GALLSTONES AND LIVER PROBLEMS By William G. Winter, DVM copyright 2004
Gallstones are formed in the liver and few occur in the gallbladder.
20% of the world's population will develop gallstones in the gallbladder.
95% of people in industrialized countries have gallstones in the liver. Much more common, even though rarely diagnosed. You could call them HARDENED BILE but they obstruct nonetheless.
Annually, over 600,000 Americans have their gallbladder removed and the numbers continue to increase every year.
GALLSTONES in the liver are one of the major reasons people become ill, especially chronic illness. Almost every patient with chronic illness has an excessive amount of gallstones in the liver.
LIVER CONGESTION/STAGNATION Very common but not diagnosed as there are no good tests. Blood tests for liver enzymes look normal and the stones do not show up on normal radiology because the stones are made of ìnormalî bile constituents (95% cholesterol).
~Largest gland in the body-weighs up to 3# ~Most complex and most active organ (next to the brain) in the body ~Has 50,000 lobules each with a tiny bile duct ~ Receives ìdirtyî blood from the gut AND fresh clean blood from the heart ~Receives and filters 3 pints/minute ~Manufactures cholesterol ~Manufactures hormones, proteins, crucial amino acids ~Stores vitamins and nutrients, recycles iron ~Inactivates ìusedî body hormones, alcohol, drugs (detoxification) ~Removes harmful organisms from the gut ~conjugates bilirubin (from broken red cells)- excretes it as bile pigment
GALLBLADDER ~Small muscular sack in the liver-empties into the small intestine ~Concentrates bile from liver to 1/10 of the volume ~The gallbladder normally holds about 2 oz of bile. ~Adds mucus to bile ~Triggered to eject bile when protein and especially when fat enters gut
BLOCKED BILE FLOW (flow reduced to 1 cup/day) causes problems with ~Food digestion is hindered ~Elimination of waste blocked ~Reduced detoxification of harmful substances in the blood ~Liver becomes more vulnerable to viral infection ~Can't break down aspirin, drugs, fungi, food additives > Allergies result
STONES IN THE GALLBLADDER ~Tend to be more calcified and 20% are all mineral, mainly calcium salts and bile pigments. ~85% of the stones are about 2 cm. across (up to 6 cm or larger) ~Stones contain toxins, dead parasites, bacteria, viruses ~Typically grow for about 8 years before being noticed
PURPOSE OF THE BILE (1-1.5 quarts are produced a day normally) 1) Digestion of fat AND maintains normal fat levels in blood 2) Absorption of calcium (low bile= #1 cause of lowered bone density) 3) Breakdown of protein foods 4) Removes toxins from the liver 5) Helps de-acidify the pH in intestine 6) Helps lower harmful microbes in intestine. 7) Absorption of all the fat-souble vitamins
DISEASES RELATED TO GALLSTONES IN THE LIVER
1) Diseases of the Mouth MECHANISM: Poor digestion and absorption of food, toxic waste remains in the intestine. ~Thrush (bacteria) ~Herpes infections (viral) ~Tooth Decay (from decreases saliva flow) ~Mouth ulcers (back of of bile into upper tract) 2) Diseases of the Stomach MECHANISM Regurgitation of bile into stomach> weakened defenses to pathogenic ìbugsî ~Gastritis ~Peptic or Duodenal ulcers ~Esophageal Reflux ~Malignant stomach tumors 3) Diseases of the Pancreas ~Pancreatis - especially with blockage of the common bile duct ~Malignant tumors-from impaired flow ~Both types of Diabetes 4) Diseases of the Liver ~Liver cirrhosis ~Liver failure ~Acute hepatitis, Type A, non-A, type B, and non-B ~ALLERGIES especially to drugs as the liver is not detoxifying them 5) Diseases of the Gall Bladder ~Biliary Colic- stones slip out of GB and impact in the bile duct or common bile duct. Very painful spasms. ~Cholecystis = Inflamed GB from stones and possible infection Mechanism: Stones in liver cause back-up of blood in the portal vein and elevated pressure. This backs up into the cystic vein which drains the GB and toxins and irritants build up. ~Fistula Formation ~Fibrous Adhesions 6) Intestinal Diseases Method is decreased