Gall Stones and Gall Bladder Surgery

Although gall bladder surgery brings in significant revenue for hospitals and physicians,
the research clearly shows that simple dietary changes can result in
dramatic and immediate health improvements for people with gall stones.
All of this without the risks and side effects of gall bladder surgery.
Unfortunately, once gall stones have been diagnosed by a physician,
the research on the effectiveness of dietary interventions is not conveyed to the patient.

Information for this article was located from the
University of Florida, Medical Library in Gainesville, Florida.
and researched by Richard Pressinger (M.Ed.) and Jerry Abraham (M.B.A)

The Gall Bladder - What does it do?

The Gall Bladder is a small pear-shaped sac that stores and concentrates bile. It is connected to the liver (which produces the bile) by the hepatic duct. When food containing fat reaches the small intestine, the hormone cholecystokinin is produced by cells in the intestinal wall and carried to the gall bladder via the bloodstream. The hormone causes the gall bladder to contract, forcing bile into the common bile duct. A valve, which opens only when food is present in the intestine, allows bile to flow from the common bile duct into the duodenum (upper intestine) where it functions in the process of fat digestion. Sometimes the substances contained in bile crystallize in the gall bladder, forming gallstones. These small, hard concretions are more common in persons over 40, especially in women and the obese. They can cause inflammation of the gall bladder, a disorder that produces symptoms similar to those of indigestion, especially after a fatty meal is consumed. If a stone becomes lodged in the bile duct, it produces severe pain.
Cholecystitis (Gallstone Inflammation)
Evidence of an Environmental Disease
The local Melbourne physician said she would die without the surgery. He said removal of her gallbladder was the only way we could stop the painful attacks in her upper abdomen. The patient was the 80 year grandmother of a close friend of mine in Melbourne Beach, Florida. She was suffering pains on a regular basis, however the research shows the risk of her dying from the anesthesia alone was over 1% - too great as far as we were concerned. What other options did we have with this common disease known as Cholecystitis?

To find out as much as we could regarding gallstones and the gallbladder removal epidemic, we spent four days at the University of Florida Medical Library researching the medical journals for information. The first thing which shocked us is how common this disease really is: Each year over 500,000 people are admitted into hospitals for gallbladder disease. Two-thirds of them are treated surgically. In studies of 60-90 year people, 60% of the women and 30-50% of men were found to have gallstones. The other surprising factor was how the incidence of the disease differs dramatically among populations. A large study in India found North Indians had gall stones seven times higher than South Indians. The only difference between the two groups was that the North Indians were found to consume 8-19 times more saturated fats in their diet. South Indians were found to use unsaturated fats and consume larger amounts of rice.

What you're about to read may surprise you, in fact, physicians rarely convey this information, as it would create significant doubt with the patient and among family members. However, by implementing the strategies you're about to read - the 80 year old grandmother was 90% symptom free after 1 week and completely cured of her gallstones and gallbladder problems within two weeks. She never had a return of any gallbladder problems after beginning this diet.

Another 55 year old man by the name of Dennis who resided in Vero Beach, Florida also used these strategies after being diagnosed with a serious gallstone problem. He too was symptom free within one week.

If you decide to try the gallbladder - gallstone correction interventions below, let us know your results. As you'll see, the information simply "makes sense" and is information that needs to reach the public and is why we have spent hundreds of hours on this project and are providing the information at no cost. We only ask that after your symptoms disappear upon beginning the strategies outlined by the researchers, please share your experience with us so that we can post it on this site. This way you will be helping thousands of other patients who would have otherwise been pushed into unnecessary and dangerous surgery.

Inflammation of the Gallbladder - Cholecystitis
Inflammation of the gallbladder (also called cholecystitis) is caused by stones forming in the gallbladder. It occurs in two phases. In the first phase, stones become lodged in the cystic duct (this is the duct which carries bile from the gallbladder to the intestine). The gallbladder contracts against this obstruction, resulting in "biliary colic," a steady epigastric pain. If the obstruction continues, the second phase begins. The gallbladder then becomes inflamed, causing a steady pain localized in the upper right quadrant. A blockage of the bile to the intestine can also cause a rise of bilirubin in the blood, resulting in jaundice (since the bilirubin can't escape into the bile for excretion).

Why do Gallstones Form?
The research indicates that 80-90% of all gallstones are cholesterol gallstones. They form in the gallbladder because the liver begins secreting bile that is unusually saturated with cholesterol (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 1985:44). The cholesterol then crystallizes to form stones while in storage in the gallbladder or cystic duct. The specific mechanisms in the body which cause the bile to reach these high cholesterol levels are not entirely known. However, the liver appears to play a large part in this process since it is the source for making bile from which gallstones form. Other evidence, which we'll discuss later, shows that stones can form because the amount of bile acids and bile lecithin are low. Bile acids and lecithin act as an emulsifier in the bile within the gallbladder. Therefore, any inefficiency in this emulsifying process would accelerate the formation of stones. Upon understanding this, to correct the problem without surgery would suggest we need to find a way to make the liver operate more efficiently so it can produce bile that is less concentrated with cholesterol and more concentrated with the emulsifying bile acids and lecithin.

