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Old 09-14-2006, 12:47 PM   #1
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Alternatives to GB removal?

Quick history --
1 GB attack in spring 2003. I was about 26 weeks pregnant and it went away about 6 hours later, after I threw up. I didn't know at the time it was a GB attack but figured it out in hindsight.
MANY GB attacks in spring 2005. They started when I was about 6 months pregnant. I was having them about once a week or so until I was 35 weeks pregnant. Then they were almost constant. At 37 weeks I was throwing up everything and was in constant pain so I gave up and went to my doctor who immediately sent me to the ER. There I had blood work and a sonogram. The sono showed multiple gallstones and the bloodwork showed acute pancreatitis. They said I would need to see a surgeon as soon as the baby was born because they didn't want to take the GB out while I was pregnant. My daughter was born one week later. I stopped having attacks immediately. It's now almost 16 months later and I have had no problems at all. I never saw a surgeon because I felt fine. My family doc did the bloodwork again in December and said that the amylase and lipase came back down to normal and she didn't see a reason to do a GB sonogram.

Last weekend I had a stomach ache and thought I was coming down with a bug. It never got really bad but never got better. I went to the doctor Monday and he said it's my GB again and that I need to have it removed. I've seen a surgeon and he said the same thing except neither one of them has done a new sonogram. I think I will have one done as part of my pre-op assessment next week. My question is has anyone here ever done anything natural to remove gallstones? Like the flushes I've read about? Even if I have to do a flush every 3 months, it would be worth it to avoid surgery.

THanks!

 
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

First of all, if your gallbladder is damaged, it won't repair itself. And if you've been having this much trouble, the little sucker is damaged. You can do the flushes but if the problem is your ejection rate rather than gallstones, it won't help at all. And then you run the risk of having emergency surgery down the road when it really goes bad. Or, worse case scenario, it ruptures. That can be fatal. A friend's father died from a ruptured GB last year. This is nothing to mess around with - particularly when the surgery is so simple. Have it out. You don't "need" it anyway.

 
Old 09-14-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

How can you say we don't "need" our gallbladders? Here's some information on the purpose of the gallbladder --

"The gallbladder serves an important digestive function. It is required to emulsify fats. What is emulsification? One can easily understand this concept when washing greasy dishes. It is nearly impossible to properly clean greasy dishes without soap as the soap emulsifies the fat so it can be removed.

Similarly, the gallbladder stores bile and bile acids, which emulsify the fat one eats so it can be properly transported through the intestine into the blood stream.

Anyone who has had their gallbladder removed will need to take some form of bile salts with every meal for the rest of their life, if they wish to prevent a good percentage of the good fats they eat from being flushed down the toilet.

If one does not have enough fats in the diet, their entire physiology will be disrupted, especially the ability to make hormones and prostaglandins."

I've been reading lots and lots of stories on this website about complications and side effects after the gallbladder surgery. I personally will do anything I can to avoid surgery. I haven't been shown that there is actually anything WRONG with my gallbladder except that the stones I have (and most of us have stones) are bothering me right now.

So I'll ask again -- has anyone here ever done a flush successfully and avoided surgery?

 
Old 09-14-2006, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

A flush will only work if the gallstones are small enough to actually exit the gallbladder. My chiro tried to get me to do one until I told him how large they were. After realizing how big they were, he said if I had done the flush I would have had a SERIOUS gallbladder attack. He also apologized. I would only do a flush if a GI doc says so because the doc will know how large your stones are and if they can leave the gb.

I had my gallbladder out 5 weeks ago. I do not need bile salts to eat and I am back to a normal diet. I am maintaining my weight and avoiding greasy and fried food. I am taking a normal amount of fat in with meals and not having the "dump" syndrome.

I won't try to convince you of having or not having the surgery. I am just letting you know that I am a success case. You can live without a gallbladder, many people do. The gb does do the body good, but if it is not functioning well then it is doing more harm than good.

Good luck! These decisions are never easy, but I am sure you will make the right one for you.
pbjmom

 
Old 09-14-2006, 08:28 PM   #5
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

I had mine out in Feb '05. Haven't had any trouble since. I generally eat a low fat diet anyway though I do love cheese! I had a large stone and there was no way to flush it. Also, the path on the GB showed it was severely damaged and inflamed. FYI, I jogged 2 miles one week after the surgery. Some people do have problems...but there are more of us who don't. Mine was a breeze and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The bile duct they left kicked right in and worked like it's supposed to. I knew the moment I woke up that I was much better off. For the first time in months, I didn't have pain. What a joyous feeling!

 
Old 09-15-2006, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

Thanks for the positive stories. I was feeling really discouraged by all the complications I was reading about. The only thing that bothers me about this is that my surgeon has no intention of doing another sonogram before the surgery. I had one done almost 16 months ago and he's basing his decision on that. Seems to me like you'd want to have an updated picture of what's going on, right?

 
Old 09-15-2006, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

I would get another surgeon.

If your last test was 16 months ago i would request another one as things can change in that time period and surgery should be avoided if it can be as the risks of being put to sleep are always there.

If your not happy about the surgery then i would personally do everything i could to ensure that an operation was the only solution.

 
Old 09-15-2006, 09:21 AM   #8
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Re: Alternatives to GB removal?

My mother in law always had GB problems but always had a reason why it wasn't the right time to have it removed. This went on for years. She died at age 57 from acute pancreatitis caused by a damaged GB.

If it's damaged, have it out. If the surgeon won't do another sonogram, find another surgeon. Call your gastro doctor and have him recommend another surgeon.

I would fire any doctor who didn't do a good job and cover all bases.

 
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