How I Stopped a Gall Bladder Attack Naturally

How I Stopped a Gall Bladder Attack Naturally

This morning, I woke up anticipating a productive day of making applesauce, playing princess and racing imaginary horses, then finishing a post on Katie’s tooth healing diet.

Instead, I decided it would be much better to have a gall bladder attack. :insert heavy sarcasm here:

Feeling a bit inflamed and bruised for the past 3 days, it was now heartily twanging at me.

This isn’t my first gall bladder tantrum, but I was pretty clueless about what was happening in the past.

The one time I ventured to the E.R., they treated my middle-of-the-night gall bladder attack as a panic attack. Thanks doc.

Now What?!

The modern witch doctor that I am now, I shunned conventional medical care, grabbed my research books, and hopped on the Internet. There were no signs of acute distress or rupture so no need to rush off to the hospital.

That said, I would have probably headed straight there had I been in the dark about what was happening or how to treat it. It’s pretty scary when your insides are going haywire.  

After consulting the almighty Google and my favorite voodoo site (okay, not quite voodoo but it is a little woo-woo for most people), I whipped up a concoction that got the bile flowing and added in some additional liver/gall bladder support.

My ‘Prescription’
  • freshly-pressed juice of 3 large carrots, 2 apples, the interior leafy stalks of a small celery heart, and 4 oz of beet kvass
  • 1 clove of honey fermented garlic, diced and chewed [garlic peeled and left to ferment in raw, local honey for 1 week] – the chewing part? yeah, don’t do that. havoc will commence.
  • ACV Tonic (recipe below)
  • dandelion root tea after the ACV tonic [2 teaspoons or 2 tea bags steeped in 8 oz filtered water just off the boil for 15 minutes, covered to prevent evaporation]
  • heating pad on low while laying on my right side to promote bile flow (all day)
  • second dose of ACV Tonic about 4 hours later, once inflammation went down
  • second cup of dandelion root tea after the ACV Tonic
  • digestive enzymes with dinner to help support the digestive system during acute illness
  • 4 ounces of beet kvass following dinner

 

ACV Tonic for Gall Bladder Relief

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons raw organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with the mother
  • 8 ounces organic apple cider or juice, preferably freshly juiced

Instructions

  1. Stir vinegar and cider/juice together.
  2. Drink within 10-15 minutes if possible. Alternate with small sips of water if necessary.
http://healingredefined.org/stop-a-gall-bladder-attack-naturally/


 

The Result

After I finished half of the ACV tonic, it felt like gas started moving around my gall bladder area. Some mild rumbling and grumbling and then what felt like painless bubbles popping. After the ‘popping bubbles,’ the area felt slightly warm (the bile moving) and then I started feeling sick almost immediately.

Pins and needles throughout my whole body, very light-headed, dizzy, and nausea. As the bile flowed, toxins flooded my body faster that they could be filtered out.

If I had another adult at home, I would have headed right for a detox bath. Instead, I found an amazing amount of relief from drinking 12 oz of filtered water. Phew.

Thanks be to Katie for being the sweetest and most patient 4 1/2 year old on the planet.

Twelve hours after the initial gall bladder attack, I am left with only mild soreness and inflammation.


Gall bladder attacks are a result of gall bladder congestion and dysfunction. The liver and gall bladder are part of the digestive system and need to be addressed by first correcting digestion.

You can learn more about healing digestion HERE.


This post is part of Party Wave Wednesdays, Small Footprint Friday

Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.



102 thoughts on “How I Stopped a Gall Bladder Attack Naturally”

  • I’ve found the apple cider cleanses to be good as well. Do them in season, trying to do major detoxing during winter isn’t fair to your body which is just trying to hibernate and conserve resources before the big spring upswing. Spring and Fall and best cleansing time, fall also happens to be when it’s easiest to get large amounts of fresh apples to juice.
    Nothing to but fresh apple cider for 2 days and then 4 oz of olive oil just before bed. That’s what I’ve done…

    • Thank you so much for the info Joanna! I love your version of a cleanse, and fall is a perfect time for raw apple cider here in Michigan.

      I will be concentrating on foods and herbs that will help soften and release the sludge from my liver and gall bladder over the remainder of the winter and focus more strongly on coconut oil and olive oil for fats. It is definitely not the time of year for a true cleanse! Once spring comes, my body should be ready for a more thorough (though gentle) food/herb-based detox cleanse.

  • Oh my goodness! That sounds like what has been happening to my husband. He’s had his appendix removed, been told he’s a hyperchodriac and that he needs a colonoscopy ‘just in case’ it could be cancer. Do you have trouble eating popcorn? Does your stomach swell or get hard on one side?

    • Hearing the word hypochondriac always makes me so angry. So frustrated in fact that I have a post scheduled on it. πŸ™‚

      I only have trouble when I eat a large amount of animal fat over a period of a couple days. I wasn’t eating much, if any, vegetables and was filling up on chili and fatty roasts because I was fat-starved. I must not have been digesting the fat well and working my gall bladder more than usual, because my skin was drying out and I kept craving fat and heavy foods. I switched over to coconut oil (doesn’t get processed through the liver) and thankfully the cravings went away. Since I need those animal fats, I’m now more focused on healing my liver and gall bladder than before.

      My only symptoms are soreness and inflammation of the gall bladder so far. Your husband may have more damage which causes the hard swelling. He should be able to reverse the damage if he commits to removing processed and microwaved foods from his diet, chemicals from the home and his personal products, and focuses on foods and nutrient supplements that heal the liver. It sounds scary, but it’s only intimidating when you’re just getting started.

      If it is something you think he will do, I’d be happy to share some resources for you to look into.

      • I just wanted to comment that getting a hard upset stomach after eating popcorn could be diverticulitis. A friend of mine has it and it’s terrible.

  • Jennifer, if you’ve had gallstone attacks before you’re most likely deficient in vitamin K as a result of having an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Probiotic bacteria produce vitamin K under normal circumstances. When they’re not present and we become vitamin K deficient, calcium is store in inappropriate places like gall stones or kidney stones. Check out the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/31/dr-natasha-campbell-mcbride-on-gaps-nutritional-program.aspx

  • Hi Jennifer,

    I have had similar experience with gallbladder attacks – mine started while pregnant with our 8th child and got considerably worse after #10 and being on the GAPS diet.

    I have used very successfully apple juice to soften the gallstones and an Epsom salt, lemon juice and olive oil combination. It is amazing how many gallstones I have passed!

    After being on the GAPS diet for a bit over 1 year, I now have not had an attack in quite some time – I think my body is finally healing and my gallbladder is working properly – YEAH!

    For the specific recipe you might want to read “Gallbladder Cleanse – An Alternative to Surgery”
    http://myculturedpalate.com/blog/2013/01/02/gallbladder-cleanse-an-alternative-to-surgery/

    • Thanks for sharing Dina-Marie! Earthclinic.com has many testimonials for how well these cleanses work, so I’m a believer.

      Before I take on any cleanse, I want to focus on supplements and cleansing foods. I also had some routine blood work done yesterday and scheduled an ultrasound to be sure there isn’t any large stones or any other issues that I have to be wary of. I’ll have an updated post once I get the results of everything and finish formulating my game plan.

      I’ll start doing regular spring and fall cleanses to keep things in good working order from here on out, but I’m not sure which one yet. I will likely try yours at least once to see how it works for me, but my body generally does much better when I treat it with kid gloves. πŸ™‚

    • Dina-Marie~ did you do this (cleanse) while pregnant? I think I am having gall bladder problems (waiting for blood test results) but do not want surgery. I am looking for safe alternatives while pregnant. Would love input from you, Jennifer and others on what has worked, particularly while pregnant. Thanks a lot!

