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Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Avatar universal

Liver Cleansing - Does it Really Work?

I have posted many times but am still in pain and trying to make it stop.  What is the best liver cleanse to use?  I need a good cheap recipe.  I'll try anything.  My pain is back and I am scared.. will this really work..??? Nothing I read about a narrowed duct is good.  

I've started taking Milk Thistle for my Liver and I drink alot of Apple juice..

My Symptoms are:
Elevated Liver Enzymes
MRI showed a narrowing in the Left Hepatic Duct
High Cholesterol
Low Iron
High TIBC
Upper Right Quadrant Pain that radiates around to the flank area.
Gall Bladder Removed Dec. 01
Weight GAIN
Constipation
(antibiotics take pain away.. )Any ideas....
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry to hear that your pain is back.  What does it feel like?  Mine has changed some over time.  Now that I've been eating light and avoiding fat, it's better, but I do have some sharp burning pains starting inside(on the right) and going out to my right side.  Almost like someone just ran a lighted match through me.  Movement seems to make it worse.

I have not tried the liver flush, but am afraid of problems it could cause.  I did read that lemon juice or any citris juice helps cleanse the liver, so I was planning to try to drink some of that to see how it does (but not very much).  Also, I would not try to drink all that olive oil, it sounds like it could be dangerous.

I am avoiding any hydrogenated fat, and would recommend you do also (read the labels).  I'm only eating chicken or turkey or fish right now (broiled or grilled) and avoid all butter, etc.  Stick to vegetables and fruits, I'm also avoiding soda and sweets.

It's depressing, but I don't want the pain.  If it's bad, get your Dr. to write a prescription for Demerol or another pain reliever.
Avatar universal
I think liver cleansing is trouble waiting to happen. The only thing people are passing are balls of the olive oil they are drinking. I can't imagine people straining there bowel movements to see how many stones they passed. Drinking a bunch of oil can be so dangerous to your system - especially if you have SOD. Did you have you gallbladder removed because of stones?
Have you been tested for SOD? Testing for SOD is done by ERCP with menometry. This test does not involve dye. Dye is used for a normal ERCP. I'm sure you've read I have SOD and have been successful in getting rid of that awful pain. The pressure from mine was at 90%. I had elevated liver ensymes which made me SOD type 2. During the precedure I had a sphincteromy which took the pain away. I feel so bad reading these post and hearing of people suffering through the same pain I did. I too went to several Drs and was told by all I was fine. Must be irritable bowel, reflux, hormones what ever it was it wasn't SOD. I'm here with no pain anymore wondering why the medical population will go way out of their way - to not get involved with the biliary tract? They all just throw up their hands and say "no way" It is frustrating and depressing over time thinking we have to live with pain forever - that simply isn't true.
Avatar universal
The best liver cleanse is to eat fresh natural foods.  Avoid hydrogenated oils/fats.  Read the package labels.  Even the partially hydrogenated oils are bad for you.  Your liver cannot process them.  When I stopped eating hydrogenated oils my cholesterol and liver enzymes went back to normal.  Drink lots and lots of water.  This will help to cleanse the bad stuff out of your liver.  Get thirty minutes of exercise per day.  This can be as simple as walking.  I do a fast walk for ten minutes first thing in the morning and then do another twenty minutes at lunchtime.  Walking/exercise will also help with the cholesterol.
Avatar universal
Soccermom,
I am sorry about the pain returning too, you were on a roll there. I was doing a little better also, taking the antispasmodics. Then I tapered the dose down, and wham! the pain returned with a vengeance. I wouldn't flush my liver either. It's just too complicated of a system to be fooling around with.
Lor,
Did you read the post from Deb regarding ERCP and her mom? That is horrible and so sad. I guess that is why so many of us are so scared, and I agree with you about Dr's not wanting to get involved in the biliary tract. Lor, that post just made me say, forget it, I will live in pain if that is a possible complication, having acute pancreatitis resulting in death. I am really frightened. Even if the procedure goes right, the risk is still there, and what if your general overall health is only fair at best to begin with?
Oh I feel so bad for that person and her mother, what a horror story.
Not much else to say, except hang in there.
Taylee
Avatar universal
Hi Everyone!
Still here. I'm so sorry Deb to hear about your Mom. I think it scares all of us who suffer with SOD to have this procedure done. I , also, think I'll just live with the pain.  I think stress is a major contributor to the pain of SOD.  If we all could just go the islands (with alot of money) be waited on hand and foot and nibble on pineapple and papaya and bask in the sun feeling that warm ocean breeze gently blowing through our hair, I think that might help...Couldn't hurt! Oh, well, back to reality, I wouldn't do the liver cleanse. My body hates me as it is .....why would I want to do something that would make it angrier.  I'll just stick to the low-fat diet and applejuice!.....Aniee
Avatar universal
Sounds great, when do we all leave, I'm going to the Jersey Shore in July, I can pretend I'm on an island ha. I too think stress pays a major roll.

