The Gall of It All!

Posted on September 10th, 2012, by iMinerva


I’m very fortunate to have been blessed with good health.  Thanks for the genes, Mom.  So it was quite a surprise when I landed in the Emergency Room with a renegade gallstone.  That happens to friends – not me.

Wake up Beaulah!  This body has some miles on it and the parts and pieces are not quite as adaptive – and forgiving – as they used to be.  I’d been experiencing “indigestion,”  bloating and general discomfort for several days but assumed it was about to disappear.  It must have been the artichoke spinach dip and gingered sea bass at lunchtime that finally tipped the scale. Tums and Gas-X had no effect at all.

FYI — the gallbladder is on the right side under the liver and part of an ingenious filtration plumbing process involving the liver and the pancreas handling bile as part of the digestive process.  Symptoms of a gallbladder problem are similar to those of a heart attack in women:  pain that radiates to the back, nausea, indigestion, etc., but they typically occur on your right side with pain under your breast and your back wing bone, or the middle of your chest..  If you have any of these symptoms – on either side of your body – call your doctor or go directly to the emergency room.  If you are suffering with a gallbladder issue, that nasty bile probably is not being processed.  The longer you wait, the more things will back-up and the greater the chance for more serious conditions including inflammation of the gallbladder and pancreas.

Fortunately, I didn’t need surgery, just a “procedure” involving a tube down the esophagus to pluck out that stone stuck in the bile duct.  The future may – or may not – take me back for removal of the gallbladder, an organ that seems to be a superfluous add-on to the body.  Most often, this is now a laparoscopic operation which may be handled on an outpatient basis with a minimal recovery period….and few diet restrictions.

Diet— now there’s a good topic.  Seems that diet is clearly the problem with Fat the primary culprit here as well as high sugar intake and cholesterol.  My doc claims that most gallbladder cases occur following a pizza party.  So I’m now on the low-fat/no-fat bandwagon.  This means ice cream only as a special treat, little cheese and butter, no fried foods (had potato salad last night instead of fries).

Apparently, I also need to add more fiber in my day.  Studies show “slow intestinal transit” also can contribute to gallstone formation.  I just bought some Flax which Dr. Oz swears by as a superior fiber source as well as providing Omega-3.  I’ll focus on “regularity” with help from Metamucil and “Smooth Move” tea.  Do I sound like my mother – or my grandmother?  That’s probably a good thing (though certainly dull).  Mom lived to 96 and died with her gallbladder intact.



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