  • Wow, this is so timely. I think I am having similar issues. Just went to the GI and have US and labs scheduled for tomorrow and endoscopy in a couple of weeks. I am really interested to follow your journey. I want to do everything possible to avoid surgery if it turns out I have stones or other GB issues. Just started GAPS too. I’m interested in any resources you have for dealing with these issues, but I will admit I am a little reluctant to do the flushes. Would rather just support and nourish. Thanks for sharing your experience! Glad I found you!

    • I have had great luck already with adding more raw foods back into my diet and foods that break up cholesterol like citrus and ginger. I am still eating animal fats (bacon last night and potatoes pan-fried in lard and ghee the other night) but balancing them with cleansing foods. It’s important to still eat proteins and fats, so your gall bladder will empty regularly and remove the toxins and any sludge stored in it. If there are calcified stones (will show up in an ultrasound) that can get lodged in the ducts or already are, then focus on foods and supplements that will soften the stones before you give your gall bladder a workout with heavy foods.

      I will have a post up soon with my blood test and ultrasound results and that details methods to help removes stones/sludge along with my game plan. I’ll add a link to it on this post when it’s published.

      Good luck with your tests and GAPS! GAPS may be difficult with gall bladder issues, so feel free to do a hybrid if you are having trouble digesting the fats. I wasn’t able to do intro. It made me sick. You’ll see that theme repeated in the earlier journal posts each time I tried it.

  • Really looking forward to your update now….US revealed I have 1 gallstone that is 2 cm in size in the neck of the gallbladder (all blood work came back normal). I am really interested to know which foods are recommended to soften these stones. The information on the web regarding natural remedies for this is really mixed and confusing. I *really* would prefer to avoid surgery at all costs and at this point a flush really does not seem appropriate. I have postponed meeting with a surgeon pending the results of an endoscopy I have scheduled for the 6th. Interestingly, I eat eggs cooked in butter with avocado every morning and have no issues, but am finding that nuts seem to little more challenging. I cannot eat any red meat or pork (weird allergy) so in that respect I do not ingest a lot of fat. Also cheese does not seem to be an issue. My last episode was set off by spicy Indian food – never a problem before. Anyway, just rambling but really interested to know more! Thanks!

    • That’s great Carrie! It sounds like you are in good shape to pursue a natural treatment. I’ll keep you in mind as I finish the post, so you can get a better idea of the right options for you. It should be out by Monday.

      And can I say that I envy your breakfast? πŸ™‚ I miss eggs. I used to eat mine with homemade mayo and lacto-fermented sauerkraut. It sounds horrible, but it’s delicious!

  • Great recipe! I’ve found that combining that ACV tonic with 2-3 tablespoons of Cod Liver Oil really helps get the bile flowing. I also like to double the amount of vinegar, but I don’t mind the taste.

    I recommend that anyone with gall bladder/liver issues give the Hulda Clark 1 day liver cleanse (epsom salt, lemon juice and olive oil combination over the course of a day that another one of your commenters mentioned) a try. You have to drink epsom salts (which is really not a nice flavor), but the results are astounding!

    Another useful ingredient to the ACV tonic is cayenne pepper, just a teaspoon to start with. It is pretty strong when you first try it, but eventually becomes easy. Cayenne is good for toning and restoring the stomach lining (and for ulcers) as it causes the stomach lining to produce mucus.

    Anyway, thanks for the post!

    • Great suggestions! Thanks for sharing random guy. I love the idea of adding CLO to the mix. Good fats are very nourishing and detoxifying and the tonic would help break the fats down for better absorption. I’m not sold on those cleanses though. They’re too harsh for my liking. From the research I have done and my nutritional therapy training, I am finding that you can clean out the liver and gall bladder with nutritional therapy.

      Cayenne is included in my digestive tonics post too: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-digestion-digestive-tonics/. But a teaspoon? You must have an iron stomach my friend!

      Love the name. πŸ˜€

  • Hi Jennifer, just looking at the dates on this thread and wondering if you did a post on your approach to healing your liver and gall bladder problems with foods? The cleanses are too much for me also.

  • I am wondering if I am having gallbladder problems or not. This is day 3 of feeling weak (but then again I haven’t been eating much). It happened a few hours after eating out a particularly rich meal. We had been eating out a lot in the last few weeks and not our usual semi-traditional diet, but that day I ate lasagna and 4 small slices of a cake/apple bread. I started feeling nauseated, which I had been feeling off and on since eating all those foods those few weeks, then lightheaded and dizzy. The thought of food made me want to vomit, but I had to get a tiny bit in, since I was still nursing. I had also been constipated for a couple of days at that point but was able to go via some diarrhea. I’ve had diarrhea off and on, nothing terrible, in these past 3 days. I have had a lot of gas and the burping has been forceful. Last night I ate a meal, the first true meal in a couple of days, and it was fatty in terms of the tallow I had in the broth. I also took my FCLO and BO, and a teaspoon of clay for detox. Some time around 2 or 3 am I woke up with excruciating pain in my stomach area. Not so much the rib cage area, but lower almost like appendix. It eventually went away. I am left with the weakness and slight diarrhea now. And the gurgly feeling in my stomach of all that gas still. If this is gall bladder malfunction, I would love to know what you have been doing to treat yours and if it has been working longterm. I would love nothing more than heal it and avoid any removal.

    Also, do you know if any of the symptoms or “bad stuff” (toxins and such) can be passed on by nursing?

    • It sound like you are definitely dealing with digestive dysfunction. I suggest starting here: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-digestion-restoring-mucous-layer/ and be sure to read both posts in the series (there will be more to come).

      Toxins are passed in breast milk just like all excretory fluids, so be careful to do nothing more than the gentle detox that comes with a clean, nutrient-dense diet and natural forms like detox baths (20somethingallergies.com/detox-bath-method-and-recipes/).

            • I suggest taking the program slowly and ease into it. Full GAPS is the only recommended portion for nursing mothers, and is a wonderful way to fill both of your bodies with much needed nutrients. To keep from detoxing too heavily, I recommend staggering the removal of ‘illegal’ food groups like dairy and gluten one at a time and always be sure to get enough calories.

  • I am interested to see the follow up on this. I have started an enzyme program to try to heal my hormones (spotting and super heavy periods). I eating a clean diet with lots of great fats but my body is not breaking them down. Now that I am using the enzymes to digest the fats, my gallbladder is giving me a hard time. Now I have to heal the gallbladder.

    • I have created a series on healing digestion that works to heal the digestive system as a whole, so that would be the next step for most people. I would suggest adding in daily doses of beets and beet kvass, because of it’s wonderful ability to thin bile and make it flow more easily. Each person is different, but 1-2 ounces of beet kvass with/following meals for a few months should help clear out the old bile.

      If your gall bladder function isn’t restored within a couple of months, you may need to take ox bile to replace it’s function. I would suggest working with a qualified practitioner before you begin the ox bile. If you don’t already work with one, I also see distance clients in my nutritional therapy practice: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/nutritional-therapy-practitioner/.

      These digestive tonics can be helpful also with a sluggish gall bladder: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-digestion-digestive-tonics/.

      Best of luck Lisa!

