Celebrate With A Gallstone Banana Spit

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One of the seemingly most difficult things about the gallbladder is diet is the total elimination of refined sugar. Refined sugar is bad. You don’t need it. Sadly, I am a sugar junkie and absolutely love sweets of all kinds.

I thought the experience of giving up sugar would be harder than it actually is. The truth is, after a few weeks, I am finding that my tastes are recalibrating. Fruits are sweet enough. I’m avoiding all refined sugar, honey, molasses, “organic cane sugar” (deceptive health food store lingo for refined sugar), maple syrup, everything. Instead, I’m eating tons of fresh fruit and loving it.

For fun, I tried some vegan tricks last night for a treat. This is a banana split made of nothing but fruit and nuts. It is unbelievably tasty! Now, this is certainly loaded with natural sugar from the fruit and fat from the nuts, but it is good for the body. Just make sure to share and not each to much.

Banana Ice Cream

Take 4 bananas and blend them in a blender until they are totally smooth. Put them in a container and freeze for an hour. Done! Banana Ice Cream.

Cashew Whipped Cream

While said bananas are freezing, put 1/2 cup of raw (unroasted, unsalted) cashews and 1/2 cup of dates (remove pits) in a blender. Add a cup of water. Let them site for 10 mins to soften, then blend, pulse, pummel with the blender until nice and creamy. Done! Vegan whipped cream.

Toppings

Cut up a handful of fresh strawberries and toast a handful of walnuts. Chop the walnuts.

Delicious

Put the frozen banana ice cream in a dish, top with strawberries and toasted walnuts, add a dollop of cashew whipped cream.

It’s a great mix of fruity and nutty flavors. An excellent exercise for mindful eating.

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Week One Review

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It’s been nine days since I asked the surgeon to put down the knife and made the commitment to attempt to keep my gallbladder in tact. I see this week as a bona fide success and would describe the shift in my general well-being as “seismic”. Sadly, I did have one attack, but it was an order-of-magnitude more manageable than past attacks and I was able to recover swiftly. I also believe I correctly identified the cause for the attack (my HCL supplementation).

Main Activities:

  • Tons of Research
  • Meeting With Nutritionist

Main Strategies:

It worked. I feel like a completely different person physically, mentally, and spiritually. I can feel a seismic and healthy transformation in my digestion. My appetite is good and increasing in a desirable way. I’m pleased that this week was a good first step towards restoring some balance to my health: not just to the gallbladder but to my overall well being. My commitment to beating this growing rather than waning, so that’s a good thing. We all need a little encouragement.
Coming up this week will be the introduction of small doses of Hydrochloric Acid. I can “feel” that I need it when I take it, but I have to move slowly with it and keep the dosage low. I will also start introducing some exercise into the picture (extremely important), and some substances to help dissolve the stones. More to come. All this weeks strategies are keepers and will remain fundamental to my continuing program.

Software for Gallstones: Calorie Counting, Diet Tracking Software For Digestive Problems

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I decided to commit to some food tracking as part of my attempt to beat gallstones without surgery. I’ve used these types of programs in the past like most people use them: for a week or two until they become to much of a pain in the a$$. I was determined to find something that works. After lots of research and trials, I settled on Perfect Diet Tracker: http://www.perfect-diet-tracker.com/ . I’m using a Mac for this, but nicely, the software is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

The biggest barrier to using these types of calorie counting, diet tracking programs is the difficulty in entering foods. If it is too difficult to add what you just ate, you simply will stop using the program. This where Perfect Diet Tracker really shines. It has an extremely robust database of foods and they interface makes it easy to enter them. They have an extremely extensive list of raw foods, generic entries for things like “sushi”, and an amazing list of brand name stuff. Beyond the average “McDonalds This” and “Taco Bell That”, they have products you’ll find in health food and specialty stores. Some of the things I’ve been eating, including Ezekiel brand sprouted grain, Santa Cruz Organic Juices, and Nancy’s Kefir were all in there. Score!

I’m enjoying the experience. It is a great way to keep track of what you are eating, but more importantly, it tracks the proportions of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and helps you course correct throughout the day. Tracking also makes you much more aware of what you are eating, the portion sizes, etc. This can be valuable for both gaining and losing weight. For me, I am fighting to keep my calorie count up. After 2 weeks thinking I had an ulcer and dealing with the excruciating pain of the attacks, I have to focus to make sure I eat enough right now. Perfect Diet Tracker really helps. It also helps to encourage you to eat a more varied diet because it is easy to see if you’re eating too much of the same things: very important if the root cause of your gallstones is an underactive liver and gallbladder.

