2 Years Keeping My Gallby. How Am I Doing?

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Thanksgiving, 2013

The only time I ever remember I have a Gallbladder these days is when someone comments on this blog. When I started Keeping My Gallby, I’d just had my first severe attacks. I had no clue what I was going to do or where this was all going.

It turns out I was on my way to a 100% recovery despite the decision to keep my gallbladder. I’m really happy I kept the blog because everything I did is now documented here and lots of panicked folks find this blog and it seems to be helping others as it helped me. My heart breaks a little bit each time someone writes a comment that they are having attacks. Even though I have not had an attack in 2 years, I certainly remember the agony.

Lots of folks ask if I’ve had a followup ultrasound. The answer is “nope!”. To me, it is not worth the time, effort, or money it would take to find out. I’ll assume I still have stones. It’s well documented that autopsies commonly reveal otherwise-healthy people riddled with gallstones, who never presented symptoms while alive. During my journey to heal myself, I was sure I would do followup ultrasounds… but once you’re healed, you’re better and the whole gallbladder thing drops of your radar. Life is short and there is only time to waste obsessing about Gallby if he is complaining. My battle to heal my gallbladder without surgery took 6 months of my life. I’ve moved on.

While I’m “back to normal” in every conceivable way, I can’t say that the whole experience did not change me. It did. I certainly have a much greater awareness of digestion as a part of overall health. I’ve gone back to eating whatever I want, but I’m now much more conscious when food is clogging me up instead of nourishing me. I have not had anything remotely like an attack in almost two years… but still, sometimes, after eating too much bad food for too many days, I feel those subtle feelings of indigestion that are the seeds of much bigger problems…. and that’s enough to get me to balance my diet a little better.

The best, most concrete example: when my family is away, or busy, and I’m on my own for dinner, I used to order a pizza and eat the whole thing while watching T.V. I would never do that now. I’m now to conscious of how bad that actually makes my body feel. I now eat a salad and 1/2 a pizza while sitting in front of the T.V. ūüôā Ahhh, much better.

Good luck to you who are in pain and have found my little journal. I have no idea if what worked for me will work for you,  but I am living proof you can heal severe gallbladder attacks without surgery.

With hindsight, two things stick out from the experience:

1.) Working with a good nutritionist was critical. I could not have done it with out Dr. Dianne. She had my back the whole time.

2.) It was difficult and required mental commitment. I lost a lot of weight and took almost a year to get it back. During that time I had to tolerate many concerned people saying “You don’t look good. You look too thin.” That annoyed me.

Cheers!

1 Year: I’ve Kept My Gallby

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Well it has been a whole year and I still have my Gallby. My gallbladder is as healthy and happy as it has ever been and I’d say I am 100% cured. I do zero things for my gallbladder now. I never even think of it. I am living, breathing proof that you can heal yourself completely.

That’s my story. I have left all the tricks I used on this blog. I will note that it was hard, mental work to do this. I also note that I had a good nutritionist helping me out. Don’t skip that step. I certainly did not do it alone. It took enormous discipline to shun every danger food for almost 3 months. I lost significant weight and it took the rest of the year to gain it back. But it worked!

 

Healed?

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Greetings, fans of Gallby. I have been remiss in posting lately. Want to know why? Because I’ve been eating pizza and ice cream and sausage and all other kinds of foods I was told I would never be able to eat again. It’s been 3 months and I’m shocked at how quickly my gallbladder has responded to a a little love and care.

I’ve been slowly introducing naughty foods, mostly just to test Gallby’s response. So far, it appears Gallby is as good as new.

We still have the hard work ahead of dissolving the Gallstones, but I certainly feel much less stressed about it. So while it is unclear if I will eventually have to have my gallbladder removed for other reasons, the strategies I’ve used here at Keepin’ My Gallby have bought me time. I’ve read numerous times that gallstones are discovered during autopsies on otherwise healthy people; people who never showed symptoms or had any clue they had gallstones in the first place.