  • I am interested in this post. I normally burn the candle at both ends and ocassionally try to light the middle as well. I end up relying on my old crutch, mountain dew. Hate the stuff, but it keeps me from falling asleep at work. To make it worse, Its usually diet mt dew to avoid the HFCS, but instead you get neurotoxins like aspartame. I have been getting a lot of heartburn, and then a stabbing pain mostly on my right side under my last rib. Ocassionall I will get a stab on the left. It tames down when I actually rest and dont drink sodas or spicy food, or tomato-y foods. Unfortunately I live for spicy foods. I dont eat any processed foods, and I eat organic where possible. lots of real fats. I had a friend say it sounded like a gall bladder. Any thoughts?

  • I have a lot of gallbladder pain, but no stones. I definitely notice the pain comes along with eating grains. A PP mentioned popcorn, which is a bad one for me (and one of my favourite treats). My ND put me on an ox bile supplement and a botanical supplement from the rosemary family. The two together are definitely helping, although i’m not symptom free yet.

    Unfortunately gallbladder issues, and specifically inflammation with no gall stones, seems to be a fairly common reaction site for food intolerances.

  • Wow. Thanks for posting this.
    My wife was doubled over in pain and we thought it might be gallbladder.
    She is now right as rain and we didn’t need to go to the hospital!
    Thanks again.

  • Jennifer~ is your recipe and prescription below safe while pregnant? I am only about 10-11 weeks along. And, what does mother mean in this sentence – 3 Tablespoons raw organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with the mother – did I miss something obvious? I’m not sure if the dandelion root is safe this early on, and also, does one have to wait a week before starting the recipe/treatment to let the garlic ferment? I’m not even sure I can stomach that right now anyway! Any helpful information/recipe modifications? Thanks!

    • I would be very careful about clearing toxins during pregnancy. Bile is the vehicle that the liver uses to remove toxins. Detoxification is often a necessary step for a healthy body and pregnancy, but I wouldn’t do anything beyond a moderate amount of liver cleansing foods and work up to it slowly.

      Beets are wonderful for thinning bile and drinking a little beet kvass or eating a small amount of shredded raw beet each day would be a safer route. Also, increasing your healthy fat intake slowly will help the gall bladder to work and tone up – unless it is non-functioning -. Digestive enzymes that include lipase along with increasing your intake of organic vegetables and white and green tea would also be helpful.

      The ‘mother’ is the fermentation tool. It’s a collection of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that turns the juice into vinegar.

      I would steer clear of liver cleansing roots right now, but a few fresh dandelion leaves would be a wonderful food to add to salads or soup if you can get them fresh at this time of year.

      If you would like to use fermented garlic, you have to give it time to ferment. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks so much for the response, Jennifer! I will research & try those ideas! Is ACV also beneficial, do you think, for the gallbladder, even without the cleanse, such as in foods, on salads, etc?

  • Jennifer,

    I developed stones 19 years ago while pregnant. The dr wanted to take it out then, and I refused. Up to this year, I only had a vomiting attack when I ate oysters. I was I Singapore in 2010, and made the mistake of eating oysters that night, and spent the whole night and next day vomiting. My por daughter, then 15, was so cared but she ran out got me some things to keep me comfortable. I thought it was food poisoning.

    I didn’t have any attacks again until abput four weeks ago. I ate a healthy salad with extra virgin olive oil, and laid down. Within minutes I had the most excruciating pain I’ve ever encountered. My stomach hardened, and I couldn’t figure out if it was stomach, gallbladder, appendicitis or diverticulitis. I couldn’t even take breath without being in horrific pain. I had 102 fever, and I did not want to go to the ER and be forced to have surgery under emergency conditions with doctors I didn’t know. My daughter was so scared. I had chills too.

    I laid in bed for four days and on the fifth got myself to the dr. He ordered an ultrasound and bloodwork and my u/s showed massive gallstones (over a thousand easily as in previous reports over the years). My C-reactive protein (inflammation) was up. He told me as lomg as it wasn’t choleocystitis I was okay. Not true. Here I am again… Wednesday night ai had pizza, whic. I’ve had numerous times before but was never effected. I added anchovies and hot crushed pepper, and perhaps that attacked my gallbladder with a vengeance. Pain started immediately and chills. However, this time, I could not isolate the pain to the upper right quadrant (which I was able to do a fe weeks ago after two days). This was a searing pain and burning in my stomach straight through my back. I ruled out gastritis since it says that pin usually comes on an empty stomach. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy in 2010 when I was hemmoraging from the rectum (after eating popcorn and drinking Pom juice – funny because the next day I kept pumping out blood but thought it was the Pom juice until I was too weak to stand!). They said I had a hiatal hernia but never figured out where the blood came from.

    Yesterday, the pain increased and I took an aleve which the GI dr told me to do during a gallbaldder attack. He said it actually helps. I had done that last time out of desperation. After I took the aleve, I ate bran and took an alka seltzer gold (it has sodium and potassium bicarbonate). Within an hour, I was vomiting… At least six times. I rested the remainder of the day, but I thought it looks like these attacks are getting more frequent, and I still do not want to undergo surgery since I do not do well under anesthesia (I had cancer in my submandibular gland and when they removed the tumor, I did not come out of the anesthesia easily. I could not open my eyes or speak, but I could hear everything they said). They could not tell me what was in the cocktail of drugs because there were too many, and I spent a week vomiting.

    The cancer I had after that was a melanoma in my fingernail, so I had the nail removed under a local. And I had an epidural for my cesearean…they so wanted to put me out. I dont’s know what I’ll do if I develop an infection in my gallbladder as that is a possibility. I can’t go on like this, and I’m sure, because of a lot of stress going on in my life (my daughter has tertiary Lyme disease after 13 yrs of misdiagnoses, and it is in her brain – encephalopathy – she had to defer college for a year, but is not getting any better) and our home is in foreclosure. I’m unemployed and going through a divorce, so I’m very afraid that if anything happens to me, no one will be able to care for her.

    Today I am very sore on the right side, but petrified to eat. Since I have those small stones, I’m not a candidate for the olive oil treatment that many do. With my luck, a small stone will large in the bile duct and then I’d be in big trouble.

    Is there a diet for after an attack? My dr said drink liquids last month, but not exactly sure chicken broth (organic) is right…seems like it could be fatty. I did eat an apple, but that’s about it. I tried drinking a glass of our alkaline water but it burns my stomach like crazy…water alone has always done that.

    Any other suggestions? I want to do things as natural as possible. I’m glad to have found you website! Thank you for your time.

    • There are many holistic protocols that will help clear gall stones and other calcifications from the body and they almost always start with a digestive protocol. I would look to holistic care rather than trying to find a cure with conventional medicine. You will find a lot more relief and understanding of the body as a whole. If you are in need of a holistic practitioner, I often work with distance clients. You can contact me through the ‘contact’ button in the top menu.

      Best of luck Denise!! Help is out there. πŸ™‚

  • This was really interesting to read.

    It’s fall! Do you have a recommendation for liver cleansing without beets and dandelion? I am allergic to both. I’ve been told, I have an enlarged fatty liver. It must’ve been from the sins of my youth. I use coconut oil daily.

    I use NSAIDS daily for severe osteoarthritis and thought it might offer a buffer to the harsh stomach effects. It’s good to relearn about cayenne. I had read and forgotten that.

    • You are likely reacting to the toxins stored in your liver rather than the beets and dandelion. I would work with a holistic practitioner to get started on a protocol to reverse the fatty liver condition and manage (and hopefully reverse) the osteoarthritis. NSAIDS are not the way to optimal health and there are many better options out there! Best of luck Cathee!!

