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Gallbladder Health Part II: Prevention and Natural Treatment of Gallbladder Problems

by Dr. Stephen Gangemi on August 1, 2012

Gallbladder Health:Natural Treatment & PreventionIt’s always easier to prevent a problem rather than treat it, and this is especially true when it comes to the gallbladder problems. But how do you know if your gallbladder isn’t functioning up to snuff? You don’t want to wait for a gallbladder attack to tell you something isn’t right. In Part I, I discussed some of those more subtle signs and symptoms that many people have that aren’t normal – but a warning that the gallbladder isn’t all too happy. Now here in Part II, we’ll look at how to lower your risk factors for a gallbladder problem. We’ll also consider some natural treatments that may help you out whether you’re at the point of just not feeling perfect or at the other end of the spectrum – about to have your gallbladder removed because you’re just sick of all the trouble it’s giving you.

Gallbladder Risk Factors: Lower Your Risk For Gallbladder Problems – (Prevention!)

The medical risk factors for the gallbladder are known as the 4Fs – Female, Fat, Forty, and Fertile. Though overweight fertile women are more susceptible for gallstones and gallbladder problems, there are many other risk factors even in those who aren’t fat, and for you guys too out there.

Diet is the number one reason for a poorly functioning gallbladder. Don’t let anyone tell you that diet has no relationship to the gallbladder. Ample research tells us that our diet not only affects every cell in our body but obviously those of digestion. Even before the insulin link to the gallbladder was discovered just a few years ago (discussed in Part I) many natural physicians recognized the importance of diet on metabolism. So – Dietary and Lifestyle Risk Factors:

1)      Bad fats – these include the obvious partially hydrogenated “trans” fats but also those refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils that so many think are good to eat – corn, soy, canola, safflower, sunflower, peanut, cottonseed, and grapeseed. Deep fried foods are especially terrible for your gallbladder. Stick with the good fats please – coconut, eggs, extra virgin oil, fish and flax, butter and heavy cream (moderation) and raw nuts and seeds (moderation thereGallbladder Problems & Fried Food too).

2)      Refined carbohydrates – these, along with the bad fats, are where the oxidation (free radical damage) and the inflammation comes from, and it can take its toll on the gallbladder because its effect on cholesterol. Read the cholesterol article I wrote for more on this. High fructose corn syrup – it’s the worst.

3)      Smoking – Unhealthy for your entire body and really takes its toll on the gallbladder too.

4)      Excess caffeine – yeah too much caffeine can stress out the gallbladder. How much is too much? That depends on the individual. For some it may be three cups of espresso and for another it may be one ounce of chocolate per day. If you’re having gallbladder problems just stop all caffeine until it’s better.

5)      Alcohol – again this is individualized but obviously too much alcohol is not healthy for your liver, gallbladder, or the rest of your body. Ladies – I don’t agree with those who say that it’s okay to drink two glasses of wine (red or white) per night. That’s excessive and I almost always see health problems with it. Stick to one max – and hopefully not every night. Pretty much the same rule applies to men too.

6)      Aspartame (Nutrasweet) and other excitotoxins (MSG) – this one is huge and I can’t tell you the number of patients I’ve seen who were diet soda addicts who had their gallbladder removed, (before seeing me), yet didn’t see any connection.Gallbladder Problems & Diet Soda

7)      NSAIDS – and other anti-inflammatories can take their toll on the liver and gallbladder. Other meds can too but NSAIDS more often, especially for chronic users.

8)      Birth control pills (BCP), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and yes even the intrauterine device (IUD) – hormonal regulation and metabolism is a major factor when it comes to the liver and even the gallbladder – that’s why the “Fertile” is part of the medical risk factor. Estrogen dominance has a huge impact on the health of the gallbladder. Considering that estrogen and the mineral copper closely parallel one another, many women have copper toxicity problems due to estrogen dominance and then gallbladder problems because some of those bile salts are copper salts – that’s where the bile gets its green color from – copper! You don’t have to be on The Pill or taking hormones to have a gallbladder problem related to your hormones – it can be from inefficient hormonal detoxification. Guys too – you can have testosterone and estrogen problems.

  • And women who have gone the route of an IUD for birth control, (which I feel is the worst form of birth control ever; they’re always a problem but that’s a story for another time), then the copper or the hormones in the IUD will impact the gallbladder – and the impact won’t be good. I’ve seen women who have unfortunately had their gallbladder removed because of gallbladder problems resulting from their IUD, both copper and hormonal types.

Self Help For Your Gallbladder

If you’re having gallbladder problems and it’s not an emergency situation, (let’s all use common sense here – don’t wait if you’re in dire straits – again, discussed in Part I), then the first thing to do is to follow the advice I just mentioned – change your diet and lifestyle and assess your risk factors.

Lemons for Gallbladder ReliefLemons, Beets, and Ginger – Oh My!

Lemons and beets are great foods for your liver and gallbladder – they help to keep bile healthy and non-viscous. So eating these foods regularly can be beneficial.

During an acute and uncomfortable, “attack” you can try sipping some lemon juice. Take one-half of a fresh squeezed lemon and mix it with about 6oz of water and sip it (don’t gulp it down) over the next 30 minutes. If it works, keep doing it until you’ve received full relief. Ginger works well too for some people, but more for nausea. Try to use real ginger root not those rolled in a lot of sugar. You can add it to a smoothie or juiced drink. Though if you only have access to some Ginger Ale that may get you by.

Hot or Cold?

You can also try a cold pack over the area of your gallbladder – the upper right quadrant of your abdomen. Place the cold pack about half way over your ribs and half over the abdomen. Don’t put ice directly on your skin or you may burn – but wrap in a paper towel or put over your clothing. Leave the ice on long enough to get a “numb” feeling and depending on the relief you get from it. If any area of your skin in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen feels warm to the touch, that is exactly where you should try to cool it down.

Obviously with the recommendations here if you keep having to do the same things over and over (ice or lemon juice) then you’re not figuring out the problem and just getting by with temporary relief. If the pain gets worse and worse – either that same day or with each subsequent attack – you should seek medical attention – right? (Answer = yes)

The Liver – Gallbladder Flush

I’ll briefly discuss “the flush” since I know many will ask about it if I don’t. It’s called the gallbladder flush though some call it a liver flush too. Some say they’ve saved themselves from surgery by doing a flush and many feel a lot better by cleaning out their liver and gallbladder with a flush. Others think the flush does nothing but give you diarrhea. I’ll let you be the judge. There are plenty of flush recipes out there and I have my own which I share with patients and I will not share in detail here. Do I think they work? Definitely, but not all the time and they’re not as necessary as you may think. But if you’re at wits end, “What do you have to lose?” Well not much unless you lodge a stone in your duct during the flush (rare) then you’re off to surgery. In my fifteen years of practice I’ve only recommended the flush a few times because of the way I approach digestive problems – treating, advising, and figuring out why the patient is having a problem, so I rarely need to go the flush route to see improvements. (And I have never had to have a patient have their gallbladder removed either.)

Liver Flush, Gallbladder Flush: Gallstones

Yeah I hope hands were washed after…

Typically a flush is something like this: the patient drinks four glasses of pure organic apple juice per day for five days, then on the fifth day they fast briefly – 8 hours. Next they take a certain amount of magnesium or disodium phosphate. Finally they drink one-half cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with one-half cup of extra virgin olive oil just before bed. Then they sleep laying on their right side with their knees tucked into the chest for at least 30 minutes.  The next morning, they have a bowel movement where they may pass a number of green and brown pebbles/stones said to be stones flushed from the biliary system – and some people catch these in a colander and post them on-line for other to see (unnecessary but true). They may pass several very large stones or thousands or small pebbles – or nothing at all! Fun times.

That’s a general idea of a liver-gallbladder flush. Try it if you see fit but remember you still need to change your dietary and lifestyle habits to resolve your gallbladder problem(s) but hopefully you will not be another victim who is told they “definitely need to have their gallbladder removed but it’s okay because it’s not a necessary organ”.



I'm a board certified chiropractic physician and clinical nutritionist with a passion for true natural health care. I implement dietary & nutritional therapies, exercise & movement practices, and lifestyle changes along with manual therapy techniques to help the body heal and prevent illness and injuries.


Leave a comment
  1. Jill Bangerter permalink

    Thanks, Dr. G., for the great advice. It’s too late for me, but maybe others will be able to save their organ. I had been living a pretty healthy lifestyle and still lost my gall bladder to my gluten intolerance. No doctors could tell me why I always had indigestion and nausea, lack of energy, etc. I wish I had known then how to solve this problem. I could have avoided surgery and avoided Hashimoto’s. Jill

  2. Diane P permalink

    Hi Dr G, Thank you for your good sound advice. I was recently told that I have gallstones and should have surgery I do not want to have surgery I want to keep my green little buddy do you think a flush would be helpful for me. Thank you

    • That’s your call. I can’t advise you since you’re not my patient. I’m just providing the information. But think about it – if you covered everything else yet your gallbladder was still a problem – what would you choose: the flush or surgery? Does someone else want to answer this for Diane?

