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(Disease having similar symptoms in Ayurved- Pittashmari)

What are gallstones?
How these stones are formed in gall bladder?
What are the symptoms?
What are predisposing factors and how to overcome them?
What is the view of Ayurveda?

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are formed in the biliary tree. They are like sand in the storage pocket of liver i.e. Gall
bladder. Most often, gallstones don’t cause any problems at all. People may not even realize that
they have them until they subject to any x-ray or ultrasound examination for some other reason.
Thus many people know its existence by such accidental investigations. Gallstones cause pain
usually because one has gotten stuck in a duct, blocking the flow of bile. If that happens you’ll
have steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that continue for long time. If you have silent
gallstones, usually you should not require an operation. Surgery is limited to those who have acute
gall bladder disease (Acute Cholecystitis) and those who have obstruction of the bile ducts with

How these stones are formed in gall bladder?

Gall bladder is a storage reservoir for bile produced by your liver. Most gallstones are cholesterol
stones and the others few are formed from bile pigments. The biliary production of cholesterol
increases with age. Here one question may rise in your mind, why cholesterol stones are formed?
Cholesterol is insoluble in water. It is carried in the blood stream by combining it with a blood
protein, which is soluble. Since it is insoluble it tends to form crystals and eventually stones. It is
kept in solution state in the bile by the bile salts. The more bile salts you have in relation to the
amount of cholesterol in your bile, the less likely you are to develop gallstones. Factors that
increase the amount of cholesterol in bile increase the risk of having cholesterol gallstones. The
other types of gallstones are pigmented gallstones, black or brown in colour. They are formed from
the pigment in bile, bilirubin. These are come from the hemoglobin in the red blood cells that are
regularly destroyed. An individual who have an increased destruction of RBC’s, such as hemolytic
anemia are particularly prone to pigmented gallstones.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom is pain in the upper right abdominal area or pain in the “pit of the
stomach”. This is often because a gallstone is lodged in the cystic duet that drains the gall bladder.
The pain may also be referred to the right shoulder, under the scapula and the chest. Nausea and
vomiting are common and even fever too. The pain is rather constant and may last for several
hours. As a stone passes down the common bile duet, it may lodge and obstruct the drainage of the
pancreas, causing acute pancreatitis. It may also obstruct the common bile duet and cause
jaundice because bile pigments that cannot drain may build up in the blood stream. An acutely
inflamed gallbladder will develop gangrene and perforation giving rise to acute abdomen. Symptoms
include indigestion, excess gas formation and fatty food intolerances.

What are predisposing factors and how to overcome them?

As we know most stones is cholesterol in origin. However, a low level of HDL and increased
triglycecides are associatd with an increased incidence of gallstones.
“Fair, Fat, Fourty and Four” is an old medical aphorism which describes the person most likely to
have gallstones.
Women who are overweight, 40 years of age and have four children are perfect candidate for
New research suggests that slow transit time of bowel may be the pre disposing reason for
gallstones. That could be the reason why pregnancies produce gallstones and not just hormonal
changes alone. As we know pregnant women feels constipated very often. Thus women, particularly
during the child bearing age, have longer transit times of bowel than men and thus has increase
tendency of gall stones than men. [Non-absorbed portion of bile salts passes into the colon, where
bacteria act on them to form new compound, one of them is deoxycholate. Some products are
reabsorbed and returned to the liver. This ‘deoxycholate’ stimulates the liver to produce increased
amounts of cholesterol. This overproduction upsets the ratio of bile salts and cholesterol and stones
are formed].

Estrogen stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol and less bile acid. That’s the reason both
oral contraceptives and estrogen replacement therapy for the menopause, may increase the risk of
developing gallstones.
1.As cholesterol rich peoples are prone to gall stones, stay away from foods that are very high in
saturated fat, meat and products containing coconut oils or hydrogenated ghee, highly processed
food etc. such diet contributes to weight gain, a risk in itself.
2.To bring down your weight, change diet and do regular exercise.
3.If you are constipated, take prompt action against it. Regular emptying of bowels minimises your
risk. Small bulk of stools is related with slow transit time. By bulk increasing diet i.e. fiber rich, raw
fruits and veggies etc. you can improve your bowel movements. So don't do harsh diet for loosing
weight, eat in adequate quantity.
4.Some yogic postures also helps you, as they stimulates your stomach muscles, gall bladder etc.
which activates or force to work them in harmony.
What is the view of Ayurveda?
Gall bladder stones are known as “Pittashmari” in ayurveda. Bile resembles ‘Pitta’ and a deposition of
that is known as ‘Pittashmari’. Word ‘Ashmari’ denotes stone or calculus. According to ayurveda,
vitiated vata when dries up pitta it gets solidified. ‘Pittashaya’ indicates ‘gall bladder’ where ‘pitta’

If your pain is not acute in nature, you can do following things to relieve it:

1.Apply hot compression, heating pad or hot water bottle over painful area, this warmth will minimize
your pain.
2.Heaviness or fullness of abdomen due toexcess eating, gascious distension or constipation can
increase your pain, so take proper care while eating, don’t over eat, eat light food which is easy to
digest and doesn’t produce much gas while digestion.
3.Keep your bowels open by eating leafy vegetables, fruits, prunes etc. and not by taking daily
4.Take decoction of Pashanbheda added with purified shilajatu, under medical supervision.
5.Bile salts are used to increase the amount of bile salts and help dissolve cholesterol stones. Using
Gorochan we can achieve this goal. It has capacity to dissolve bile stones.
6.Take alkali (kshar) of kokilaksha with lukewarm water under medical supervision only, can
alleviates pain.
7.You can use mixture of Trikatu churna, Shankha bhasma and Saindhava in equal quantity added
with half part Hingo with luke warm water.
8.Decoction of Aragwadha and Triphala added with honey and sugar could be use as it clears up
digestive system also.