I have been diagnosed with gallstones. Options for treatment are slim and it is basically a foregone conclusion in the medical world that the cure is to surgically remove the gallbladder.

But I’m not so quick to just toss an organ because of some (excruciating) pain. With the support of my doctor, my “witch doctor”, and the surgeon I consulted with, I am going to attempt to keep my gallbladder and reverse the condition using every bit of good advice I can find.

“Keeping My Gallby” is a diary of my experiences. My hope is that my discoveries, successes, and failures might benefit others frantically searching the Inter-webs for information and alternatives.


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. E. Jean Carroll
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 17:05:31

    This is the best blog I’ve read all year!!


    • keepingmygallby
      Feb 17, 2012 @ 19:16:21

      Then you’re simply not reading enough blogs woman.


    • Kristine
      Dec 01, 2013 @ 14:25:09

      Seriously this is the best blog I’ve read. I hope you’re still reading comments and still replying. Would love to hear how you’re doing now.


  2. S. Mills
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 18:09:53

    My otherwise healthy & fit husband just had his first attack out of the blue and was diagnosed with gall bladder stones this week. The ER doc said it should come out, our PCP agreed, and of course nobody has mentioned the idea that he could try to fix it on his own through committed changes in diet and lifestyle. We are going to try to avoid surgery, have an appointment to see a holistic/integrative health doctor, and are THRILLED to find your site. We’ll be reading it from start to finish this evening. Thank you for documenting your journey for all of us who are in the same boat!


    • keepingmygallby
      Apr 22, 2012 @ 07:07:54

      I’m so sorry for your husband! I know the pain. I’ve just posted some updates with the supplements that worked for me.


  3. Kim
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 19:54:30

    So happy that I’ve found your blog this afternoon. I too have suffered from attacks out of the blue, from Oct 2011-Jan 2012, and my doc sent me straight to the surgeon. My surgeon determined after an ultrasound that I have a normal gallbladder, with stones. At the time I saw the surgeon, my last attack had been 3 months prior, and I informed him that I am opposed to surgery if it isn’t necessary. His response? “I expect your gallbladder to be even better by the surgery date! It’s great, it makes it easier for me to take out – I’ll be done in 15 minutes!!” I lost all confidence in the surgeon at that point. I had relief from doing the olive oil/grapefruit juice flush – passed numerous stones (before I saw the surgeon). Did the flush at the end of February, and had been symptom free until yesterday, when I started to feel the familiar ache of a miserable gallbladder. No attack though! Thankful to have stumbled upon your blog, as I was relaxing with a castor oil pack. Going to repeat the flush tomorrow, and begin the even harder work of trying to repair the gallbladder itself, and replace some bad habits with good ones. I’ve been using ACV, castor oil packs with alkaline mineral salts, chamomile and lemon tea, and lots of lemon water. Going to implement some of your ideas as well. Thanks again!!


  4. Jeanne
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 01:47:57

    So, it is October, how are you? What’s your diet like now? I’m having problems with my gallbladder. I am looking for natural ways to heal it.


    • keepingmygallby
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 17:47:11


      100% cured. My diet is anything I feel like eating. That includes every gallbladder no-no: pizza, Ice Cream, burgers, sausage, pork, eggs. I can eat anything without a single adverse effect. I never even think about my gallbladder anymore.

      The experience was good for me and I have a much higher level of awareness.

      I would encourage anyone and everyone to, with the help of a good doctor and nutritionist, to take the path I chose. 6 months, I’m cured and it is all in the past. It was certainly challenging and required focus and discipline, creativity and motivation, but it worked. And I kept my Gallby.



      • Anna K
        Dec 29, 2012 @ 21:58:30

        thanks for your encouraging blog. You mention that you are cured. Can you point us toward any tips on how we, too, can be cured? Thanks 😉

  5. eslater
    Oct 30, 2012 @ 14:00:51

    How did you end up dissolving your stones?