      Here are some options for liver cleansing tonics: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-digestion-digestive-tonics/. Healing digestion automatically begins the process of gentle liver detoxification.

  • A couple years ago I went to the Dr. due to dull aching on my right side and inflammation. He didn’t bother with any testing, just diagnosed me with a fatty liver based on the symptoms alone and told me to change my diet. I was in and out in about 7 mins and billed hundreds of dollars for it!—I felt like I’d just visited the drive-thru for healthcare! Only some consolation fries would’ve been nice… So, I changed my diet! started eating clean, lost a lot of weight and over time the aches were virtually nonexistent. A few months ago I started to veer away from my healthier options and giving into my sinful nature. As a result, I went into carb overload! Recently, I’ve been having the pains on my rightside more frequently, loose stools seems like all I can pass and very little when I do. Immediate bloating whenever I eat followed by aching. You know when you throw up a little as a gag reflex when you brush your tongue in the morning and you get a little bile? Well mine has a blueish tinge to it and that doesn’t seem normal. I’m actually up right now because the pain was radiating to my back and I couldn’t sleep anymore. I was contemplating going to the ER before I stumbled upon your blog. Is there anything I can do now to help with the discomfort? Please, I need your guidance.

    • I’m so sorry Dion, but I can’t diagnose acute conditions especially over the Internet. I would begin by taking activated charcoal (away from medication) to adsorb some of the heavy toxins that your body is dealing with. See a doctor immediately to rule out anything that could permanently damage your health. If you get the all clear, you should work with a holistic practitioner. You can contact me through my contact page if you are looking for one.

      Best of luck and I hope you are feeling better very, very soon!

  • Hi Jennifer,
    I want to say i’m so glad I found your page by accident. I can relate so much to you from reading a little bit about who you are. Also this post right here is so helpful. I’ve been suffering from gallbladder attack and my experiences are very similar to yours. I’ve been making smoothies consisting of fresh organic beets, carrots, apples, flaxseed oil, apple juice, 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and drinking that everyday and it has been helping a lot. What do you think of that recipe? Is there anything else I should add to it? I hope I get better soon with a better diet. I brought this on myself, and my health went downhill about 2.5 years ago after giving birth to my son and things are not getting better, but I’m making changes and your blog is really inspirational.

      • Thanks for this link. It’s great advice. I saw a naturopath yesterday to address my health history and my current problem and he found that my nose and throat is all congested so we’re trying to clear that first before going onto the next step which is working with helping with my digestion. I’m going to take your advice from your post and see what I can do. By the way, i’m not sure if you already mentioned it somewhere, but did you ever dissolve your gallstones?

        • Hey Kristine! I’m glad you found it helpful. I find that working on digestion and diet are what clears up sinus congestion, so if you are still struggling with it, that may be something to look into.

          I did not show any gall stones when I went in for an ultrasound, so I either passed it/them or it was just built up sludge which is very common. My liver still has some congestion because I am not always consistent with my food choices, but I no longer have any pain in my gall bladder or have trouble digesting fats (a clear sign of gall bladder dysfunction). I often refer readers to my series on healing digestion when they are having gall bladder issues: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-digestion-restoring-mucous-layer/.

  • So, did you write a post about your answer to the chronic fatigue issue that was something other than adrenal fatigue? I’m REALLY curious. I have adrenal fatigue & I am using adrenal cortex extract quite successfully, but my friend has fatigue & I’m not totally sure that it is adrenal. I think she will try the extract, but if that doesn’t work, I want to know what you discovered. Please point me in the right direction. Thanks.

    • Since I wrote this post, I have received my certification as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and have learned so much more about how the body functions and heals. Fatigue is related to all dysfunction within the body, so any organs, glands, or systems that are not working properly will drain the body of its energy resources. Liver function is closely tied to the hormone health of the adrenal and thyroid glands and those are our main sources of energy production.

      If she needs help to determine what she needs to focus on to heal and work with a healing protocol specific to her needs, please have her contact me at jennifer AT 20somethingallergies DOT com.

  • Im SO happy I found you! Been dealing with GB issues since April 2013 when I had my first attack. Following much of this advice to avoid another attack. Ive been hurting daily for months. And I need to heal this! Thank you for this post!

  • Are there any special concerns when trying to heal the gut WITHOUT a gall bladder? Yes, I also have hypothyroidism & adrenal fatigue.

    • In addition to following my series on healing digestion, it’s important to take a bile salts replacement to replace the function of your gall bladder and to eat very high quality fats.

  • Hi all,

    I have yet to get my ultrasound because it involves not drinking water all night which is very hard for me. But I get this issue where I am constantly feeling like I have to burp especially if I am sitting down. My esophagus feels like it is trying to strangle me. I have to fight often to get the burps out. It happens no matter what I eat…it does seem to be a bit worse if I eat too much at once.

    It does not respond to medicine. I also have chronic heartburn. For years my heartburn only responded to omeprazole. But recently I came off of it and tried to treat it completely naturallt with betaine, a soup diet, now graduated to salad diet, frequent small meals, etc., no matter what it keeps coming on. I tried supplementing kelp for iodide and I also do Enzymetica Digest Gold.

    Finally I have been taking mastic gum extract for h pylori for almost a month. After all that I still suffer burp attacks and heartburn despite trying to tweak my hcl betaine supplement. So I revisited zantac which did not used to work for me at all. It works now for my heartburn which is a miracle, but I keep getting burp attacks. I have also been on milk thistle.

    I am on a budget…not as fortunate as many ppl on the GAPS Diet. I buy what I can afford. I also do not seem to do very well on a high fat diet. My weight and my health just went thru the roof and now I am finally slimming down again.

    Any suggestions are appreciated but I will never attempt GAPS again. It was also very hard and stressful on our living situation.

    • Hey Charlotte, I’m sorry you are still dealing with many digestive symptoms. It sounds like you may be dealing with EE or a hiatal hernia in addition to more traditional digestive dysfunction and probably hidden food allergies.

      Some quick, general suggestions —

      Change your brand of HCl to see if the fillers are causing any issues and be sure to take it in the middle of a full meal. If it always causes burning, your mucous layer is not thick enough to handle stomach acid. You can use supplements like slippery elm and marshmallow root to help assist in healing.

      Add dandelion root and nettle teas to act as liver/gall bladder cleansers.

      Try Digest Spectrum by Enzymedica, increase your dose (we have had no personal issues with 4 at a single meal), and take at the beginning of each meal.

      Consider trying the Autoimmune Paleo protocol for 1-2 weeks (no cheating) to see if it relieves any of your symptoms.

      Don’t take in more than 4 ounces of broth at a time and sip it slowly, less if it helps your comfort level.

      Read or re-read my series on healing digestion for more help.

      You contact me at jennifer AT 20somethingallergies DOT com if I can be of further help, and we can set up a nutritional therapy consultation.

      Best of luck Charlotte!

  • I have just been diagnosed with a big gallstone 1.1 cm and was thinking of doing the flush, but before I would do that I needed to know the size of the bile duct whereby the stone would be flushed through. My doctor told me that the bile duct is only .6 of a centimeter in diameter so therefore the stone would not flush through. Has anyone had a large stone pass thru doing a flush? I also read that coconut will dissolve stones. What success has there been with coconut dissolving the gallstone? Anyone?

    • I would not recommend a flush, but I would recommend diet changes that help the stone to dissolve. It’s not a quick process but is often successful as long as your situation does not require acute care. You can consult the Almighty Google, Ye Old Keeper of Knowledge for a list of foods to help. You’ll also find nutrient supplements that can help dissolve it.

