder may have to be removed.
Ease Gallbladder Pain Step 15

Step 3. Post-operatively, follow the doctor's instructions, taking good care of the operated site

Some patients can stay in the hospital for up to a week, but they are usually discharged the next day or 48 hours after the procedure.

  • After surgery, your doctor may recommend liquid food to give your gallbladder a “rest”. Regardless of the surgery or not, it will be necessary to adopt, indefinitely, a diet low in cholesterol and that does not overload the gallbladder.
  • It is normal for there to be more bowel movement and diarrhea after surgery, but these are temporary manifestations.


  • In addition to other health benefits, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can lower the risk of gallstones and related organ disease.
  • People with a history of biliary pain should avoid diets and training aimed at rapid weight loss, as they increase the chance of suffering from calculi.


  • Consult a physician before trying any measures to treat biliary pain. Infections, stones or obstruction in the biliary tract are medical emergencies and need immediate care.
  • When the pain persists for more than six hours, leads to fever and vomiting, or is severe enough to prevent you from having a normal life, go to the emergency room immediately.

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