Gallbladder sludge with pain- any suggestions. May need surgery.

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So I have had gallbladder sludge for around 4 years now, and have had insidious symptoms like nausea and some right sided rib pain that I attributed to my CFS and ehlers danlos syndrome. But now I am getting more sever gallbladder pain, especially after eating beef or other fattty foods which has led me to believe that it is due to gallbladder issues.

I wanted to ask if there were anyone here who has had success in treating their gallbladder stones or sludge with alternative approaches like Ursodeoxycholic acid or black radish root? What is life like after gallbladder removal?

I have severe cfs and have some sort of muscular dystrophy which keeps me bed bound. So I hope I don't need surgery for this.

Eating a very limited diet due to sensitivities, avoiding fats, and not being able to move much at all has probably contributed to this.
 

kangaSue

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Gallbladder function problems including sludge can be as a result of having autonomic dysfunction and I see it happening time and time again that just whipping out the gallbladder can be the start of even worse problems.
Something that you need to rule out here is MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome). It's something I suspected having myself (and I'm not entirely confident that it's ruled out yet due to difficulties in diagnosing it sometimes) and the facebook group I'm in for MALS has about 20% of members who also have EDS and are more prone to vascular problems such as MALS when you have lax connective tissues.

The facebook groups for SMA Syndrome and renal Nutcracker are similar populated with EDS'ers and all of these can cause or involve both gallbladder problems and GI dysfunction along with lots of food intolerances. Oh, and not to mention that they can all cause chronic fatigue problems.

I would try a taurine supplement here if you have a very restrictive diet as this aids with bile flow and production and can be deficient, or just not well absorbed in the gut from the diet, when you have GI problems.
 

valentinelynx

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I would try a taurine supplement here if you have a very restrictive diet as this aids with bile flow and production and can be deficient, or just not well absorbed in the gut from the diet, when you have GI problems.
Thank you for this... I was unaware of this and find it potentially relevant because I have serious issues with my small intestine, probably including the ileum, which is involved in absorption of nutrients and reabsorption of bile salts for recirculation. I also get bouts of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction which may be related to bile sludge as well (although none was seen on my HIDA scan). And in the TMI zone ;), my stools tend to be on the pale side...

I looked up taurine supplementation and find that up until the 1990's there was active research on the use of taurine in patients with hepatobiliary dysfunction and that taurine supplementation has been found to aid bile acid conjugation and secretion, potentially alleviating cholestatis (reduction of bile flow).

I think I'll try taurine again (I've taken it before on general recommendations for not for this specific purpose). And if I had known issues with bile sludge like the OP, taurine supplementation is an excellent recommendation. Gallbladder removal is a very common operation, but if you can get away without surgery, especially abdominal surgery, that's a better option.

As a side benefit, taurine appears to be helpful for suppressing ectopic beats and may help reduce atrial fibrillation episodes, as well as treat hypertension, both of which problems I have. Oh boy, another supplement!
 

bread.

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So I have had gallbladder sludge for around 4 years now, and have had insidious symptoms like nausea and some right sided rib pain that I attributed to my CFS and ehlers danlos syndrome. But now I am getting more sever gallbladder pain, especially after eating beef or other fattty foods which has led me to believe that it is due to gallbladder issues.

I wanted to ask if there were anyone here who has had success in treating their gallbladder stones or sludge with alternative approaches like Ursodeoxycholic acid or black radish root? What is life like after gallbladder removal?

I have severe cfs and have some sort of muscular dystrophy which keeps me bed bound. So I hope I don't need surgery for this.

Eating a very limited diet due to sensitivities, avoiding fats, and not being able to move much at all has probably contributed to this.

we seem to have similar cases, how old are you? did you have muscle tissue biopsy?
 

PatJ

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gallbladder stones or sludge
I sometimes used to get discomfort in my gallbladder/liver area. What I've done that has relieved it:
* Fresh lemon juice (1/2 - 1 lemon) in water first thing every morning as a liver stimulant. I brush my teeth after because lemon juice can degrade tooth enamel.
* High quality milk thistle liquid - every day. I avoid isolates because the whole herb has beneficial effects.
* Dr. Christopher's Liver and Gallbladder formula (liquid) - for several months, then I took I break, then continued.
* Sunflower lecithin - every day. You can take it to (apparently) reduce the sludge over time, and to help emulsify fats in meals.
* Taurine has helped increase my bile output (based on stool color, which used to be quite pale), and has helped to reduce my sound sensitivities.

Treating my liver with the above methods has also greatly reduced my sensitivity to fragrances.

Here is a lot of information I've gathered in the past:
Lecithin, from: http://dramyneuzil.com/lecithin-for-blocked-ducts-and-gallbladder-sludge/
Minor - If you’re having mild trouble with gallbladder sludge that gives you low-grade symptoms or frequent mini-attacks then 4000 – 5000 mg per day in divided doses will help to prevent further attacks and keep the sludge moving.

