From the Magazine

This Could Be the Surprising Cause of Your Back Pain — And How to Fix It

Simple tweaks make a world of difference.

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Do you often find yourself wondering, “why does my back hurt so often?” For millions of women struggling with “a bad back,” the problem is actually an inflamed or clogged gallbladder. And according to Penn State researchers, fatty holiday fare can double your risk of pain flares. The good news: These study-backed tips can keep your gallbladder happy — and your back ache-free!

Use peppermint.

If you are currently taking medications for gallbladder pain, pairing it with two peppermint oil capsules daily could give you 73 percent more pain relief. British researchers say peppermint oil relaxes tiny ducts in the gallbladder, helping troublesome stones pass more easily.

Nosh on mandarins.

Snacking on two aasy-to-peel mandarins, tangerines, or clementines daily could cut your risk of gall bladder troubles by 42 percent, three studies suggest. Explains gastroenterologist Tom Walcher, M.D., your gallbladder contains a digestion-boosting liquid (bile) — and nutrients in citrus stop that liquid from thickening and forming painful clumps.

Enjoy all the sips.

Drinking two cups of coffee or three cups of black tea daily can cut your risk of gallstones by 27 percent in one week — and so can enjoying six ounces of wine (red or white) daily, report scientists at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. Thanks goes to the gentle stone-dissolving acids found in these tasty sips.

Butter your veggies. 

Enjoy two cups of vegetables daily — and top them with 1 Tbs. of butter or oil — and your risk of gallstones will drop by 25 percent! That’s the word from UCLA researchers, who say pairing nutrient-rich veggies with butter prods your gallbladder to squeeze and empty, flushing out tiny crystals before they can grow to an ouch size.

Try curcumin. 

Taking 500 mg. of curcumin ($16.99 Amazon) daily flushes out stones when they’re as tiny as grains of sand. Explains gastroenterologist Robin Spiller, M.D., curcumin reduces swelling, helping your gallbladder empty. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.

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This story originally appeared in our sister print magazine, Woman’s World. 

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