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Gallbladder advice

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  • Gallbladder advice

    I've been primal for a year and half and I'm probably at the higher end regarding fat intake, eating lots of butter, lard, bacon, cream, avocados and olive oil.

    (Prior to switching to primal I was very low fat / vegetarian.) I have fasted in the past and I do skip meals

    I've always had digestive issues, constipation, gas, belching, food sitting heavy, usually worse at night. But since primal most of my symptoms had improved significantly and is been a while since I've had that oh so familiar feeling after dinner of being bloated and gassy and uncomfortable. I've been so happy to see my problems clear up and have sworn myself completely off grains and nasty oils as I think they were main culprits. (I'm 90% off sugar.)

    But in the last couple of days I've been experiencing something new and i think it might be gallstones.

    I'm not asking for medical advice here but I know how eager doctors are to whip gallbladders out and I'm not one to undertake a surgical procedure without at least gleaning alternate opinions. So.

    First off I went for a massage and my massage lady felt a tender spot under my rib she said gallbladder. I googled it and my symptoms seem to fit all the digestive issues I've had over the years. But I ignored it and thought it would go away.

    A couple of days ago not even halfway through my meal i felt so full and bloated that I couldn't finish it. Same thing happened today.

    I can't say that it was particularly high fat - tonight's avo salad did have Olive oil on it, but last night's lamb, mashed patio and spinach didn't.

    There's a pain under my rib, not really bad, like I've read gallbladder attacks can be but i also feel full, bloated, constipated (I'm not, I went this morning) and gassy and I've been belching again.

    If this gets serious I'll go to a doctor. But for now I'm keeping a close eye on my symptoms and trying to learn as much as i can.

    My questions are, if it is gallstones, why now after a year and half of hight fat eating?

    (Id understand if I was a few months in, but I've been doing this a while now, and high fat is supposed to be good for gallbladder function. While low fat, which I was, it's what causes them.)

    Why now after a year and half practically symptom free? Could they be shrinking, thanks to clean primal eating, and this is what's causing them to move, now?

    And, does anyone know of any real cures for gallstones? (My uncle just had his gallbladder removed. I don't want to lose mine. If it means I have to drink Epsom salts and lemon juice with olive oil I'll do it, even though in not fully convinced it will work.

    (One thing I did notice tonight, I took some magnesium and some Apple cider vinegar and symptoms seemed to improve quite quickly. )

    anyone else with gallbladder issues?
    SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
    “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

  • #2
    Not sure how much help I will be, but I too have constant belching after eating. I find the slower I eat, as well as the more natural and less processed foods I eat, improve my belching. I had an endoscopy last year and everything was fine, but I was told it's GERD. I get bloated as well after eating. This has been the primary reason I've started to eat primal. I find that doctors don't know very much about this stuff, and just prescribe PPIs, which is very harmful and does more damage than good in most people.

    As far as the gallbladder issues, I did a lot of reading in the past year on this digestive stuff and many people that were experiencing belching and other digestive issues had their gallbladder removed as it was thought to be the culprit. Most of those people found that it didn't help and their symptoms continued after it was removed.

    Have you ever tried HCL? It may help with digestion a little. Maybe even some digestive enzymes. If you still have pain, I would definitely recommend going to the doctor. Just be careful if they try to give you PPIs.

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


    • #3
      No Idea whether you have gall stones, but if you do...

      Almost everyone has gall stones. You probably had stones before you made your lifestyle change. It is just about whether they shift to where the are blocking drainage that determines pain. I think the plus side about having surgery is that if you have planned surgery you can make choices that I didn't get to make- fortunately I got all the good stuff, but I didn't know it until after.

      I had an emergency gall bladder removal with no prior symptoms, but this is what I learned after:
      -There is a gall stone dissolving diet and it does seem to work for at least some people.
      -Caffiene causes the gall bladder to squeeze and can force out smaller stones before they cause a problem. People at risk (fat, female, forty) might think about having caffiene at least weekly. But after you have a painful stone, it will probably just cause pain.
      -People will tell you to go on a low-fat diet to manage the pain. IMHO, that is stupid because it will just increase the stones. If one is going to go low-fat, why not have the surgery and get on with life?
      -You want "clipless" surgery, thought about 10% of people have an anatomical issue that they have to have clips. At this point if you have surgery in almost any major metro area it will be clipless, but ask anyway. Why don't you want clips? Clips can make to difficult to read MRIs if you need them later for another medical condition.
      -Another reason to have surgery earlier rather than later is that the pain you experience seems to get built into the neural circuitry somehow. More than half of people who have surgery continue to experience the same pain after surgery.

      IMHO, surgery is a reasonable choice. It is the most commonly performed surgery in America, so most surgeons are actually good at it. I went on a European holiday three days after my emergency surgery and have had no negative effects aside from some pain over about three months as the surgical scars broke up.
      “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
      Blogging at


      • #4
        I also had my gallbladder removed. My only advice as this point is you really should go see a good gastrointestinologist and have an ultrasound done to see how serious it is. Don't guess at how bad it is, go find out.
        Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.


        • #5
          Kyle 2006, I was on PPIs for a year and half, before struggling to wean myself of them. No easy task! Kestrel SF, if it continues or gets worse for sure I will seek medical advice. Loafingcactus, so much info, thanks. I would love to know what the gallstones dissolving diet it. I'll Google it unless you know more about it?

          . I'm thinking that sticking to a high fat diet, and supplementing with magnesium, apples, lemon juice and acv are all do able. I can also manage a coffee a day.

          I wonder if gentle massage is a good idea to get things moving.

          Does anyone know specifically if the pain is related to passing a stone specifically. You could have one or more, but until they move (and hopefully they don't get stuck) they're painless? So like kidney stones, you only know about it when they are moving?
          Last edited by thaijinx; 06-09-2013, 12:41 PM.
          SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
          “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha


          • #6
            Yes, google it. I really don't remember anything about it. I studied up after my surprise! surgery, which was a few years ago. What I remember reading is that pregnant women use it to try to delay surgery to after birth, but some find that it is so successful they don't need surgery.

            But others have already made a very good point which is that you don't know what it is. The number one danger of alternative medicine is the delay in seeking help from standard medicine when it is needed. It is a real danger that really kills people. So looking into this is fine, but as others have already said, don't let that delay seeing your doctor.

            ETA:Tthe pain is when the stone blocks the duct and the pressure builds up. You pass little crystals all the time and don't even notice, which is why the caffeine can help (but it can land you in the ER if you have a blockage already- see a doctor!).
            “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
            Blogging at


            • #7
              Yes, I'll say again, don't do another damn thing until you've had it ultra sounded by a gastrointestinologist. I waited way too long to get mine looked after and it literally no exaggeration almost killed me. If it isn't at a super critical state then yeah you can play around with diet. But you might be too far gone for that and you may have no choice but to have it out. That may not be what you want to hear but you need to have this information.
              Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.