Acute - If you’re having a strong acute attack that isn’t serious enough for the hospital then 4000-5000 mg every 4 hours with lots of water until it resolves (not more than 24 hours without talking to your doctor or knowing for sure that it truly is gallbladder sludge and not a gallstone emergency). If the lecithin isn’t producing any changes or the symptoms get worse please do seek medical attention because if gallstones get stuck in a duct and block bile flow completely it can be a medical emergency.


(Dr. Christopher) Parsley: Parsley root tea will help remove all stones including gallstones and kidney stones if they are not too large. [This takes time. Parsley juice is more potent.] One doctor who made a trip to Holland was surprised to see medical doctors prescribing Parsley tea for kidney stone and other kidney and related complaints, including pressure of the prostate. He returned to his practice at home and began prescribing the same remedy with the same good results.


Poor methylation as cause, from: http://www.beyondmthfr.com/mthfr-digestion-methylation-connection-gallbladder-function/
[Also see Bile section for comment about small fiber neuropathy being another reason for poor bile flow.]
Many people find they have gallbladder sludge from an ultrasound, but what they aren’t told is it is caused by the body using sugar in place of methyl groups or sulfate groups. As the sticky, sludgy bile sits day after week after month after year, it begins to inflame and damage the gallbladder. This is when bile gets dehydrated, cholesterol starts to crystalize and the dreaded gallbladder stones begin to form. Not only does this “sticky” situation prevent adequate detoxification of bile, heavy metals, hormones, drugs and other toxins we need to remove, it will eventually create disease in the organ itself.

So the way we prevent this is through optimizing methylation by increasing taurine, phosphatidylcholine, folate, B12, and TMG. Taurine is produced by the methyl cycle, and when taurine is given to rats with gallbladder sludge, their bile gets slippery again and rescues their liver from damage. The methylation genes PEMT and BHMT are found in the liver and they make choline phospholipids which are necessary to keep the bile flowing. Choline protects the liver and gallbladder against damage from the detergent action of bile and it promotes movement of cholesterol into the bile so it can be removed from the body. When we run out of choline, cholesterol and fat literally get stuck in our liver and muscles, leading to fatty liver disease and muscle damage.


From https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/gallbladder-attack-treatment.html
[Acute]
* 1Tb ACV in 1tsp lemon juice (or more?) on empty stomach
* "1 TBSP of ACV to 8 oz of apple sauce [or apple or other juices]. Took small spoonfuls (1 tsp at a time) for about 20 minutes. By the end of that 20 minutes, no pain at all and I was able to go right back to bed."
* "Frankincense essential oil is used topically for gallbladder pain. One or two drops can be massaged into the skin over the gallbladder area."
* "A castor oil pack is a soothing and relaxing remedy for a gallbladder attack. Pour castor oil onto a clean 4 x 4 white cloth. Place the cloth on the skin under the right rib cage. Cover the cloth with plastic wrap. Cover the plastic wrap with a heating pad."
* Ginger tea on empty stomach
* Grated apple (1) and 1 inch of grated ginger.

[Preventive]
* Ayurveda: "2 tsp ACV 1 tsp lemon juice mixed in a glass of water first thing every morning."
* "The herb chanca piedra, also known as stone breaker, can be taken over time to help dissolve gallstones."
* Lecithin 2tsp AM and PM
* "Apple cider vinegar is another common tonic that is taken daily to prevent gallbladder problems. (1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water or juice once or twice a day.)"
* Malic acid. One contributor says that malic acid softens gallstones which is why apples and/or ACV can help. For people who can't take ACV, they can try malic acid instead (around 600mg per dose).


From http://healthwyze.org/reports/206-h...t-them-without-getting-butchered-by-a-surgeon
[Site can be very anti but comments include anecdotes about effectiveness.]

Fast Pain Relief from a Gallbladder Attack

Drink 1/4 a cup of apple cider vinegar (preferably stored in glass). If possible, also chase it with 8 ounces of apple juice (preferably organic), or mix both together. Most of the pain should disappear within 15 minutes.


Chanca Piedra, from https://candidaspecialists.com/chanca-piedra/
"Chanca Piedra kidney stones & gallstones benefits and best uses"
Using chanca piedra for gallstones typically combines chanca piedra with other gallbladder and liver cleansing herbs as well. This is considered a common best practice for two reasons. One is to improve the effectiveness of the gallstones treatment; the other is for safety reasons. Certain gallbladder and liver cleansing herbs have the ability to relax the bile duct, helping the body to pass gallstones more easily, minimizing the chances that of a gallstone get stuck. Using liver cleansing herbs can also help the body to better handle the released toxins from the gallbladder and liver, and support the regeneration of damaged liver tissue. The liver is one of the primary organs in the body that breaks down and removes toxins. When you dissolve the gallstones, it is common to have increased toxins released from the liver as well.

The best most commonly used liver cleansing herbs that are typically combined together with chanca piedra include milk thistle seed (silybum marianum), chicory root (cichorium intybus), dandelion (taraxacum officinale), greater celandine (chelidonium majus), yellow dock root (rumex crispus) and turmeric (curcumin).


