Gallbladder Part II

It was pointed out to me that it’s been a long time since I wrote about the ol’ gallbladder. (Thank you for the reminder Miss Alyson Stanfield!) Though it doesn’t really seem like much has happened. And the time has really sailed by…

When last I wrote about my gallbladder problem in November, just 3 months ago, I had just been diagnosed with gallbladder troubles and I started seeing a Naturopath.

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Before Diagnosis I took a little bit of everything it seems.

As I mentioned in my past posting, at the time of diagnosis, I spoke with a Gastroenterologist over the phone and her recommendation was just to schedule with a surgeon and have my gallbladder removed. I was really shocked that this was the first trick in her bag. Like I have a pain in my finger – let’s just take it off! What? Thankfully my GP recommended I see a Naturopath. See if I can find out what is causing the pain and sickness and fix it. Hello!! Have I mentioned how wonderful my GP is?

After some research and asking around I found a great guy – Dr. Matt Reddy, ND. He spent a lot of time with me, an hour each visit, compared to your MD which is like 15 minutes, and put together a supplement regimen.

He calls it the basics and this is where we start. He has been a wealth of information. The real problem isn’t the gallbladder. It starts with my liver. Which, isn’t getting the nutrition it needs to work properly. My liver isn’t even making enough bile to store in my gallbladder to process fats.

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Now – The Supplements – not covered by health insurance – I take about 20 of these a day.

Dr Reddy also educated me on the American food supply that just doesn’t support humans very well anymore. (Which if you take a minute to think about this – is pretty scary.) That gallbladder problems are on the rise since the industrialization of American food. And, even if you eat like a rock star – it’s difficult to get the nutrition you need. It’s just not in our vegetables and fruit, it’s not in our meat because we don’t take good enough care of our animals, it’s not in their feed because it’s not in our soil. And, wheat has changed because more gluten is being added and the wheat products are being changed for a longer shelf life.

At the same time – from the moment I was diagnosed – I eliminated almost all fat from my diet. It was a hallelujah moment. Because when I first started feeling sick last Spring I kept going back and forth – wheat, dairy, wheat, dairy without any results and just getting sicker. Finally to discover, months later, – It’s Fat, It’s Fat! Hallelujah!

So I trimmed my fat intake way back and determined I can eat about 2.5 grams of fat per meal. Ha – 2.5 grams?! It was pretty difficult at first. It means no eating out. It means measuring my servings! Ha – who does that! It means I can eat one or two nuts at a time – but that means no other fat during that meal time. And, it’s not just a whoops on a diet. If I eat more than that I get pretty sick and I’m on the couch with my best friend – the heating pad – all day. Nothing helps – no pepto, no over the counter anything. Just laying there until it passes. Ok – sometimes moaning helps.

Through all the label reading – it’s really quite daunting how much fat is in our food. (Of course a lot of fat is good. I won’t go into that here – I think we all know eating an avocado or nuts is better for us than a pizza.) From the Mayo Clinic website – we should consume from 44 to 78 g of fat a day. I am getting about 10 – 12g.

Needless to say I lost 10 pounds in a hurry, but I’m also not getting enough nutrition, for a lifetime, from those good fats. The supplements are standing in for now. Maybe forever.

Dr. Reddy put me on about 20 pills, cod liver oil, and probiotics. All nutritional supplements that will help my liver work better and produce the bile I’m probably not even making. (I was not diagnosed with stones – just a sluggish gallbladder) During this time, I also saw a acupuncturist, to help with any pain I had left and get things moving.

And this is where I am today. When I say nothing has really happened since I was diagnosed this is what I’m talking about – I am just sort of waiting for my body to heal itself. I take the supplements every day. I avoid the fat still. It’s a journey and a process. We’ll give it some time and see how it goes. I still have the option of removal when ever I want.

More on my process to come. There is the whole fat thing, and the meals. The hardest part was just the transition. Nope, can’t eat that, can’t eat that! I need more than apples and carrot sticks! And, in the last week I’ve done a liver flush that is so popular. I will be tempting to eat fat on the weekend – we’ll see how that goes!
I’m excited and a little nervous.

I’ll fill you all in on the fun details to come!

Thanks again for reading! And if you’re new to the subscription thank you for joining me!

If you haven’t seen my Horse Photography Show up in Lafayette Colorado yet – please check it out! I’m getting some nice feedback! And, remember to leave a comment to have the chance to win a packet of horsy greeting cards!

xo

*****

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8 thoughts on “Gallbladder Part II

  1. Glad you found something that is working for you. I guess I can skip that huge box of chocolates I was going to bring on my visit. Has everything! Fat, sugar, maybe even some dairy who knows? I could stand to lose 10 pounds but your journey sounds too painful. Sorry sweetie

    • Hi Mom!

      You know – I can have one chocolate – sometimes just half. And, it’s kind of ok now. Once ya go through the shock of it all and sort of restock your fridge. Plus, my doctor would like to fix me well enough that I can eat fat again. 🙂 mmm, chocolates!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I had gallstone symptoms for years but no stones were ever found. However, last Summer a HIDA scan finally revealed that I (too) have a sluggish gallbladder. Agree with you regarding heat pad. Would be interested to know which supplements you take…I rely mainly on Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Milk Thistle and Vitamin E.
    Best Wishes, Dave

    • Hi Dave. Thanks for your comment – good to hear from others with gallbladder issues. I am on a healthy supply of: MSM, Magnesium Malate, Taurine, Lecithin, and Tre-en-en. It’s supposed to aid my liver and in return help my gallbladder return to good health. Do your supplements help you? Can you eat fat? or did you have yours removed?

      Best Wishes to you as well.
      Jennifer

  3. Hi there Jennifer. Thank you for your reply. I do find my supplements help. I forgot to say that I use Magnesium as well.
    I still have my gallbladder, but there are times that I wish I didn’t! Following my HIDA scan, the surgeon did say that he would take it out, but also added that with this particular condition there was only a 50% chance of improvement. I do eat some fat, but try not to go over the top. I avoid food like pork and lamb which usually do upset me. Chicken is great and beef usually ok. Pears, apples and bananas are my favourite fruits and I enjoy broccoli, beetroot and carrots. Reflexology also helps.
    By the way. Do you ever suffer from itchy skin? It may be a coincidence, but I’ve noticed this at times since have my gallbladder troubles.
    Best wishes,
    Dave.

    • Hi Dave – Sorry it took me a bit to get back with you! I do suffer from itchy skin. Itchier than before anyway. I live in an arid climate already, but this year it’s been crazy. I read it could have something to do with kidneys or just because we aren’t eating enough fat!

      Do you see a Naturopath? He’s been a great help to fine tune my treatment. For example, we also think I have been suffering from parasites! Gross, but it happens. I like sushi, I have dogs, I like to leave the house – they are everywhere. After treatment for these I feel much much better. Parasites can contribute to gallbladder trouble easily. I had guessed after research, that this might be part of my problem, but I wouldn’t have known how to treat it successfully. I am on my second round of treatment for this – it can take a long time to get rid of.

      Thanks for touching base Dave and Best Wishes to you too!

      🙂 jennifer

  4. Happy that you are finding some relief…I saw an incredible NAET practitioner in Boulder. I find more relief from non traditional medicine more often than not. HOPE I see you at the Muse. I still need to get to your show…this week.

    • Hi Stephanie!

      I am so happy to be feeling better and so happy to participate in life again! I am so happy I went to see the Naturopath. It’s great to hear you like it, too. It’s a longer journey, but I think more appropriate and actually more accurate.

      Yes! I need to set aside some time to get up there!

      🙂

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