Is the apple juice helping you? how often do you take it?
I gave up on it.. maybe I should try again.. This is my second day w/out the Nexium.. not too bad.. pain still there but nothing that will kill me. It will probably take awhile for my system to get used to my natural acids again after a year without any.

Someone at work suggested that I take a "spoonfull" of olive oil at night before I go to bed w/lemon. vs. the entire "routine". I would make a salad w/it but lettuce kills me..
- Wishing all of us good health..
Avatar universal
Deb - I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, what an awful experience.I lost mine 5 years ago, god bless!!

Taylee - I saw Deb's post, no ERCP for me either. I tend to believe that Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt and Applejuice would be safer than the ERCP.

Lor, I am glad that you feel so good, your lucky. Yes, I had my gallbladder out in DEC-01, no stones, just pain and a abnormal DISIDA Scan showing delayed emptying. Surgeon said "Textbook Case" w/no problems.  Seems weird, then my liver enzymes,iron and cholesterol were normal.  All this seems to have gone haywire since the gallbladder was removed.

I was not "tested" for SOD because my Gastro Doc did not want to do an ERCP - too risky. He told me the normal ERCP was done with Contrast Medium.. (which I am alergic to) now I'm confused? you say it is not, how do they see the inside of the ducts?
I had a MRI instead.  I wonder if a narrowed hepatic duct can be something your born with and maybe it has nothing to do with my pain.  

I am taking myself off Nexium, I have been on it for almost a year now and I cannot see that it helps.. I didn't even know I had heartburn until they did my endoscopy, then I felt the burn..

After reading all the posts about how bad PPI's are for you, maybe the gallbladder surgery did work and the pain is caused by the prolonged use of a PPI... can you tell I'm grasping at straws.. ugh..  I hope it's safe to just stop taking it..

Thanks to all for the comments,suggestions and concerns.


Avatar universal
I did read about Debs mom. That shows us that the ERCP should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Things can go terribly wrong otherwise. That case is just awful. It sounds like the Dr really messed up.

Yes the normal ERCP is done with dye to be able to xray the duct and look for blockage. The ERCP with menometry is used to diagnose SOD. They only need to use saline to measure the pressure in the duct. SOD is diagnosed by the high pressure in the duct only. There are not many Drs who do the ERCP with menometry, because they are not trained to do it - and the risk for pancreatitis is higher than a normal ERCP. Perfuration can happen but very rare. My Dr is at the Borland groover clinic. The ERCP is the only precedure he does - nothing else. He feels if your going to do it you should be well practiced and know what you are doing. He does them everyday. You can look them up at borland-groover.com
Avatar universal
I believe olive oil is using for cooking. I do use it in my kitchen.
Avatar universal
OK...It works for my mom.  My mother is a very soild, practical woman; if it didn't work, she would let the world know. She does not do it very often, but is has been a life saver for her.

Also, she can tell when an attack is coming her way, and she stops eating butter, sour cream, & etc. She also says that lecithin helps...and it helps high choles., too.  I have no idea why? Perhaps it keeps the chloes. in a liquid state & it passes through the body instead of sticking to you?????