I’m pleased. Currently, I’m using the free trial and they have not cut me off yet. Hopefully the trial last until my next ultrasound in 6 months. Highly recommended.

A Chance To Review Our Gallbladder Tips & Tricks

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Today’s attack was a great chance to blow through the bag of tricks and test again what works. I tried them all, and believe they did in fact make a noticeable impact on the pain and intensity:

All 3 of those things really helped to manage the pain.

After a while, I took to my bed for some rest. I lied down and did some deep breathing. Thanks to those tricks taking the edge off, I was really able to focus on the pain of the gallbladder attack which revealed a few interesting things.

First, The tea, cucumbers, and beats helped to relieve the overall spread of the pain through the abdomen an back. Many gallstone cases are mis-diagnosed as ulcers and such precisely because the pain spreads so far. Today though, I could really feel the source of the pain: the gallbladder. The back pain was still the work facet, but I could actually feel the gentle “throb” of the gallbladder pain, and I could feel how it radiated out into the back and into the abdomen.

Next, because I could feel the acute pain, I was able to do a few small tests to see what aggravated or relieved it.

  • I tried gently shifting positions, from my back, to my right side, to my left side. I saw no difference in the acute pain in the gallbladder.
  • I tried light pressure and rubbing around the abdomen. No effect.
  • I tried the heating pad. SUCCESS

The heating pad took about 10 minutes and achieved an elimination of the throbbing. This is a significant discovery for me. While it certainly helps to RELAX as much as possible, and to use some pain relief, the fact is you will still have an attacking gallbladder that needs to be dealt with. The assumption is that a stone must be in a bad place. It appears the heating pad was able to move that stone, or somehow bring the situation back to normal.

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.

Give The Neurovascular Bundle a Rub for Gallbladder Health

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X marks the spot

X marks the spot

Years ago I suffered from some serious “mouse arm”… an aching right shoulder and wrist that was a consequence of too many hours on the computer. The search for relief led me to an amazing Chiropractor/Kinesiologist/Nutritionist who I now lovingly refer to as my witch doctor. You’ll hear more about her later as she is a key part of my strategy to heal my gallstones.

From that treatment I learned about the concept of neurovascular bundles. Basically your nerves and blood vessels are routed through your body like a giant interstate system. As with any road system, there are major intersections, and different intersections serve different areas and organs, just like certain exits and offramps serves specific towns and cities.

For my mouse arm, I noticed she would often rub under my collar bone, and that the spot she rubbed was incredibly tender. Working and rubbing that spot brought tremendous relief to my arm. I later learned that this is the site of the neurovascular bundle that serves my arm. I now know, when my right arm hurts from the mouse, to rub under my right collarbone for relief.

Well yesterday was my big kickoff appointment for coming up with a gallstone plan. As expected, while testing my body she went right to the neurovascular bundle for the gallbladder liver. I’ll show you where it is but please use caution. Overworking the area can cause it to become incredibly swollen and tender.

The magic spot is on the right breast, about an inch to the left and an inch down from the right nipple. Use a little lotion or some oil and rub the area from left to right, increasing pressure as much as you can stand it. If you have had serious gallstone attacks and gallbladder/liver issues recently, you should feel the tenderness and the relief.

Enjoy. Just don’t overdo it.

Give Gallby a Squeeze

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A little almond butter to squeeze Gallby

A little almond butter to squeeze Gallby

I read an interesting testimonial from a woman online who healed her gallstones. One of her suggestions was to make sure you keep the gallbladder a little active so it does not get sluggish.

Her tip was to eat a small amount of peanut butter first thing on some mornings to give the gallbladder a little squeeze.

I decided to try this. It worked. Well, at least no attack. I put 2 tablespoons of pure Almond Butter on a slice of multigrain bread. (Make sure there are no added fats or sugars in the nut butter you choose.) I do swear that I could feel my gallbladder squeeze and gurgle a bit! I have busted out our home stethoscope. Next time I try this I’m going to listen like a pro.

Either way the advice is probably good. Your gallbladder does need some activity. Low fat does not mean no fat. A healthy balance is key. Go ahead and give gallby a squeeze if you’re feeling up to it.

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