Raw Food and my Bunkum Gallbladder

sillydogsillydog Raw Newbie

Hey all.

When K&R started this site, I was mildly interested in it as one of those things that I checked out during hot weather and when my chickens were on strike. I’ve been a vegetarian (fish, eggs and yoghurt – yes, I know you don’t approve) of sorts for the last 15 years, and considered myself pretty healthy, but realized after talking to K&R about it that I actually had hardly anything raw in my diet, other than a little fruit here and there. Heck, I didn’t even eat salad if I didn’t have to.

The recipe format was easy to read and allowed me to search for recipies that didn’t require gear, so it was useful that way. I posted the “healthy” version of one of my few “raw” recipies and got jumped all over, so I didn’t bother posting any more.

Fast forward to a time of actual need:

Last November my gallbladder quit working and without insurance or even an extra few dimes to rub together, I’ve been treating myself ever since. I’ve found that the raw foods did me well. After dropping about 30# and getting very deficient in vitamins A, E and D, I finally worked out what foods were acceptable to the failed organ and what was not, and am on day 9 of feeling mostly allright. So, long story short, I am so very glad this resource exists. I still don’t own the requisite gear to go totally raw (nor, do I think I want to), but I am now eating at least one raw meal a day, and it is invariably the one that doesn’t make me nervous.

Though there are quite a few things I can’t eat that are VERY commonly found in these recipes, there are so many good ideas, I can usually work around it and really appreciate everyone’s participation and culinary genius.

I’ve been keeping track of the food I’ve found that works, and will p’bly get brave and begin posting them as “Gallbladder Friendly this, that and the other thing.” I can’t be the only person out there determined to keep all my internal organs. Yes, before you say it, I’ve heard of the flush. And no, I don’t like to gamble.

Well, as usual, I’m sure I’ve offended everyone in some manner or another, but I just wanted to say, “Thanks again” to K&R for putting this all together, and I’ve still got that book to return to you.



  • modhinamodhina Raw Newbie

    Hey Sillydog. Well sounds like this is the best thing for you. If you don’t mind my asking, what sorts of things can you not eat? How did you know your gallbladder wasn’t working? Hope you are feeling better now. Raw foods seem to really help the body clean itself up and heal a lot faster I have noticed. Best of luck, hope you don’t mind all of my 2questions.

  • sillydogsillydog Raw Newbie

    not at all. Well, looking back on it, it’s been slowly going funky on me for about 10 years now, but was managable until last November. I had no idea what my “evening lie down problem” was for the whole time. A friend suggested that I look up gallbladder problems, and it was like reading a mirror. I can’t afford to get properly diagnosed, but in lieu of a lipase test (and without going into the truly gory detials), all signs pointed to yes. I believe the sudden escallation was due to a (mercifully round) stone getting lodged in the bile duct.

    I expect it would have been much worse if I hadn’t already been cutting alot of the worst offenders out of my diet long before then, since most gallstones are made of cholesterol. I’d gotten to the point where hydrogenated fats in even the smallest amounts (esp fried foods) would have me emulating the stomach flu (do NOT eat the sopapillas or phillo dough). Other unhealthy fats like cottonseed oil and solvent extracted canola/corn would simply have the green apple quickstep effect on me. Las Vegas uses cottonseed oil almost exclusively, or so I gathered from sneaking around corners to look.

    Wonderful foods that that no longer love me back (and this was very sudden after the homemade grapefruit wine indident and one momement of indescrission with a plate of fries/chips) include:

    expeller-pressed olive oil coconut milk, oil or meat (boo-hoo) beans and lentils (excpet tempeh and miso), including tofu and soy-milk all citrus wheat corn just about any omega-6 fat all true nuts and peanuts (xcept walnuts, don’t know about chestnuts since they’re so different from other true nuts nutritionally) garlic and onions (boo-hoo!) sesame/tahini (aaarrrrgggghhh!)

    Of course, since it’s the oils, that includes just about anything baked, fried, or sauteed. The food I cook now must either be baked, broiled, boiled or steamed—or else….