I had a niece that at 22, needed her gallblader removed because of stones.  A week before the operation, I told her about the flush.  It made her feel yuky.  Next week, she had her operation anyway.  The dr. said that once he was in there, it didn't look as bad as he thought it was.  I still wonder if she really needed the operation or not. ????  (Her diet consist of McDonalds, & more McDonalds.  No fruit or veg.  no wonder she was having a hard time.)

by the way.....Olive oil is wonderful!  Three months ago my choles. was 287 & trig. at 488.  YIKES!  I changed my diet a bit...but not much! I thought that I would try Endur-actin (a b vit supplement that is slow release) for trig. & cholest....but I decided that first, I would change my diet.  

My doctor wanted to put me on meds., but I refused.  I thought that a few months more of high choles. & trig.  was not going to kill me.  (( LOOK...I LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT.  lol! ))  My doctor said that diet was not enough to change anything.  

I started eating Oatmeal every morning.  ...and cut out almost all fat...no butter at all. I switched to oilve oil.  I use tons of olive oil & use also use 1T of flaxseed oil a day on my salad.  I can't use lemon juice...because it gives me migrains....but I use raw apple cider vinager.

The mediterrain diet is very healthy & they use tons of olive oil.  They use olives for everything...including the leafs!  (They have anit-biotic properties.)

It's funny, because now I eat lots of protein...1/3 comes from fish.  Before I was leaning toward lots of meatless meals.  Go fingure?  I feel pretty good now & have lost 12 pounds in three months. ?????  I think I eat more now that I use too????  But...no bad fats.

Anyway, to make a very long story shorter... 3 months later
Cholest. 207  ...Trig. 168   Not bad, Huh?  
Avatar universal
Thank you both for your positive feedback on liver flush.  I will keep it in mind.  As I posted before, I have decided to stop taking my Nexium after reading all the negitive feedback about Nexium at large doses for large periods of time.  I was taking 40mg. a day and had been for almost 7 mos.  Then my Dr. changed it to 80mg!

Well I took a GOOD LOOK at the side effects of Nexium; gastritis, upper ab. pain, abnormal hepatic function,abnormal liver enzymes, elevated cholesterol,anemia. Of course, these were all in the small print.. I have all these symptoms..
It also said that most people should only take it for up to 16 weeks..

I stopped taking it on Monday.  It was a rough couple of days but my pain has almost ALL subsided.. I can still feel a twing but nothing like it was before.. When I started to feel a little burn I took a couple TUMS and it worked.. I am crossing my fingers...
Avatar universal
Just wanted to wish you the best of luck.  I always hate drugs and really try to find something natural if possible.   Thats not to say that mediciine is bad; on the contrary, it is wonderful.  However, after saying that, I also must say that medicine only helps the symtoms and does not (usually) correct the under-lying problem.  Last night I watched an advertisment for an alergy medicine.  It helped you catch your breath and your eyes would not be red, But...you could have a heart attack, excessive bowel movements, you might throw up all of the time, and sometimes it causes death....but, other than that..it was great!

You know, I really think that a switch over to using olive oil and cutting out the bad fats would produce results for many people.  Think about Crisco...It DOES NOT MELT IN YOUR HAND...AND IT IS NOT GOING TO MELT IN YOUR BODY.  

If you are thinking about a liver flush, I would take a conservative approch.   It might not hurt to experiment with a 1/2 dose or less?  I also understand that a small does of Epsion salts opens up everything and makes it easier for the stones to pass.  I forget why now?  

I also think that we cause a lot of trouble by not eating right.  (This is just my opinion...and don't know anything. :)

I might add that I am not a health nut, but every 3-5 months I start juicing vegetables and start drinking pure water.  Power-packed nutrition...I even take vitamins.   When I do this, I feel very good.  ( Then when I feel great, I start eating junk food again. ??? )

When I think about our bodies, I believe that they are designed to heal and regenerate (if we have not damaged them too badly.)
It is just a question of giving them the right building blocks to do this.  Shebee
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