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  1. #1
    abstractpersona's Avatar
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    Scientifically rational ideas why my gallbladder acts up when I ...

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    I'm not looking for a diagnosis, and I'm not looking for a cure. I just want to understand, out of curiosity.

    I KNOW the answer is to stop eating grains, however I'm curious to learn about this.


    I know how the gallbladder works, I know that eating low-fat can cause gallbladder trouble, however this I describe here happens only when I eat grains. I can eat high-fat or low-fat Primal without any trouble whatsoever. I can even eat high-carb Primal without gallbladder pain.

    W
    ARNING.CONTAINS GROSS DETAILS.
    SKIP TO THE * * * AT THE END OF THIS POST TO SEE MY QUESTION.

    So from early 2010 to April 2011, I had gallbladder problems, but it got all sorted out within one month of eating Primal.

    Since then, I have not had any gallbladder pain or vomiting unless I eat grains for more than a few days in a row. If I eat grains, I will vomit on the 4th day.

    For example:
    Day 1: rice. Day 2: cookie. Day 3: popcorn.
    But it could be anything. Corn chips... pizza... whatever.

    Night 3: Can't sleep because of pain. The pain is very dull and weak, but still, I can't sleep.

    Day 4: shuddering with pain, weakness, can't comprehend more than 2 words when listening to someone talk.

    I will vomit the whole day, about every 15 to 30 minutes. Yesterday I think it was from 8am to 9pm or so.
    Vomit is yellow, just watery. I guess it takes 15-30 minutes so that stomach juices build up?

    Before, when I had gallbladder problems, the vomit was neon green, and I would just vomit once or twice, generally at night, though it would take forever to finish.


    * * *

    Soooo.... does anyone have any idea whatsoever why this happens only when I eat grains? The only reasons I can think of:

    * Grains cause inflammation, which might compress/squeeze the gallbladder?

    * Grains cause you to need more water, but I forget, so I'm dehydrated?


    cori93437 says: eating grains in sensitive individuals can make your own body attack your pancreas. (Me: like your body can attack your own thyroid. Makes sense.)

    * * *


    Any other ideas? I'm curious
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 01-17-2012 at 12:52 PM. Reason: to make it as clear as possible for people who cannot read
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    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
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    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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    abstractpersona's Avatar
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    Hmm.. only two references to grains.
    One said they feel better when they cut out grains, and another said cutting out grains can help with weight-loss.

    I know how the gall-bladder and low/high fat diets work, I'm just curious how grains play into this.
    I know grains can cause high triglycerides, and that in turn can cause gallbladder problems, but after only 3 servings of grains, 3 days apart? Strange.
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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Maybe you are sensitive enough that eating grains for a day then not eating them the next affects you similar to how switching to higher fat from a low fat diet in general affects others.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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    Do some research on gallbladder and food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. You will find your answer.

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    I don't know your answer - but I have similar issues with my gall bladder. Grains,including rice, cause problems for me, not fats. I can get away with a day or two with some cheats...but longer than that I am in trouble. The absolute worst for me is fried foods - I think it is the combination of grains with bad oils.

    I have had an ultrasound and a HIDA scan. No stones, but my gallbladder was very sluggish on the HIDA scan.

    I look forward to reading what other people have to say.

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    I'm not going to pretend to know what is up, or if it is specifically your gallbladder causing the issue (bile can indeed be yellow or yellowish brown instead of green)...and I'll wager that you'll never get a definitive diagnosis either from a doctor or here among laymen.
    In my completely un-educated opinion it just seems that you are especially sensitive to grains and the inflammation they cause. Allergic to something in them? Maybe... but you already know what the offending issues are (grains) so seeking a diagnosis is kind of a moot point. Even if you figure out "why" it makes you ill/disturbs your gallbladder function you won't really be able to fix it.

    Like my dad told me when I showed him my hugely swollen and bruised knee, as a kid... then poked it and told him "it really hurts when I do this"... His wise response "Well, then STOP doing that." as he chuckled and walked off.

