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Old 11-23-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
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Gallbladder Cleanse

Without going into great detail, I need to do a gallbladder cleanse. Right after my daughter was born my gallbladder started acting up, due to the pregnancy and then loosing weight at a ridiculously fast pace. I'm on a gluten free vegan diet so there is next to no fat in there and yet my gallbladder is still acting up, I haven't eaten or slept in 5 days because of the pain, so I think it's time that I do it even though I was holding off because I was breast feeding.

Has anyone done this while breast feeding? How worried should I be about the cleanse - it's just olive oil and apple juice, nothing like crazy drastic - just some relief from the constant pain.

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

mama. I have to say I would not vote for a cleanse. I had major gallbladder issues during my last pregnancy, which eventually began causing pancreatitis which can be fatal and is very dangerous. We had to do an emergency induction and deliver my son at 35w2d. I knew this surgery was coming months beforehand so I researched and talked to lots of people including my GI, my homeopathic physician and 2 surgeons. Nearly everyone advised against a cleanse for 3 reasons. First, if you have recurrent pain that is intense, you are likely way beyond the scope of a cleanse. The cleanses are recommended for people with some nauseau and discomfort after eating, not people in pain. Stones cause pain, sludge causes nauseau and discomfort and improper digestion. Cleanses can be extremely dangerous for those with stones. This is reason two. The pancreas and gallbladder share the same duct eventually. Its very tiny. A cleanse can loosen gall sludge which is like a goo and send it down the duct, however, it will also send some stones down the duct with the sludge. Some may be big enough to get stuck and then you have a very dangerous situation that is acute and requires immediate intervention. This can shut down your pancreas which is what produces insulin and keeps your blood sugars regulated. Sort of the key to your body making and using fuel to survive. The rest of your body starves without the pancreas doing its job. Thirdly, cleansing releases lots of toxins into the body on their way out, something strongly advised against during breastfeeding or pregnancy. The final reason was your body is genetically predisposed to make an excess of gooey bile if you are already eating low fat but experiencing gall issues. Cleansing your sludge now is temporary, you will likely revisit this issue repeatedly.

I wish I had better news but it sounds to me like you need a doctor not a cleanse. Sounds like you have stones not sludge. Unrelenting pain especially with a low fat diet, likely means you have stones that are blocking your bile duct. A cleanse could be very dangerous for you to enter into without knowing what's all going on with your GB and duct. I would consult your physician asap.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:20 AM   #3
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

I agree with PP. I had pain for a a couple of days and then woke up jaundiced one morning. I ended up having an emergency procedure because stones were in my bile duct. I had much rather been able to go in and schedule it. Not to mention that since I had stones, I had to have another surgery to remove the gallbladder after that. I'll listen to my body from now on.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

My bile duct was damaged after a very large stone got lodged in it after a cleanse, I then had to have emergency surgery and have to have my liver functions tested twice a year. I would say if you are having that much pain, you need to see a doctor, do not attempt the cleanse!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

Thanks mama's - I went to the doctor because my eyes turned yellow. They are ordering scan number 2 of my gallbladder so we will see what happens....can I still breastfeed though?
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

Are they just doing a u/s or a function test? If it's just a u/s then you are clear, I am not sure about the function test b/c of that stuff you have to drink. I would ask the doctor(or call your local LLL leader, they will most likely know or know someone who does!).
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

Just the u/s, I've had one done before a few months ago - they said it was just full of sludge. I guess I'm most worried about breastfeeding and jaundice.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

I will say that the morning I had my removal surgery, I had another U/S of the duct and GB and it showed lots of tiny stones but nothing major. Symptomatically, the situation was extreme and my bloodwork showed there was something major going on so we went ahead. Well, turns out the GB was packed full of little stones and sludge. Most surprising was that the duct that appeared clear on U/S was found 2 hours later in surgery to be inflamed and blocked. (I had had no food for 36 hrs and no water for 12 hrs so it was not a development that occurred in the 2 hours). Even the surgeon was shocked and I awoke from my GB removal being told that the endoscopy specialist would be down to see me and schedule our procedure 2 hours later. The following day I had endoscopy to clear the bile duct which is conscious sedation and very easy on the patient. Imagine, 6 large stones lodged in the duct that never once showed on U/S. If you are jaundiced I would be in for bloodwork to check your lipase for sure. You could have a stone lodged in your duct and it not show at all on Ultrasound. GL mama and hope you get some resolution soon.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: Gallbladder Cleanse

Yes, do be careful. I got a stone stuck in my common bile duct. I was jaundiced and very close to liver damage. Had to have the endoscpy procedure to remove the stone. Then two days later I had the gallbladder removed. You do have a few issues after the gallblader is removed. But, as far as I'm concerned it was worth it. I'd do it over and over...
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