Have you ever had a gallbladder attack?
I had my first when pregnant with our 8th child and after an all-you-can eat pizza buffet – a high fat meat! It was no fun, in fact, it was quite painful! As a nurse, I knew that I was a prime candidate for gallbladder surgery. Having cared for gallbladder patients, I knew that it was a difficult surgery and I did not want it! In seeking an alternative to gallbladder surgery, my father introduced me to a gallbladder cleanse, also called a gallbladder flush.
I have continued to use the recipe that I will give below, as needed with success. Until I started the GAPS diet, I would use the flush once a year or so. Since I have been on the GAPS diet, interestingly, my gallbladder attacks increased during the first 8 – 10 months or so. During this time, I did the gallbladder cleanse monthly until my stones subsided. Whatever the reason, the GAPS diet seemed to accentuate my gallbladder problem. My gallbladder was not functioning properly and through the healing process of the GAPS diet it is now much better and the need for a gallbladder cleanse in almost unnecessary.
Before I give the recipe …
Did you know that nearly 1 million gallbladders are removed yearly?
Over 20 years ago, gallbladders were removed surgically and the recovery period was slow and painful. The traditional “open” gallbladder surgery has almost completely been replaced with the introduction of laparoscopy. Laparoscopy uses small instruments and a lighted tube equipped with a video camera, all inserted through tiny abdominal incisions. The recovery period is quicker and less painful with a laparoscopy making it the preferred method of removal.
Unfortunately, the number of gallbladder operations has risen 40 percent since the introduction of the laparoscopy! Perhaps the doctors would prefer to avoid severe attacks so, the gallbladder is removed with vague symptoms like bloating and gas. This equals unnecessary surgery!
Laporascopic removal of the gallbladder while used commonly is not without risk. Accidental severing of the bile duct, which can cause permanent liver damage, occurs in 1 to 2 percent of laparoscopies—three times more often than in open surgery!
Function of the Gallbladder:
The gallbladder is located just under the liver and has a very important role in the digestive process.
According to Wikipedia:
In vertebrates the gallbladder (cholecyst, gall bladder, biliary vesicle) is a small organ that aids mainly in fat digestion and concentrates bile produced by the liver. The surgical removal of the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy.
To put it another way, it emulsifies fats. Think of trying to wash greasy dishes without soap. It is almost impossible. Why? Because soap emulsifies the grease. Similarly, the gallbladder stores bile and bile acids, which emulsify the fat eaten so it can be properly transported through the intestine into the blood stream.
Bile is made in the liver, then stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it to digest fat. At that time, the gallbladder contracts and pushes the bile into a tube–called the common bile duct–that carries it to the small intestine, where it helps with digestion. Under certain conditions the bile can harden into stones.
Types of Gallstones:
There are two two types of gallstones:
1. Cholesterol stones made up of hardened cholesterol are usually yellow-green. 80 percent of gallstones are cholesterol stones. They are caused by too much cholesterol, bilirubin, or not enough bile salts or when the gallbladder does not empty as it should.
2. Pigment stones made of bilirubin are small, dark stones. Their cause is uncertain although they tend to occur in people with cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and hereditary blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia – these conditions cause too much bilirubin to form.
Either type of gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder can develop either one large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or almost any combination.
Symptoms of a Gallbladder Attack:
If gallstones lodge in any of the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestines, a gallbladder attack occurs. Symptoms have a rapid onset and may include:
- Steady pain in the upper abdomen that increases rapidly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours
- Pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- Pain under the right shoulder
- Abdominal bloating
- Recurring intolerance of fatty foods
An easy way to determine if your pain is related to the gallbladder is to press down below on your last rib on your right side and lined up with your nipple – if there is pain there is a good chance that you have a gallbladder problem.
Curing Symptoms Not the Problem:
The removal of the gallbladder is a procedure called Cholecystectomy. Of the 1 million cholecystectomys or gallbladder removals that are done yearly, it is estimated that only a few thousand actually need to come out! Sadly, as many as half of the patients continue to have pain after the gallbladder is removed. Rather than treat the symptoms, more care should be taken to heed the warning signals and determine why the gallbladder is not functioning properly.
One way to relieve congestion in the gallbladder is a gallbladder cleanse or flush. I am not a medical doctor and do not pretend to give medical advise but I do want to share what has worked for me. The following recipe is one I have used since my first attack in 2002. I use it when I begin to experience pain in my right side, just under my ribs. It is a pain that once you have, you recognize instantly. While I normally do not have severe pain (because I do the flush before it gets too bad), I have procrastinated and had sever pain, nausea and vomiting – all of which are relieved by the following cleanse and passage of gallstones.
Gallbladder Cleanse Recipe
Drink 1 qt of apple juice each day for 5 days. Drink the apple juice in addition to your regular diet. The apple juice contains limonoid which helps soften any gallstones and alleviate any pain you are experiencing.
On the 6th day:
Do not eat anything after 6 pm.
At 6 pm, take 1 Tbsp Epsom salt with a full glass of water. Mix the Epsom salt in the water – it takes a bit of stirring. I take a big breath and down it quickly!
At 8 pm repeat 1 Tbsp Epsom salt with a full glass of water.
At 10 pm – mix and drink quickly, 4 oz. olive oil (where to buy) and 4 oz. lemon juice.
Go to bed and in the morning you will pass any gallstones you may have. I normally have varying sizes of bright green gallstones visible in the toilet. The Epsom salt acts as a laxative to quickly remove the gallstones from the intestinal tract.