      I would also pay attention to the amount of fat you eat. You need to eat fat (healthy, traditional fats like pastured animal fats, avocado, and olives/oil) to flush the gall bladder, but you don’t want to overstimulate it with that large of a stone. Use your judgement and base the amount of fat on how you feel. Sluggish bile, an overburdened liver, and not enough fats in the diet are the main contributor to gall stones, so be sure you eat enough fiber (EAT, not fiber supplements) to help bind the toxins and carry them out of your GI tract.

  • I used to lean toward constipation, and have taken magnesium citrate for a long time. I also have suspected mercury toxicity, (already had my fillings safely removed), and have had elevated liver enzymes on and off. I recently took samento and banderol (herbal antimicrobials for lymes), because my dr. thought I should try it. My bowel movements became more frequent, then small pieces and eventually diarrhea. I have been dealing with bloating for a long time (whether I have eaten or not), but it became worse and I started having gurgling, diarrhea, pain in my gut, and heartburn. I went off the antimicrobials, but was still dealing with diarrhea. Probiotics may have made it worse. I have a sensitivity to fermented foods. Also, my last blood tests showed that one of the liver enzymes was elevated. Last night, I ate alot of eggs, mushrooms, some onions and garlic and green beans. I went to sleep and a couple of hours later I woke feeling badly. (I had already had very bad cramping diarrhea that morning). So, I headed to the bathroom, and was bloated and got severely nauseated and had some diarrhea. I felt too hot. My heart was pounding. I was very pale. I started feeling some better and went to bed and had goosebumps and put on tons of covers. I was thinking that the nausea probably came from my liver (eating high fat and alot of food). My doctor has some gut testing for me to do, including a sibo test that requires drinking a lactolose solution. I have an igg allergy to milk, and I feel I need to get rid of diarrhea and help my liver before I work on that test. I did wonder about the toxins being released when the liver detoxes (since I have suspected mercury as a root cause). I also read about something this morning called dumping syndrome which sounded alot like what I dealt with in the bathroom. I was trying to figure out if that applied to me (something to do with too much bile in the intestines, because of gallbladder removal, but I do have my gallbladder). I would love to know all your thoughts! You seem to have a good grasp on this subject. Thank you for your post.

    • There are quite a few things that are contributing to your many symptoms, and it sounds like they all being with the foods you are eating and a lack of digestive support that will allow your body to begin the healing process. My approach differs greatly from conventional medical care, so if you would to talk more about how I can help please e-mail me at jennifer AT 20somethingallergies DOT com.

      To get started on your own, I would begin with a rotation diet, temporarily remove high histamine foods from your diet and read more about histamine intolerance, and work on healing digestion (sans broth while your histamine levels are high).

      You are also still eating foods that cause an immune response, and THIS TEST can help determine which foods are causing it.

      • Kofi’s Gallstones Cleanse
        Been having right side mild spot pain for several years (probably 20 years now). Was all the time been presuming that it was due to frequent late supper before going to bed. Changed habit and made sure I had supper before 4.00pm daily but pain persisted. Realized it was getting worse lately so went to see a Doctor. Dr made me go for abdominal USG scan which indicated that all organs were normal. Pain getting worse at night. Visited Symptoms Checker (http://www.medicinenet.com/symptoms_and_signs) and found gallstones to be the culprit. Went for scan which confirmed gallstones.
        I then Googled gallstone cleanse and found your blog to be very convincing. The following is how I got my gallstones removed;.
        1) 5.00pm Saturday (the day before cleanse) – Stopped eating at 5.00pm
        2) 5.00am Cleanse day (Saturday) – Drank 2 cups lukewarm lemon water. Each cup was 500ml water + Β½ lemon fresh squeezed.
        3) 8.00am Cleanse day (Saturday) – Ate only 1 green apple and glass of apple juice for breakfast. Took additional apples and juice to church with the intention of eating them for lunch at Church. At lunchtime just as I was about to eat them some children and a visitor came around and I could not resist giving the apples and juice to them. Got home at 6.00pm and drank a glass of apple juice.
        4) 6.30pm – Took a medium dose of Mist Senna Co purgative in the absence of Epsom Salt in the near-by shops.
        5) 8.30pm – Took a mixture of Β½ cup virgin olive oil and Β½ cup sparkling apple juice + 1 small clove garlic chopped in small slices. Had no difficulty in drinking the mixture. I immediately went to bed lying on my right side with right leg folded up.
        6) 10.20pm – Took another cup of virgin olive oil / apple juice / garlic mixture and went back to bed on my right hand side. Again had no difficulty in drinking.
        7) 12.27am (Sunday) – Answered 1st nature’s call. Oily brown liquid, no solids. Used plastic bucket throughout these calls. Back to sleep on my right hand side.
        8) 4.20pm – 2nd call. Liquid oily brown with small amount of solids and plenty of sand-like particle floating on the surface
        9) 4.45pm – 3rd call. All as before.
        10) 5.10pm – 4th call. All as before except that colour is now turning dark green
        11) 5.15pm – Drank 2 cups lukewarm lemon water
        12) 5.18am – 5th call. Liquid, green foamy, with sand-like suspensions on surface
        13) 6.30am – 6th call. All as before
        14) 7.45am – 7th call. All as before
        15) 9.20am – Had Breakfast
        16) 9.30am – 8th call. Liquid green foamy as before
        17) 10.00am – Sieved stuff, Cleaned buckets, washed down, enjoyed normal sleep
        18) 4.40pm – 9th call (now using toilet bowl). Solid stool. Green colour like mixture of chopped green vegetables and seaweed floating on surface, though I’ve not eaten any of them. They also included largest floating stones thus far.
        19) 6.30pm – Had Supper
        20) 11.10pm – 10th call. Solid stool. Colour now changing to normal yellow. Had some green floating stuff like mixture of chopped green vegetables and seaweed on surface. Also harvested 5 largest floating stones thus far.
        21) 5.50am Monday – 11th Call. Solid stool. Normal yellow colour. No floating stuff. No stones.

        The Outcomes and Effects
        22) The floating stuff which I supposed to be gall stones were soft gels of different sizes. The biggest were the size of red kidney beans and the average were the size of green peas. I counted about 30 and were patches of green and cream in colour.
        23) The other floating stuff were about the sizes of sand, yellow in colour and uncountable in number. These sand-like suspensions passed through the sieve and got washed away
        24) What fascinated me most was the amount of heavy sediments that settled at the bottom of the bucket. These were particles like sand and tiny sticks in black, grey and yellow colours. Please note that I washed the bucket clean before I started the procedure.
        25) I had no difficulty in going through the procedure – no belching, no nausea, no vomiting, normal sweating, no pains and I had easy passage of stools. I couldn’t enjoy sound sleep but I guess this was due to anxiety over outcomes and the effort to keep lying on right side with right leg folded up towards tummy.
        26) The pain on my right side upper abdomen has become very faint even when I sleep on my right side
        27) I plan to repeat the procedure sometime next month

        • Thanks for sharing all of that! I don’t normally recommend gall bladder flushes, because they are not very gentle on the body and can cause problems with people who have larger stones. Those stones need to be dissolved over time instead of flushed out.

          What you saw was mostly old fecal matter that was stuck to the sides of your large intestine (still important to remove), the soft ‘gall stones’ are reportedly the result of the way the ingredients that you take in bind together (chemical reaction between the acid and the fat), but the sandy sludge is a common result of build up in the gall bladder.

