Thursday, August 25, 2011

Whoa is My Gallbladder

Yeah, I know that's a strange title.  Following these deep quotes from Corrie ten Boom while she endures the Holocaust, I hate to even complain.  But this is what my life is like right now and that's kind of what this blog is about...treasuring up each moment, the good and the not-so-good.  Actually, make that the agonizing, retching, moaning, sleepless night, tearing my body in two, not-so-good.

Please read about gallstones regardless if you have experienced an attack or not.  So many people suffer from this without ever having a full blown, Emergency Room quality attack.  Know the symptoms and be informed on what you can do to prevent one from happening.  Obviously, I'm not a medical practitioner, but you can read plenty of things by them to inform your decisions :-)


I started having attacks when I was pregnant with Brandt.  Pregnancy is often a trigger for gallbladder trouble - did you know that?  The first time, I thought I was in pre-term labor.  The intense pain in my upper abdomen, lower back and radiating through my right shoulder and arm, caused me to have long, hard contractions that lasted way longer than any contraction should.  I thought I was miscarrying my baby.  After talking to my midwife, she concluded that I was having a gallbladder attack and told me to try and relax.  After about 6 hours, the pain was mostly gone.  I was completely wiped out for two days afterward.

After that first attack, I did some internet sleuthing.  I didn't want to have it removed, I believe every body part is present for a reason.  But besides that, I was pregnant and couldn't undergo surgery anyway so I wanted to know how to help my poor, battered body the next time it happened.

I found and it was SO helpful.  I started to watch my diet - absolutely nothing fried, avoid greasy foods, eat far more green veggies, etc.  (I was pretty healthy to begin with).  The flax seed tea is so simple and significantly reduced the duration and intensity of my following attacks.  I had one larger one and quite a few littler ones during my pregnancy.  I considered a gallbladder flush but decided to wait until after giving birth.  When Brandt came, the attacks stopped and I, unfortunately, forgot about it.  I was really regretting that this past Tuesday night.

I picked up this book yesterday and cannot put it down.  I absolutely recommend it.  I am learning so much!!!

What causes gallstones?

Gallstones can be caused by any number of things but here is a brief list from this book.  (Who HASN'T experienced one of these???)

- Overeating/overweight
- Dehydration
- Rapid weight loss
- Greasy food
- Refined salt (as opposed to sea salt)
- Overeating proteins
- Lowfat diet
- Hormonal birth controls or replacement therapy (doubles the risk)
- Many other prescription drugs

It is estimated that over 20% of the world's population have gallstones in their gallbladder, but countless others have gallstones in their liver.  If you haven't had an attack, you might.  If you never do, you still might have stones in your liver. 

What is a gallbladder attack?

A gallbladder attack is when gall stones start to move around throughout the gallbladder.  This blocks bile ducts and/or floods bile and basically creates havoc inside your body.  Recurring attacks can indicate oxygen being blocked to the gallbladder and even liver which makes things dangerous.  The gallbladder can then become infected.  Many gallbladders are removed before they are infected - an unnecessary procedure. 

What is a gallbladder cleanse?

Along with chapters on how to tell if you have gallstones, causes of gallstones, avoiding gallstones, the health risks involved in having gallstones, and a kidney cleanse, too, this book tells you how to cleanse the gallstones from your gallbladder and liver.  I know there are many other cleanses that I have seen online but this one is the most detailed without telling you to buy some special concoction.  I've read many testimonials to this specific cleanse working.  I started it yesterday and will let you know how it goes (so some of you might want to avoid my blog in about a week - hehehe).  Reports are 20-1,000 stones in one cleanse.  Some taking this cleanse have never experienced a gallbladder attack and still have many stones.  These stones can also back up in the liver and cause multiple symptoms.  The symptoms range from greasy hair, to insomnia, bad nails, gaining weight, constipation, diarrhea and so on.  The book lists the results of a bad gallbladder and liver - you don't want 'em!  And so many have 'em without knowing it!

But anyway, the cleanse - you should do it, too!  It involve drinking apple juice for 6 days for the malic acid to soften the stones. On the day of the cleanse, you are given instructions for drinking Epsom Salts twice.  The magnesium dilates the bile ducts which helps the gallstones pass smoothly through.  It also works as a flushing agent.  This is followed by a mixture of olive oil and grapefruit juice and a night's sleep.  Upon waking, two more servings of Epsom Salts are taken and then you can eat very lightly.  The book gives a far more detailed plan with measurements and specific times. This cleanse is to be repeated every 3 weeks until two consecutive cleanses result in no gallstones.  The cleanse should then be done every 6 months. 

So!  Come back next week to see what happens!  I won't post a picture...I don't think.  Unless it's a really pretty gallstone or something...

1 comment:

Katie said...

So sorry you are going through this. Someone just said to me that they think I might have these as well and then you posted on this. going to try the cleanse and see what happens. Can't hurt. Can't wait to read your follow up blog.