absorption of food and build-up of fermented and putrefied food. 60% of the immune system is located in the gut! ~Diarrhea-constipation-Dysentery ~Abdominal Gas ~Crohnís Disease, Ulcerative Colitis ~Diverticulitis ~Appendicitis ~Volvulus-Intussusception-hernias ~Polyps-Benign and Malignant Tumors 7) Coronary Heart Disease Method=Blood returning to heart and circulation via the hepatic vein is still dirty, non-detoxified and bearing microbes and excess protein and amino acids (normally converted to urea in the liver and excreted in the urine). Venous blood flow is restricted putting a burden on the heart. ~Heart attack and stroke from elevated homocysteine ~Hypertension, mainly from protein-thickened blood and increased waste ~Thickened blood vessels from protein storage in the basement membrane of the blood vessels. This starves the heart muscle further ~Atherosclerosis-lipoproteins create ìpatchesî on the damaged arteries 8) Higher Cholesterol Method: The liver (and small intestine) make cholesterol and it goes directly into the blood, becomes attached to proteins (lipoproteins) which carry it to various important destinations). However when the bile pathways become clogged, the ìbadî cholesterol, LDL and VLDL (large molecules) become trapped and canít be excreted into the intestine via the bile, thus levels in the bloodstream build up excessively and become attached to blood vessel walls. N.B. STATINS- Artificially lower blood cholesterol causing more to be created by the liver which goes into the bile creating excessively large numbers of gallstones N. B. Cholesterol does far more good than harm in the body and is essential for life. Even the so-called ìbadî cholesterol patches damaged arteries and the intent is to save lives not take them. Elevated LDL is not a cause of heart disease it is a consequence of an unbalanced liver and a concentrated, dehydrated circulatory system. 9) Diseases of the Circulatory System ~Varicose Veins Due to obstructed blood and lymph flow ~Hemorrhoids 10) Diseases involving the Lymphatic System 80% of the lymphatic system involves the intestines 85% of the daily cellular waste is removed by the thoracic duct ~Slow lymph drainage and swelling (thymus gland, tonsils, spleen) ~ Lowered immune function due to lymphatic blockage (Mono, measles, typhoid fever, TB, syphilis, others) ~Edema, swelling, abdominal swelling ~Middle and lower back pain, migraines, stiff neck ~Obesity ~ Cysts of the ovaries, uterus, swelling of the prostate ~Rheumatism ~Hay fever, asthma, allergies, ~Breast cancer, swollen breasts ~Lymphoma, Hodgekinís Disease ~Thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal cortex diseases ~Irritable bowel syndrome ~Dementia, brain disorders, behavior disorders, memory loss ~Diabetes 11) Diseases of the Respiratory System Mechanism: Constant exposure to toxins and waste irritants ~Allergies, sinusitis, nasal problems ~Pneumonia 12) Diseases of the Urinary System ~Uric acid stones ~Kidney infection, Kidney failure ~Puffy ankles and legs ~Bruising and hemorrhage 13) Diseases of the Nervous System ~Stroke and infarctions in the brain ~Dementia, Alzheimerís disease ~Parkinsonís disease, MS 14) Diseases of the Bone ~Osteoporosis- Since bile assists calcium absorption ~Rickets and Osteomalacia Low bile flow lowers Vitamin D absorbed 15) Diseases of the Joints ~Rheumatoid arthritis ~Osteoarthritis ~Gout 16) Diseases of the Reproductive System ~A wide variety of uterine, ovarian, cervical, vulvar and pelvic disorders ~Cysts, tumors, fibroids ~Hormone deficiencies, low libido, infertility 17) Diseases of the Skin ~Eczema ~Psoriasis ~Acne ~Gray hair and hair loss
THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF GALLSTONES