    For goodness sake... I know that if I consume baking soda I WILL develop kidney stones. I don't keep eating it to see if I can figure out why or test the theory... I just avoid that stuff like the PLAGUE! (Which means NEVER even a cookie, brownie, muffin, slice of cake, whatever... not even as a "treat" day)

    Same with aspirin(or ANY salicylate containing product) ... if I take it I may end up having seizures or in a coma from acidosis. I don't poke the dragon.

    I also KNOW that drinking milk, eating icecream, etc will make me bloat, have nausea and dizziness, gas, feel just plain miserable, have an itchy patchy rash for several days, and spend lots of time in the loo for about 24 hours... so I just don't drink it. I have never needed to be diagnosed by a doctor formally for this problem. I drink it, I get sick. I don't drink it, I'm fine. I brought it up on a visit to my old school GP once after avoiding it for a year or so, and she said "Yep, sounds like you have Lactose intolerance...it's pretty common. You can try that "lactaid" stuff if you want, but I suggest you just stay away from milk." She did not feel the need to test me.

    The wonderful thing about all of this is that you are not a slave to SAD, and therefore not clueless as to what is making you sick. Just imagine the average American with this problem... they'd be sick all the time! You know what foods make you ill so that you can easily avoid them. It's not a perfect world, sometimes you just have to stop eating certain foods forever and march on.

    It's not my intent to sound heartless in any way. I have a long list of things I HAVE to avoid, and it's not always easy... but being healthy instead of sick is really worth it IMO.

    Now, if you really wish to keep some grains in your diet in spite of the obvious issues they cause my suggestion is to:
    A.) Never eat grains of any kind more than 2 days in a row... with a 5 day break in between your 2 day allowances, OR

    B.) Isolate the grains and test yourself. After a full week of ZERO grain, introduce a single grain and eat it 3-4 days in a row to see if it stimulates sickness. I'd probably start with white rice. If there was no sickness I'd then do another week of ZERO grains and try corn. Same, then a week of ZERO grains and do wheat. If there is sickness following a particular grain I would take TWO weeks in between with ZERO grains before trying the next one.
    I would do this individually with any grain product you have gotten sick after eating... like brown rice after white rice if white has no effect but you've been sick after eating brown rice and other things on following days. Same for white flour, whole wheat flour, and whatever else.

    That's the best I can do... at least that way you may be able to narrow it down to a single source and adjust your "20%" or whatever accordingly so that you avoid future illness.

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    abstractpersona's Avatar
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    Did you guys even read my question? :O
    I know about gallbladder stuff, I've been researching it since last two years.

    My question, clearly marked in the first post:

    Does anyone have any idea whatsoever why this happens only when I eat grains?
    The only reasons I can think of...

    Grains cause inflammation, which might compress/squeeze the gallbladder?
    Grains cause you to need more water, but I forget, so I'm dehydrated?

    Anything else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanessa120 View Post
    Do some research on gallbladder and food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. You will find your answer.
    Hey, thanks! I'd done plenty of searching before, but by searching "gluten intolerance and gallbladder" I found some actual studies.

    Wasn't expecting to see pancreas when searching for gallbladder, but I did have a feeling that my pain came more from the middle (directly left from where the gallbladder pain usually comes from). Which I guess is where the pancreas is.

    So far, I got this much:
    * in sensitive individuals, gluten can cause villus atrophy ( because of ... what, exactly?),
    * which causes... Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (inability to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas.)
    *GROSS WARNING FOLLOWS*
    * which would explain why I can no longer digest cheese (comes back up undigested a day after eating it) or grains, even though I didn't have a problem with them before.

    Kind of strange that I get this with corn and rice as well.
    What I want to know now, is, why, exactly, does gluten/grains cause "villus atrophy". And why does having villus atrophy cause the pancreas pain. I mean, by the time the food is in the intestines, is the pancreas still involved?

    Aaaah! My brain is going to explode! I'm going to get some sleep and re-read this stuff tomorrow. I'm really curious about this.
    I've been looking it up this evening but didn't find anything. If someone has any pointers let me know so I can follow this trail.