      • Diane Witte permalink

        Hi, Diane,

        I have not had gallbladder problems but I got the book The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse by Andreas Moritz. After reading it, I’ve done the cleanse 3 times so far and have a 4th one scheduled. In the book, he explains what conditions the cleanse is good for (many more than the good doctor here said). He also gives very specific instructions on how to do it. He also explains why it should be done several to many times. I found the book to be a wealth of information and the cleanse is so easy to do. Just follow the instructions exactly.

        There are others out there with their own protocols, which I can’t speak about. FYI Andreas Moritz has a website; just do a search on him. There’s a lot of information there, too. Good luck.

        Diane W.

      • Tatyana permalink

        I had a hidascan done and it said my gallbladder was functioning at 34%, they recommended I have it removed. Yet, they are only 40-50% sure that my gallbladder is the issue, but they said they can’t figure out the issue without first eliminating my gallbladder as being the problem. I have constant abdomin pain and nausea everyday. I was first diagnosed with H. Pylori so I’m unsure if that caused the gallbladder to dysfunction. My question to you is rather there is another solution rather than getting it removed.

      • Mary permalink

        There are alternatives to the flush, I saved mine with gold coin grass tincture from as when I did the flush I got a lodged stone but since I already had an adverse reaction to anaesthesia that disabled me, surgery is not an option for me. I can now eat butter, you name it good fats but had to do a strict diet from the recipes for a few months…took quite a while to build up strength, but certainly I would never advise the flush after my experience. At least you prepare people with the apple juice beforehand, most advice out there doesn’t even do that. But I lost a lot with that flush. Could not eat a full range of foods for a very long time.

  3. Natasha permalink

    Thanks Dr G. this is a really interesting article. My auntie recently had a gallbadder attack and has been told she has gallbadder stones. I am a big fan of the paleo diet and I’m trying to persuade her that it would be worth following. The only issue is that she has been told to avoid fats like eggs, butter and coconut, all of which feature a great deal in the paleo diet. Would eating paleo be beneficial tp her or should she avoid these fats?
    Also I wondered what your views were on herbal remedies like peppermint and milk thistle for gallstones treatment? Thank you very much for your help. Natasha

    • Yes that is the conventional way of treating with the gallbladder. Of course I don’t agree with it as people with gallbladder problems very rarely have them from eating those high fat Paleo-Type foods (I can say I’ve never seen it). It’s all the other things I mention, diet and hormones especially, that cause the problems. But once the problems are there then often that person just can’t go right into a high fat type of diet because their gallbladder is so stressed out, so for my patients I recommend they ease into it slowly per their comfort and tolerance level. I’ve never seen issues this way, only success.

      Milk thistle (silymarin) is more of a liver detox herb and I haven’t had much experience with peppermint so I can’t comment on that.

  4. Betty permalink

    Thank you for you’re articles, they have been very informative. Do you find that fatigue, stress or aggrivation occurs when someone is having a gallbladder issue?

  5. Vicky permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,
    Thank you for this article. I had begun to think all doctors just like to cut people! I had ultrasound screen done showing no stones, and a HIDA scan done and it showed 50% function – my doctor suggested removing the gallbladder. I am frequently nauseated, and have a lot of gnawing pain along the lower rib line. (Endoscopy didn’t show any hernias or ulcers). I am completely against taking out the gallbladder, but I have to do something because of the pain and nausea.

    Do these suggestions actually help restore function? I quit all coffee, sodas, high fats and refined carbohydrates last month, but the pain just seems to be worse. Or do you know other books/resources I could review? I’m new to NY and the practioners here seem to have the protocol of “if it hurts, remove it” and they don’t offer much guidance. Any suggestion would be apprectiated. Thank you again for your article!

    • Hi Vicky – often for women hormones are the reason for gallbladder problems. But it would be impossible for me to know that w/o seeing you or knowing more about you. But there is always a trigger. :)

    • Lynn permalink

      A doctor in Britain says he successfully treats the vast majority of his patients by having them do a food allergy elimination diet to discover the food allergies causing the gallbladder to constrict causing the backup of bile and pain. The diet eliminated the pain and then they would add new foods one at a time to discover the source.

    • Melissa permalink

      I had my removed two weeks ago I also had ultrasound and hyd scan to show no gallstones my was function at 32%. I decide to have it done when they took my out it was blocked and real bad shape I am doing much better now what I try to say all them test never showed how bad it was in

  6. Elizabeth permalink

    Hi Dr. G, I have been having problems every since October of 2012. I was first told I had a Peptic Ulcer. After another Upper Endoscopy was performed, I was told I have a hiatus hernia and a Gastric tumor. I was reffered to another GI specialist and he said I had debris growing in my gallbladder and wants to do surgery soon. What do you suggest? If it was you,would you seek another opinion?

    • The gastric tumor could be serious so that needs to be looked into. Debris in the gallbladder is not uncommon (not normal) and most docs want to remove the gallbladder because they don’t know any other treatment. I don’t quite understand why the gallbladder would be more important than a tumor – that’s a bit strange. The hiatal hernia is often no big deal and most chiropractors and other manual therapists can help relieve/correct that, depending on the severity. I treat those often.

  7. Ardy permalink

    Hello Dr Gangemi, I just came across your site while looking for some idea what might be causing pain just under my right shoulder blade when I breathe deeply. No other symptoms except lots of burping. Can I assume this might be gallbladder problems? I’m sure you will recommend seeing a Dr, but want to learn as much as I can, and found your site to be very informative. Thank you, Ardy

    • Can’t assume anything without seeing you – could also be a shoulder, rib, diaphragm, or lung issue – among other things.

  8. Melinda permalink

    I had been experiencing digestive issues for a matter of months. I am a healthy fit 35 yr old woman. I had dropped 12lbs in 3 weeks, as I was having problems digesting anything I would eat. My doctor was convinced it was gall bladder, but testing wasn’t confirming that. After being sent to a specialist and sent for more testing they were still unsure of the cause. Upon seeing my doctor again, she was still under the belief the cause was gall bladder related, as the symptoms seemed to have been building over a few years. I went home from that visit and started doing my own research. I found your site!! After reading your 2 part gall bladder article, I immediately made an appointment with my OBGYN. I had my IUD removed, and 4 wks later all of my digestive issues were completely gone. Thank You!!!

    • Wow, that’s great to hear!

      • ronald cabilatazana permalink

        gud day dr.

        i want to ask your help sir.last day only after utrasound, my dr found out a 0.90cm gallbladder polyps and the recommendation is by surgery. i dont want to lost my organ and by your help
        in a natural it will be remove. your advice is a big help for me dr.

        • Monique permalink

          Get a second opinion. If it gets bigger they advise surgery because it can lead to cancer

    • Rink permalink

      HI Melinda, i have the same problem for few months. I am reaching this article now since my doc confirmed that i have small polyps in my Gallbladder but need to monitor to ensure it doesnt get bigger. It seems that Dr. G’s article and guidance helping, can you please tell me how did you get IUD removed?

  9. Kathleen permalink

    Great Articles, Dr G!
    I am a healthy/organic eater, long-time vegetarian who avoids fast/processed foods and has a low BMI – 19.5-20. Developed severe upper stomach/back pain with nausea one night and it’s been reoccurring for the past week and a half, all signs pointing to GB problems- usually at night (11-1am is the worst of course), often problematic after eating. I’ve cut out fat, dairy, gluten, soy, etc (never had ANY food issues before) and find I am still having attacks daily- though less severe than the initial ones but still causing me much pain. Ultrasound & Bloodwork were in normal range but little sis also had digestive pains (though a less healthy diet) and they just removed her gallbladder so they want to do the same for me. I am thoroughly opposed to surgery and even the HIDA scan (we have been trying to conceive for 6+months). I am taking harmonizing herbs from my Chinese medicine practitioner and sticking with fruits, cooked vegetables, broth, and rice/quinoa and taking as much R&R as possible, but I feel I’m stuck. What else can someone like me do to get my GB in balance? Any clue how this happened in the first place to a “healthy” eater?

    • Cutting out fat and eating a lot of rice and other carbs is one way to create or aggravate these digestive problems. I discuss this in these articles and throughout the DRG and SockDoc sites — the importance of fats. Especially important if you’re having conception problems.

      • Kathleen permalink

        Thanks Dr. On the contrary, I normally consume a fair amount of natural fats every day- lot of olive oil, nuts, avocado, organic dairy, fish oils. Though thin, I am not “fat-averse” in any way. I had intentionally begun to up my daily amounts of saturated fats from coconut oil/milk and whole organic milk to help with conceiving – a couple of extra servings a day. I think that is what triggered these gallbladder attacks. I have only cut out fat as an attempt to stave off these painful attacks that have been happening in the last 2 weeks. I’ve read all the GB articles. But how do I get back to consuming healthy fats (and a normal diet) when they’re causing so much pain?

