Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Whack-A-Gallbladder

OK, Whack-A-Mole. I surrender.

With all the treating I've done for collaterally damaged organs, the last thing I'm interested in is adding another diagnoses or problem to my list. 

I mean, come on. Let's start scratching some stuff off the list already. But, no can do, says a tiny voice coming from my gallbladder.

Whack.

While a high percentage of Lymies in Facebook groups have openly struggled with theirs, I've never paid much attention to gallbladder issues. Admittedly, up until a few days ago, I didn't even know what a gallbladder really does.

Well, thank you dear gallbladder for the first-hand, educational experience.
  • All that back pain I've been having on the right side behind my scapula? Massage therapists said it was due to using a computer mouse. (I haven't worked a full-time desk job in three years, so I've cut down on mouse usage by about 90%, and the back pain is now worse than ever.)
  • The pain in my diaphragm and rib cage that I've been told by naturopaths and rolfers were "hiatal hernia" and "ribs out of place"?
  • The intense nausea accompanied by more and more frequent bouts of vomiting and dry heaving--especially following consumption of greasy or fatty foods like onion rings and hamburgers?
In hindsight, this has been going on, intermittently, for a few years. Usually the pain to the right of my upper stomach is a dull, bruised type pain. Then there are infrequent times when it's sharp and stabbing. 

Earlier this week, I took to Facebook in pursuit of peer advice and personal experiences on gallbladder issues. And boy, oh boy, did I ever get what I asked for! Within a couple of hours, I heard from no less than thirty Lymie and chronic illness friends. They sent me private messages, they commented on my status, and they replied to my questions in the discussion groups.

It seems like everyone and their mother has been through this.

It's the new trend in wellness.

And everyone has an opinion. A strong opinion.

These opinions vary from "NO, DO NOT REMOVE THIS VITAL ORGAN OR YOUR LIFE WILL BE DESTROYED!!!!!" to "REMOVAL WAS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE!!!!"

So I started to seriously consider bidding adieu to mine, as I found myself swiftly ushered into the ultrasound laboratory by way of my local, non-LLMD doctor earlier this week.

The ultrasound revealed absolutely nothing (which tends to be the case for most), so my doctor suggested I get a HIDA scan, which is a more savvy detective of malfunctions of the gallbladder.

But the HIDA scan gives you one to three years' worth of elemental radiation (depending on whom you ask), not to mention a toxic dye that gets injected into you, or the intense nausea that most people feel during the scan, or the fact that it causes artificial gallbladder contractions and bile stimulation.

As sensitive as I am (and I mean, hypersensitive), that's not an experience that would go over well with me.

I know, I know. Everyone's thinking, "Just endure it. You'll figure out what's wrong with your gallbladder."

But... two things.

First, even after the HIDA results are shown, the doctor will probably want to take mine out based on symptoms alone. She already expressed her interest in doing just that. "You'll want it out before you get pregnant. If you're having pains, they'll get a lot worse during pregnancy."

And secondly, I'm not sure the HIDA would show what I don't already know. I have chronic Lyme, which almost always correlates with a sick gallbladder--a chronically inflamed one. There's a name for chronic inflammation of the gallbladder: cholecystitis.

Regardless of what any machine can show, the question remains, do I want my gallbladder taken out? That's pretty much a decision left up to me.

So then I hit a wall. And the brakes.

What if I'm being too eager to jump on the gallbladder-out bandwagon? What if I can heal it naturally?

What if I end up being one of those people who has to take enzymes and anti-diarrhea medications for the rest of my life, or--worse yet--one of those people who loses control of their bowels after they eat fats?!

Besides, all my organs hurt from time to time. My spleen is the worst offender, with its repeated stabbing pains. And let's not even get into my kidney pain. So do I really need to start removing organs that hurt? I won't have any left!

I understand the need for people with severe gallbladder problems to have theirs removed. When it becomes serious, such as when a person develops jaundice from gallbladder disease, or is doubled over in pain from a stone lodged in a bile duct, it's time for it to come out.

Just to be clear, I'm not anti-gallbladder removal. Not at all.

I just don't think I'm quite there yet. 

Maybe I'll have to get it out down the road, and when that day comes, I'll know with confidence that I'm doing the right thing. As things currently stand, I can always have it removed--but once it's out, I can't put it back in.

I'm just grateful that I understand what was causing the rib pains and nausea. Knowledge is empowering, and has a way of making things less mystifying or frightening.

