A week and half has passed since my last post on the missing gallbladder, and I find it’s time for an update.
I have spoken with many people in the meantime, only two right here on my blog, but many others on Facebook, and even some in real life. I’ve come to the realization, that I am far from being the only one who struggles with this. People have approached me based on my blog post, telling me their stories. Many have gone through gallbladder surgery uninformed. No surgeon or other physician has told them that there may be pains, problems with digesting fat, things like diarrhea, nausea, trouble maintaining weight. Some have lived for years without a solution to their problems. They’re told that these pains are “phantom” pains, that it’s normal, and worst of all, they’re told that the gallbladder is a useless organ, that you don’t need it at all.
I am not a medical professional, so I speak as a layman. But I really have a hard time believing this statement. The gallbladder is an organ in the digestive system. Together with the pancreas and liver it serves a purpose in your digestion. In a common duct, the pancreatic juice and bile flow into the small intestine when food comes through. When the gallbladder is removed, the liver produces endless amounts of bile that are consistently dripping into the small intestine. The gallbladder is a storage room for bile. It holds the bile until it is needed for digestion. The constant dripping of bile into the small intestine can mean, that once you actually need it, there won’t be enough of it.
If you have symptoms after gallbladder removal, then you know your body needs help. Why is it so difficult to inform a patient of this? It is not impossible to support your liver and bile production. We live in the 21st century. We have access to enzymes in a capsule. We can take ox bile in a pill. And we have natural ways of treating biliary problems as well. At the liver doctor website, I found these recommendations:
- Do raw juicing using cabbage, carrot, ginger root, mint and apple etc. (see juice techniques and recipes in Raw Juice Can Save Your Life book by Dr Cabot)
- Include fresh green leafy herbs in your salads and raw juices – the best liver cleansing herbs are mint, parsley, garlic, chives, shallots, basil, coriander and small amounts of thyme and oregano
- Increase the amount of raw vegetables in your diet
- Taking digestive enzymes at the beginning of your meals may reduce symptoms
- Take a good liver tonic twice daily; ensure it contains Saint Mary’s Thistle, B group vitamins, vitamin C, and sulphur bearing amino acids such as glycine and taurine
- Supplement with the amino acids taurine and glutamine and the mineral selenium to support good bile quality and healthy bile ducts in the liver.
- Increase intake of Omega 3 fatty acids – Suitable sources are oily fish, good quality fish oil, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Keep oils in the fridge.
- Sip one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed in a small glass of water during your meals
- Drink plenty of pure water
- Drink dandelion tea and coffee
- Be careful not to overindulge on dairy products – the best ones are natural cheeses and plain yogurt
- Hot spices are good for the liver and bile ducts and good choices are wasabi, horseradish sauce, mustard, garlic, curry, turmeric and chilli. If you have a sensitive stomach or gastritis only use small amounts of these spices or avoid them.
There is a wealth of knowledge on Dr. Cabot’s website, plus, she writes in a way that is easy to understand for people like myself. How much of it you find to be right for you, is of course entirely up to you. Take any or all of her advice. I would make the case, that at the very least this list of natural treatments can’t hurt you. Some of them are super easy to incorporate into your daily life.
IF you are struggling with gallbladder issues and your doctor recommends surgery, please at least consider the possibility that surgery can be diverted. Do your homework. Read Dr. Jack Kruse’s articles on the subject, and of course read Dr. Sandra Cabot’s website. If at that point you still feel it is best to have surgery, then at least you will know you’ve done your research. You will know that you really are well informed.
A word on Dr. Kruse’s phrase, “You’re a ticking time bomb” as he refers to those of us unlucky enough to have lost their gallbladder, in my case of course as part of liver resection. I am not a fan of this kind of language. Instead of sticking with good advice, I spent days fearing for my life. But I am a rational thinker, and after doing more research, I’ve come to my own conclusion, that with the way I eat, and with the supplements I take, chances are that I will, in fact, live a long and healthy life. Please don’t let this one sentence scare you. As with everything you read, take it into consideration, think of your signs and symptoms, maybe talk to someone you trust, then decide for yourself what’s right and good for you.
And finally, thanks to the supplements I’m taking with each meal (hooray for Super Enzymes), I’m feeling much better. Occasionally I still have a feeling of acidity on my digestive tract. But in general, I am 90% better than I was before. Also, I’ve lost 5lbs. I will continue taking the supplements, and I will also continue doing my research.
If you have a story to tell, please let me know. Comment here, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to hear from you.