I want to quickly emphasize the core supplements I’ve used as I believe they were a big part of my success. I strongly recommend you see a doctor, chiropractor, or nutritionist with a good background in nutrition and healing to forge a regimen, but here are the actual core products I’ve used. All of them are helpful in stimulating digestions, thinning the bile, and encouraging the gallbladder to function. All of them are available online:

Standard Process Disodium Phosphate: 3 tablets first thing in the morning before eating anything

http://www.standardprocess.com/display/StandardProcessCatalog.spi?ID=61

MetaGenics Lipogen: 2 tablets with each meal

http://www.metagenics.com/products/a-z-products-list/Lipo-Gen

MetaGenics Metagest (Hydrochloric Acid): 1 tablet with each meal

http://www.metagenics.com/products/a-z-products-list/Metagest

Standard Process Cholac0l: 2 Tablets with each meal

http://www.standardprocess.com/display/StandardProcessCatalog.spi?ID=40

 

My general feeling on supplements is that you should not take anything for too long. I took these regularly, but tried to skip a day every few weeks. It’s been 3 months and I am now stopping them slowly, taking them only every 3 days.

Bilirubin, Stool Color and Gallbladder Health

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And now for a post that may scare some readers away while delighting and enthralling the hardcore fans of Gallby.

Your gallbladder is responsible for storing bile and releasing it when it is needed to digest fat. That’s what little Gallby does. (How could anyone call Gallby a “useless organ”??) Bilirubin¬†is the main substance of the bile and interestingly, it provides color to bruises, urine, and feces. Your stool is brown because of the presence of bilirubin.

It makes sense then that a malfunctioning gallbladder would be evidenced by colorless stool. Pale colored stools are in fact an early warning sign of gallbladder disease. “They” (the Internet) often warn us of clay colored stools, but I’ll be damned if I can really tell you what “clay color” is. In fact, Google searches for “what color is clay” often link back to stool related pages where folks are asking the same question: what color is a “clay colored” poo?

Stool color is mainly influenced by diet. Eat a meal of pure beets. You’ll see what I mean. But the presence of bilirubin is responsible for the overall brown tone and can help you judge the effectiveness of your gallbladder healing.

Personally, I have noticed fluctuation during the process. Overall my elimination has consistently become a lighter shade of brown than I ever remember. I find it encouraging that there is obviously bile being pumped into my intestine. Sometime I do find myself wishing everything was a tad “darker”, but I am suspicious that the change has much to do with the bile salts and disodium phosphate. A key part of any supplementation for gallstones must include working to thin the bile and get it to flow more freely without cogging up the stones. I see stool tone as a way to monitor this progress.

Stool color is something it would be easy to obsess over if you were inclined towards such things. But please don’t. Your diet will have more influence than anything else. But do be on the lookout for radically pale stools as it will be a clear sign that your bile is not flowing and therefore, that your gallbladder is not healthy.

125% Better

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So there you have it. ¬†It’s been 6 weeks of the gallstone and gallbladder health remedy I have outlined so far and¬†I feel 125% better than I did before the gallstone attacks began. If you’ve been following my previous posts there s nothing revolutionary or radical here. Mostly moderation and a general practice of good, healthy nutrition with some targeted supplementation. The results are nothing short of amazing.

To say that my life is transforming would be and understatement. Feeling 125% better is a way of saying I feel like a different person. We all know that bad habits feed on themselves and create negative momentum. The good news is that good habits do exactly the same thing. Once you activate your awareness, you slowly start making positive changes and building on them.

Sometimes I’m shocked how easy it has been. I have not eaten refined sugar, fried food, or red meat in 6 weeks. I’m a normal American guy so that is kind of a big deal. But instead of a constant struggle, I’m becoming healthier and growing attached to feeling good. And Gallby loves every minute of it.

But we still have the hard work ahead of us. The gallstones are likely still in there. We need to get rid of them. I am now entering PHASE 2 and have lots of fun, natural substances to experiment with. I’ll be updating you this week on my plans for Phase 2.

Gallstones and gallstone pain are a nutrition and lifestyle problem. They are a warning sign to your body that you have lost balance. Cutting out your gallbladder ¬†is like removing a smoke alarm. For now, I am unbelievably thankful I’ve kept gallby. Gallby has humbled me brought my focus back to my health. ¬†My fear of Gallby’s wrath is keeping me on track.