          Instead of repeating the flush, you can make sure to eat moderate amounts of healthy fats daily, heal your digestive function, and increase your intake of beets and beet juice (I highly recommend beet kvass) to thin the bile and help it to flow more freely. Vegetable juicing is also a great way to cleanse the blood and digestive tract (which the liver and gall bladder are a part of).

          • Thanks so much for the advice. I shall try and work on dissolving the stones as you recommend. I have some pictures of the supposed stones and would like to send them to you to confirm whether they are gallstones or faecal matter if you wouldn’t mind. kindly let me know how to send the pictures.

            • There are websites online that detail the types of stones that are released, and studies have been done by medical doctors that replicate the effects even when not passed through the GI tract. They’ve also dissected them and analyzed the contents. When you force large amounts of fat through your body, you will help to flush the gall bladder so you are clearing out stagnant matter. I don’t want to make it sounds like it’s a complete hoax. It’s just not the optimal way.

              I use liver cleansing foods and herbs along with beets and digestive enzymes quite effectively. I have personally had a lot of liver and gall bladder cleansing to do, and it’s been an effective and gentle way to do it without overwhelming my body. It also works very well for my clients. It just takes longer. πŸ˜‰

  • Thank you for your reply! I have thought alot about the things you talked about. I have been reading up on histamines. My dr. wants me to take the sibo breath test. I think I am going to. I have read that histamine intolerance is related to sibo, so I felt I should probably address that. I haven’t looked into the rotation diet yet. I would love to hear your thoughts. I would also be interested in knowing more information on your services and prices.

  • Once I just had a friend die last year from trying to heal her bleeding ulcers with cayenne pepper , I feel that we need to use our heads. Some homeopathy cries work well, some don’t. Sometimes we need surgery and antibiotics. If your gall bladder is diseased, full of pus and could rupture, go the the E.R. stop messing around with things that could take your life. God gave us nature and herbs to help us, but he also gave us modern medicine both are blessings.

    • Thanks for your concern, Lucy, and I am very sorry to hear about your friend. Trying to heal bleeding ulcers with cayenne pepper as a home treatment would not be recommended by any healer or practitioner that I know of.

      As a practitioner, I’m qualified to treat myself and share information that can be helpful to others. Readers should always use common sense with natural healing and conventional medicine.

  • I have been dealing with this for yrs now. I thought I had acid feflux but this past Dec. I had such pain I never had before, in the back on the right side. I keep burping a LOT of the time, even if I have not eaten. I get nauseous at times when I feel hungry. I made an appointment to see what is going on. I eat very little red meat, & eat about 80% organic foods. But I LOVE my sugar treats. I love dark coco & seem to crave it every night. I eat a little cheese, a little eggs. The day I had my first painful attack (lasted a week) I had just eaten some quiech (all organic) that had cheese, broccoli, & eggs. I read all 3 of those are not good for gallstones. About an hour after eating it.. I started to get what i thought was acid reflux. I almost went to the ER but because of $ I did not go & stayed home to let the acid reflux go away. I NEVER thought of my gallbladder. So I went to see the DR. last week. She ordered an ultra sound. That was 5 days ago & I am waiting to hear back. So I do eat a good diet, but I am lacking things like calcium. OH I also got some teeth pulled & got a partial plate & that affected my eating. I eat less food now as I hate the partial & don’t wear it a lot. I cut way back on salads. I just turned 68, have always been healthy. I am not use to having some thing wrong with me. I weigh 128 & am 5ft 4″.
    I do NOT want surgery… NO NO..and no way. So that puts me paying more attention to this matter. I LOVE BEET JUICE & read that is really good for this problem. I am hoping I can heal this up with diet. Also LECITHIN is good to break up cholesterol & I use to take tables of them. I am going to go back on them as well as FLAX SEED OIL…. Hope I can BEET this one… Thank you for your information….

  • Repeated ingestion of apple cider vinegar for gallstones irritates my throat and vocal chords and the acid is hard on teeth. I’ve found it best to consume apple cider vinegar and apple juice by drinking it quickly. I follow that by immediately swishing with a mouthful of water and swallowing, to dilute and wash down the vinegar.

    The formula I’ve been using is 1 fl oz vinegar (i.e., 2 tablespoons), 3 fl oz apple juice and 4 fl oz filtered water. For convenience, I pre-mix a large quantity of the vinegar and apple juice in a 1:3 ratio β€” 64 fl oz (1 gallon) β€” and store it in the refrigerator. To use it, pour about 4 fl oz (1/2 cup) into a glass and add an equal amount of room temperature water.

  • Hello there, I have had two gall bladder attacks and ended in the ER both times. The first time I was told that it was gastro intestinal attacks and then the second time it was so bad that I was given a few shots of morphine. It eventually subsided and I went for a sonar which indicated several large gall stones. And i had the news that I’ll have to remove the gall bladder. So just wanted to know – will the ACV work if drunk with hot water only? Or is it imperative to drink with apple cider juice?

  • Thanks for sharing this story Jennifer. How are you just over a year later? Are you still gall-problem free? Please give us an update. Thanks

    • I am problem-free, but I have done additional work with a lipase and concentrated beet supplement to help digest fats and thin bile.

      I’m also currently pregnant and having no issues. It’s a time where many women have severe gall bladder distress and often have to have them removed.

  • I have been feeling like I can’t concentrate right before lunch. And I feel better in that regard after I eat. But I usually feel fatigued after I eat. But the worst problem is often at night. I tried some histame with my lunch yesterday. I felt about the same as I normally do. Then I ate some honeydew and chicken for a late afternoon snack. I ate supper (ground turkey, jasmine rice and broccoli) after 7:30. Before I was finished eating supper I felt nauseous. I couldn’t enjoy the TV, so I went and layed in bed with my head propped up (to help with heartburn). My stomach was bloated and gurgling and I felt nauseous and a burning feeling. This morning it is still hurting. (I also did a castor oil pack last night before supper to help my liver.) My tummy was still bloated and burning this morning. I was diagnosed some months back with a mild case of SIBO. I didn’t take the antibiotics. I was diagnosed with basically the same thing over 3 years ago. I took triple antibiotic therapy. I have also taken antibiotics around 2 years ago, because I had replaced a mercury filling and the tooth died. So, I feel that antibiotics haven’t “cured” my bloating issues. I have been doing better in many areas since getting rid of my mercury fillings, and I feel that they were a root cause. I was diagnosed with pcos (many cysts on my ovaries seen on a sonagram), but now my periods are normal (DGL helped with that.) I sleep through the night now. I looked like a chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia case before. But now the only major issue is the gastrointestinal one. I guess I can eat earlier and eat less and I feel that will help. But because I have struggled with adrenal issues in the past I also feel I need to get full to sleep well. But of course having my tummy hurting isn’t really great for sleep either. πŸ™‚

    I have been considering taking Allimed (special form of garlic) for SIBO. The reason I have researched and hesitated so long is because when I take something to kill stuff off (like antibiotics or more recently samento and banderol) I start feeling worse and not sleeping as well. So, I have been unsure what to do. I have been doing castor oil packs, and my sleep is better and my pms breast cysts are basically non existent. Any advice on the stomach issues? I took some aloe vera juice after my breakfast (lettuce, cantaloupe, and eggs fried in coconut oil). It is now 5:00 pm and I ate a small lunch today. My tummy is still gurgling and feels sour. I still feel a burning in my chest. Please share anything you can.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    Ultrasound discovered I have a 1.2cm gallstone and of course the conventional medicine folks want to remove the gallbladder. I have been reading about dissolving the stone, but my concern is this: when the stone gets smaller, will it try to pass and potentially get lodged, or does this only happen when people do flushes? I do not want to get in a situation where I have to have emergency (conventional) gallbladder surgery (as opposed to pre-planned laparoscopic).
    I have been having gallbladder attacks 4-5 times a week for 18 months now. It took exactly a year to be diagnosed, as my pain symptoms do not fit the classic gallbladder attack description (no right side abdominal pain; pain is concentrated under the bottom left rib in front and across the mid-back). The attacks were extremely severe until I realized food was a contributing factor. They are less severe since I started watching my fat intake, but I still have mild attacks after eating almost anything. The attacks are more severe after ingesting meat and dairy, mind you, but I once ingested only V-8 for an entire day and still had an attack. So my second question is this: Is there hope that a person whose gallbladder is reacting to almost everything can solve the problem naturally?

