We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Dissolve Gallstones?

M.C. Huguelet
By
Updated Feb 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

If you suffer from gallstones — hardened masses of bile which can become lodged within the digestive ducts, causing pain — you may be searching for a non-invasive alternative to the surgical removal of your gallbladder. Unfortunately, reliable nonsurgical methods for eliminating gallstones are few. It is possible to dissolve gallstones with the use of oral medications, but as this method is slow and potentially harmful, your physician is unlikely to recommend it unless you cannot endure surgery. While some alternative medicine practitioners hold that gallstones can be dissolved through dietary changes, conventional medical research has not substantiated this method. Although surgery remains the most effective route to gallstone elimination, a low-fat diet may help discourage stones from moving into the digestive ducts.

The most common way to dissolve gallstones is by taking an acidic oral medication. While such medications can successfully eliminate gallstones, however, you may need to continue taking them for months or even years before your stones fully dissolve. Further, these medications can cause diarrhea and may raise the blood cholesterol level. Therefore, your physician will likely recommend this treatment only if another health condition makes surgery risky for you.

A more aggressive way to dissolve gallstones is with a treatment in which the compound methyl tert-butyl ether (MBTE) is injected directly into the gallbladder. This treatment has been shown to successfully dissolve gallstones in just a matter of days. As of 2010, however, medical researchers have not yet established all potential risks of this procedure. Thus, it is still considered highly experimental.

Some alternative medicine practitioners hold that it may be possible to dissolve gallstones by making dietary changes. You may hear, for instance, that your stones will disappear if you increase your intake of vitamin C, begin taking lecithin supplements, drink large quantities of water, or consume significant amounts of olive oil. Each of these measures may seem like an easy way to dissolve gallstones. Unfortunately, however, they have not been proven effective by conventional medical research.

Overall, surgical removal of the gallbladder remains the most reliable and effective treatment for gallstones. While there may be no simple way to dissolve gallstones, however, you may be able to discourage their movement from the gallbladder into the digestive ducts by eating a low-fat diet. Bile, which is stored in the gallbladder, helps to break down fats during digestion. By reducing your fat intake, you generally also curb the secretion of bile from the gallbladder, which may lower the chances that an already-formed gallstone will be carried into the digestive ducts.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseGEEK. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

M.C. Huguelet

M.C. Huguelet

Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseGEEK. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.