Finally, I'd like to share my gallbladder healing protocol. These are pretty simple, tried and tested, natural ways to detoxify the gallbladder and aid in the removal of stones and sludge.
  • Drink a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a cup of pure apple juice daily or as needed for spasms. It reduces the pain and helps flush blockages--try it!
  • Regular coffee enemas to detoxify the liver. A healthy liver is the root of a healthy gallbladder! A liver that is congested with toxins directly contributes to the full spectrum of gallbladder maladies. Coffee enemas are excellent liver detoxifiers.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. This is my never-ending achilles heel. Caffeine and sugar are terrible for the gallbladder (and the whole body, for that matter). Don't confuse coffee enemas with drinking coffee--they are completely different animals.
  • Castor oil packs on the gallbladder as needed for pain and detoxification.
  • Eat healthier fats. This means replacing traditional fried foods with flax oil, olive oil, and coconut oil as often as possible. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for the gallbladder, and healthy fats are known to heal it. I don't eat a lot of fried food to begin with, but I think this is a big issue for most of America.
  • Anti-parasitics can help clean up the gallbladder, too. A couple of my friends are adamant that their gallbladder problems stopped after following an anti-parasitic protocol. There are many over-the-counter products that do this, including wormwood, black walnut, clove, cats claw, garlic and many others.
  • Gallbladder flushes to remove stones--proceed with caution! This is a physically taxing experience that involves fasting and consuming copious amounts of olive oil, epsom salts, and fruit juice in certain proportions (you can find very specific instructions with a Google search). While it's almost always successful at passing gallstones, it doesn't come without its own set of risks. I'm not sure I'll be including this in my own protocol, but I've included it here for others to see.
Feel free to contribute your own suggestions toward a healthy gallbladder in the comments section below. Thanks, and may you all have a healthy and happy gallbladder!!

6 comments:

  1. A very gentle detoxification for liver gallbladder:

    1) Juice a lemon, grapefruit, and an orange
    2) Add about 2 cloves of raw garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and put in a blender.

    Note: You can also add a teaspoon of sunflower lecithin if you have it. The other ingredients are generally very easy to find, and you can start without it.

    This can be used as a gentle flush. But just because it's relatively gentle doesn't mean a gallbladder attack is not possible. It can be used daily, but if that's too much, you can use it 2 or 3 times a week.

    Taurine, Magnesium, B6, and Lecithin are also essential for creating bile and digesting protein, aiding in fat absorption, fat emulsification, and helping with toxin elimination. A side note: Taurine is needed to keep magnesium in the cell as well.

    I am not promoting the as any type of cure. It could possibly help the pain and get the bile flowing and hopefully make you feel a bit better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way... this concoction tastes delicious (in my opinion), and should be consumed in the morning.

      Delete
  2. Well-written blog. Sitting at home minus my gallbladder, I'm happy to see that the pancreatitis is clearing up and the liver enzymes are back to better numbers now. I had an attack 2 1/2 years ago that sent me to the ER. Didn't know what it was at first. Since that other episode, I did the lemon juice/olive oil cleanse and thought it was all good. Meantime I lost 30lbs going Paleo.This week it came back with a vengeance, with 5 episodes in 4 days, 2 visits the ER, jaundice, and deep orange pee. I gave in! The Hub can't keep taking me to the ER! Now I'm full of questions about what I'm going to be able to eat and will I be chained to the bathroom for the rest of my life. We shall see. Just had some homemade egg-drop soup, and keeping fingers crossed about the outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beta TCP supplement works in 2-3 days! Biotics research makes it. I emailed you and hope you got it. If you try it and it works please let others know. My chiropractor has a very very large practice and he sees people heal all the time with just the one supplement. It helped me avoid surgery and my story is near identical to yours except one week I had sludge in my gallbladder and 10/10 pain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I had to finish. Finally able to figure out how to post with google account.

      Anyway, one week I was in with sludge and they were recommending surgery in my second trimester of pregnancy. I then remembered my awesome miracle worker chiropractor so I saw him and he tested me with muscle test and sure enough I needed gall supplement beta tcp. Instead of blindly just saying yes give me surgery while I am pregnant, I made them repeat the ultrasound a week later. I told them 2 days later I wanted a new one BC I felt fine. Yeah that's how long it took. 2 days and 10/10 pain gone. So wouldn't you know 1 week from the first ultrasound the second showed none. The nurse called me with the news. The OBGYN nurse. She told me there was none. She was in shock and I don't say that lightly. She said I have never seen this before. She said it usually either can stay that way for awhile but eventually the patient gets worse. She said how in the world did it go from sludge to clear on only 7 days? I told her just the supplement for a few days and I felt fine. She said "the doctor won't believe you but results don't lie so please keep taking it."
      Didn't need to. I avoided my big trigger. Gluten.
      Even now if I cheat for a day and have some sprouted wheat Ezekiel bread or organic wheat I still have pain right in that gall area. Within 2 days it is back to normal.
      You wouldn't believe the testimonials from it.
      He has had patients who have had their gallbladder out but when he muscle tests them he tells them of their gallbladder is showing up problematic. He said some patients look at him like he is crazy! But then they take the supplement and they always get better. Imagine for years having your gallbladder out but still having that pain in the neck and the diahrea and stomach issues that were suppose to stop. He explained the phantom pain thing to me. I have to understand everything to trust it.

      He said of all the supplements they sell, beta tcp for gallbladder is one of the two big sellers as well as what I emailed you about.
      Cytozyme AD.

      This is thee supplement I cannot go without and I would highly highly recommend you try it starting out at 20-24 a day. Sounds like way too much but I have recommended to so many Lyme friends and they get better.

      Delete
  4. In certain circumstance the Gall bladder surgery Dubai specialist recommend gall bladder removal. As gall bladder is not an essential organ, you are able to lead a normal life. In the absence of gall bladder liver will produce and store bile, and release it into the intestine whenever necessary.

    ReplyDelete