Showing posts with label gallbladder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gallbladder. Show all posts

Monday, 2 March 2015

Galloping Gallstones Batman!!

Following on from  the post  back on the 19th about my gallstones.  
I promised to update you when I had done the flush *cue dramatic music*

Since writing that post I have stuck with the list of foods and fats that are good for bile production and seen great results.  Almost overnight the discomfort in my abdomen stopped, however I am still aware that while it can help prevent further stones and very slowly eliminate existing stones it is just that, a slow process.
This is why I opted to do a flush.

There are many sites that talk you through how to do this.  

All will tell you pretty much the same, although I found the first added a few supplements in, that they just happen to sell LOL

What I did was stick to the basics.
I planned a quiet weekend, when my kids were with their dad and demands on me were few.  I actually expected this to far worse than it actually was.
They suggest massive amounts of apple juice or raw apples for around two weeks leading up to the flush.  This is because the pectin helps soften the stones.  I had about 1 cup of juice daily for a week leading up as I figured I wouldn't need the pectin as much since my stones are all gravelly really and not that big.

Ingredients for a weekend of pooing
Epsom salts
2 grapefruit
filtered water
olive oil

I ditched the LCHF and had bread for breakfast with a green smoothie. I did have a white coffee even though it said no milk and it didn't seem to impact on me greatly, if at all. 

I had two tuna sushi rolls for lunch and drank quite a bit of water, taking into account that I wouldn't be able to have any food or drink after 2pm.

At 2pm I mixed up the epsom salts and water, giving a good shake to dissolve the salts and popped them in the fridge.  This gives the impression of vodka cocktails,
don't be fooled.

Now go and relax for a few hours, savour the last moments of un-assaulted tasted buds.

At 6pm I poured myself the first dose of epsom martini.  OMFG!!!!!!!   Can I suggest right now, if you are doing this to source some epsom capsules.
holy mary mother of what the hell is this poison. 

you think I am joking don't you.
Bless you.

So one dose down and three to go.  
At this point I was seriously thinking the olive oil/grapefruit juice combo would be the worse thing on earth and to be honest, after the 'martini' I was a bit scared.

Half an hour later I was still alive (despite those naysayers)
I had a mildly gurgling tummy and a bit of a headache.

This is when I settled in for an evening of utter laziness and couch sitting.

At 8pm I had the second dose of salts *shudder*.  Now this was worse than the first one because I knew what was coming this time.
If you are of a delicate nature I suggest doing this over the sink.  *Just sayin*

Also, use a straw and gulp that mother down as fast as you can.

Around 9.30pm I started preparing for bed. Book, phone in place.  Jammies on and visit the loo as often as you can before the 10pm bed time.

I didn't bother with the supplements listed in Dr Clark's directions.  I just mixed the oil and grapefruit juice (I got enough juice from one).
Pour into a jar and shake it really well.  It goes watery and loses that oily texture.

Try to wee a few more times as it is best if you don't get up again until morning.

Then down that oil chaser!

Talk about a surprise, after the 'martini' this stuff tastes great!
Seriously it isn't nearly as bad as I expected.

I know right!  
You are calling bullshit, but not a word of lie, it really isn't too bad.

As soon as you finish it (I suggest drinking as fast as you can) you need to go and lay down.  Do not pass go or anything.  Just go lay either on your back or your right side and
  DO NOT MOVE for at least 20 minutes.  

Depending on the size of those stones you may feel them passing from the gallbladder.  I didn't feel them as mine were too small,  just some lots of gurgling.

Then sleep my precious.


I woke at 7am, stretched and yawned and tried to come alive.... no really, peed and got myself another jar of that fabulous epsom cocktail.   *gag*

Now at this point I probably should advise against farting.   This is the time to remember that the only thing you have consumed for the past 17hrs is pretty much oil and epsom salts, known for it's laxative qualities.
You may feel the urge and that is normal just be aware of the above.

I went straight back to bed and dozed for the next two hours when I had the last of the cocktail.  *insert sad face*
*not really*

I went back to bed again and dozed for another couple of hours. 
During this time there was lots of gurgling and movement in my abdo region.

NO PAIN, or discomfort at all though.

From this point on it is safe to say that an at home day is the best thing.
You will want to be relatively close to the toilet
You won't have violent or painful diarrhea
You will go to the loo often 

The websites all suggest putting a strainer or basket in the loo to catch the stones so you can count them. 

I didn't do this. I did grab a couple out to look at, just a disposable spoon and plastic container suffices as they float.
I must say I was surprised as I expected something hard but these were liked a cooked pea in colour and texture.

Just as the ultrasound had indicated my stones were all pretty much the size of rice granules with about three the size of peas.
I passed quite a few in the first 4-5 bowel movements (isn't that eloquent) and after that nothing.

By the late afternoon I was ready to eat and the urge to poo had subsided greatly.

Today, I still feel a bit gurgly but more because I have been cleaned out pretty much.

I don't think the amount of stones I passed were enough to get rid of them all so I will do another cleanse in a few weeks and then perhaps have another ultrasound to see what is left. 

Overall, I feel fine and think it was a great success.

Just as a disclaimer, I am not a medical professional and I am not suggesting this is a cure all for anyone.  IF you think you have gallstones, get it checked out and decide your next course of action with medical support.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

When life throws you lemons or stones.................

Make lemonade!  
We all know it helps alkalise your body :)

(that ain't no baby)

So, I think I have mentioned previously that I have been having some abdominal discomfort.   This has gone on for a few months and even though I had it during phase 2 (restricted no fat phase) I still suspected gallstones.   
Like most people I assumed they were caused by a fatty diet, so this of course puzzled me.  How could I have them when I didn't have a high fat diet?

