Edit: This was written end Dec 2010. It didn't work. For the latest on progress, see D day here.
So, you want a cure eh? Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news
I’m several months into my own self-diagnosed cure now. You can see all the updates of here on D Day, where I'm counting down to getting a check up to see if it's all worked. It absolutely is - I have every confidence when I finally get this scan done (see the clock on the right), they’ll be nothing to see. All my gallstones will have disappeared.
The bad news
1) I’m not a doctor, you have to make your own call as to whether I’m a crackpot or not. If it’s any help, I believe Gillian McKeith is to nutrition what Milli Vanilli was to music.
2) I believe that gallstones are a sign of a pretty serious deficiency. If you don’t address it now, it will come back to haunt you in many other ways; heart diseases, cancers, arthritis. Really. Consider it a serious warning sign – what you are eating is not proving your body what it needs
3) Even if you’ve had your gallbladder out, you still need to address this. Ever wonder why people still get gallstone pain after they’ve had gallbladder surgery? You carry on eating the same stuff… well, you fill in the blanks.
4) These dietary changes should be permanent.
When looking through the dietary changes, you must think about it in context of your own diet. If you eat 10 packets of crisps every day, well you’re producing so much bile that you’ll need a ton of minerals to maintain balanced bile. If you eat as I did, a so called ‘healthy’ diet, rich in grain, then you probably know what’s coming.
1) Eat more foods rich in minerals. Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are ideal. Pineapple. Dark chocolate (go easy), nuts. Ensure you eat fats in your diet too so you can actually absorb these nutrients otherwise it’s pointless
2) Reduce all grain and legumes consumption. Grains and legumes inhibit absorption of the very minerals you need to produce balanced bile.
3) Eliminate gluten. I mean totally, and utterly. Follow a celiac diet. I know a lot of people would rather have their gallbladders out than do this, but you need to. Gluten damages the absorption of the lining of your stomach for celiacs and non-celiacs alike. Read it. Be horrified. Then realise what that means in terms of nutrition worldwide. Then think about why everyone’s fat. But either way, you need to get shot of gluten.
4) Reduce sugar. I’ve not covered it here in any detail but sugar provides zero nutrients yet demands nutrients to counter the effect of spiking your blood sugar, with magnesium being one of the biggest minerals it depends on.
5) Go easy on the trigger foods - eggs, pork, onions, fowl, milk, coffee, oranges, corn, beans, nuts, apples, tomatoes. I don’t avoid them, but simply don’t repeat them daily.
1) A daily multivitamin. Of course you should be getting all your nutrients from your food. But you weren’t, otherwise you wouldn’t be in this bleeding mess would you? Especially ensure you’re taking enough vitamin C – it’s been shown to be protective against gallstones.
2) Rowachol. Rowachol is a terpene preparation. It’s made from plants, and increases turnover of your bile, which as we know reduces chance of getting gallstones. Not only that but it has been shown in clinical trials to eliminate gallstones.It is available on the NHS – it isn’t some crank cure. 12% showed complete dissolution after 6 month, 16% partial. 72% nothing of course but if you know why you’re getting them, you’ll be fine. It works by stimulating production of bile, increasing turnover in the gallbladder. Note, there is some evidence to suggest the active ingredient in Rowachol that’s causing this is peppermint oil, so you might want to take enteric coated peppermint oil tablets instead.
3) Epsom salts (which gives you magnesium). Part of the folk cure of the ‘liver flush’, you’ll often see recommendations to down some of these before drinking yourself to a vomitous fury with olive oil. Save your olive oil for a salad and instead when you get really bad symptoms of gallbladder pain, chuck a couple of tablespoons in the bath. It absorbs through the skin, and given your likely GI tract absorption issues, it’s a damn site more effective and pleasant to have a bath than to knock back the salts direct.
3 >> Medical studies
5 >> The gallstone cure
6 >> D Day updates
Picture of Nick Farnhill's breadstick