The case of the missing gallbladder…

As you may recall, liver resections generally come as a package deal. The gallbladder is always removed as well. This is the case, if the right side of the liver is removed. The gallbladder is attached to that part of the liver, so out it goes.

When I asked my surgeon about the potential risks of not having a gallbladder, she laughed it off. Millions of people live without a gallbladder and never experience any problems.


A couple of weeks ago, I started having pains in my upper right quadrant of my abs. The pain didn’t stay, so I wasn’t too concerned. But then it came back, and I was worried. I stopped drinking alcohol. Not that I had overdone it to begin with. But hey, my new liver is only a few months old. Why not give it a break, right?

The pain got worse.

Then, during a phone conference for my Nutritional Therapy, I asked a seemingly harmless question. I wanted to know just what a Nutritional Therapist would tell a client who walks into the office and says, that he had her gallbladder removed and her doctor put her on a low fat diet. As a therapist I have to be careful not to give medical advice. My teacher provided an answer, that made a lot of sense, and then said this, “Of course YOU already know, that you need to take supplements to support your liver and bile production after a gallbladder surgery.”

Well, no, I don’t know that. With the research about my liver, the consequences, the risks, and recovery time, it never occurred to me to pay much attention to my gallbladder.

Remember, the liver produces bile to break down fats and proteins. The bile is stored and released in the gallbladder. If there is no gallbladder, the liver just produces and produces, and the bile keeps flowing into the small intestine. The result of this can be (and I just learned this now!) a sluggish production, sluggish flow, bile stones in the liver. Chances are, you won’t have enough bile to break down those great fats you consume.

According to Dr. Jack Kruse in his post Do You Need a Gallbladder? I am now “a ticking time bomb for the development of neolithic disease because you begin to concentrate a hormone slowly, chronically that will eventually limit your longevity and kill you in some fashion. You also lose your ability to recycle Vitamin K2. This sets the stage for the development of heart disease and atherosclerosis. Remember: heart disease is still the number one killer in men and women today.”

A ticking time bomb. Just what I always hoped to be at the tender age of 39.

Dr. Kruse spends a lot of time warning of the dangers of losing your gallbladder (so if you are in danger of losing yours, please do go check out his post), and he recommends a few supplements to take when you are in the unlucky position to already be sans gallbladder.

I started taking bile salts to help with bile production, and I’m also taking Livatone Plus, a liver support/cleanse supplement in hopes of losing the pain and getting better again.

I also sent a private message to Dr. Kruse, because I really want to live a very long life. He responded pretty much right away and recommended a high fat, low carb, seafood loaded diet because of my lowered redox and told me to read his Redox RX blog post. I have yet to truly understand what he’s saying. 😉 I’m not a medical professional after all.

His other recommendations are to take the following supplements:
N-acetyl Cysteine
SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine)
99.9% Pure DMSO Liquid – 90%

I’ve only taken the bile salts and Livatone Plus for a few days, so maybe it’s not soon enough to see results. As a matter of fact, part of me is actually still concerned that this is not the gallbladder at all but my newly grown liver causing some kind of problem, though I don’t know why that would be the case.

In any case, it may be true that countless people live well without their gallbladder, but I don’t think you can go wrong really educating yourself about the risks, and whether or not surgery can be avoided. When your doctor recommends gallbladder removal, he/she may be right about it. But you HAVE to do your own homework, so you can make a truly informed decision. Ultimately, you are your own most important advocate.

I will keep you updated…

8 thoughts on “The case of the missing gallbladder…”

  1. Hi, I just found and read Jack Kruse’s article yesterday and freaked out a little. I had my gallbladder out a few years ago and got pains that the doctor said was just ‘phantom’ pains like when you lose a limb ??!! Anyway, about a year ago I just after I had started eating a paleo/primal diet, I stumbled upon a blog post about bile salts and what a difference they have made. Huge difference. I couldn’t believe how much better they have made me feel. Now reading Jack’s article has made me feel a little worried once more as I’m only 40 I too am wanting a long and happy life so am going to look at taking the supplements he suggests and hope it clears up the couple of grips I still have with my health that eating my lovely primal diet hasn’t fixed yet. I am looking forward to reading more posts about how you’re getting on without your GB as there isn’t a great deal of good information out there 🙂 Thank you.

    1. Well, I can’t help thinking that there is a little fear mongering going on. I am not a fan of phrases like “You’re a ticking time bomb.” I mean, am I really? My husband’s grandma has lived 96 years, 40 of which without a gallbladder. She ate about as bad as it gets. The truth seems to me to be somewhere in the middle. Plenty of people live without any kind of symptom, plenty of people experience lots of symptoms. It is, as always, up to the individual to take care of themselves.

  2. “I have yet to truly understand what he’s saying.”
    You’re not alone lol, I’ve been on his site for months and a lot of what he posts just goes right past me. I haven’t had a gallbladder for 28 years and was given no advice whatsoever when I had it removed. I’ve put on weight slowly but surely which I can’t lose now without having my mouth stitched shut! Having started Dr. K’s leptin reset and following as near to a paleo diet as I can, I’m still struggling.

    I have been taking some of the supplements that he recommended but there’s no noticeable change weight wise. I haven’t used the DMSO because having looked into a bit, it looks kind of dangerous. Ox-bile I started after reading Sandra somethingorothers book after an ultrasound told me I had evidence of a fatty liver. They made no difference whatsoever. In myself I have more motivation, I feel more optimistic and fairly well. I will continue, it’s no worse than anything else I’ve tried in the last 28 years of attempting to reduce my fat mountain.

    I don’t know if being without a gallbladder is a problem but I suspect it could be. As for dying young, well, I’m not that young and hopefully following what I can understand of Dr. Jack’s advice will prolong the inevitable for a bit, I kind of like life right now. Plus I haven’t had time to get my own back on my kids.

  3. Hi Freckles,
    I’m glad you’re feeling better, would you mind sharing how you achieved this (supplements?) and if your weight loss is continuing?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  4. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

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