A) OVEREATING In fact, poor digestion leads to ìcell starvationî which in turn causes more food craving and more overeating. B) EATING BETWEEN MEALS Mainly from ~Stress and hurried lifestyle ~Temptation of snack food everywhere ~Convenience of quick snacks and junk food ~Lack of satisfaction from junk food ~Emotional eating to comfort anxiety C) EATING HEAVY MEALS IN THE EVENING Bile flow is low at night, Best time to eat is around 6 pm and at least 3 hours before bedtime D) EXCESSIVE PROTEIN CONSUMPTION Protein in excess is stored in lining of capillaries and arteries, and cholesterol canít be absorbed into the bloodstream in the sinusoids of the liver. More cholesterol is made and shunted via the bile to the intestine. Along the way more stones form. Excess tobacco, alcohol or coffee exacerbate blood protein levels. E) KNOWN ìTRIGGERî FOODS - BEVERAGE DRINKS Eggs, pork, greasy food, onions, fowl, pasteurized milk, ice cream, coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, beans, nuts (IN THAT ORDER) ALSO Processed foods, preserved foods, beverages with artificial sugar, OR sugar, excess alcohol, or refined salt N.B. Unrefined SEASALT is curative and helpful, it cleanses and rehydrates F) DEHYDRATION Mainly from lack of water intake, diuretic beverages, stimulating foods, stress, pharmacological drugs, excessive exercise, overeating, excessive weight gain, watching TV for several hours a day. G) RAPID WEIGHT LOSS -Overweight people get gallstones. Unfortunately, weight loss diets often donít have the 10 gm. of fat per meal required to cause the GB to contract and empty the bile. Stones result. The worst incidence occurs after gastric bypass surgery. Rapid dieting also dumps more cholesterol from stored fat and it goes into the bloodstream and the bile stream. Slow, sensible weight loss, on the other hand, helps the liver and the GB. H) LOW FAT DIETS Fat intake is required for a complete emptying of the gall bladder and to prevent stagnation of the bile. 2) PHARMALOGICAL DRUGS
A) HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY/BIRTH CONTROL PILLS- Women already have 4X the incidence of gallstones. Adding estrogen doubles the incidence again. B) CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING DRUGS Cause the liver to respond to the low cholesterol levels by making more and much of it is dumped into the bile ducts. Also, all drugs are basically perceived by the body as toxins and put a greater workload on the liver and then end up in the bile stream where they disrupt the integrity of the bile. 3) LIFESTYLE A) DISRUPTING THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK-All organs have a natural circadian rhythm when function dips or peaks. ~NATURAL SLEEP TIME This is set by natural daylight as recognized by the pineal gland. Ideally, one should go to sleep by 10 pm and awake around 6 am (with seasonal variations). ~NATURAL MEAL TIMES - Best to eat breakfast no later than 8 am so as to not disrupt lunch, then dinner no later than 6-7 pm. B) WATCHING TV FOR SEVERAL HOURS- Can cause the secretion of cholesterol into the bile by 300%. C) EMOTIONAL STRESS- Chronic stress is now thought to create 85-95% of all chronic disease.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS FOR GALLSTONES 1) DISSOLVING GALLSTONES Several drugs are available but they are expensive and need to be given for a period of 12 months or more and have a failure rate approaching 50%.. Whether the solvents are given orally or infused directly into the GB, the main problem remains: Gallstones in the liver. 2) SHOCK WAVES (LITHOTRIPSY) This new procedure has been a miserable failure. Many patients get kidney damage, internal bleeding (common and serious), high blood pressure and are stuck with toxic residue and stone fragments. Liver stones are actually increased by the technique. 3) SURGERY (CHOLECYSTECTOMY) Over 600,000 per year and increasing. Now done laparoscopically about 85% of the time which, while much easier on the patient, has caused a 300% rise in bile duct injuries. The surgery has no effect on overall mortality rates of GB disease and 10% of the patients have post-op complications of all sorts. The patient is mislead to believe he has been cured but meanwhile the bile is no longer pumped but left to miserably dribble out causing poor digestion and other problems. None of these procedures cure the liver of producing the gallstones in the first place.