        • It could be a number of things as I mention in the article. Really know way for me to know without seeing you.

  10. Liz permalink

    Hello there! I stumbled upon your blog through a search I was doing for Gallbladder issues. I am highly impressed with the amount of great information I have read. THANK YOU. You address the entirety of the problem, not just the symptom. I am a 36 year old, slightly overweight woman. I have had gall bladder issues (pain/discomfort after eating high fat foods, neck/back pain, occasional times where I am up vomitting at night, etc.) This past year during a physical, my doctor told me my liver enzymes were high, so he ordered an ultrasound of my liver, which looked fine, but they did see that I have gallstones. My doctor could not tell me conclusively that my high liver enzymes were from the gall stones, but didn’t seem to be worried about it. Are high liver enzymes associated with gallstones? Also, in the flush you discussed in the article above, you mentioned taking magnesium. Is there a certain amount of it you should take? Thank you!

    • The liver is where the bile is produced so if there is something affecting that then it could show up with the enzymes; often they are normal though.

      I cannot give you specific Mg amounts; there are so many “recipes” for the flush available.

  11. Shari permalink

    I was happy to read both of your posts to see that many of my symptoms fall in line with the gall bladder but realize also that my problems don’t fit in the “normal” range. I have severe right shoulder pain (chronic over the last 8-12 years comes and goes), severe pain off and on under my right rib cage for the last year (beginning in the front, now in the back almost exclusively), chronic diarrhea for the last 10 months, and inability to eat any fat (not even coconut)at all for the last six months without severe abdominal pain and instant diarrhea. I had an ultrasound 9 months ago and was told there were no gall stones so no gall bladder problem. I had done the “cleanse” of olive oil and fresh grapefruit juice about 3 months before and had only seen little green granule (salt/sugar) size evidence of stones so wasn’t surprised. I had a HIDA scan which showed a refraction of 11 2 months ago and a colonoscopy which indicated microscopic colitis only a month ago. I had been waking at 1-2 AM every morning for two weeks last month until I tried bile salts with every meal on my very limited diet which eliminated these “attacks”. My younger sister who eats much less healthy (no coconut or olive oil on salad, few vegetables and fruits, many fried foods and processed meats) had her gall bladder out two years ago and they told her it was black and had not been functioning for the last two years probably. She had most of the same symptoms I have including diarrhea. I have been taking entacourt and dicycline for the microscopic colitis for about three weeks now and the pain in my shoulder and back are getting worse. The diarrhea is some better and my doctors say it’s all this and removing the gall bladder won’t help. I would like to keep it if I can but what if it is not functioning like my sister’s. Is there a danger in keeping the gall bladder if it continues to decline and cease functioning?

    Thanks for your help!

    • I believe there is no danger other than if you passed a very large stone to the pancreatic duct. It’s rare and you’d get very sick very quickly.

  12. Sam permalink

    Thanks for writing an article like this. I’ve had both types of iuds in. First was the hormonal one, my gallbladder started acting up 6 months before removal(had in for 3 yr.) Got preg. and had no problems with my gallbladder then had the copper iud with my second child. 3 months after insertion i stared having the problems again! Now its been a yr. and a half with the iud in and now they want to remove my gallbladder. I have done the flush twice which made my pain go away and felt better but comes back 3 months later. The flush made me have floating stools which i don’t know if its normal? But then I started taking vitamin b complex where i noticed my stools sinking?!! Now I don’t know what to choose to have my gallbladder removed or iud. Sometimes I think of having my gallbladder removed because i think its too late, my gallbladder is probably already damaged and their would be no point of removing my iud?!

    • Can’t make that decision for you but obviously removing the gallbladder is the symptom, the IUD is the cause. And you will/most likely are having other unrealized problems from the IUD. And note that if you remove the gallbladder you will still have a liver and bile ducts which can be affected in the same way the gallbladder currently is.

  13. jenn permalink

    Hello, do you think my gall bladder woul d function if i changed, my diet? I spoke to my surgeon and he said i have no stones, but my gallbladder is not functioning. So i need it removed. I would rather try something else..anything to keep my gallbladder. Please help. Thank you

    • Find a natural doc; the conventional folks won’t help unless you want surgery.

      • Taylor Crowshaw permalink

        Hi, I am a 57yr old woman. Slim fairly fit with a low fat diet due to cholesterol which i keep under control without meds. I have an underactive thyroid and take eltroxin. I had my gbadder removed 4yrs ago was ok until 2yrs ago when i had an ercp for stone in bile duct. I am starting to feel unwell again and wonder if i am eating too much unrefined sugar. Can i reverse this. Tried the lemon and water last night to relieve discomfort it worked.

  14. Cheryl permalink

    Thanks for this article. I have been experiencing pain under my rib cage on the right side since September. I had a copper IUD put in last summer. It caused terrible bleeding and, I suspect, a world of other issues. I removed it in December.
    I’ve had a gastroscopy performed to check for an ulcer etc. which came back clear (although I’m being checked for celiac). I had an ultrasound in September that showed no stones.
    I went for an ultrasound last week, and I’ve been called in for a follow-up (non-urgent) which I believe shows something or else they wouldn’t call me in.
    Well last night after eating lamb, I had the most intense pain in that same spot, terrible watery bowel movements at least 6 in a row, fever and chills. I’m very weak today (could be from the loss of fluid). I rarely eat fat, so the lamb was quite shocking to my system.
    I still am having the pain today and so I ended up in the emergency. They took my blood work, which was normal except for elevated Amalyse (133). They told me to come back if the pain gets worse.
    It hasn’t gotten worse, but it hasn’t gotten better and I’ve been sleeping the majority of the day.
    Eating soup made me feel very bad.
    I’m 28 years old, 5ft4in, 105 lbs.Non-smoker, non-drinker, very healthy eater. I think I have estrogen dominance because I also have ovarian cysts and they are suspecting endometriosis.
    I have been fat adverse for a long time. I cannot eat creams, deep fried food, heavy meats like steak, without feeling sick afterward.
    I guess my question is, can I have a gall bladder problem without stones? Should I be concerned if this pain doesn’t subside for days?
    Is hormone therapy, progesterone only pill, an option for improving gall bladder function?
    Can an autoimmune disease cause gall bladder issues?
    Since I had the copper IUD removed, would it still be affecting my gall bladder, does it take time to recover from copper overload?
    For me, diet, smoking, drinking, and bc pills are not the culprit. Thank you for your article and any insight you may have.

    • Sure an immune issue can trigger a gallbladder problem and you can definitely have a gallbladder problem w/o stones (as mentioned in the article). It can take a while to detox copper and some people won’t until they replace the proper nutrients that copper has displaced. Best idea for someone in your situation is to find a holistic doc who can help you through this.

  15. Shant permalink

    Thank you for this enlightening article.

    I have a Gallbladder Polyp of 4mm in size. Can surgery be avoided by following alternative treatment plans? May I know what are the options for me?

    Thank you

    • I can’t specifically advise you on that. If you’re trying to avoid surgery then you should seek out a holistic doc who deals with gallbladder issues like you have.

  16. ini eko permalink

    Thank you for this informative article although its quite late for me. I wish I saw it this time last year or better still earlier than 3 months ago when I took my gall bladder out.
    You have not however mentioned what should be done, if the gall bladder has already been taken out due to ignorance like mine (as I took the advice of the experts relied on at the moment)
    I am now in severe sharp pain in the upper right abdomen and the pain is getting worse as the days go by. I am eat everything and like you stated, I am a culprit of the sunflower and grapeseed oil which I thought was the best.
    How do I solve this pain problem or is it going to be like this for the rest of my life. I dread the thought of that.

    I appreciate your help and response.


    • You would still follow all the advice I share here, including removing those oils from your diet.

  17. jau permalink

    Dr G, good article.My Gallbladder is working 0% in hid a scan,i don’t have any stones.they said i have acute bilary stools are yellow and getting dysentry .is there any possibility to make it work again,I don’t like to go for surgery?
    Appreciate your suggestions on this.

    • I can’t comment on that without seeing you as it all depends on why you’re having the problem.

  18. pepijn permalink

    I’m just wondering if there is a size of gallstone that can’t be passed?

    I just got diagnosed with gallstones 4 days ago through an echo and want to try a flush, but I want to make sure I don’t end up lodging it and having an emergency operation. I’ll make sure I get imaged properly and the largest stone measured before I do anything.

    Great informative site by the way, much better information than most “specialist” sites I have visited. They basically only tell you “we don’t know why it happens” and “if you have stones, remove the gb”.. Quite disappointing really, I thought healthcare had come further than that.

    • I think that would be individual-dependent. If you look on-line there are definitely some “interesting” sites where people show their stones – some are huge!

  19. Rolaabla permalink

    It was great ,all what you said ws clear and direct ,thank you for the specific explanation u gave me great answers for my questions .it was fun reading all . Thank you please keep me posted .