    • It is always possible that stones can get lodged in the biliary ducts, but I don’t believe it’s a large probability. You should check with your doctor for the stats on that.

      Conventional medical doctors will often err on the side of caution due to malpractice and insurance concerns and the idea that the gall bladder isn’t a necessary organ (our bodies are made with one for a reason), so surgery is often used as a preventative measure. They are also not skilled in natural medicine so don’t know of the alternatives.

      Regardless if you have it removed or not, you should look at going through the steps to healing your digestion. Gall bladder dysfunction happens with a poor diet and digestive dysfunction. I link to my series on healing digestion at the bottom of my post.

      Best of luck!

  • Hello , I have found for me the quickest and almost works every time. I take a warm shower and get the food out of my stomach. I think a combo of the wretching possibly moving bile stones along and emptying my stomach of the food that my gallbladder is still trying to digest. It works well for me. Almost immediate relief πŸ™‚

  • Hello! My mother is a nurse and she insists I get my gallbladder out, as her and my younger sister did last year, but I feel that it just shouldn’t be done. I had a scan done and my gallbladder was at 7% function. Do you feel that it’s too far one for flushes to help?

    • There is a lot more involved when reversing and healing gall bladder dysfunction. A minor cleanse like this is to help acute and minor distress. As I’m not a medical doctor and can’t examine you or your tests, I can’t tell you if it can be rehabilitated. With only 7% function, it doesn’t seem likely.

      My first course of action would be a complete diet overhaul and the addition of bile salt and HCl to your diet. You’ll need both whether you have the surgery or not. The body cannot break down and digest fats without both.

  • I am interested in your protocol above. I had my first attack recently and am still healing from it. I did not get mine out, I want to try and save it. I did use the ACV tonic andit worked well to relieve the pain. Did you do all those things listed under “your prescription” on the same day in the same order? Also, if you do not recommend chewing the fermented garlic, what do you do with it instead? I will be making beet kvass this week and I want to do all that you have listed in your perscription…thx

    • The order doesn’t matter. It’s about taking in foods that help to support liver and gall bladder function and allow the body to release the bile and toxins that have been backing up in a gentle manner.

      I would finely dice the garlic and swallow the pieces in a spoon of infused honey or drink with the ACV tonic.

      Please remember what worked for me may not be exactly what works for you, so be sure to listen to your body. Also, be sure to eat fiber-rich foods to help bind the bile and carry it out of the body.

      Best of luck!

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  • Hi Jennifer,

    I have been reading your Healing Digestion series, which is amazing and timely. I have very low stomach acid, huge difficulty digesting any fats, and burp all the time (worse the more rich the food is, for instance white fish causes minor burping, but salmon is causes major!). The first step I took to healing my digestion was following the Autoimmune Paleo diet for 6 weeks – no grains, legumes, dairy , eggs, nuts or nightshades; I took out all inflammatory foods. An issue for me with this diet was losing too much weight quickly – I can’t digest fats, and the only carb I could have was sweet potato daily. I have introduced many foods back in now to ensure I have high enough carb and caloric intake.

    I also did the HCl challenge and got up to 14 capsules without feeling any warmth. I consulted a great ND who suggested I take a maximum of 8-10 capsules with meals. I also take a good digestive enzyme (Enzymedica Digest Gold), and ox bile once or twice a day with rich meals – to stop me losing any more weight, like I was. (In order to have any olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil, I have to take ox bile to avoid great discomfort.)

    I believe this all stems from adrenal issues – high cortisol = low digestive power… (I am working on lowering the cortisol as well.) I suspect (and my acupuncturist suspects) I also have liver congestion and my gallbladder is unhappy as well. I tried one gallbladder flush, but for me, it is a bit too harsh on my system to want to do more of them. With my problems digesting fats and anything else without assistance, I need to approach this more gently.

    I would really like to gently heal and decongest my liver/gallbladder. I have been taking milk thistle, drinking roasted dandelion tea, and taking a teaspoon of beet powder 2-3 times a day just before meals. I take 500mg of taurine at night to help with my sleep. Is there anything more I can do? I don’t do well with lemon or acv in water – sounds crazy, but it irritates my vagus nerve. Fermented foods make me really gassy.

    I think everything will start to come back into balance when my stomach acid level improves. I feel unsure my stomach acid will improve easily if I am not even taking the optimum amount of HCl for me, because my levels are so low. I wish I were someone who felt the ‘warmth’ at 6 or 7 capsules, so I new it was doing what it needed to. By the way, does the Betaine in my HCl Betaine help my gallbladder?

    Anyway, I really welcome your advice particularly in regards to gently helping my gallbladder work better and increasing my stomach acid. I live in Australia, where few practitioners are as experienced in dealing with these issues. I had an expensive specialist tell me the other day that plenty of people have no stomach acid or gallbladders and it doesn’t cause any issues.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Juliet

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  • I had gall bladder attacks off and on for a week last year. It was getting really bad (3 – 5 minute attacks every half hour or so after eating and at night when trying to sleep) and I was desperate for some relief. I couldn’t go to the doctor because my health card was not sorted out and I didn’t have the funds to go private at the time (thankfully I sorted my health card so I can go in future).

    What I did to try to fix it:

    1) eat raw beetroot (about 2 – 3 whole beetroots a day)
    2) stopped eating meat completely (until the attacks stopped, I’m back to eating meat now)
    3) Drank lots of fruit juices (although I’m not sure this was a good idea, I’m pretty sure acidic things like fruit juices are actually bad for gall attacks…)
    4) Did 2 Epsom salts flushes a day or 2 apart (don’t eat anything for about 9 – 12 hours then take a large dose of epsom salts / magnesium sulphate in a pint of water and lie on your right side until it works it way through your digestive tract… you’ll know when this is as you’ll feel the need to go the bathroom).

    The beetroot and the epsom salt flushes worked the best I think. My gall bladder attacks disappeared entirely after the second flush, and the pain of the attacks was lessened when I ate beetroot – it would literally reduce to almost nothing almost immediately after eating it (it could have been placebo but it worked). I haven’t had another attack since, and I never ended up going to the doctor as I resolved it on my own (and I was terrified I’d be told to have it surgically removed… even if it’s not working as it should I’d rather have it than not!).

    Thanks for the other suggestions though, I think if I have gall attacks again I will try some of these too πŸ™‚

    P.S. be careful with Epsom salts – don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

  • Hey! I’m ashley, 19 years old, pregnant at 12 weeks with my first baby, and have been suffering from horrible attacks by my gallbladder for the past 8 months or so.
    I was scheduled to have my gallbladder removed, and then the next day I found out about my little miracle. I’ve done all the dieting I’ve been told and nothing helps. I go for days at a time with an attack. Thing I hate most is now I have a tiny human to help out. Everything is twice as hard. I may be the only in this post for getting a removal, but seriously I can’t just keep my body in pain. I’ve done plenty of pure no fatty diet, and then fats here and there with cleansing foods. So far, nothing is helping. I hope things work out for all of you! I also hope they’ll take my gb out soon!

