The original thread of this topic was "locked". Not sure what that means, but it was such an interesting thread, with lots of helpful information.
Aside from helpful info on symptoms and more, the thread has considerable information on the ease of gallbladder removal surgery, with a large number of individuals very happy with their decision to have theirs removed. I know several people myself who have had theirs removed and their opinions are split, about whether they feel better for it, or continue to experience problems. This post may be more for those of you hoping for nonsurgical options.
I was diagnosed, about 14 months ago, with a "significantly disfunctional gall bladder." With the Hidascan, I retained over 60% of my bile. I met with the surgen, who immediately gave me the sales pitch about the ease of surgery and how I could immediately begin eating "normal" again. I might have been more receptive to his recommendations except, through our discussion, I became aware of the fact that he had not even reviewed my medical record of the scan. He came in thinking I had stones only to learn I was retaining "sludge." It didn't change his opinion, although he did mention that he has always felt the scan itself can cause people to retain bile because they "lock up" when the injection brings on the feeling of nausea. He was ready to sign me up. I had questions I wanted to explore first.
Looking back I had had symptoms for several years, never extreme until a year prior to my test. My right side cramping, increased belching and nausea, and three very violent vomiting episodes over the year prior to my test is what had me checking things out. When I went for the test, while lying on the table, the nurse informs me that I may feel nausious from the injection, just as she is pressing the needle. Instantly I felt like I was going to go full bore into a major vomiting spell and I tightened every muscle in my body and shut down every orfice. I don't think the bile could have emptied if it tried.
Since I felt I had some time (no need for emergency GB surgery), I began investigating natural options first.
Here is some of what I have learned.
I know one person who was receiving natural care for her GB condition and died from complications as a result. So I did not proceed naively.
Eating what you want, sounds great, but be realistic, with or without surgery, eating what you want is always an option, and with or without surgery it will result in problems sometime down the road. Like drinking, smoking, extreme sports, and more, eating what you want will provide short term gratification with long term costs to your health. For most people, eating what you want has already resulted in the removal of one valuable organ and the addition of medication to their daily routine. And for many, removal of the GB does not actually provide this "benefit" there are still limitations.
For me, a dietary change seemed reasonable.
Thinking more broadly, the gall bladder is the respository of what is left after the liver has filtered your body of waste. At the very least be aware that what happens in your GB, may indicate problems with your liver, or too much waste in your system. What you eat, breathe and absorb will either be used for your body's benefit, disposed of if your system is in top form (and you don't overload it,) or things will begin to clog up.
I began focusing on my liver health and minimizing (no, not eliminating) the kinds of waste that can clog things up.
How does it empty?
There is incomplete information out there as to how the GB empties regulary. It is known that certain fats trigger a hormone that send the signal to "open up." It is also known, anatomicly that the bile empties into the small intestine along with the enzymes from the pancreas (into the duodenum). If any bile makes it into your stomach it would be because of obstruction in your digestive tract (i.e. constipation). If the tube is clogged at the end, the bladder can't empty easily. If it can't empty, stuff that moves the slowest stays in the bladder (sludge, then stones). So resolving constipation issues becomes valuable to GB health.
For things to not build up in the bladder, whether sludge or stone, the emptying process needs to be often enough, with sufficient fluid (clean water is far better than sode, coffee, alcohol, etc), and an appropriate ph balance (a certain amount of acid is needed to hinder stone formation). Some fats or oils are needed in the diet to trigger the hormones (but not troublesome ones like lard, or greasy fries). And excercises that can gently place the bladder in a different positions occasionally, rather than the vertical position 16+ hours each day (lying down at night helps but is not enough, tipping yourself upside down a few times during the can be better). Movement that affects your core will do wonders for your entire digestive system. Sedentary living is a great way to collect crap in all the pouches and tubes that fill our mid section. Note, some aggressive excercises can cause trouble for you GB.
So here I am 14 months later. I will place my disclaimer up front; I don't know how things will be functioning five years from now, but...after beginning my diet and lifestyle changes I can honestly say in the past 12 months I have only had a couple of small right-rib cramps, and my nausea has only surfaced on a couple of occasions. I do still belch alot, but I have been working on my constipation issues, which are improved, but still need work. I have not vomited at all this past 14 months.
I do not consider myself "cured." I consider myself healthier than I was, and watchful for any return or flair up. I do not see myself removing my gall bladder anytime soon, and yes, I still enjoy a pizza, a glass of beer, chocolate (used to always give me GB cramps) and other things I want to eat. I am just aware of the potential challenge it may create and try to be sensible about it, and often times couter it with special care.
This is my experience. It has worked for me. If you have serious GB issues (serious inflammation, major stones, etc.) surgery is likely your best, possibly safest, option. But learning to manage your diet, and your digestive system without a GB will be valuable in ensuring good outcomes.
For those of you who are uncertain, and not at a critical stage, I hope this helps.
To the original poster of the Gll Bladder Guide, thanks for the effort in providing some great information.
Good luck to all.
Post Edited (redee2moov) : 1/3/2009 7:56:03 AM (GMT-7)