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gallstones
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gallstones

I had 6 gallbladder attacks from Jan 10 to Feb. 7.  I had an ultrasound and it pointed out two images, 1.09 cm on the gallbladder trans...and 0.76 cm on the gallbladder long.  The common bile duct measures 6mm, which is at the upper limits of normal.   For the last two weeks, I've been drinking 1 tbsp Braggs apple cider vinegar in a quarter cup of unfiltered apple juice, with about a quarter cup of water.  I drink this with dinner, or just after dinner.  I've also been eating a tart apple a day.   In the last two weeks, I have had no gallbladder attacks and I've been eating normally.

Do I need to have the gallbladder out with those larger stones?  Can I leave them alone if I dont have any more gallbladder attacks?  Is it possibly safe to do the liver/gallbladder cleanse where you drink lots of apple juice, then drink lemon juice with olive oil and then drink epsom salts?  Might that get rid of the stones...are the stones too large to safely do the cleanse?

Thanks in advance....
2827584_tn?1340583296
DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT A "GALLBLADDER CLEANSE"!

There are multiple idiots across the internet that somehow think the problem is the gallstones rather than a sick gallbladder and give you the idea that you can rid your body of the stones and everything will be OK. Don't believe it. First, the stones are not the problem, they are the result of the problem. The trouble is having a gallbladder that doesn't contract well and bile stagnates there, allowing the stones to form. Secondly, the most deadly complications of gallbladder disease occur when stones pass down the bile duct. Why would anyone try to make this happen? That is why biliary lithotripsy fell out of favor. The risk to the patient was substantially higher than surgery. The third point is that these folks generally hold up a handful of green stones that they fished out of the toilet and state that these are the gallstones that they have purged from their systems. These have been analyzed and have nothing to do with gallstones. What they have done with the acid/oil trick is turn their GI tracts into soap making machines. You will notice that there is no one out there pushing gallbladder purges that shows a pre and post-purge ultrasound to prove it.

The reason that your gallbladder should be removed is that people with symptomatic gallbladder disease have a 35% chance of landing in an ER with a potentially life threatening complication. When we are forced to care for these patients in this condition the mortality rate goes up about a hundred fold. This raises the mortality from a miniscule level in an elective procedure to something equating to open heart surgery or repair of an aneurysm. It is the reduction in future risk of an untimely death that indicates surgery.

The nature of gallbladder disease is one of random attacks. This leads people to believe that something they did prevented problems. Unless there is some significant medical issue leading to an extremely high risk of surgery you should have your gallbladder removed. You are playing with fire.
8 Comments
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Dr. Watters, thank you so very much for your reply to my question asked last week.  I truly value your opinion.  Since Feb. 7, 2013 and since I've been drinking 1 tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar in unfiltered apple juice and water once a day around dinnertime, I have had no gallbladder upsets or attacks.  It will be one month of gallstone free symptoms on March 7.   I feel really good and am eating normally, including a tart apple a day.  I also eat a lot of Kale and other bitter foods as well as my homemade tart yogurt, as my body craves bitter and tart things.    And, drinking the diluted vinegar in apple juice is savory and a great tonic, almost like drinking 3 inches of fine wine.

My question is:  If I have no more gallbladder attacks, is it safe for me to keep my gallbladder, even though I have the two larger gallstones?  I have one more year until I'm 65 and on Medicare and I'd like to be able to wait until then to have my gallbladder out (if necessary).  Right now, I have a high deductible health insurance and sure don't want to have a gallbladder surgery I have to pay for this year.  

What do you have to say about the apple cider vinegar and nutrition?  Can a person have gallstones and still keep the gallbladder, if there are no further "attacks" and can certain foods gently change the way the gallbladder functions and perhaps through time lessen the size of the gallstones?   My belief is that the body can do miraculous things sometimes if a person does "common sense" things.

I would appreciate your input on this post.

Thanks in advance..... Jody
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Oh, several things I forgot to tell you.  Within the last six months, I inadvertently lost approximately 10 pounds or so...went from 135 to 125 or so, as I was extremely physical in going up and down stairs when preparing for a move from one house to another.

Also, besides the ultrasound, I had a HIDA scan, and the gallbladder was visualized right away.  The HIDA report says "prompt filling of gallbladder".

I thought that info might be important for you to respond to my last post.

Thanks again...you are providing a valuable service in helping people.

jody
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Oh, golly, I hope I'm not a pain in the butt.  This is the last of the info that I'd like you to know.  In the HIDA scan, they did not inject the cck, as the Ultrasound previously showed the gallstones.  As indicated before, the gallbladder filled promptly.

Also, in the 6 "gallstone attacks" I had, none put me in the hospital...they were just hours of nausea, sweating and between shoulder blades back ache...never pain that would put me in the ER.  In one "attack", after hours of nausea, I drank a tbsp of apple cider vinegar in water and ate a handful of iceburg lettuce, quickly went to the bathroom, and in an instant, the attack subsided.

jody

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2827584_tn?1340583296
I am glad that you have had a good month. The nature of gallbladder disease is intermittent problems. I would reiterate that the reason to undergo surgery is that it is less risky than keeping your gallbladder. Waiting until it is an emergency situation merely maximizes the risk of a bad outcome.
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Thank you Dr. Watters.  I appreciate your response.
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I had my second HIDA scan in two years yesterday. I had the results of normal left on my voicemail today. I wanted to cry. I've  got classic symptoms,had all the tests, been admitted to the hospital with intense pain, but still have my gallbladder . Why? Because my tests are normal and even though everything points to having surgery, without an abnormal test, evidentially I'm just going to have to suffer...
What can I do to get over this hurdle? Even with insurance, paying for my co-pay part is getting expensive to keep repeating all the same tests.
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2827584_tn?1340583296
There are several conditions that give similar symptoms. What other tests have you had? As for the HIDA, were any of your symptoms reproduced when the CCK was infused?
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