Dietary Differences
Increase Gallstone Formation
While investigating the gallbladder research at University of Florida's medical library, we found several studies which pinpointed dietary factors as the primary reason for gallstone formation.

In research published in 1983 from the University Department of Medicine, the scientists stated,

"Bile is significantly more saturated with cholesterol after 6 weeks on a refined carbohydrate diet (white flour and sugar) than after a similar period on an unrefined carbohydrate diet (whole wheat and grains)."

The effect of the refined carbohydrate diet might then be expected to increase the risk of cholesterol gallstone formation. In this study, the percentage of chenodeoxycholic acid (a bile acid known to be capable of lowering bile cholesterol saturation) was not significantly different in the two diets. This suggests that the reduction in gallstones from eliminating white flour and white sugar comes from some other mechanism besides the bile acid dissolving potential.

Another study, published in the 1983 journal Experientia, investigated the effect of Pectin and Cellulose in the ability to actually dissolve stones in test animals. The results indicated that cellulose (found in crisp fruits and vegetables) is able to "slightly" decrease the rate of gallstone formation. It was not, however, able to reduce the size of pre-established gall stones. Pectin (found mainly in apples) has a greater effect in stopping gallstone formation and of great interest, was found to dissolve pre-established stones as well!!!

Administration of diets including fat emulsion resulted in an increase in phospholipid concentration in the blood and liver (Lecithin is an example of a phospholipd). Therefore, phospholilpds (lecithin) may reduce the stone forming condition in the bile.
(Surgery, 1980:88).

Another dietary factor found to lower cholesterol levels in the gallbladder includes basic "wheat bran." (American Journal of Surgery, 1978).

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, it was shown that vegetarian women had a much lower incidence of gallstones than non-vegetarian women. Of the 632 non-vegetarians, overall occurrence of gallstones was 25%. Vegetarians had only half as many problems, with only 12% being found to have gallstones.

A 1979 dietary survey reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found whole wheat flour intake was low in the diet of subjects with gallstones.

A study strongly linking diet and gallstone formation was published in the journal Lipids. Researchers studied the direct effects of meat and vegetable proteins on gallstone formation in test animals. Gallstone incidence was greater among animals fed meat proteins.

"Bile acid concentrations within the vegetable protein fed groups were significantly higher than within the meat protein fed groups. The meat protein fed animals showed a significantly higher percentage of cholesterol in the bile fluid. As the percentage of cholesterol increased in the bile, the percentage of bile acids was found to decrease....
"Upon administration of a diet containing vegetable protein (in the form of soybeans), gallstones were dissolved."

To summarize the results of the previous studies investigating the causes of gall stone formation, it strongly suggests the following interventions should be tried before opting for surgery:

1) Consume Whole Grains (unrefined)

2) Increase Vegetable Protein (especially soy products )

3) Consume foods containing Pectin (Apples)

4) Consume foods containing Cellulose (Celery and Crisp Fruits & Vegetables)

5) Reduce (eliminate) Saturated Fat intake

6) Reduce (eliminate) Animal Meat intake

7) Eliminate all White Flour Products Immediately

8) Eliminate (at least reduce substantially) Drinks and Foods Containing White Sugar

An additional note:
Since maximum liver function is essential for proper bile formation, it is also important to reduce chemical stress upon the liver (remember, the liver produces the bile which must have proper levels of cholesterol, bile acids and lecithin and synthetic chemicals are well known for weakening liver function). Therefore, it is important you look carefully at your lifestyle habits and eliminate as many chemical sources as possible that may compromise proper liver function. This may include chemicals in the home or job such as solvents, gasoline, paints, fingernail polish, hair sprays, facial cosmetic products, vinyl products, pesticides, artificial food additives (a very important factor) such as artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservative chemicals such as sodium benzoate and others. In other words, begin eating natural based foods, rather than foods containing petroleum based products used to enhance flavors and shelf life. Lets save the petroleum products for our automobiles......

That's it, the above 8 suggestions are the main points brought out by the scientists in the previously mentioned research articles. In our situation, the doctor said my friend's grandmother would "die" if she didn't get the surgery (he didn't tell us the figures show she had over a 1% chance of dying with surgery since she was over 80 years old). She didn't die, and after one week on the above diet she never had another gallbladder pain again. So when your doctor suggests you remove your gallbladder with this over $2000 surgery, we strongly suggest you tell him you would first like to get a "second opinion" - this will give you enough time to try these thoroughly researched dietary changes for one week, and is usually all the time needed to stop the gallbladder pain and begin the healing process. We apologize for any loss of income to physicians whose livelihood depends on gallbladder removal, but these techniques are just too effective and important for people currently experiencing gallstone problems.