  6. Chancery Stone
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 16:07:00

    Hi, I’ve just discovered your site. I am in a similar position to yourself, in that I had a gallbladder attack that hospitalised me and from which I discovered I had gallstones (I, too, had been falsely diagnosed with an ulcer). I opted against surgery as I wanted to try dissolution with bile acids. I am 1 year and 4 months down the road on treatment and no better off, and now facing surgery with no other path to try.

    I am very curious. You say you are healed at your last posting – have you had an ultrasound that confirmed no stones? If so, did you use Ursodeoxycholic Acid (I think it may be Ursodiol in the US? I am in the UK.) I have never been able to find anyone else on the dissolution therapy anywhere in the world!

    If you have not had an ultrasound, how do you know you are cured? Purely because trigger foods no longer trigger attacks?

    Lastly, did you have symptoms OTHER than attacks? That is, did you have chronic indigestion, back pain etc, or were attacks your only symptom?

    Sorry about all the questions, but someone curing themselves without surgery is unknown in my experience – I would love to know how you did it!


    • keepingmygallby
      Jan 12, 2013 @ 17:14:50


      It is coming up on my one year anniversary. You are are correct: I have not gone back for a second ultrasound. I *probably should.

      But I call myself cured because gallstones are now the furthest thing from my mind 1 year later. I am back to my old self and nothing even remotely triggers anything like an attack. They say that autopsies sometimes reveal stones in otherwise healthy people who never presented… So as long as they don’t hurt me or cramp my lifestyle, I suppose I’m OK with them inside of me.

      I did not use Ursodiol. I was scared off by the things I read about it and found more people who had success drinking Kombucha! It is very hard to find anyone to treat you with it.

      Good luck! I’m sorry your attempts are not bearing fruit. Have a read of everything I did. I was as thorough as I could be in documenting what I did on this web site. Looking back, I think a big part of my success was my absolute dedication. I never broke my routine. I lost about 10 pounds and took me an entire year to gain it back!

      Also, I never had any other types of symptoms like ulcers, back pain, or anything else.


  7. Chancery Stone
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 17:32:25

    Many thanks for getting back to me. I could certainly rival you on the dedication front, having lost 50+ pounds and stayed on a VERY restricted diet the whole time, with every intention of staying on it for the rest of my life (I mean healthy foods and portion control – but hopefully, post-op, not having to live fat-free any longer!). No weight gain, and never will have, if I have anything to do with it. I couldn’t go through this again with any other illness. But I have certainly had worse symptoms than you – more classic gallbladder disease, if you will – so I guess I was further down the road, damage-wise.

    I sincerely hope you stay attack-free. They say once you’ve had one you’re done for and they WILL come back, but let’s hope you prove to be the exception!


  8. eslater
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 18:56:18

    I just wanted to add some more information on my situation that may shed some light on potential ways to avoid the surgery. Back in August I awoke in the middle of the night scared as hell that something was seriously wrong with me. I did not have the classic pain but I would get dizzy, nausea, clammy hands etc… At first they thought it was heart but the EKG and blood work that was done on me 3 times were all very good. Noone really could figure it out.

    Then I had a conversation with someone that had their gallbladder removed and was told that they experienced the same symptoms a couple of years before the surgery and to try avoiding all fats to see what would happen. Well, that pretty much confirmed it so I went to get an ultrasound and they found “multiple small gallstones” so I went to a naturopath. That was mid September. Up to that point I had sever of my version of a gallbladder attack.

    She had me take a Tincture that contained Peumus boldo, Chelidonium majus, Berberis vulgaris, Dioscorea villosa and Chionanthus virginica. I took it a half hour before all meals and took digestive enzymes (Vitazan) at the end of meals. I did this for 3 months. At this point I am eating almost anything I want and the only side effect I have is gas/bloating when I dont have regular bowel movements.

