Case Study: Fatty Liver And Gallstones
Tamara is a 57 year old lady who recently consulted with me for help with liver and digestive problems. She was diagnosed with a fatty liver more than 20 years ago. More recently her gallbladder was bothering her. Tamara has had 3 gallbladder attacks in the last year and her doctor wants to remove it.
Tamara’s mother and aunt have had their gallbladders removed and Tamara is desperate to avoid the same fate. She noticed both of them gained a lot of weight since having their gallbladder out, they felt more tired and experienced digestive problems. Tamara has a busy and stressful life. She is afraid of her health deteriorating and her weight escalating.
Fatty liver is extremely common. Approximately one in four people are affected. It often doesn’t cause any symptoms, so many are unaware. Tamara has mildly raised liver enzymes. They have been elevated for many years, and Tamara experiences quite a lot of abdominal bloating, so her doctor ordered an ultrasound scan of her liver. It shows a moderate fatty liver. Tamara has a copy of my book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. When she keeps her carbohydrate intake low and sticks to a healthy eating plan, her digestive health and energy level are significantly better. Unfortunately stress and being busy means her diet and overall health are often not a high enough priority. Frequent snacking often takes the place of healthy meals and some nights Tamara has a bowl of breakfast cereal for dinner.
Gallstones are a more recent problem. After her first gallbladder attack and trip to hospital, Tamara had a scan of her liver and gallbladder. She has 3 gallstones. Fortunately the walls of her gallbladder are not inflamed and her bile ducts are not dilated. This means there is an excellent chance she can save her gallbladder. Her next two gallbladder attacks were much milder. Still, it’s important to work on healing her gallbladder and liver, as a gallbladder attack can become dangerous and life threatening.
Most gallstones are made of cholesterol. Gallstones form when the bile becomes excessively thick and sluggish. This means it doesn’t flow freely, and over time stones can form. Gallstones are also more likely to form if the gallbladder doesn’t contract fully. Old bile can stagnate and build up, increasing the risk of stones. People who don’t produce adequate digestive enzymes or stomach acid are prone to this problem.
Additionally, the health of a person’s liver determines the health of their gallbladder. This is because bile is produced in the liver and only stored in the gallbladder. If the liver is fatty, sluggish or inflamed, it will produce poor quality bile that is prone to stone formation. Eating too much carbohydrate can also be a problem because it increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and this makes bile thicker and likely to create stones.
These were my recommendations for my patient
- I asked Tamara to stick to the eating plan in the book Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It. This is a lower carbohydrate, higher protein and healthy fat diet. It is not necessary or beneficial to avoid fat if you’ve got a fatty liver or gallstones. You just need to avoid unhealthy fats: margarine and industrial seed oils high in omega 6 fats. Some fat is necessary in the diet because it keeps bile flowing and prevents stasis.
- The liver tonic Livatone contains the nutrients needed by the liver to burn fat more efficiently and also detoxify the bloodstream. This would help Tamara lose some weight, and most importantly clear the fat from within her liver. It would also enable her liver to manufacture healthy bile.
- I asked my patient to drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in ¼ mug of warm water five minutes before each meal. This would prepare her digestive system for food. I also asked her to take Digestive Enzymes and Betaine Hydrochloride, as they help send the correct signals to the gallbladder to contract properly.
- Ox bile is a powerful supplement to help dissolve gallstones. The bile salts help to thin the bile, reducing sludge. They also help to wear away gallstones, and in time can help to dissolve them.
- Magnesium is an incredibly calming and relaxing mineral. I asked Tamara to take some each evening. Reducing stress and anxiety is extremely important because it makes it so much easier to remain committed to taking good care of yourself, eating well and getting sufficient sleep.
For more information about helping your gallbladder see the book Save Your Gallbladder Naturally, and what to do if you’ve already lost it.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.