Dr. Schulze's 5 Day Liver Detox - Free book describing his method and products. 5 days isn't going to provide a miracle cure but it might be a good start when combined with other methods.
https://www.herbdoc.com/blog/book/create-powerful-health-5-day-liver-detox
And finally, just in case you do get surgery here is some information about easing fat digestion after surgery since many people still have discomfort, or even pain after surgery.
 

Pearshaped

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What has helped me with gallstones and gallbladder issues:

- vinegar mixed w. water before meal
- Taurine soluble in water 1 h before meal
- Vit C
- Vit E
If you dont like vinegar try fresh lime juice before meal..
Good luck!
 

kangaSue

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Thank you for this... I was unaware of this and find it potentially relevant . . . .
There are a number of studies around showing evidence that taurine also has an effect on reducing triglycerides to lower cholesterol, improving insulin resistance to regulate glucose metabolism and regulating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and the kallikrein-kinin system etc. to reduce blood pressure, among other things.

I've come across a number of people with gastroparesis in other forums saying Red Bull helps a lot with their digestion but they didn't know why. Most speculate it's from the caffeine but looking into taurine suggests we can be deficient in this with gastroparesis when food intolerances means you are not eating very little in the way of taurine rich foods (meat or other animal products such as dairy, seafoods).

I hadn't tried Red Bull before because it contains citric acid, something which I don't tolerate, but then I saw mention recently by a blogger that taurine can help with citric acid sensitivity so I figured a can of Red Bull would be an acid test of that.

It was indeed and I didn't vomit it back like I do with all other carbonated drinks I've tried (but haven't had taurine in them) and now I find with using taurine powder, I am tolerating a lot more foods again.
I've tried many of the other supposed gut friendly supplements before and nothing has stayed down in my system or helped with alleviating food intolerance, other than my latest foray into taurine.
 
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MTpockets

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Do any of you taurine users find it affects your sleep? I am intrigued by the benefits some people see but I am afraid it would worsen my sleep issues.
 

Mary

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@Silence - I had similar gallbladder problems in the mid- to late 1990s. Fortunately, my chiropractor who does muscle testing zeroed in on my gallbladder and gave me AF Betafood by Standard Process. You can read about it here: https://www.standardprocess.com/Products/Standard-Process/A-F-Betafood#.XXGmsW5Fw2w
It worked so well. I had to take it for several weeks as I recall but it started helping within a few days. I had to take a largish dose - maybe 6 to 8 tablets a day (it's hard to remember), but they're small. And they're made from foods - I never had a bad reaction to SP products.

And then I learned a lot about nutrition. It turned out my liver was overloaded with environmental toxins from a job I'd had years before, and I was low in stomach acid too! But the chiro helped me with all of this. I'm sure a regular M.D. would have just taken out my gallbladder.

Anyways, I did a month-long liver detox under the supervision of my chiro, it was a bit rough but afterwards my digestion was way improved. Before the detox, 1 glass of wine would make me sick for an entire day, and 2 glasses would leave me sick for 3 days. Afterwards I could tolerate alcohol (in moderation) with no problem.

I also started taking betaine HCL with pepsin for digestion and started taking milk thistle, which is a great product for the liver. And like PatJ I found that lemon juice in water was very good for my digestive system.

Between the AF Betafood, the liver detox the milk thistle and the betaine HCL with pepsin, my digestion did a 180 turn - it's been quite good for many years now. I still take the betaine HCL with pepsin - many of us with ME/CFS have low stomach acid and I think that low stomach acid contributed to my gallbladder and liver issues.

A simple test which can help indicate if you're low in stomach acid is to dissolve 1/4 or 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink it on an empty stomach. If you don't burp within a few minutes, it can indicate low stomach acid. The empty stomach part is important as the baking soda will neutralize stomach acid.
 

PatJ

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It's interesting that beet and carrot are the first two ingredients of that product. It also reminded me that I forgot to mention I've been juicing carrots and beets to help my liver.
 
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I will keep them in mind and give some of them a go in a orderly fashion to keep track on what does what, especially the taurine, I've been low in taurine on my nutreval for a while now. But I have taken taurine in the past and it made my mind race and caused a mild headache sort of like msg. I put it on my excitatory list of supplements, but will be willing to try it again.

I have also been doing some research and read up on some studies that used something called URSODEOXYCHOLIC acid and TAUROURSODEOXYCHOLIC ACID (a taurine derivative) which are basically bile acids. There seems to be some success with these medications in dissolving cholestoral gallstones and currently been studied for many other issues. TUDCA is over the counter but UDCA is not. I've seen these medications mentioned here on the forum a few times, but not related to gallbladder stones but in terms of protein folding? or something having to do with Endoplasmic reticulum? which is interesting.
 

percyval577

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* Fresh lemon juice (1/2 - 1 lemon) in water first thing every morning as a liver stimulant. I brush my teeth after because lemon juice can degrade tooth enamel.
I use a straw.

Interesting idea, though I was afraid that the acid is already working strong and would work in synergistic with the brush.

My idea with this acid was that it will chelate metals, so I took the metals also in from chocolate, yielding a new conformation of metals, if this could have any significance.
 
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