  20. Mel permalink

    Hello. I was diagnosed with gallstones last August after passing out and being jaundiced – along with severe pain. My liver count was high (787). I’ve had a scan and a deep scan that confirms that I have hundreds of stones. My BMI was 54, but through diet and exercise , it’s now 34. I’ve been on the emergency list for months to get my operation but still waiting.

    I am extremely limited with what I can eat. I can only eat bananas on brown bread toast or lean ham sandwiches. Everything else starts an attack (even plain rice or podded peas). I am always exhausted. I physically force myself to the gym to keep an active lifestyle. I now have a new symptom – constipation. My bowels are usually regular (every day) but it’s been 4 days since any movement. I’m worried that my body isn’t getting enough vitamins / minerals etc and I’m just getting sicker. Even a multi vitamin caused an attack. I don’t see any way other than surgery for me, I just wish it would hurry up!

    • For someone in your situation I’d advise you seek some holistic practitioner who deals with these cases, if you’re interested in trying to keep your gallbladder.

  21. Karen permalink

    Hello, do you think my gall bladder would function if i changed, my diet? I spoke to my surgeon and he said i have no stones, but my gallbladder is not functioning He said it’s over working. My infraction no. was at 96 percent
    So i need it removed. I would rather try something else..anything to keep my gallbladder….I have a lot of symptoms for removal but I am sacred too, since there could be a chance to keep it ? been looking online for more answers.. everything I read has to do with stones that can be help… but nothing about without stones and a overworking gallbladder could it be helped , ??
    Please help , Thank you !!!

    • For someone in your situation I’d advise you seek some holistic practitioner who deals with these cases, if you’re interested in trying to keep your gallbladder.

  22. Nicole permalink


    Thank-you for all the great information! I was wondering if there is a correlation between the appendix and gall bladder? I had my appendix removed three years ago(perforated) and ever since I have had gall bladder pain. Initially, the doctor said it was air bubbles from the surgery, then after several months said it was scar adhesions(which do not make since,as all my incisions are by the bellybutton). I eventually had a Hida scan and my ejection fraction was 12%. So, of course, the GI and family doctor, recommend removal of gall bladder. I was is the best shape a my life when all of this started. I had run a marathon, eating very healthy. I have always been thin. Now, three years later, I am still suffering with chronic pain in R abdomen, and have become depressed, as if my body has failed me. I just find it coincidental that I had my appendix out and then, almost immediately, I had gall bladder issues. The doctors I have spoken with do not have answers and honestly, do not seem to genuinely concerned.

  23. lisa martineau permalink

    thankyou, your article has been VERY interesting,

    i am about to go for my fourth visit to upper gi surgery; they have continually advised/persuaded me to have my gall bladder taken out, as i have a stone in the wall of the neck.

    i would love to keep my gall bladder so much but i don’t know if i am being stupid, they have told me i could die if i don’t. I also have two tubes going from the gall bladder instead of one and my gall bladder is lower than normal. They are surprised how healthy the gall bladder looks, the walls have not thickened, but the gall bladder is grosely extended and the bile is thickened inside.

    Have you any advice or do you know of any specialists in the uk /bristol i could speak to? Someone whom may see it like you do. All the profesionals i have spoken to, believe hugely that we do not really need it anyway and can’t meet me on my level of thinking. I don’t know whom to trust really as they are so quick to take gall bladders out, i can’t tell if i am in a serious situation or not? i have had only two large episodes of pain lasting minutes after very fatty meals . . but i can feel my gall bladder swollen.

    thankyou love lisa x

  24. Becca permalink

    Here is my question-
    I am ready to begin my gallbladder flush. In your article, you mentioned 4 to 5 days of organic apple juice followed by a day if a partial fast and then the lemon juice and olive oil before bedtime routine. My question is – on the days of drinking the organic apple juice am I fasting from other foods or just eating my new diet of high fiber good fat eating?

  25. Julie permalink

    Thank you for the article! I’d been having some terrible pains for about 6 months and finally saw a doctor who performed an ultrasound and then another screening (no food for hours and then they monitored my gallbladder for 45 minutes, then injected something into me and monitored my gallbladder for another 45 minutes stimulating a fatty meal).
    I had no stones, but my gallbladder is only operating at 18%. My husband hates me to have surgery because of how hard it is for me to recover from it.
    After reading your article, I don’t feel as though I need my gallbladder removed. The doctor said that the tests didn’t indicate that I needed it removed at the time being, so I said, “No thanks,” and am trying a healthier diet to see if my symptoms subside. Your article really opened my eyes to things that I thought I knew, but now have had confirmed. In the past 6 months, I have stopped drinking diet soda and using any type of artificial sweetener, as well as cutting out HFCS.
    Thanks again for making sense when it comes to the gallbladder!
    Julie, 27

  26. Jenn permalink

    Thank you for the article. I can not find an answer to my question… Hoping you can help. I do not have stones, but my hida scan claims function at 11%, can function be restored or am I trying to save the last 11% function that I have by making more natural choices as recommended in your article? Looking forward to your help with this question. I can not find any research that claims function can be restored? My little green organ needs help :(

  27. Hi Dr. G.:

    I have been diagnosed with a porcelain gallbladder and have been told I need to have my gallbladder removed because it leads to cancer if it is not removed is there any way to save it?

  28. Barbara permalink

    Thanks for the very informative article. I have had gallstones for at least 15 years (discovered during an ultrasound during pregnancy.) I had my first intense attack a month ago after many years of on and off digestion issues. Because of the level of pain, ulrasound results and spike in liver enzymes after the attacks, my GP referred me to a surgeon. Before I go through with the operation, I decided to check with a naturopathic doctor. He has put me on a low fat, low dairy, high veggie, no alcohol diet along with daily bile salt supplements, psyllium and probiotics. I still take a proton pump inhibitor due to a lot of acid in my stomach, but I think this alternative diet is promising. Have you ever heard of bile salt supplements triggering a gallstone attack? Thanks for the lemon and water idea. I will try it next time.

    • I use bile salts often when indicted. I could see them causing a problem if they are not what your body needs but rather more of detox of the gallbladder, in which case I would use other supplements. Actually, beets are very good for detoxing the gallbladder and “thinning” out the bile.

      • Barbara permalink

        Thanks for your reply. I stopped using the bile salts and haven’t had any problems in a few weeks. I’ve added beets to my diet. I’ll let my naturopathic doctor know about your site! He’s a specialist in digestive issues.

  29. preety k permalink

    Hi Dr G. Your articles are very helpful. I was diagnosed with 1 gallstone abt 2 yrs ago. Its 1.1cm. Since Jan13 ive had 4 gb attacks and the pain was worse as I have gastric too. I want to do the flush but because of frequency of the pain im not able to. My dr has suggested the removal of gb but I do not want. Please advise the foods tht I can take to keep the attacks frm happening so often.

    • All the info I can and will give w/o seeing a patient is in the two articles. Thanks for understanding.

  30. upasna permalink

    hello dr.g
    m 25 yr old girl and i have diagnosed wid a gal stone of 16 mm few days before as i had an ultrasound generaly.. i didnt have any pain so far. but hv little gastric problm if i eat heavy food.for dat i take aloe vera juice..which used to n still help…bt now as i have diagonosed wid gb stone. so doc has said to remove my gb.. bt i dnt wanna go for surgery…so tell me where i can have complete detailed information of natural flush u mentined in ur article…pllzzzzzzz help asap.will dis flush be helpful for such big stone..i need help to all d detailing of flush…

  31. Mary permalink

    Dr. G, Thank you for posting about this. Your answers have been helpful and supportive. I have always been a big girl but I have noticed that I go through spurts where I gain a massive amount of weight (40-60lbs) usually over the course of 4-5 months. I have noticed something strange about my gall bladder attacks. I reach a high weight that exercise doesnt seem to help and then I have awful pain sometimes for days and then I always lose weight after I pass the stone. Does having stones have anything to do with causing weight gain? I have done this cycle three times where I have gained weight while I have attacks and then one day it stops and I begin to drop all the weight.

  32. Hello, I have just been to my MD for stomach bloating and pain. I had an ultrasound that showed ‘sludge’ in my gallbladder. My doctor has told me I need to make some changes before it gets worse. I eat generally healthy, organic, no red meat- sometime sweets and treats, but not often. Is ‘sludge’ the before gallstones? or is it something totally different? Is there specific changes I should make?
    Thanks for any and all advice. I have contacted a Naturopathic Doctor, but unfortunately can not afford that at the moment.

  33. suchitra permalink

    hi sir my father suffering frome gallbladder stone from 7 yrs his hard patient pls advice me hou to remove that and how to contect u.