    She also had me do a liver/gallbladder cleanse using Heel’s Detox which was 3 different liquids where I put drops into a liter of water and drank throughout the day. This regimen lasted 1 month.

    I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday to see if the stones are gone.

    I will say for sure that I feel so much better and I have not had an attack since.


    • Carole
      Mar 19, 2013 @ 12:09:35

      Hi! What was the result of the scan – stones gone?


      • keepingmygallby
        Mar 19, 2013 @ 12:17:08

        I have never had a followup ultra sound. I really want to.

  9. rebecca
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 18:25:39

    I feel like I could have written these entries, that’s how closely your experience and inclinations mirrored mine. This blog is one of the most thoughtful and sane sources of information re: keeping your gallbladder, and I hope it continues to inspire people to seek alternative care.

    Even as a freelance health reporter with some degree of knowledge, I had to do major battle with my primary care providers whose attitude was “get it out, it’s no big deal…you don’t want to have a stone get stuck get pancreatitis and risk death, do you?” It was a terrible glimpse into the one-sided, cavalier, drugs-or-sugery-or-nothing philosophy of our mainstream medical system.

    The alternative is to scour the internet, but as you found and mention in your entries, some of these cleanses and herbal treatments are potent, too aggressive for a GB that’s irritated, or just plain dangerous.

    I’m just starting my journey to regain my health, and doing it under the care of a naturopath. I know it will not only result in a healthier GB, but in overall better health and balance for my body. As my ND says, when a piece of the whole system is broken, you don’t just chuck that piece; you find out what in the system is breaking down, and you fix it.

    Keep us updated from time to time, and thanks for writing this blog.


  10. Eslater
    Mar 19, 2013 @ 14:41:07

    Unfortunately the stones are not gone and we were unable to do a comparison because the first scan was not good enough to see in detail.

    I am now taking Chanca Piedra on top of my original regimen. I have only minor gas symptoms now and will be going back for my 3rd ultrasound in another 2 months.


    • Carole
      Mar 21, 2013 @ 06:19:37

      Sorry to hear that you were unable to do a comparison. I have come to this link via Earth Clinic where there are three of us undertaking a legume protocol recommended by Karen Hurd.
      I have added the Chanca Piedra to my protocol and no luck in dissolving/shrinking the stone after two months. However, with a low-fat, high fibre diet and herbs etc I can now eat more or less what I want to. I’d just like to get rid of the large stone!
      All the best and thanks for replying.


  11. kristinebean123
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 02:56:12

    I came across your blog by accident in search of stories that I can relate to. I can relate to your blog so much that I keep reading because I always go back to your advice, tricks and tips on getting better. It keeps me sane and motivated to know that there are alternatives to surgeries and that your body CAN heal itself if you take care of it. I’m curious of how you are doing now. I hope you are still checking your blog and I hope you’ll reply.


  12. David Piedmont
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 20:35:43

    Outstanding writing! It is well written and very thought-provoking. Thanks for your article!


  13. Betsy B
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 16:47:36

    I don’t know if you keep up with messages from your blog; however, please know that this was a godsend! This helped me make the decision to keep my gallbladder a year ago. I found another website that sold the kit to help with pain and deal with the problem that my gallbladder was doing on my body. Happy to keep it. Thank you!


  14. devsudh
    Mar 09, 2016 @ 04:56:04

    How do you feel now? Are you ok with your gallbladder. I am suffering from this for the past 2 months. I dindnt face any attacks so far.but i am feeling gastric, stomach bloating, and my both sides of toungue is red colour. I could nt eat even a less spicy food.. in my ultrasound scan doctor found 2 stones, 6mm and 8 mm. From the moment i got yhe report, i started my diet. i looks like a pregnant woman now..having breathing problems. I want to get rid of yhis without surgery and i am ready to do any type of eating habitd. Can you please suggest me..


  15. Libby
    May 23, 2017 @ 21:42:43

    Thank you for this! It has been so wonderful. I’d love an update on how you are doing!


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