    In my continuing quest to maintain my skin and sanity, I’ve found that I can handle small quantities of omega-3 fats, including: hemp nuts walnuts poached or baked eggs (from my birds) avacado flax oil

    some of the other lovlies that I’m now absolutely needing seaweed greens and more greens potatoes (for some reason never ate them regularly before) flax meal cod liver oil (saved my sanity) raw fish (esp salmon) coconut water (been craving it like mad) banannas and pineapple (also craving like mad) carrots, beets, celery, celery root, parsnip, spinach *pomes (apples, pears, quince)

    Also, I find that I can only eat about 1c of food at a time or risk loosing a whole day to sick, pain and brain fog. Growing up in an Italian-American household, learning to eat small meals (and the olive oil thing) was actually about the hardest thing. I had to get in the habit of using tiny dishes. I also get drunk of half a beer now, but sake agrees with me very well for some reason. I can no longer handle nicotine (got puking sick from a Winston a few days ago, like I was 13 again) or much in the way of caffeine.

    Essentially, I became in my 30s what I’d made fun of in my 20s. As such, I clearly deserve every bit of it. So yes, I’m all about getting this funk out of me now, since things have clearly not been in whack for some time. The miracle of epsom salts removed the rosacea I’d had on the back of my arms for about 15 years in a single bath, so now I’m a huge believer.

    Thankfully, Portland is a good place to increase one’s raw food intake (Mad props to People’s Co-op). Just about anywhere else between here and Minneapolis, I’d be one vital organ short and in the process of declaring bankruptcy. There are also several restaurants that have been very kind in accomodating my mental diet even when they say they don’t make subs (J&M and Clinton Corner Cafe in paticular).

    I suppose no one in their youth ever thinks they’ll be the sort of person with “dietary restrictions,” but when you’re made out of meat, time’s a bitch and, not the good kind that makes puppies.

    Anyhow, thanks so much for your well-wishes. In addition to the brain destroying lack of fats, I really had been feeling very isolated and sad. I’m just so glad things are finally starting to look up.

  • susannabellajanesusannabellajane Raw Newbie

    Good evening Silly Dog!

    I am sorry you are having GB problems…I also had this problem for years, had no insurance, ate a million afalfa tablets (which was supposed to be cleansing) but thankfully never messed around with the lemon juice/olive oil flush (which might have killed me). For years I couldn’t figure out what the knife between the shoulder blade + sick as a dog feelings were coming from, especially after big rich dinners, until my mother’s old friend diagnosed it for me.

    Finally, I got really really, really sick and had to go to the emergency room, where the next morning I had the GB removed laproscopically. The stones were so huge the surgeon asked to keep them for his collection. The minute I woke up from surgery I felt better…

    I only had insurance for about a month when the whole thing finally went bad and since my gallstones were never officially diagnosed by a doctor the ‘pre-existing’ clause in my insurance clause didn’t apply (by their own rules) so they paid the $15K bill.

    I was able to keep out of surgery all those years (about 8 years or more) by avoiding fats, big meals, and by drinking hot water with lemon and honey (as hot as I could stand it) when the pain started. Something about the hotness seemed to help ease the GB duct spasms.

    Good luck girl! I know your pain. But if you get REALLY sick (vomitting and can’t stop) go in and get it out. The finances of it all are not worth losing your life over and believe me life is so much better without this inflamation/pain and the stress and worry over triggering an attack.

  • greeniegreenie Raw Newbie

    IMHO you are LUCKY you don’t have insurance and aren’t going the AMA route. There are liver/gallbladder cleanses that will help you.

    I’ve had gall bladder problems off and on since my 20s. (I’ve also been raw off and on since then.)

    My last gall bladder attack was about 3-4 years ago when I was traveling, in middle of a seminar. I got sick in the hotel at night, fortunately I had some lemon in the room and drank some lemon water which helped a bit. I felt awful the next day but managed to finish the seminar, spent a painful and queasy next night, a miserable day on the train to get home. You know how it is.

    One of the ducts must have been completely blocked because my pee turned dark and my BMs were almost white. That happens when the bile can’t get out of the GB, I guess that’s what gives BMs their color. And it had to go somewhere, so it filtered through the kidneys and turned my urine dark.

    I had done liver/gallbladder cleanses before – you eat lightly and then drink a bunch of olive oil and lemon juice, lie down on your right side to let the OO into the GB and the stones and gravel are expelled. There are other details to the cleanse, but that’s the key point, that drinking of about 1/2 cup or a cup of olive oil.

