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Gall Bladder Removal Effect on Primal?

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  • Gall Bladder Removal Effect on Primal?

    I segued into the Primal lifestyle over the course of the past few months. But over the past few years, I've had (what I now know are) gallstones - and the pain in the attacks is so unbearable I wouldn't wish it on anybody. Just absolutely horrible.

    Yesterday, the pain was so intense that, even though I don't have health insurance, I went to the hospital. They gave me some morphine (thank God!) and then did an ultrasound where they confirmed it was gallstones (which I hadn't even heard of). After prescribing me some Vicadin in case the spells return (they crop up every few months and last about 12 hours), they said that I should try and have my gall bladder removed.

    Assuming that I do have to do this (which I probably will) is anybody aware of how this affects their diet or the processing of food? Does your body not process fat as well afterward or anything? The Wikipedia article linked to above noted that diahhrea is a common side-effect of having it removed, but just for a couple of weeks. Has anybody had this done before and, if so, how did your body respond, especially regarding a Primal diet?

    (NOTE: Searching through this forum, an old post linked to this great article by Michael Eades which suddenly explains the gallstone attacks so clearly. Just 24 hours ago, I was in unspeakable pain and had no clue about it. Now, it all makes sense, and that's a huge relief for me.)

  • #2
    I can't speak from a primal standpoint, as I'm just now gradually going more primal and facing my own health issues. However, I did have my gallbladder removed in 2007 after 10 months of attacks. It took the drs. 6 months to discover the cause of my pain. Anyhow, we were between health insurances and I refused, if at all possible, to wait until the new insurance came into effect. In the meantime, I did do a cleanse that is specific to bile and gallstones. I can't remember the exact name of it. I just remember the book that told me about it was called, "Are you stoned?" It basically consisted of fasting 12-24 hours, then drinking olive oil chased with lemon juice. It is absolutely horrific but it did help me pass some of my stones and get me through the remaining 3 months of waiting. As for after the removal, I only had bowl issues for a couple of days. My SIL had issues for a couple of months. So I think everyone is a little different. Hind sight, I would try to do more to keep my gall bladder if at all possible. Good luck! I still remember those pains quite clearly!

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    • #3
      Assuming there isn't any damage that could be done (yes, I know the pain can be intense) I would try to hold off on the surgery. It was my understanding that the gallstones were a symptom of eating a diet that wasn't Primal. If you can fix it that way, it would be much better in the long run. I know my mom had hers out decades ago, and it wasn't easy for several months to a year.

      I know there are some people here that had gall bladder problems, so I'm hoping they'll chime in.
      Durp.

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      • #4
        Thanks, TradSimplicity and RitaRose.

        It sounds like these are both votes for trying to preserve it, if possible.

        On the flip side, I just talked with my mom and she said that she had hers out and had no side effects at all. So, like Trad said, everybody's unique.

        There seems to be this alternate technique of using some sort of shock waves to disintegrate the stones within the blatter and it would be nice to have that as an option. But the olive oil and lemon technique doesn't sound too good to me (nor would I be able to determine whether it succeeded or not).

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        • #5
          I had my gallbladder out in December 2007. My case was unusual in that the ERCP surgery irritated my pancreas and caused other issues, so they had to remove the gallbladder the old fashioned way and I know have a big scar there. Anyway, eating ANYTHING was problematic for a while, but I've found that if I eat strict Paleo I do just fine, even with fats. I had 4 eggs and bacon cooked in duck fat this morning and can digest it just fine. But I do make sure to take now foods super enzymes, at least 5 of them, with every meal. I really super highly recommend these for anyone who has had a gallbladder out. Stay away from the vegetarian variety of digestive enzymes, they don't work as well. Look for Ox Bile in them.
          Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TradSimplicity View Post
            I can't speak from a primal standpoint, as I'm just now gradually going more primal and facing my own health issues. However, I did have my gallbladder removed in 2007 after 10 months of attacks. It took the drs. 6 months to discover the cause of my pain. Anyhow, we were between health insurances and I refused, if at all possible, to wait until the new insurance came into effect. In the meantime, I did do a cleanse that is specific to bile and gallstones. I can't remember the exact name of it. I just remember the book that told me about it was called, "Are you stoned?" It basically consisted of fasting 12-24 hours, then drinking olive oil chased with lemon juice. It is absolutely horrific but it did help me pass some of my stones and get me through the remaining 3 months of waiting. As for after the removal, I only had bowl issues for a couple of days. My SIL had issues for a couple of months. So I think everyone is a little different. Hind sight, I would try to do more to keep my gall bladder if at all possible. Good luck! I still remember those pains quite clearly!
            This and it works. My mom had a neighbor whom she monitored while he did this. He was over 70 years of age and the doctors told him surgery was his only option.

