Frequently Asked Questions
1. My gallbladder has been removed. Why do I still have symptoms, such as nausea, burping, bloating, gas, and pain?
Removing the gallbladder does not always address the problem in the body that is causing these symptoms. In order to break down and digest fats, your body must produce bile, which is done in the liver. Your gallbladder is merely a sac for holding the bile that the liver produces. Whether or not you have had your gallbladder removed, your liver is still producing bile in order to digest fats. Without the gallbladder, however, the bile is not as readily secreted in the body, and the liver can become overwhelmed when faced with large amounts of any fats, especially saturated fats and hydrogenated fats. And for some people even small amounts of fats can cause discomfort. (One of the side effects of gallbladder removal can be the dumping of bile which is not as easily regulated now which sends someone running to the bathroom immediately after eating.) More common is a decrease in the secretion of bile. If the bile produced by the liver becomes thick and sluggish, painful symptoms and bile stones can occur. The easiest way to avoid this is to take an external supplement of bile salts to help your body with the digestion of fats. And do a series of mini gallbladder flushes. Supplemental bile salts, available in the After Gallbladder Removal Kit should be taken frequently along with some herbs to help stimulate your own digestive juices (also in the kit). Alternating the dosage of bile salts will help to mimic the body's way of secreting bile. For example, take one with breakfast, two at lunch, three at dinner, four with breakfast the next day, and so on in rotation.
2. What can I do to avoid a gallbladder attack, or prevent another one?
If you never want to experience the pain of a gallbladder attack, order The Starter Kit, which includes Fos Formula (Phosphoric liquid). Taking the Phosphoric liquid may prevent the onset of a gallbladder attack, and keeping it with you at all times will prepare you for any unexpected symptoms. If you wish to change your diet to further prevent an attack, consult my newsletters with dietary tips. These products in combination with diet are designed to help to relieve the pressure from the gallbladder, thin the bile, and relieve nausea, vomiting, indigestion, dizziness, and the pain you may be experiencing between your right ribcage and right shoulder blade.
3. What can I do while having an attack?
See the instructions included with your kit. If you do not have the kit yet, drink 1/4 cup of beet juice and repeat every half hour or take the Beet Recipe as directed. Once your symptoms are under control (or sooner) get online and order The Starter Kit. Expect to stay on these products for several months and then move on to do a liver cleansing. Read about the relationship between liver, bile and gallbladder in question 1 at the top of this page, so that you understand the root of your problem. Continue drinking beet juice three to four times a day while waiting for your product to arrive. While beets work to thin the bile and relieve your immediate symptoms, the products are more concentrated, deeper acting, more comprehensive, and altogether more convenient. Most people do not want to juice beets with every meal.
4. What kind of diet should I follow since I have been diagnosed with gallstones or gallbladder problems, or if my gallbladder has been removed?
Please consult the Gallbladder diet page for good foods for gallbladder and foods to avoid, or follow one of our Gallbladder Diet Plans, strict for pain or the moderate one. If your gallbladder has been removed, you should be replacing bile salts your body is not making with the products in the After Gallbladder Removal Kit. You also need help with the bile flow from the liver and digestive enzymes and help with that is provided in the kit. If you have stones or suffer attacks or other gallbladder-related symptoms, use the Starter Kit with Fos Formula since the bile function in your body is impaired, along with your ability to digest fats. I have learned from all of you that peoples' reactions to foods are not consistent at all, especially the common recommendation to avoid leafy greens. The worst offenders I hear about from my readers are fatty foods, including eggs and cheese. A few react to greens while many don't. The greens help to detoxify the liver. So you will have to experiment as every body is different.
5. What can I do to avoid gallbladder removal surgery?
Order The Starter Kit with menu plans and read our newsletter weekly to educate yourself about your symptoms and options. Include beets in your diet with at least 2 out of 3 meals in the beginning.
6. Can I have any fats since my gallbladder was removed?
You cannot live without fats. Every cell membrane in your body is made with fat. Fats feed the brain, and many hormones are made with fat. What is important is what kind of fats you are eating. Avoid fried foods, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, and refined oils. Instead of these, try to use unrefined virgin olive oil, or flax oil in your food. Avoid cheese and dairy in general. Unless your gallbladder was defective in some way, the reason you had it removed is more related to your eating habits, or the state of your liver. Your diet should be the same whether you have had your gallbladder removed or not. It is very important to maintain a diet that helps your liver to digest fats properly and that helps the liver to do its job of filtering toxins. It is also important to give it the tools it needs in order to do its job, i.e. real nutrients, and to avoid piling up its workload by eating highly processed food, preservatives, bad fats and other toxic foods. Avoid eating at fast food restaurants, and ask about oils used even at good restaurants.