Week 2 Review

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I feel fantastic! I am certainly living proof that there is hope for people determined to keep their gallbladder and fight gallstones naturally. Only time will tell of course, but it is clear that I have reversed the symptoms 100% (for now) and as an added bonus I feel better than I have in quite some time. I would call it a seismic shift: physically, mentally, and emotionally. My whole regime is gaining momentum and rather than being a struggle, is something I am enjoying and hoping to continue. I can feel for sure that my Gallbladder is functioning well and the bile is flowing again.

Taking things slowly and gaining some stability was the first goal. Coming up is the harder work of actually setting out to eliminate the stones. While the first goal was just to stop the painful attacks, I’m not going to call this attempt at keeping my gallbladder a success until an ultra sound shows a gallbladder 100% free of gallstones.

If you have stumbled upon Keeping My Gallby and are faced with the decision to remove a gallbladder surgery or give natural healing a shot, I would ¬†recommend following this basic approach for a few weeks and see if you can stop the attacks and reset your digestion as ¬†have. You’ll at least buy yourself some time to make a carefully considered decision before hastily removing an organ.

How I’m Feeling?

Here are a few of the benefits I’m experiencing: feeling great, no attacks, gallbladder/liver area is no longer swollen or tender, healthy appetite, desire for healthier foods, increased energy, better mood, better sleep, healthier glow and skin tone, feeling stronger, feeling more grounded in my body, healthier mindfulness of my body.

Sounds good, right?

Main Components of My Gallbladder Health Regimen

Here is what I’m doing and what I think is working:

While there are a few magic bullets in that list (for pain), the biggest contributors to success so far has been paying careful attention and being really disciplined. The change in habits has benefited me more than anything else. Keeping gallby is a commitment. I would love it if curing this problem was as simple as doing a gallbladder flush, but it is not.
Your gallstones are a painful message from your body that something is out of balance, and has been for some time. It will take time to reverse course. Be clear with yourself on that point. The good new is, there is no rush. This is an opportunity to create lifelong habits that will support your health and well being. Really, it is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Big Setback, But Feels Like Progress

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Because of the fickle nature of gallstone attacks, it’s tough to know what kind of progress you’re making: until you have a fresh attack. Sadly today I was attacked. But there is a bright side. This attack was different, less severe, and more manageable using my new-found bag of tricks describe in previous posts.

This was an interesting one because it occurred in the middle of the day. I could even feel it growing. That’s a first as most of my ¬†past experiences ¬†have involved waking up in horror to a full-blown gallbladder attack.

So, What Triggered It?

That’s tough to say. You can only go with your instincts in a situation like this. But, for now, I’m going with overstimulation of my stone filled gallbladder by Hydrochloric Acid supplementation.

When reviewing one of the most popular, natural-remedy gallbladder sites, gallbladderattack.com, it becomes clear that the essence of the Gallbladder Kits focus on two thing:

  • Stimulating Stomach Acid
  • Thinning Bile

I was curious to see if my witch doctor would do similarly. She did.

One of her core strategies for my healing is testing and adjusting for HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) deficiency. A surprising number of people suffer from this. Interestingly, many, many digestive problems where the doctor’s prescription involves BLOCKING stomach acid (Zantac, Prilosec, etc.), the truth is that the conditions are often based on LACK of stomach acid.

Even more interesting: some studies have shown 50% of people with gallstones have an HCL deficiency. There is certainly a strong link there.

Unfortunately, I’m suspicious of a connection between today’s attack and the supplements. Importantly, I took my lunchtime acid before¬†the meal instead of after. Big mistake.¬†I also took it with a light lunch, which can be too strong for people who need just a small boost. Always take your HCL supplements towards the end of larger, well-balanced meals.

So, in keeping with my general commitment to take things slowly, I am going to continue my healing and save the HCL for a week or two later. I would like to see myself have a solid, attack free week first. That may not be the best strategy, but that is probably what I will do. Most likely, this minor attack suggests the acid is helping stimulate my bile, but my stones are still too big and my gallbladder too sensitive to handle it.