    I'm not going to pretend to know what is up, or if it is specifically your gallbladder causing the issue (bile can indeed be yellow or yellowish brown instead of green)...and I'll wager that you'll never get a definitive diagnosis either from a doctor or here among laymen.
    I'm not seeking a diagnosis and I am not seeking a cure.
    As stated, I just want to know why grains would cause pain for me; obviously because I am sensitive to them, but what about grains in particular brings about an attack?

    Just curious, nothing more.
    Last edited by abstractpersona; 01-16-2012 at 11:59 PM.
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    GoLisaGo's Avatar
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    what about grains in particular brings about an attack?
    I'm not a doctor, don't even play one on TV, but here is my simplified take on how it works:

    Grains have certain proteins, and if you are especially sensitive, your body views the protein as an invader. The villi in the gut become ineffective, suffering something like temporary paralysis, food is not digested properly, and nutrient malabsorption results.

    If your pancreas has been involved, it's likely it and/or your gall bladder has been inflamed or infected, and that can cause scarring of the ducts, which places a restriction on the bile leaving the gall bladder. When I have occasional bouts of biliary colic, I take digestive enzyme supplement for a short while and avoid anything that I know will set it off (almonds, popcorn...). I also make sure my gall bladder is given a good workout daily by giving it plenty of fat to stimulate the release of bile.

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    If you reread my post you will note that I did say that grains cause inflammation... that inflammation really has nothing to do with what you are thinking of like a single puffy something pushing against and squeezing the gall bladder, it's more like every cell of the organ(s) can be inflamed and irritated. Inflammation causes damage and can leave behind scaring whee it heals. And of course people with sensitivity or allergy get other reactions as well. The truth is that there is not an answer for the actual "WHY" in every situation, nor exactly what/which chemical in the grains it is that you personally are reacting to unless you seek extensive lab work done by a doctor... MAYBE. Even with 100 tests they may say, sure you appear to be sensitive but we cannot pinpoint an exact cause.

    Since what you describe is short term then it is likely just an acute immune system response to the grains gluten protein structure and the toxic lectins (etc) that go along with it. The body's total response to this inflammatory process is pretty involved and individual. It is possible you are reacting specifically to the lectins (or other) in a greater degree than the gluten.

    WHY am I allergic to penicillin? Because my body views it as toxic and creates an immune response in an attempt to get rid of it. Why does my body have an immune response? Because I'm allergic. That's just the way it is. It's how I was born.

    Why might your pancreas be affected? If you ingest something your body considers toxic it doesn't stay neatly in one little package in your digestive tract until it exits the other end. It is broken down and sent out into your bloodstream... the toxins can end up pretty much anywhere. Why NOT your pancreas? A person who eats a peanut can die from anaphylaxis in mere minutes... Why would something that person swallowed only moments ago cause profuse sweating and hives over a large area of their body or cause their heart and lungs to fail? Isn't it still in their stomach? Nope.... the toxins were spread in the bloodstream.

    This is kind of what happens with gluten and lectins (etc) in the gut, and to absorbed chemicals in the bloodstream. Your body views them as harmful and attacks them. In it's attempt to rid you of the perceived danger the body also may attack surfaces they are attached to in the case of since gluten since it is a very sticky substance that clings to the villi.
    I know that doesn't sound very smart of the body as far as self preservation goes... but neither is sending a person into anaphylactic shock (which I HAVE experienced), an obvious over response to a seemingly innocuous stimuli. Long story short, LOTS of people have bodies that don't like lectins and gluten and other crap in grains.

    THE LECTIN STORY
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/lectins/#axzz1jhMMbQgT
    http://www.healthy-eating-politics.c...s-in-food.html (has a short bit of info on gluten, lectin, and lots of other food toxings)
    http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-p...ont-eat-toxins (section on cereal grains)
    Last edited by cori93437; 01-17-2012 at 01:13 AM.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


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