I started reading up on what they actually were and how to deal with them.  
I refused to believe the only solution was to remove my gallbladder.

I was right!!

I had an ultrasound this week to confirm whether my issue was gallbladder related or not.  I figured this way I would know what I was dealing with for sure.  Despite this I am also aware that stones won't always show up.  Plenty of people have a scan and are told they don't have stones then do a flush and find heaps.
My scan showed up loads of very small stones and gravel with no blockages which is good.

This means, my body is working hard at controlling the problem and healing.

Gallstones are not uncommon, particularly the older you get.   Unfortunately surgery is also very common but in my opinion not necessary.

What are gallstones?  
Lets start with the gallbladder first.   
This little pouch like organ works in conjunction with the liver.  These work at processing and breaking down fat and helping us with our digestion.
Gallstones form when the bile contains excessive amounts of cholesterol. When there isn't enough bile to saturate the cholesterol, the cholesterol begins to crystallise, and you get a gallstone. 

Tim Noakes explains it very well.  Describing how years of high carb diets can cause crystals to form in the liver and gallbladder.  Switching to a low carb, high fat  stimulates the gallbladder to produce the bile necessary for digestion, thus starts to remove the stones that have built up.  Occasionally some of these stone will be large and get blocked. This is when people experience excruciating pain and discover they have a problem.

And this is where I differ from the norm.  I (and I am not alone) opt to let my body do what it is meant to be doing rather than have surgery and remove an essential organ.

Originally I thought I should be cutting my fat intake.  I worried that it was aggravating the problem, but after doing this (reducing) for a few weeks I found it was increasing the discomfort rather than lowering it.

It made sense that when I was in phase 2 of the HCG protocol and not having any fat at all that the pain was still there.  If the gallbladder needs fat to stimulate the bile production and isn't getting any then it struggles to aide digestion and to flow enough to flush any stones that have accumulated.  

So, low fat = low bile = increased stones

Back to dr google!

My next question was how can I find a balance in diet and also increase bile production?

I had already discovered that high acid increased discomfort.  
If I have more than two cups of coffee and not enough apple cider vinegar I notice a massive increase in discomfort.  
I upped my ACV to three times a day and made sure I had sauerkraut with each meal, even to the point of sipping the kraut liquid.
This definitely helped!

Because the gallbladder is an alkaline organ, as is the bile contained within it, it only stands to reason that if your acid levels are too high it will impact on the organ and stress it.  Bile will become acidic and this will contribute to gallstones also.

Keeping a balanced PH level helps keep the gallbladder functioning as it should.

The Digestive Detective has a great explanation on how the gallbladder works at making bile. 

"Bile is composed of cholesterol, bile salts (the end-products of bile acids), bilirubin (a breakdown product of hemoglobin from the blood), electrolytes, and water. Water is essential in bile synthesis, as a good deal is used to produce bile from the conversion of cholesterol happening in the liver. Bile serves to emulsify or break down dietary fat and clear cholesterol out of the body. Bile acids, a component of bile, serve other functions, including driving the flow of bile to eliminate catabolites from the liver, emulsifying fat soluble vitamins in the intestine, and aiding in the reduction of the bacteria flora found in the small intestine and biliary tract. ¹

When food digestion is not taking place, bile backs up the cystic duct and enters the gallbladder to be stored. While in the gallbladder, bile is concentrated by the removal of water. The removal of water and electrolytes allows the gallbladder to concentrate bile and store more of it. When we eat and fats enter the first section of the small intestine, a hormone stimulates the gallbladder to contract and spurt out stored bile. The higher fat content of a meal, the more hormone is activated to signal the gallbladder to release bile for digestion. When bile enters the small intestine, its typically accompanied by digestive enzymes from the pancreas such as lipase – a class of enzymes that assist in fat digestion."

After a terrible few days last week I decided this week to increase my fats and have had a great couple of days.

So, what am I doing so far....

*keeping my PH levels at a good alkaline level and sticking with LCHF
*sauerkraut with every meal
*water kefir probiotic
*plenty of leafy green veg
*ACV x 3 tbs daily (apple cider vinegar)
*increased magnesium dose
*remembering to drink plenty of water but not during or immediately after meals
*increased fat intake from low to moderate.

What does a standard day of food look like for me?

Coffee with cream
2 eggs fried in butter or scrambled with cream
2 rashers bacon
1/2 avocado

some nuts,cheese, berries or pate

palm size portion of meat with either salad or green veg mix

Bile is necessary for so many bodily functions and if it is low it can create further problems.  There is plenty of literature out there on how to increase bile production.  I found many of them want to sell you a supplement unfortunately.  That is fine but I would rather use food than take a pill. 

Some foods that aide in bile production are: 
artichokes (top of the list it would seem)
beets/beet tops
raw carrot
turmeric (take care of using this if you already have stones)
flowing health have a great list of foods that love your liver too

I hope that what I am doing so far will prevent the formation 
of any more stones and will continue to decrease the inflammation of my gallbladder and liver.  
Whilst this is good I am under no illusion that it will solve the problem.  This is why I do intend to do a liver/gallbladder flush in the next couple of weeks. 

Once I have done this I will blog some more about the process and the results I have.  There are many methods so I will give you some links and tell you which one I followed.

I really hope others benefit from this post.  I must admit I felt a bit like I had failed.  After feeling so awesome since changing the way I eat it was a bit of a let down at first to discover there were further health issues.
However, I do believe this is still part of the process of gaining wellness.  My body is working hard at eliminating years of toxic build up and this is just another step in the right direction.