I've tried looking for an answer to this question but haven't found anything yet, so I thought I would ask. :)
My boyfriend has gallstones (about half an inch in size) that he's had issues with for a while now. I'd love to be able to convince him to move over to the paleo way of life, but frankly I'm lost when it comes to this issue. I'm fairly new to paleo myself and I'm wondering if anyone here is currently living with gallstones and having success with paleo in doing so? Do you notice yourself having issues with certain foods more often? Having to eat more/less fat than other paleos?
The reason I ask is because the doctor wants to remove his gallbladder but I'm thinking that if he had a healthy diet he wouldn't have to have it removed. Hopefully someone can school me in this subject. :)
asked byBrooke (292)
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on July 26, 2011
at 03:36 AM
Whenever I hear about cholecystectomies, I always think to myself, "I wonder if we have a gallbladder for a reason?" Surgeons seem quite scalpel happy when it comes to this little guy.
Although I can't say for sure whether a paleo diet will help with the gallstones, I can suggest an alternative to surgery. It has been found that orange peels (of all things) have a strong ability to dissolve cholesterol, which happens to be the major constituent of most gallstones. Preparations of orange peel can be made that can be ingested and potentially aid in the breakdown and passing of your boyfriends gallstones. This option should be discussed with his doctor. If he is unfamiliar with the process and unwilling to look into it, a Chinese medicine practitioner should be consulted, as they tend to know quite a bit about this thing. If the alternative is surgery, no harm can come from at least seeking out a couple of different options first, even if they are outside of our normal experiences.
I have heard of many cleanses, which may possibly work if the stones are small enough to pass. If they are not, I'm not sure what the consequences may be of placing an increased work load on the gallbladder, which is what most of these cleanses do.
Above all else, discuss whatever path you choose to take with a physician of one kind or another! I hope that everything resolves painlessly and easily!
on July 26, 2011
at 04:18 AM
I was diagnosed with gallstones back in March of this year. I have been eating paleo since May. Nothing bad happened. In fact, I believe that continuing to eat fat is the best thing you can do if you plan to keep your gallbladder. Stagnant bile causes gallstones and eating fat is what keeps it moving. Certain deficiencies, such as magnesium, have been linked with gallstones. Eating paleo is a good way to make sure you are getting plenty of magnesium and other nutrients. I believe paleo is the best thing I could have done for my gallbladder. It certainly hasn't hurt. I have had zero attacks since March. I am so glad I didn't immediately cut it out like my doctor was encouraging me to do. With good diet and flowing bile I am really curious to see if they don't shrink over time. If nothing else, they shouldn't get worse.
on July 26, 2011
at 04:11 AM
I don't know if I had gallstones or sludge, but I had severe gallbladder pain (and vomiting) on and off for probably a year. Most of the advice on the internet, and from people who've had their gallbladders out, was to eat a low-fat diet to lessen the pain and resign myself to the fact that my gallbladder would eventually need to be removed.
As a last-ditch effort to avoid the knife, I switched to a high-fat paleo diet. For about a week, I had the strangest sensation in the area of my gallbladder, but it wasn't at all painful. Since then (it's been about 6 months), I've had only one attack when I overdid it with some dark chocolate.
Some think food sensitivities have something to do with gallbladder issues, and it does seem that gluten and chocolate trigger attacks for me.
on July 26, 2011
at 03:58 AM
I lost my gallbladder (undoubtedly due to undiagnosed Celiac - my first attack was at age 13) 22 years ago - it nearly killed me. I was 26 and very thin and had hundreds of BB sized stones - three of which got stuck in the duct to the pancreas. Started Paleo 8 weeks ago and I had trouble with the fat at first, but I supplement A LOT now. I use ox bile supplements (Nutricology 500 mg), but then found answers here on PaleoHacks that said to add taurine, glycine, and NAC. I did, plus I drink pectin after meals (SureGel which is found in all grocery stores - 1/2 box to 1 quart of water and mix well). This also helps digest the fat. I was having liver issues and pain before I did this, as well as stomach pain and the runs. Those cleared up now. I don't do well on the digestive enzymes with hydrochloric acid (HCI) - it gives me bad indigestion - but others may benefit.
Just a note: If your boyfriend has and very small stones at all, the gallbladder flush may push them out into the bile ducts. Take it from me: This is life threatening.