7. Should I have my gallbladder removed?
As a disclaimer, you must ask your doctor this question. Based on comments people have made to me, it seems that there are times when removal is necessary, but this is only rarely. When the gallbladder is full of bile stones and the bile duct is blocked, emergency surgery is often needed. Also, if the gallbladder is gangrenous, infected, or ripped, removing it is often the only option. A motility problem that cannot be resolved other ways is another reason, but I feel that trying other ways first makes sense. However, what I see (and I may be a site of "last resort") is that a peoples' symptoms will often continue after they have had their gallbladder removed. This is because the root of the problem in the body has not been treated even though the gallbladder has been taken out. For more explanation, see question 1 at the top.
8. Can you have a negative gallbladder blood test, and still have gallbladder problems?
Blood tests are not the usual or only test performed for gallbladder. I'm assuming you are referring to a liver function test. The answer to this test is yes. Blood tests in general tend to show problems only when they are advanced, with the exception of a blockage. Even if your blood test was negative, it is possible that your gallbladder is having undetectable problems and you are suffering the symptoms. Everyone has had the experience of feeling lousy, lethargic, and sickly, yet knowing that a doctor's appointment is pointless. As such, your gallbladder can be problematic without being extreme enough to show up on the blood test. And finding no stones or sludge on a scan also does not mean that you are home free. After all, you are the one with the discomfort and asking the question. Do you believe there is no problem?
9. Is gallbladder health hereditary?
Current thought believes gallbladder health to be hereditary, yet it is equally important to acknowledge the role of inherited dietary habits in the functioning of the gallbladder.
10. Should I get a second opinion on gallbladder surgery?
As with any surgery, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion. Ask both the doctors their reasons for suggesting surgery. Is it absolutely medically necessary? Is the gallbladder infected or torn or is he suggesting it because you have sludge, or stones or have had an attack and he is trying to avoid you having to experience pain? Surgery has been recommended without any of the above and with no signs of sludge either. It just seems like a good way to avoid getting into pain again. Find out WHY your gallbladder needs to come out. What exactly is wrong with it?
11. What can I eat when everything causes pain?
Order the Starter Kit and drink 1/4 cup of beet juice three to four times a day, and eat green soup (found under quick links).
12. Can I take these products while I'm pregnant?
Yes. We have a kit specifically for pregnancy which leave out the Fos Formula to err on the safe side. Take 2-3 Beet caps per meal. And drink beet juice and use the beet recipe.
13. How do I know if I'm having a gallbladder attack?
Know that the severity of gallbladder attacks may vary from moderate pain (below the right ribcage and sometimes extending back into the right shoulder blade) to excruciating pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and/or chills and fever or cold sweats. Nausea and vomiting after a meal on a frequent basis (without pain) could also be considered a form of a gallbladder attack. But a trip to the ER will confirm it for you.
14. I'd like to do a flush, but I'm a little hesitant about the possibility of a gallstone getting stuck in the duct. If I follow your dietary suggestions, eat right, use the beet recipes, etc, can I expect that the stones will begin to "dissolve" on their own, to the point where I could do a flush later (in a couple months, year, etc?)
I suggest you do the Start Kit plus Fos Formula and Peppermint Capsules (if you know you have stones) rather than depending on dietary changes alone. But the products alone also need the support of a good diet. I would not suggest the flush until you've been on those products for 5-6 months. And you do not want to attempt a flush if you have large stones at all. Start on the liver detox kit within a month or 2 as the liver is where the bile is made.
15. Is it possible for gall bladder trouble to be linked to menstruation? I only have attacks a few days after I start, and I have no trouble after I stop. My husband's aunt's trouble seemed to be linked to her period too, but I can't find any information on if they are connected. I wonder if other women have experienced this?
I have not heard of a gallbladder link with menstruation before nor have I not run across it myself. However, as a practitioner, I have seen lots of strange things linked to periods. Anything that recurs monthly during that time is connected. And it is highly likely that you would be prone to more gallbladder problems during pregnancy since the high cholesterol/hormones during pregnancy often cause symptoms, if not stone formation. My suggestion would be to see it as a true gallbladder problem and to treat it accordingly, i.e. change your diet to exclude fatty foods and especially during that time of the month; eat specific foods such as beets and products like bile salts to thin the bile and prevent sludge and stones from forming Study our list of 30 or more causes of gallbladder disease as well.
16. I had my gallbladder removed 4 weeks ago and about 2 days ago I started having the same pain. Now I can't eat anything except liquids. Why could this be happening?
Sounds like you may have a stone stuck in a bile duct. You need to call your gastro or surgeon and have it checked out.