    Anyhow, the previous attacks were mild compared to this one and I was reluctant to do the cleanse for fear I had large hard stones in there that would do damage if the gallbladder went into contractions. I had been traveling a lot, eating poorly. IMHO the cause of gallstones is 1) denatured starches; and 2) bad quality oil (cooked or rancid). Eating oily food, even the good oils, will cause a gallbladder attack because the GB contracts to secrete bile needed to digest the oils. But IMHO the good oils don’t cause the stones to form, a diet of bad starches and oils will form the stones.

    But regardless, I knew I didn’t want to lose my GB. I’ve know too many people for whom that started a cascade of health problems. And I didn’t want to do a drastic cleanse just then.

    So I fasted on apple juice for about a week. I would have hot lemon water in the morning and I think 1-2 times a day, and the rest of the time I drank apple juice. The pectin is supposed to help soften the stones. After a week I did the olive oil cleanse. A lot came out and I felt somewhat better but not ok. I ate lightly and continued drinkng a lot of apple juice and did 2 more of the olive oil cleanses over the next week or two and that fixed it. No more stones.

    That type of cleanse is something I know I must do periodically for maintenance.

    I’ve heard there are herbs that can help with this too—Ayurvedic and also Chinese herbs. These guys make an herbal product that I have heard is very good: ttp://www.gallcleanse.com/recommended.html

    Anyow, I hope this helps.

  • FreesiaFreesia Raw Newbie

    Great post, greenie.

  • greeniegreenie Raw Newbie

    One more thing—

    You really want to be careful about gallstones. When they come out, they can lodge in the pancreas and cause pancreatitis and/or damage the pancreas. That is something you absolutely do not want.

  • sillydogsillydog Raw Newbie

    Thank you so much for the advice and support. My editor is training to be an ND and said pretty much the same thing about the pectin and flush. She is in the UK when having gallbladder symptoms, went in for a surgery consult, and they told her they wouldn’t operate unless she lost 3-stone first, so she went the naturopathic route and was so impressed she decided to change her career!

    Well, I’m sure there was more to it than that, but I have very little trust of AMA physicians, especially after going to a party full of fresh doctors and having a whole room of them ask in all earnestness how I got eggs from my hens without a rooster. They were mighty embarrassed when I suggested that they’d laid eggs without that kind of “help” themselves. :)

    All kidding aside, if it did get to the point where I couldn’t keep water down for more than a few days, I’d have to do something. I had Hep-A at 13 and believe I started the whole thing by being anorexic for 9 months when 18. Also, I wasn’t a very good vegetarian and ate a LOT of poor quality starches before I wised up embarrasingly late in life. I do worry about my liver getting fatty and my pancreas not doing well, but thankfully have had very little regular sugar in my diet, ever, partly because diabetes and gout runs strongly on the Italian side of my family.

    Again, thanks so much, all. I’m saving up to at least have them looked at w/ the ultrasound.

  • colonqueencolonqueen Raw Newbie

    I have coached about a hundrad people through “The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush” by Andreas Moritz. These flushes always include a couple colonics. I personally had stones the size of quarters release. (I pulled them out of the toilet and cut in half to be sure.) If this is too scary, then the next step is to get Gallbladder Nano-detox by Premeir Research Labs. I carry this in my clinic for others who do not want to flush or as an additional product to soften the stones. (It has Goldcoin Grass that is upregulated with probiotics. Very effective) It is something you would want to take for sevral months to naturally break up those stones. I agree that removing is the last resort! I see many people with difficult digestive problems after the removal. (I’m a colon hydrotherpist.) Read The book and then decide. ener-chi.com. Oh!! His clinic is is in Seattle I beleive! Perahaps a call or visit there!

  • sandikosandiko Raw Newbie

    Sillydog, how did things turn out for you? I'm having the same issues currently and feel it's been a long time coming. 

    Also, @colonqueen ... stones the size of a quarter!? That sounds terrifying to me! How large are the gallbladder ducts? I would fear something that large getting jammed in there. Did that not happen b/c of the pectin softening the stones? (I read the book long ago; still hesitant).

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