Forgot to add that I drink about 4 oz of the pectin after meals...not the whole quart! :D
on July 26, 2011
at 03:31 AM
I have had very good luck removing gallstones via liver/gallbladder flush. Definitely got out a variety of colored pebbles up to about the size of a pea. I don't really see a downside to trying a flush, it's only 1 day and you don't do anything drastic. Here's what I've done on multiple occasions:
1-2 days before the flush Try not to eat too heavily (especially try to cut back on the amount of fats you eat)
Day of Flush
The day of the flush DO NOT eat fats or animal protein. Foods such as plain fruits, vegetables, pasta, and potatoes are fine.
2:00pm Stop eating all food by 2:00pm. You may continue to drink water but nothing else.
6:00pm Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts with 1 ?? cups of water and drink???the Epsom salts are taken to induce bowel movements so make sure you are near a bathroom.
9:45pm Mix ??- ?? cups of organic, cold-pressed olive oil with approximately ?? cups of fresh-squeezed organic grapefruit juice (START WITH ?? CUP OF OLIVE OIL IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST FLUSH). Make sure to mix very well. In fact, you may continue to stir the mixture in between gulps to ensure easier ingestion. I recommend using Nutrient Research Premier Olive Oil. Polumbo and Middle Earth Organics olive oil will also work very well.
10:00pm Drink the mixture of olive oil and juice. You may drink a little more juice or water to wash away the taste of the oil. You may feel a bit nauseous but try not to vomit. Lie down immediately and go to sleep.
NEXT MORNING Upon rising, mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts with 1 ?? cups of water and drink.
(Optional second dose of Epsom salts with water around 9 am)
You will probably stop defecating heavily by 2:00pm that day. Each time you defecate inspect the stool for pea-sized stones that are green, yellow, brown, black, and/or white. The flush is now finished. Try not to eat until noon so you maximize the flush. You can drink water during this time. Eat a light lunch (soup, veggie juice, salad, etc).
It is good to do this flush once every 4 weeks. Most people will need to do anywhere from 6-16 flushes total.
on November 23, 2012
at 03:46 AM
Something my Naturopath told me would help shrink the stones was Castor Oil rubbed topically over the general area. As we as Magnesium gel. Ive been using both as well as eating Paleo for about 6 months and have had good results. As well if you want to go past diet google gallbladder and its emotion. Gallbladder is conected to courage. You will find if you can look 'into' your life that there may be something your not dealing with. I know there was in mine and once i realized it i almost knew when/if i was going to have an attack. Something to think about...
on September 28, 2011
at 11:20 AM
You can soften and shrink gall stones and stay totally purely paleo by taking Malic acid in capsules. It is naturally in apples, apple juice, apple cider vinegar - but you can get it in capsules. It works really well. I had a couple wicked bad gall stone attacks and did research... the liver flush is a powerful, cheap and painless protocol that I happen to be in the middle of right this moment. I have done well over 30 flushes mostly because I did not want to change my diet. To prepare before paleo I took malic capsules with each meal for a week or two and then flushed. Doing more of a paleo way of eating has loosened up more stones.. and so I am doing a flush right now. If you have an attack a teaspoon of epsom salt in water should help allow the stone to pass. If not, take another teaspoon in some more water. When the attack passes I would add a capsule of malic acid to each meal. And in a couple weeks do a liver flush. Rinse and repeat as needed every couple weeks - or twice a year if you have few symptoms - I notice I become incredibly grumpy and easily annoyed - that usually means I have stones and other crud in the liver that wants out! The flush truly is painless!
on July 26, 2011
at 03:26 PM
I don't know if I have stones or not, but I have gallbladder pain and have for a long time. I've had ultrasounds and a HIDA Scan in the past which didn't show stones, but did show good function. A mystery. The first two weeks on Paleo were pretty uncomfortable as far as my gallbladder was concerned. I don't know if this is completely sound, But what I read on the internet (for what it's worth) sounded like while often a low fat diet keeps the symptoms to a minimal, it actually makes the problem worse because it does not "exercise" the gallbladder. The exercise (releasing bile) is triggered by consuming fat. And that lack of exercise is what causes sludge. It seemed to make sense to me and in the end my symptoms improved. The sludge is what I think my problem has been. It has gotten significantly better since I've been Paleo... I still feeling it every now and again, but nothing like it was.
on July 26, 2011
at 03:28 AM
I am not living with gallstones, but I have had my gallbladder removed. I wish it were still there, but to be honest, I cannot tell that it's gone. My diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. I have had no problems with this diet as far as my missing gallbladder is concerned. I am sorry that I cannot comment on whether Paleo is restorative for current gallstones. I know this does not fully answer your question, but I am sure you will get some great answers here.