HOW TO AVOID GALLSTONES 1) CLEANSE THE LIVER TWICE A YEAR The ideal time is with the season change Say March or June, or September or December. You can do the cleanse on the equinox or the solstice day. The immune system is low then and gallstones increase in number and size at that time of the year. 2) KEEP THE COLON CLEAN A dirty colon is a breeding ground for pathogens and parasites, it forms a barrier to digestion and weakens the muscular walls of the gut.
1) Eat high fiber foods-avoid processed foods-drink plenty of water 2) Colonic Irrigation- as needed, especially if constipated. Best if done by a professional colon therapist but can be done at home with enemas. 3) Epsom salts laxative occasionally as needed 4) Castor Oil also as a laxative, less irritating than epsom salts 5) Aloe Vera Juice- both nourishing and cleansing. Can be useful for almost any illness due to itís detoxifying and healing ability. 3) THE KIDNEY CLEANSE Many gallstone patients also have stones in the kidney and bladder. Herbal cleansing, good hydration with water and cleaning up the diet will slowly dissolve these stones and toxins. 4) DRINK WATER FREQUENTLY Ideally, find a good source of ìIonizedî water and sip it throughout the day. Ionized water can be made by boiling good filtered water for 20 minutes. Avoid icy cold water. Try to drink 6-8 glasses a day, the most important time is right after getting up in the morning. Also 1/2 before and 2 1/2 hours after meals. 5) TAKE IONIC ESSENTIAL MINERALS The most commonly deficient mineral is Magnesium, but almost everyone needs supplemental Calcium, Zinc, Selenium and the full complement of trace minerals. 6) CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL. Also other dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea or sodas (especially diet drinks). The dehydrating effects lower the blood and lymph flow to all cells and slow the metabolic, digestive and hormonal processes in the body. 7) AVOID OVEREATING One of the greatest causes of gallstones. Practice fasting one day a week and try to eat in moderation at all times. Overeating leads to food cravings and desire for quick-energy snacks, sweets and beverages 8) MAINTAIN REGULAR MEAL TIMES This honors the body's circadian rhythms. Try to eat breakfast no later than 8 am, the largest meal around midday and dinner no later than 7 pm. 9) REDUCE HEAVY FOODS AND EXCESS PROTEIN Focus the diet around vegetables, fruits, salads and complex carbohydrates. Avoiding excess protein consumption will make the bile more soluble, therefore fewer stones. Avoid fried and deep-fried foods especially all heated oils used in fast foods. 10) AVOID "LIGHT" FOOD PRODUCTS These impair bile secretion, digestion and excretion. Gradually increasing the intake of good fats such as butter, virgin coconut oil, unrefined olive oil makes the bile flow, helps fat-soluble vitamin absorption, digestion and hormone production. 11) EAT UNREFINED SEA SALT (and avoid refined table salt) Helps to meet mineral and trace element needs and keeps the body fluids flowing. Stabilizes the heartbeat, alkalinizes the body, balances sugar levels, generates hydroelectric energy, clears mucus, makes bones strong and many other functions in every cell in the body. 12) GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP Try to get to sleep before 10 pm and rise around 6-7 am depending on personal requirements and seasonality. Try to avoid alarm clocks. 13) AVOID OVERWORKING This particularly stresses the liver since the liver is the main energy generator of the body. Ideally spend 1/3 of life sleeping, 1/3 working and 1/3 for living life joyfully. 14) EXERCISE REGULARLY Doing everything else right but avoiding exercise will lead to poor health. The liver particularly benefits by a good workout as long as overexertion doesnít happen. Try to exercise every day even if it is only 10-15 minutes. 15) GET REGULAR EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT This is primarily to generate more Vitamin D but sunlight also helps regulate cholesterol levels. Avoid excess sun-bathing especially from 10 am-3 pm in the summer. Usually 20-30 minutes a day is enough. 16) TAKE LIVER HERBS The most common include Dandelion, Licorice root, Wild Yam Root, Bearsfoot, Milk Thistle, Comfrey Root, Agrimony, Barberry Bark and Tanners Oak Bark. 17) BRING BALANCE TO YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE Probably the most important, and most difficult, step of all. This will involve lifestyle changes, possible other tools such as yoga, meditation, hobbies and many other efforts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NEXT: See details for the LIVER FLUSH