  34. button permalink

    Hi there and thanks for the awesome articles. I have some symptoms which have been ongoing for about 2.5 years now. Mostly I BURP! And I have right shoulder pain when I have what I think is a mini attack. No stones in the ultrasound, been seeing a chiropractor here in LA who has given me standard process stuff. Changed my diet a bunch. I’ve gotten better but not all the way-maybe 50% and I’ve been seeing him for about 6 months now and it’s stayed this way for a while. Do you know anyone over here in LA who you would recommend? Also, I started taking digestive bitters and have found them to be quite helpful. What do you think of those? Can they help your GB heal over time? I feel like my GB problems are affecting my hormones or vice versa. How do you know what’s at the root? You mentioned it could be hormones at the root but doesn’t fat absorption affect cholesterol which in turn affects hormonal production??

  35. chrystal permalink

    My Dr. Said I dont have gallstones after my HIDA I think it was called… she said my gallbladder was not filling. Not functioning ..and it needs to be removed. Can this be caused by the Mirena IUD ? My symptoms (vomiting bile everyday & complete exsaustion every day) started a couple months after I had the implant . And get worse evevery day it seems.

    • Jeana permalink

      I had mirena and am now being told my gall bladder is not functioning at all.jeana

  36. Please kindly let me know your thoughts. May 20 about 3 months ago had ongoing nausea. Intern put me on Elavil and nexium. slight improvement but bad constipation. Went off meds after ultrasound showed polyps in gallbladder. I had been taking Vagifem estrogren suppository but will stop based upon the link you have seen. The nausea started after eating a fried meal, which was rare for me. I will try the diet. Do you think this will cause the nausea to go away or anything you can recommend for that. I was already having no eggs, dairy, beef, or gluten due to food sensitivities so now I am even more restricted. Any ideas and your best guess if nausea will go away. Thank you.

  37. Susan permalink

    After an acute attack a few years ago, I realized that palm oil, especially hydrogenated palm oil, was the death knell for me. So I have to avoid it by reading labels.

    Also, I analyzed my eating patterns and decided I would stop drinking beverages of any kind, even water, with my meals. I learned that I had to drink at least 1 hour before, or 1 hour after meals, but NOT while eating. The reasoning being that since my gall bladder has been compromised, I would be DILUTING the gastric juices and bile salts with water/liquids, rendering them ineffective. I also find that adding too much milk to my coffee NEUTRALIZES the acids that are critical to digestion, especially if you like to eat a piece of cake/cookies with your coffee.

    And, an apple a day really does keep the gall stones away due to Pectin and soluble fiber. Almond flour is good for baking paleo desserts, and the heat during baking, breaks down the oxalates.

    I have not had another attack for years now, but I will experience an occasional bout of heaviness when I forget and have a piece of cake with coffee and lots of creamer, both with hydrogenated palm oil.

    Eating pineapples, papaya and mango after a heavy meal helps, as well as fresh, raw greens and veggies because the natural enzymes help us digest the food.

    Hope this helps.

  38. V Subramanian permalink

    Dear Dr Gangemi,

    I am from India. Recently i have been diagonized that my galbladder is having 4 mm galbladder polyps and I am advised to remove the galbladder. Can I have any medicines to cure. I see your valuable advises thru email to me

  39. Wendy permalink

    Could you comment on WHY something like lemon juice or ginger eases a gallbladder attack? What’s happening that these things can bring improvement? Thank you!

    • Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory. I’m not quite sure of the reason behind the lemon juice.

      • Lisa permalink

        Lemon Juice causes the GB to constrict, and sqeeze out the excess bile, etc.

  40. nahid permalink

    Hello Dr. Drgangemi

    i am suffering with 2.6 mm size of gallbladder polyps , please help me
    how i can cure without surgery .
    i will wait for your response………

    Kind regards,


  41. Solimar Caruso permalink

    Hello Dr. Gangemi, about two weeks ago I had a GET and there is a delay shown on my digestive system. Then I also had a gallbladder ultrasound which revealed no stones and a gallbladder scan test with the chemical injected through my veins. That revealed that my gall bladder is working at 11% only. I don’t experience any pain but I’m always throwing up. Is there a way for me to get my gallbladder working at at least 90% again and avoid surgery????

    They just prescribed raglan pills to try to help me out. I am taking them four times a day but no change yet. Any hope for me????

    • As I have to advise everyone with such issues (see other comments), I cannot personally help you without seeing you in person. If you hope to save yourself often unnecessary surgery, you will need to find a holistic practitioner who knows how to deal with such cases – often an acupuncturist, chiropractor, or naturopath, sometimes medical doc.

  42. Pauline permalink

    I would love to hear more about how the copper IUD causes gall bladder problems. I believe you when you say there’s a link – it would explain an awful lot about how I got into the mess that I’m in – but I don’t really understand what the mechanism is, and you haven’t really explained in much detail. Is there any chance of another blog post on that?

    • Perhaps in the future. The short version is due to two reasons: 1) there’s a copper-estrogen relationship and 2) copper is a component of our bile salts.

  43. Matt Newell permalink

    Hello Dr. G! Thank you for your ongoing contributions to better health. Many folks that have had their gallbladder a removed are advised to eat a “low to no fat diet”. Naturally low-fat food is one thing, but the general population seems to seek out packaged marketed low-fat food that end up being high in sugar, sodium, etc. Are their natural high(er) fat foods such as coconut oil, avocado, olives, fish, etc. that would be better tolerated by someone without a gallbladder?
    Any input is appreciated. Cheers!

  44. tima permalink

    Dear Dr Gangemi,
    I understand this is an old post, but hope you may still respond…
    Though I’ve been trying to follow paleo/primal diet, I’ve been having issues digesting/processing the fat… I’m one of those unfortunates that almost bit the bullet from gallstone issues, including the stones in the duct and pancreatitis, etc … So I had the emergency surgery, but experience all sorts of digestive issues and weight gain as a result. What’s your general advice for someone trying to follow paleo, but having issues because of no gallbladder?
    Thanks in advance.

    • My advice is to find a holistic doc who can help you figure out why you’re having problems.

  45. Linda permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi:

    Have been reading on your website for months now, catching up on lots of back posts. Thanks for such great information! Searching I have yet to see anything new come up regarding the IUD and issues related to gall bladder, etc. Will you be following up on that anytime soon, or can you refer me to some info regarding the IUD? Birth control seems to be a minefield of trouble, and would love to see someone with your background address it – it is so important to quite a large proportion of our population! Thanks!

    • I will have an IUD article up soon; just saw 2 more cases of Paraguard problems in the past few weeks. IUDs = ALWAYS a problem.

  46. Richard permalink

    I don’t have a comment as much as it is a question. I’ve had gallstones for over twenty year…..twice had attacks. I’m trying to handle them through diet. Most recently I’ve been studying nutrition on the Internet which is confusing to me. On some sites people highly recommend beets for gallstones and gallbladder. Yet others say beets are high in oxalates that form gallstones. “One must eat a low oxalate it” yet if I look at the foods that are low in oxalates they are also high in fats! Onions are warned to never eat, ditto eggplant, yet on some sites they are grouped with potatoes which are supposed to be safe. Most sites recommend a low animal protein diet and plenty of vegetables yet there are vey few vegetables that are low in oxalates……. I’m confused as to who to believe….I’m just trying not to take the path of removing a body part but instead address the causes.

  47. rosemarie permalink

    hi Dr. G,I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSE A 19.MM GALLSTONES,My dr.told me to undergo a surgery,but i dont want coz im scared..what will i do?is my gallsbladder is at risk? im 31 yrs old..and i have used IUD for 8 years.

  48. Julie Go permalink

    Hi Dr. G. I,m 43 and i just had my whole abdomen ultrasound and they saw polyps in my gallbladder. could you send me the complete recipe for naturally removing the polyps thanks much.

  49. Bella permalink

    what if my gallblader has already been removed. any advice? how to i take vitamin D and ensure its proper absorption. what else should I take to compensate. I also have difficulty losing weight since gallblader removal surgery. thank you!

    • Cases like this are too complex to discuss via email; would require an office visit or phone/Skype consult.

  50. Rose permalink

    I am a female in late 50’s. Have had fibromyalgia for about 15 years. I’ve had pain under my right side, which I thought was my liver. I recently saw a doc who said that the herpes family virus that causes fibromyalgia destroys the gall bladder, and I’d probably have to get it out. (I don’t have herpes, but my husband had the fever blisters) I am against this. Have you ever heard of this? I am currently taking an antiviral, celebrex, and flucozanole. I’m also doing a protocol for removing toxins from the bile by taking cholestyramine.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

    • Yeah I’ve heard of this. I don’t agree; plenty of people carry the herpes virus. Medications are a major stress to your gallbladder – you should talk to your doctor about that.

  51. Valerie permalink

    Hi Dr. My mum had a gall bladder attack. Now ok. And might get a EDCR endoscopy flush gall stones removal. Have u heard any success on the endoscopy flush/ bad experience on after effect.
    Would you recommend it. Or should she just go naturopath for natures cure.

  52. Meg permalink

    I like your humor and wisdom, Doctor. Do you think diet and lifestyle change can make many small gallbladder polyps go away? Thank you!

  53. Maria S permalink

    Is unrfined Sunflower Oil ok?

    Thank you in advance. I understand that this article’s old, and I’m not sure if you’ll see my question.

