Over the holidays last year, I went to the emergency room with an extremely painful gall bladder attack. When I sought solutions, the first item that came up was the Paleo Diet. Having had such pain, it was easy to go cold turkey on the diet, and even easier because the diet didn't make me crave the foods that elicit my gall bladder symptoms. Within several days, my symptoms were gone. And, I've only had a minor sense that my gall bladder was acting up about 3 weeks ago, but no real symptoms.
I didn't tell my doctor about my diet because I thought he'd crack up. I asked his nurse if it was OK to delay the surgery appointment in lieu of my dietary changes and 10 pound weight loss (at the time). Both the nurse and the doctor never heard of a gall bladder being healed. And I have yet to find anywhere, except for the flushing programs of which I am skeptical, that says a gall bladder can be healed. Like Robb says, the medical community's only real answer is to take out the offending organ. I'll have a follow-up appointment early this Summer and maybe my doctor will become a Paleo believer.
Does anyone else have a similar experience?
Your gall bladder can indeed be healed. That's ridiculous that your doc told you it can't and that your only option is to take out 'the offending organ'. How about... change the offending diet that people regularly feed that organ. The organ is there for a reason. It's supposed to be there. The gallbladder controls/regulates the bile secretion for digestive purposes, especially for fats. When you eat a fatty meal (which should be pretty much every meal), your gallbladder will secrete the bile. If you have had your GB removed, you will still make bile, but since it will be unregulated, you will probably experience bile dumping and/or the opposite, where you don't have enough bile to correctly digest the fats. My mother-in-law had hers removed and now has sourced me to research this for her. What I found out about the "GB removal world" was extraordinarily frustrating. It's a HUGE industry. Something like 500,000 removals per year.
Now, please don't take offense. I'm sure there's a fair amount of folks on PH that have had theirs removed and are coping accordingly. I mean no disrespect, I promise. It's not your fault. Just like it wasn't my fault that my parents used to let me drink a case of Dr Pepper every day when I was 12. I just didn't know.
But for those who have not yet made the choice to get it removed, KEEP IT! Heal it. Only if a person is past the point of possible healing and there is no way to simply remove the stones causing severe pain would I consider the idea of removal.
If someone who is reading this is considering GB removal, and my answer here helps just one person reconsider, then fantastic. We need to eat fat. Fat is good. The gallbladder helps us digest fat. This is the ENTIRE BASIS of why conventional medicine is so quick to support the idea of removal. "You don't need it. You ARE eating a low-fat diet, right?"
Amazing, isn't it. When will people learn to connect the dots?
AndyH - glad to hear about your GB issue reversal when you switched to Paleo.
Gall bladder removal surgery should be your very last option. Do not do it without at least trying alternatives. It may take time to dissolve the stones in the gall bladder, but there are options like lithotripsy (breaking the stones using ultrasound) or specific drugs (ursodiol or chenodiol) intended to help to dissolve the stones and even an injection of MTBE into the gallbladder to dissolve the stones.
I have had the HIDA and have zero percent ejection factor. I don't want to have my gallbladder removed, and want to at least try to heal. My surgeon is actually very supportive and wants me to keep him filled in about my progress. There are no studies that have been done on people healing their gallbladders--since surgery is done so frequently. My healing process may bring about healing in my gallbladder, or it may not, but at least I want to try.
As anyone else out there had healing with a zero ejection factor?
Yes. I had at least 16 small stones and one larger likely near the duct. I was pretty sick but did not want to have my gall bladder removed. I was not Paleo at the time, but I did suspect the conventional medical advice about overweight, rapid weight loss, fat consumption, and hormones might be flawed. Initially though, I believed that butter in my diet might be the cause.
So I started drinking more water, taking Vitamin C and magnesium, and consuming a whole lot of extra virgin olive oil. I also occasionally took a supplement called Stonefree, by Planetary Herbals. The pain went away, the stones stayed, and then later I started eatomg Paleo. Lost some weight, felt much better, than a re-introduction of wheat triggered another attack. I did the same stone clearing routine mentioned above for about a week, naturally eliminating the wheat of course.
Last ultrasound, very thorough, showed no stones at all. I believe my "treatment" helped keep them from being troublesome, but I think that the elimination of wheat, and other grains was the real key. After all, the issue with eating grains is the inflammatory response, it's just that some people will experience the inflamation differently than others. The formation of the stones may be a protective inflamatory response.