            This "cleanse" did work and he passed all of his stones, albeit very painful.
            Start Weight: 265.8
            Current Weight: 234.4
            Leptin Reset started Jan 1, 2014

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            • #7
              Had my gall bladder removed in 1972. (Yep, 39 years ago) All ok so far. Can eat anything I want. In saying that, I'm all for keeping the bits we were born with if possible.
              Original Goal: To lose weight. Achieved in March 2010
              Long Term Goals: To continue using Primal guidlines to improve fitness and health. To share the Primal message.

              The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible - Judith Regan

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              • #8
                I have gallstones, I had a bad month with gallbladder pain, I ate a lot of coconut oil to ease the pain.

                Also, I tried the cleanse, however, I didn't peer through my stool to see if it worked. Pain did subside after to a large degree. It took an additional two weeks after the cleanse before it became nonexistent.
                Last edited by kenn; 01-14-2012, 01:38 PM.
                Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
                Starting Weight: 294 pounds
                Current Weight: 235 pounds
                Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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                • #9
                  I had mine removed after almost of year of intense, debilitating pain (and a doctor who was SURE it was my menstruation cycle. When I go on a rampage shooting people she's at the top of the list grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....anyway). After it was removed no more pain. Only issue-about 20 minutes after eating a really greasy meal I gotta make a bathroom run. I was also diagnosed with IBS so it might be a combo of those two that are my problem, I know several people who have had no issue at all.

                  Strangely, going primal has actually helped (even though I'm eating at least three times as much fat as before). I had the new surgery and have 4 cute little scars (add my birthmark and I have a star on my tummy, lol!!)
                  See what I'm up to: The Primal Gardener

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                  • #10
                    I used a flush (about every 6 months) for a few years that was recommended by my naturopath (similar to the one mentioned above) and it did work .... for a while. Then I made the mistake of lending my book out and neglected to do the flush for close to a year. When the pain hit, it was horrific and I was so sick that I couldn't even do the flush.

                    I was not primal then (this was during my phase of lets be stupid and eat grains and crap food and sugar). Had the ultrasound done and had it removed in 1999. As much as I would have preferred to keep it intact, it was beyond saving. Surgeon told my parents that it was so fragile that they feared it would burst before they were able to get it removed ... they also shared with them that they quit counting the stones (in various sizes) after they got over 100.

                    Since then I had to give up gluten and now find that there is a connection with Celiac and gall bladder issues. I am totally convinced that if I had been primal all along, I would not have had to have the surgery. Dairy was one thing that would really set off a bad episode of sheer torture.

                    I do take enzymes now and have no issues with good fats (coconut, olive oil, lard, bacon fat).
                    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.




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                    • #11
                      Thanks a lot for all the feedback. It's a lot for me to digest (no pun intended) but I'm processing it all. Thanks again.

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                      • #12
                        Just screwing around with search engines, I found several sites which detail non-surgical ways of passing gallstones. This page seemed to be the clearest and most professional:

                        Natural Remedies for Gallstones Naturally

                        I definitely do not want to be dependent upon external enzymes with every meal for the rest of my life (although, obviously, if one must do that, then that's okay, but it's just a scenario I hope to avoid because of the money and convenience). Therefore, I believe that I will try these techniques of passing them.

                        I have one big "cheat" (I hope): I have a bunch of Vicadin that I was prescribed right next to me in case there's a problem and the natural technique just causes the gallstones to plug up the duct again, rather than slide through it. This is critical because the pain is my biggest concern, by far. The pain yesterday was so incredible that I would honestly rather die than live with that for another day. It was horrible beyond words.

                        So I'll try this next week, once I get the money for the supplies. One other big drawback, of course, is that I don't think I'll have any real way of determining whether the gallstones are gone or not. For me, the pain just comes up once a month or so for about 12 hours (like right now I don't feel anything at all). And so I can't just use that as a gauge. And I obviously don't have an ultrasound machine handy. So there are major drawbacks. But I'll give it a shot, still.

                        Thanks a lot to everybody. I'll keep updating and, if anybody has anything else to offer, please don't hesitate to share it.

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                        • #13
                          I had my gall bladder removed five years ago. Every single attack was more painful than the surgery and healing process, so I had no regrets. I can eat whatever I fancy (excluding the many things I am allergic or intolerant to). I've never had any of the problems commonly associated with gall bladder removal.

                          That said, had I known what I know now, I would have tried to save my gall bladder

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Farfalla View Post
                            ....

                            That said, had I known what I know now, I would have tried to save my gall bladder
                            What do you mean by "what I know now"?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DavidBrennan View Post
                              What do you mean by "what I know now"?
                              That I could cleanse it by changing my diet. I don't know whether it would have worked, but I would have tried at least.

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