  54. Crissy permalink

    PLEASE HELP WITH QUESTION. Hi, I actually did do a flush, not exactly the same, but very similar and was able to totally remove the stones and I never had the horrible horrible pain again! That was 15 years ago. I’m writing now to ask you a question! My friend is suppose to have hers removed in 2 weeks. 3 doctors told her to do this, and that her gall bladder is no longer functioning. It isn’t from stones. So what could I recommend to her because she is in much pain and can’t eat. Should I tell her to do the flush anyways?? She is a smoker, and I’m certain she had a poor diet like I did too. But if she doesn’t have stones, then would the flush even help? Thank you!

  55. Lydia permalink

    I love this article and information on gallbladder health and care. I’m in a dilemma with mine right now and would love your insite. December 2013 I finally went to the ER with severe right upper abdominal pain and uncontrollable nausea and vomiting. I was diagnosed with liver failure, suspected secondary to gall bladder disease. A liver biopsy didn’t give them definitive answers, ultrasound showed a “thickened, inflamed gall bladder and inflamed liver, with a lot of sludge backup in the gallbladder”. I was in the hospital on IV nutrition only for about 2 weeks before I was able to tolerate any food at all and they could wean me off the IV and send me home. They said they suspected the BC pill I was taking to deal with endometriosis was part of the problem, so I went off the pill and when I was able to go home, I stated working with a homeopath to cleanse my liver and gallbladder, and balance my hormones. I was doing OK until about 3 weeks ago when the excruciating pain in my right side returned again. After a few days of trying many things (a flush, essential oils, lemon juice, ice packs, etc), the pain only got worse so I finally went in. The doctor ordered another ultrasound when my bloodwork came back with elevated liver values again. The ultrasound revealed a very enlarged, inflamed gall bladder with a lot of buildup and an inflamed liver again. My doctor sent me to a surgeon who ordered a hydascan to check the function of my gall bladder. No stones where noticed on the ultrasound. During the few days while I was waiting for the hydascan I went on a “lemonaid” cleansing diet to try to flush out my liver and gall bladder of toxins and hopefully clear it out. The hydascan results where not promising. They could not get my gall bladder to empty. First they tried just having me eat a higher fat meal to see if that would work, when that test failed they gave me a hormone that was suppose to stimulate it to contract. But again, nothing. They did an ultrasound immediately after that showed even more bile in the gall bladder then before. The surgeon is now telling me that my gall bladder is not functioning at all, and is, of course, advising me to have it removed.

    I am a very careful eater and always have been, most of my diet is lean meats, fresh greens, and whole grains. I avoid processed carbohydrates as much as I possibly can, I don’t drink, smoke, and don’t take any prescription drugs anymore (I haven’t since February). I also don’t drink caffeine or soda, and avoid processed sugars. The surgeon I have seen was surprised at the results saying at my age (29) with as much as I do to keep myself as healthy as I can, he has never seen this. He said it’s rare he sees a gall bladder that doesn’t respond to a hydascan at all, especially when no stones can be detected. He also suspects that my liver problems are a result of my gallbladder backing up into the liver due to not emptying like it should.

    I’m at a loss of what to do. I’m waiting to hear back from my homeopath to get her advice on this situation, but in the mean time the pain is getting worse by the day, and getting any degree of relief is getting harder since I don’t want to take narcotics or NSAIDs – especially with my liver values already elevated, I don’t need any more stress on my liver!

    I had a laparoscopy in February to try to deal with the endometriosis surgically since I no longer wanted to use any form of birth control to deal with it – My heart stopped during the surgery, which makes me even more hesitant to agree to another surgery.

    I’m at a loss – Nothing I have tried to attempt to improve my gallbladder function has worked.

  56. Eve permalink

    I recently did a gall bladder flush under the care of my doctor. There was a typo in the instructions and I ended up drinking 2 cups of sunflower oil instead of 1/2 cup. I definitely expelled a large number of small stones over the next couple days, but it was with great discomfort. I felt like I had the worst food poisoning of my life and was on the couch for 3 days. I’m getting back to normal now, still feeling weak after a couple weeks, but I wonder if you have any knowledge of what happens to the body when one consumes that large of an amount of oil? About how long do you predict it would take someone to come back from this? Thanks for your thoughts!

    • If your gallbladder was already compromised then that amount of fat could have just exacerbated the problem more.

  57. shirl permalink

    Hi I had food poisoning a few months ago. Since then once in a while I’ll get pain in my upper abdomen and I’ll belch alot. I have IBS, but it’s never been like this. I’m not sure what’s causing it. Yesterday I ate rather normally for me which included a protein bar. I felt some pain for a while but not until I ate lunch which included fried chicken and wheat. Could food poisoning aggravate a gall bladder issue?

  58. Amanda permalink

    I don’t eat creamy fatty things so what do you think is triggering my gall stone attacks ?

  59. aizabelia permalink

    Dok G gud afternun my mother felt stomach ache last thursday so i advice her to go to hospital 4 check den she had already medicine bt tge doctor tel her she needs and ultrasound last she came in city to undergo whole abdomen ultrasound later we know that she has a gallblader stone,& infections.i ned and advice pls tel me what is the best food need for her,and what food also are not allowed for her tnx& god bles

  60. Toni W permalink

    I have just been recently told that I have gallbladder issue and I am trying to keep my gallbladder in place before the issues get worse, I have had some nausea, vomiting, pain. Any vitamins I should be getting more of or less of to try and control my attacks, also any great diet plans I can follow to avoid flare ups?

  61. Hi Dr Gangemi,
    Thanks again for this article. You wrote a great article on sleep problems a few years back and your advice definitely helped me then. I’m not longer having the sleep issues and my problems were related to my Adrenals.

    I recently had a UTI infection that seemed to spread to the kidneys. Infact this has happened twice this year. As a result all in all I’ve taken 6 courses of antibiotics, and I hate taking antibiotics!

    Anyway, I had an ultrasound scan to check the kidneys (all ok with kidneys liver bladder etc) Instead the doc found a small gallbladder polyp near the entrance of the gallbladder.

    I was really surprised to be honest, and a little disheartened. I eat really healthy, plenty of veg and fruit, lean meats, I cut out caffeine a few months back, I workout 3 times a week (resistance work), dont smoke dont drink. So you can imagine my dismay at the fact none of this seems to have helped, atleast thats how it feels.

    I was wondering if generally its possible to shrink or remove them via natural means. I was told to come back in a year to check it hasnt gotten bigger, feels an awful lot like a waiting game to me when they just tell you that.

    Any advice doctor?

    Thanks again

    • I’m really not sure if you can shrink a GB polyp or not. I’d like to think your body can do that but I don’t have any experience there with someone having one and then not on a post-ultrasound.

  62. Deniz Kızılkaya permalink

    Dear Doctor Gangemi,

    Thank you for the article. I wish I’ve read it before using more than 10 years of doctor prescribed birth control pills for my ovarian cyst.

    I would like to ask whether gallbladder polyps are reversible? A doctor advised me to have a surgery but I do not wish to lose an organ if it’s not necessary.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    Kind regards,

  63. Maria permalink

    Would a gallbladder ultrasound show any issue (including stones) if performed when the patient is not in crisis? Or are you supposed to rush to the ER when you have a crisis to make sure the ultrasound will show what is wrong? Thank you for your help.

    • Sometimes – but not always. It’s just going to show what is happening at that exact time, as well as chronic inflammation. I can’t advise you to rush, or not rush to the ER in a crisis – that is a case dependent scenario.

  64. Ash permalink

    Hello. I been having gallbladder pain for couple years. All my tests came back normal. Showing no stones. Hida scan was normal also. You know why it’s still in pain some times? A Hitual hernia and gerd was only thing that showed on gastroscope test.

  65. Lori permalink

    I have been having pain in my right flank area going to my back and abdomen along with right under my rib cage. Most the time it is a dull ache but occasionally have sharp pain. Fatigue and fever at times. My doctor scheduled a ultra sound and it showed no stones she wants to do a hida scan next. Would a flush help even though I have no stones?

  66. Jamie permalink

    I was diagnosed a month ago with gallstones. I was told I needed to have my gallbladder removed and met with a surgeon. Because of the cost of the surgery, around $18,000, I declined. My issue now is honestly I don’t know what to eat. I’m going to try the cleanse, but I’m terrified that the 1/2 cup of oil will cause another attack. I’ve been avoiding all fats for the past month. I’ve come across many websites that have lists of foods that I should eat if I have gallstones, then find others that say to avoid those foods at all cost. I confused and frustrated. Im basically living off of chicken breasts, baked potatoes and vegetables now. I need better ideas about what is ok to eat! Any help would be appreciated before I go crazy from lack of food! Also, do you have any advice to deal with constipation issues that are very annoying and painful that I’ve been experiencing since having the gallstones?