  • Emotions can affect one’s gall bladder as well. My first gall bladder attack happened about 2 months after our oldest daughter died, leaving three young children. I went to an urgent care clinic and they immediately sent me to the ER since the symptoms for a GB attack are somewhat similar to a heart attack (I was 64 at the time.) An electrocardiogram showed my heart to be in great shape, and the ER doc started pushing me to have the gall bladder out. Soon after, a surgeon with whom we were friends walked in. He also supported removal saying that he had his out 8 years prior and it was an excellent choice. We managed to leave the ER with gall bladder intact, and as we were driving away, my wife commented “Eight years ago was just after his first wife died.” My wife has no problems with the GB and believes it is because she thoroughly processes emotions verbally (believe me) and doesn’t let them get “stuck” in the liver/gall bladder. Myself, being a guy, not so much, though I try. Sounds kind of woo-woo but over the years I have moved from being a left-brained physicist to recognizing that there’s a LOT we cannot explain with a merely reductionist approach.

    • Tom, I’m so gad you shared! I’m full on woo woo and am starting to address the emotional aspect of body dysfunction in my healing protocols. I am currently testing flower essences body mapping in conjunction with cranialsacral therapy. The body is an amazing creation!

  • Its very odd, but I have a good beef broth soup, or vietnamese pho and no problems at all, no gas or pain. Chicken usually.

    • Defatted broths will not require the gall bladder to secrete large amounts of lipase. Most broths are still mostly or completely defatted. …and now I want some pho. Yum.

  • Very interesting comments & advice from Jennifer! I was in ER 3 wks ago & admitted once they “confirmed” Cholesystitis. I had no fever but pain to send me to ER that I endured for 14 hrs b4 giving in. (I’d had 2 prior similar attacks, but both lasted just 2-3 hrs but were awful as one cannot find any position to ease it at all. I have no clue how I lasted 14 hrs this latest time, but there I was, admitted to hospital & put on IV antibiotics. Morphine did nothing, but dilaudid worked. They said at least 2 nites in but I was feeling fine the next am and got discharged but not before a consult with urologist because my ER ultrasound showed large 1.3 x 1.2 stone in left kidney (was not my pain as I’ve been thru the calcium oxalate stones in that kidney 40 yrs ago). The urologist convinced me to have CT scan & Xray so he could try to assess whether that large kidney stone was new leftover from 40 yrs ago surgery. The scan & x-ray were of my entire abdomen & there were other findings that all say were not surprising considering my age (64) i.e. nodule on one adrenal gland, a uterine cyst & something on my liver, suggesting start of fatty liver disease (I think that’s what someone said). Gallbladder has many large stones..to large to pass. And “mobile” sludge whatever that means. Surgeon wants to remove gallbladder, but thankfully I have time to look other possibilities as he’s “booked” until the end of Feb 2017. Then I find this site. I would like to try to dissolve my gallbladder stones & wonder if you have a book, booklet etc that I could buy for this. I saw your list but I also need to be very cautious about eating anything with high oxalates due to my predisposition to calcium oxalate kidney stones…I have been drinking the juice of one lemon in 64 oz of water daily for well over a year since passing 27 small kidney stones in the bathtub in Nov 2015. THAT was a shock, but no pain. (eating almonds daily for 6 months had to the the cause, along with daily chocolate due to chocolate addiction – both are extremely high on oxalates so no big surprise there & I feel I have kidney stones well under control since that bathtub episode). To get me to the end of feb for my “surgery” I’ve been told no fats or oils at all – this is to avoid another ER visit/admission. I’m doing very well as have found a few things I can eat that I enjoy & both are no fat & low oxalate. It’s extremely difficult as I know this kind of eating isn’t the best but it’s what I need to do right now to avoid another attack of cholesystitis. I’m not really sure what the difference is between what others are experiencing i.e. gallbladder attacks & cholecystitis. Sorry so long here but I would like to try to dissolve my gallstones if possible. (the scan report also says some are “calcified” so that worries me re can those be dissolved? I’d like to thin the bile too. Any pointers or links to a process that isn’t a “flush” would be great. (my stones are too big to pass via flushing so I don’t dare risk trying!) Tks!

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with that, Lynn. It’s a great encouragement that you’re seeking holistic alternatives. That’s the right way to start for long-term care. πŸ™‚ Gallstones can be dissolved, but it’s a long process for your body to break them down. As a general rule, it involves a lot of attention to the liver/gall bladder with the right foods, supplements, and lifestyle, healing digestion, and a baby steps way to bring your body out of acute and chronic dysfunction. I wouldn’t be able to recommend anything specific beyond the common foods like beets, taking lipase to digest fats in your body that aren’t able to get broken down, and easily digestible forms of green foods like nettle tea. I don’t know of anything that would be helpful, not cause harm, and be completely safe without seeing all of your medical records within the scope and professional safety of my practice.

      I can say that removing all synthetic toxins from your personal care products, food, and immediate environment would be the first step and 100% safe. Changing to a 100% real foods diet that focuses on organic (and biodynamic if possible), home-cooked, and easily digestible foods is also a critical step in lightening the burden on the liver and allowing it to more efficiently cleanse the blood, heal itself, and allow the sludge that is stuck in your gall bladder to slowly come out. You would still need intervention to safely assist the process regardless of what stage of gall bladder dysfunction that you’re in. I assess differently from conventional doctors in that I assess function and work to balance body processes rather than treat and ‘fix’.

      Blessings and best wishes for whichever path is right for you.

  • When you say drink the tonic within 10-15 minutes, do you mean within 15 minutes or slowly drink it so it takes you at least 10 minutes, no longer than 15. I kind of chugged it and i’m feeling it πŸ™‚

  • I was following a low fat, low acid diet due to Painful Bladder Syndrome for around six months. I then developed poor digestion and acid reflux. I became afraid to eat and lost a lot of weight fast. Then I started GAPS and was doing well, slowly putting weight back on. I got flu, lost more weight, suddenly had fierce heartburn just before during and after the flu. I then saw a gastrologist who is doing my gastroscopy in October. He told me I should eat gluten, dairy (all foods I’ve been avoiding) so he could test me.
    Last week I had three gallbladder attacks, the third took me to hospital where they gave me morphine and diagnosed it as a gallbladder problem. An ultrasouind showed no stones but my gallbladder is inflamed with a thickened wall. My GP has referred me to a surgeon. I’m hoping to settle my gallbladder down before I see the surgeon in November.
    Now I’m wondering if the diet changes and weight loss had something to do with my unhappy gallbladder?

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling, May. It’s really hard to follow a plan when it’s making you more sick too. I look at things from a healer’s perspective more than a diagnostic perspective, so removing the root causes of symptoms and bringing balance is where my strengths lie. Food stressors (any food that causes unpleasant symptoms), synthetic ingredients, the chronic low fat diet of the 80s and 90s, and poor sources of fats like industrialized seed oils – canola, corn, soy, margarine, etc. – are the main reasons that the liver/gall bladders is in such a state of dysfunction.

      If you are interested in taking a holistic approach while you work with your GP, please feel free to contact me here.

      I wish you the best of luck no matter what your chosen route may be!

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