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“You don’t really need your gallbladder,” the doctor said.
“I don’t need my gallbladder?” I questioned.
It all started three years ago when I ended up in the emergency room with extreme abdominal pain. After a dose of morphine and eight hours of tests I went home, sore and aching, but with no diagnosis.
I ended up seeing a total of six different doctors from six different specialties, none of whom either knew what caused the pain of the emergency room visit, whether it mattered, or what was causing the subsequent continued back and leg cramping, constant indigestion, GERD, edema, chest pains, shortness of breath and foggy thinking.
It took the kind of persistence that only continued symptoms can force on someone, but I finally found a doctor who truly listened to me.
“Tell me your symptoms again,” he said. “Tell me again.”
He leaned forward in his chair and looked right at me as I went through them and then, with a gleam in his eye, as if he’d just been given a message from Hippocrates himself announced,
“Chronic inflammation of the gallbladder. Not gallstones. Chronic inflammation,” adding that was why nobody could find anything on the tests and that my episode in the emergency room had probably been the acute onset of the problem.
Burpy though I felt, I could have kissed him.
He was recommending that I have my gallbladder removed and handed me the card of a surgeon to whom he had already made a referral on his computer.
But wait a minute.
“Let’s go on YouTube,” my husband suggested, “and find out what other people who didn’t need their gallbladders have to say about not having them anymore.”
The upshot of it was that I postponed my gallbladder surgery, indefinitely. From the testimonies I saw on YouTube, I learned that the basic difference between me and the people who’d had their gallbladders removed was that they didn’t have pain any more, but they still had lots of all of the other symptoms.
No thank you.
Since I believe that the body can heal itself, I embarked on a self-designed protocol to cleanse my gut of all the toxins that had been dumped into it for the previous several years and to reduce the inflammation of my gallbladder.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not even a health care worker. I am just a person with a gallbladder that believes that she does in fact need her gallbladder and is not going to have it removed without a fight.
Here’s my fight.
1) Drinking four quarts of lemon water a day.
“Lemon water flushes out toxins …aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier.” ~ Food Matters
2) Taking probiotics every day.
I know this from my own experience because when I take probiotics I don’t have indigestion, period.
What I didn’t expect was that taking probiotics would alleviate the anxiety I have been having in conjunction with the inflamed gallbladder. But then, as they say, “the gut is the second brain.”
As far as I am concerned, however, it is probably the most important one.
3) Eating five small meals a day.
I had been on a plant based diet for seven months and while it had resulted in a dramatic improvement in my symptoms, it was apparently not enough for them to entirely go away. I discovered that my plant based had a calming effect on my digestive/nervous system instead of the other way around and decided that in terms of the amount of food I ate at each meal, less was more.
4) Taking large daily doses of activated (digestive) carbon.
Gut inflammation is accompanied by a lot of intestinal gas, the kind that makes my stomach hard as rock and gives me a lot of pain. Taking large doses of digestive charcoal alleviates this problem.
5) Taking Zeolite clay powder every day.
Zeolite powder draws out toxic waste from the gut. What I have experienced is that the pain in my lower back and legs comes and goes depending on whether I have remained faithful to my zeolite regime. Amazing, but true!
6) Taking magnesium citrate capsules.
Charcoal and Zeolite cause constipation and the last thing I want is the toxins that my gallbladder is unable to deal with to stay in my body.
7) Practicing yoga.
I have always believed that yoga is good for just about anything that ails me. But I know that the deep breathing and yogic twists are particularly good for detoxing.
8) Three colon hydrotherapy treatments a month for three months.
This means you are cleaning out the colon with water. It can help with constipation, flatulence and intestinal disorders amongst other types of pain and discomfort.
It is hard to deny the benefits of meditation and I know that it can only help me to cure whatever ails me. Here is a blog article by Dr. Mary Ackerly, M.D., Ph.D. that links mindfulness meditation to the reduction of inflammation at the genetic level.
I started on this program one month ago and noticed an immediate improvement. I offer these tips here because they were a help to me. I cannot make any promises to anybody as to whether they will be a help to them. What I can say for sure however is:
• The path to wellness is not one-size-fits-all. Each person has to find what fits his or her needs specifically; and
• I believe what Hippocrates said all those thousands of years ago,
• “All disease begins in the gut.”
I’m going with my gut on this one.
Image: Deviant Art