  67. Jamie permalink

    One more question, I’ve limited my fat intake to about 8 grams of fat a day. I’m losing weight like crazy, but feel nauseous and dizzy quite often, which I assume is because a lack of the right amount of food. For someone like me, with no knowledge of what a proper diet should be while living with gallstones, how many grams of fat do you suggest I eat a day? Please help!

  68. Janice permalink

    Do you eat food or meals as you would normally while doing the fast.

  69. Kelsey permalink

    I just recently had a baby about a month ago, 2 weeks after having him I had a mild stomach ache everyday, all day long..with normal bowel moments. After about a week of that they got sever and I went to the hospital. They did an ultrasound of my GB looked normal and all my blood work looked normal. Said it could be gastritis or maybe ulcer, they put me on Omeprazole. I took it finished the 14 days and am taking Pepcid twice a day..still hurting. Now it’s mainly in my right shoulder and right rib area..sometimes I feel pain on my left side and middle abdomen. And green stool sometimes soft. My question is could hormones cause gallbladder issues and if when hormones level out after having baby could it stop the pain? Also I’m not eating fatty food and only drinking water and nothing seems to help!!!!

  70. Jennifer permalink

    I’m in Wisconsin… do you know a good doctor? Like you:)

  71. Ben permalink

    I don’t have gallbladder problems but I did have 2 polyps on an ultrasound (2mm, 4mm). They were checking for a hernia at the time. I also test high for bilirubin but every doc tells me it’s fine (Gilbert’s syndrome). Should I make an extra effort to build up my gallbladder? Should I ask for a HIDA?

  72. Meissa permalink

    Hello doc
    I had MRI scan to treat my Hpylorie bacteria ,and endoscopy ,scan and they said all is ok
    But when I had the scan after eating fatty meal the gallbladder ejection fraction was calculated as 37%
    Is less than 40%
    I didn’t discuss this prob with my doc BCz I want to treat the Hpylorie bacteria first as I was suffering nearly 4 years with that
    I have swoling stomach like a pregnant woman , vomiting , nausea
    Really tired always and I’. M just 32 years old
    Can I have advice doc plz
    Many thanks

  73. esmeralda permalink

    Dear Doctor Gangemi I recently had my gallbladder removed 2 weeks ago but now I’m experiencing pain under my left rib is that normal. I spoke to my sergeant and all he said it might be gas but to add it to it I have a drain that is taking out stringy tissue.. my doctor knows me by complete name since I call when I have concerns and have him look at my drain.. I haven’t got a honest answer yet I’m just trying to get help.. anything u can tell me or suggest would be a great help

  74. Genie permalink

    Excellent article(s)! And well written with a touch of wry wit….

    Just want to comment that, while I no longer need this devise, the IUD without copper or hormone, which I had for 13 years, was absolutely excellent.

    But when I tried to replace it one could only get one with copper or hormone. So I opted for copper one, became incredibly ill from it and very uncomfortable with it so I had it taken out after one month and felt instant relief….

  75. Dyanna permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to post all this information. I had terrible abdomen pains and pelvic pains that wern’t as bad. After seeing so many doctors the 4th doctor finally ordered me an ultra sound and it turns out I have some debree in my gull bladder. I’ve changed my diet and been walking. I get my results from the radiologist tomorrow. Wish me luck and if you got any advise I’m open to it! √ ^_^

  76. angela permalink

    I was told i need my gallbladder to out i have gallstones how can i get them out without surgery

  77. Nance permalink

    My mother is 90, but an extremely healthy 90. She still works in her yard, drives etc. She just had a severe gallbladder attack and was told her gallbladder is enlarged and she has some large stones. Of course, they are sending her to a surgeon. My concern is surgery on a 90-year-old and I’m wondering if she might be wise to try some dietary changes first. She got over the attack pretty quickly and it was the first one she has ever had. I’m just concerned about cutting open a person of this age who might have issues with being put to sleep or bleeding etc. What is the danger in taking a wait and see approach rather than jumping into surgery?

  78. Dean permalink

    I have an inflamation in the gall bladder.
    Im trying apple cider vinegar with mother (unfiltered)…daily. …I thank God it seems to help.

  79. Clair permalink

    Wow I can’t thank u enough. Is it possible a thread from my coil could be lodged in my gall bladder? I lost one years ago. The coil was removed in November and they can’t see any stones. The pains still increasing.

  80. mahnoor permalink

    thanks for information i have also gall bladder problem .a small echogenic focus is seen along its lower wall measruring 5mm in size.give me some advice

  81. cajethan permalink

    hello Dr. four years ago, my mum had gallbladder stone problem and she was operated, now the same thine had occur but this time she is having frequent stoolling, the ABDOMINAL SCAN REPORT says, GALLBLADDER: There is a finger like projection within the Lumen of the gallbladder measuring 6mm indicative of polyp. The wall thickness is, however, normal.

    GIT: The BOWEL Loops are normal in size with increased peristaltic movement.

    KIDNEYS AND URINARY BLADDER: Both kidneys appears normal in position,shape and size. The pelvicalyceal systems are normal size with clear corticomedullary differentiations. No stone is sighted. The urinary bladder wall is not thickened and normal in echotexture.

    IMPRESSION: (1) Gallbladder Polyp.
    (2) Hyperdynamic Bowels.

  82. Jameson Young permalink

    So, Dr., if your ejection fraction is a 25, do you think the aforementioned flush process would be effective? Plez n thank you.
    – Jameson

  83. Andrea Evehart permalink

    So I just started having digestive issues after being under the care of antibiotics and ibuprofen. I had a bad case of bronchitis that led me to coughing so hard that the area under by right rib cage across to the left under my sternum hurt so bad I could barely function. After the treatment I started having digestive issues along with an in-fluctuation of pain under the rib and sternum. The Urgent Care doctor gave me Nexium with a suspicion that it is reflux related …..however, I did not take it because I notice the pain more when I move, laugh, cough or talk a lot.

    How can I tell the difference between possible gallbladder/organ issues verses muscular. I do have gas (burping) and I started taking Aloe Vera liquid for it but I have no signs of heartburn, throat burn, back pain, nausea, vomiting etc. Just a twinges of pain across/below the right rib across to the sternum and upper abs.

  84. Jae permalink

    Unfortunately had my gallbladder removed a wk ago, I’m extremely healthy but been having issues for awhile my EF was only 4%. Honestly tired everything flushes, diet etc my doctors were like you have to so I did. Both my brothers had theirs removed years ago and I have had 5 pregnancies which is where my issue came from. All of my pain and nausea are completely gone and while I have some morning dumping I am adjusting well I guess. My question for you is what can I do now to optimize my health….at a loss hear a lot about probiotics bile salt digestive enzymes all sort of diets. I am a vegitarian eat mostly raw organic foods lots of smoothies etc. I am currently doing fiber supplements to prevent my bile dumping. I know this article is about preventing surgery but as you are very knowledgeable about GI I would appreciate input. Wish I could have saved mine

  85. Gretchen permalink

    Hi, I have metastasized ovarian tumors blocking my bile ducts and causing constant nasty right shoulder and neck pain. I’ve just started cancer drugs in hopes of reducing the tumors, but I’m curious as to whether you think the dietary suggestions you’ve made here might relieve some of the referred pain. Unfortunately I’m taking large amounts of ibuprofen to calm the neck/shoulder pain or I get zip sleep.
    Thanks for any suggestions,

  86. Beth @ Hooked on Health permalink

    You seem to be answering questions here less regularly so……. I am paleo almost 1 year and I follow the blood type diet. I was in the hospital last Nov with gallbladder issues. They wanted to remove it but I said no. Treated myself with milk thistle and a few other herbs. Healed fine. Now its May and having issues again. Should I just expect to always be susceptible to GB issues? I must mention that I am still 50 lbs overweight down 80 lbs though. Even though my diet is really good I am struggling to lose the last lbs. Is exercise important to GB health?

    • It’s tough to get to all the questions and a lot of them can be answered by reading the post to which they are commented on. No, you shouldn’t always have a GB issue if everything is done right. You might need to tweak the diet out some and yes, exercise can be a factor too.

  87. Magdalena Mendoza permalink

    Hi Dr G
    I have had galstones since 2007
    Not quite ready to get my gallbladder removed
    I am getting more sensitive to having an episode since I had my IUD put in and have had all kinds of stress
    If I’ve had a lot of attacks though the years is it possible that my GB is very week now and scared I wanted to know if I can regenerate it

  88. Kachichan permalink

    I was diagnosed with a stone and multiple polyps 2 months ago. I’ve altered my diet – only healthy fats, no refined carbs or high fat meats. Im not interested in doing a flush, so curious to hear your thoughts on living with gallstones and polyps. My GP said the polyps are more concerning to her – what is your experience with gallbladder polyps and their formation and prevention? Btw – all the polyps found on US were between 0.2-0.3cm and the stone is 0.5cm.

    • The info in the articles is the best free advice I can give you regardless of the situation.

  89. Tracy permalink

    The ultra sound today show I have 5pylops marble size.. Doctor recommends getting gallbladder out. Not my favorite option but I relate pylops to cancer. Any advise

  90. Cathy permalink

    I’m sure you agree there are situations where removing gallbladder is necessary. I had mine removed three weeks ago by open chole because mine was full of pus, sludge, and was 80% gangrenous. Sound necessary to me

  91. Shannon permalink

    I am a healthy, active person in my 30’s. Love to eat right and race triathlons… until, I begun to have sharp stomach pains(right, middle and left) after eating certain foods and felt unusually lethargic. Finally decided to see a doctor. I thought I had an ulcer. I found out: 1. Blood work showed I was positive for early stage of Lyme disease. 2. Ultrasound showed sludge and debris in gallbladder (no stones, although my mom, aunt, and grandma had theirs taken out). 3. EGD showed I have acid reflux (which I already knew and never bothered me before). I am currently taking Doxy., Proton Inhibitor, and a Probiotic. I have cut down my acidic intake tremendously, BUT I still get pains in my stomach occasionally. The worst pain is in the middle of the back and my tiredness. Are all three issues connected? What do you think, is the gallbladder to be main culprit or Lyme’s? I’m afraid of the flushing techniques due to the acidic liquids. Advice?

  92. Marina permalink

    Can lemon be replaced by lime?

    • Good question. I’ve always been taught lemon only but it wouldn’t hurt to try lime. :)

  93. samarth khanna permalink

    i am 32 ,had my gall bladder operation about 6 mths ago,want to have
    heavy & fried food but when i eat , i am not able to digest it,is there
    any solution to my problem,if there plz suggest anyone

  94. Min permalink

    Thank you for all of this helpful information! I will definitely be improving my diet after reading this. I have a 5 mm size polyp in my gallbladder at the same time I found out my vitamin D was low. I never knew there was a connection… interesting. I’m a mother of 4, so recovery after surgery is a scary thought for me. I have decided to wait and just keep an eye on it for now. The last couple days I’ve been having pain on my right side of my back and occasionally on my left side, nauseous, gurgling noises in my stomach, (tmi) urinating very frequently, (not sure if that’s related) dizzy, etc. I have been to the doctor so many times with new symptoms popping up and the only thing they have found is the polyp so far. Would changing my diet help to improve the polyp situation or is that suggested only for helping with stones? Do you think it’s wise to keep an eye on it at 5 mm? Thank you so much!

  95. Akanksha permalink

    My mom has a 3mm polyp….she also has a gallstone….she gets severe cramps…she is 43years said that the polyp has 40% chances of being cancerous….is this polyp really cancerous?….she doesn’t wants to undergo surgery….is there any natural remedy to cure this?

  96. Sasha permalink

    My mom is said to have gallbladder issues, not stones but some sort of blockage? Anyways, more than anything she is suffering from insomnia & is wondering if there is any quick remedy to help sleep? Of course she is attempting to treat the problem, but she still can’t sleep.

  97. Angela permalink

    Have you ever come across a patient that has had gallbladder symptoms as a child? I have had these symptoms as long as I can remember, but never was able to verbalize what I wad feeling to doctors so I gave up and lived with the pain. Sometime my attacks were frequent and sometimes I could go months. A couple years ago I decided to see a GI specialist. Blood work came back normal but ultrasound showed many stones. I opted out of surgery and honestly attacks became pretty infrequent with just avoiding caffine paired with fatty foods. Now I am pregnant and even just a muffin can give me an attack. I am strongly considering the surgery after I have my baby, but now am a little concerned it won’t help as this is something I have had since I was a kid. I was also considering the copper IUD but will have to rethink that too. Any insigjt on what would cause GB issues that started as a kid? I have never been overweight.

  98. Angela permalink

    Also, I saw a comment that mentioned peppermint. I can attest that peppermint essential oil rubbed on the abdomen outside of where the GB is, is a lifesaver… unfortunately you sre supposed to avoid peppermint EO when pregnant…

  99. Jen permalink

    I am desperate at this point because I cannot have my gallbladder removed. Due to an occlusion in my portal vein that they have only recently discovered – I have developed varices (Varix) all over my spleen and liver and especially the gall bladder. There is no way they want to go near it due to risk of internal bleeding (very likely death due to a platelet disorder) I am desperate but am really concerned about getting the stone stuck in the duct to force me into surgery… ?? any further suggestions or just go exactly what you wrote….

  100. Laura permalink

    I was wondering if an overactive gb can turn bad? A few days ago I woke up to diarrhea, then I threw up a few hours then a mild headache set in. I have had a constant pain mostly on my upper right side. Actually my entire abdomen is tender when pressed & I feel the tenderness registering on the right side. I had a hida scan about 5 yrs ago & it was 92%. The Dr said it was overactive but not sick could it be getting sick now? This is constant pain & not going away

    • Sure an overactive one can then burn out; also depends on what one means by overactive – sometimes that’s a misused word.

  101. Cassie permalink

    8 year old son!

    I took my son to Children’s Hospital on Father’s Day. He was having severe stomach pains, but by the time we got to the hospital they passed. The hospital didn’t take him serious and didn’t run any tests and told us virus. I made an appointment with our pediatrician and they ordered and ultrasound. Ultrasound came back with sludge in his gallbladder but no stones. With him being so young, would your recommendation be for him to have it removed or to try different options. As a mother I don’t want my son to hurt but I also don’t want him to have unnecessary surgery. He isn’t in excruciating pain, but does complain daily

  102. Monica permalink

    Great info, is the Hida test helpful? I am worried the test will just aggravate my gall bladder. I am against unnecessary surgery or in essay tests.

  103. Monica permalink

    Unnecessary tests I meant. I also get a heat flash symptom – any other get that?

  104. Maryam permalink

    Would coffee enemma work the same as the flush ? I can not use apple juice due to fructos intolerance also can not fast. Is there another option for me?

  105. Judy permalink

    Can you do the flush if you have gastritis? With gastritis I have been avoiding lemon and lemon.

  106. Janet permalink

    I just found out today (by accident when having an ultrasound for something else) that I have one gallstone.

    I’m not experiencing any problems. Would flushing it out possible/recommended or should I just leave it there…..

    What are the chances of the one stone ‘getting stuck’ and becoming a real problem, something it currently doesn’t seem to be.

    I do have a slight hiatus hernia, but it is under control with some periods of Nexium 20mg every now and then.

    I’d like to get my gall bladder in tip top condition!

  107. Lindsay permalink

    Thank you so much for this informative information. I have the copper IUD and all my gallbladder issues started shortly after getting it (nausea, vomiting, pain). I have been experiencing this for over a year and because of a HIDA scan (23 ejection fraction) and a ball of sludge in my gallbladder my dr thinks I would get it out in a week and a half. I have asked several Drs if it could be the IUD and they say no. I’m really torn on what to do. If I get the IUD out can my gallbladder be healed? I’m just worried that when I get pregnant again and leave the gallbladder in I’m going to have significant issues during my pregnancy. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

  108. jason permalink

    Hi doctor….
    I have been.having pains for.the last 5.months in the gall bladder area, occasional cjest pains, feelings of fullness, increased gas, pain after meals… pain after few coffees, and some tenderness in the upper right abdomen ..have not been the healthiest eater in the world my entire life… had gone for physical about months ago due to some chest pains wanted to make sure I was ok…results came back with both liver enzymes high , high triglycerides, and high cholesterol… doctor recommended adjusting diet… I did.. went from 5 to 7 coffees light and sweet a day to 1 to 3 with half the sugar…switched from a quart to half gallon of whole milk a day to less than 2 cups of low fat at most daily…went from eating around 7 to 12 to 1 to 2 a week ..
    Had blood work done 3 weeks after the first results…prior to going instarted getting the cramps feel in my upper right abdomen which I hadn’t had prior….new blood results showed liver enzymes were normal… cholesterol and triglycerides were still little high …and good cholesterol went to 28..spose to be 40 plus….4 months I experienced the pain coming and going..went to doctor 2 weeks ago didn’t do blood work called it abdominal strain…these ooo the ibuprofen scripts did it… no better…these oooo day I went to the hospital cuz it hurt pretty good…. did ultrasound ,blood work, chest xray, and and ekg…found no problems with any of them… gave me a script for ibuprofen 600 MG 3 times a day for 3 days for inflammation ..and also script for ducyclomine 20 mg 3 times a day for 3 days for cramps….any advice going forward ..

  109. Jacqueline permalink

    I found out the wall of my gall bladder might be thickening but I rarely feel pain on my side and no pain in my shoulder. I want to avoid surgery and I’ve been dieting and lost 8 pounds since I’m a bit heavy. With the flush and continued diet and exercise should I be okay? Thank you.

  110. Martha Kean permalink

    How much magnesium in the gallbladder flush ? And where to purchase

  111. katie permalink

    Dear Dr. I had a hydascan that showed gallbladder only working 2% . How soon should it be taken out ?

  112. Robin permalink

    I am 57 year old female and very active cycling, riding my horses eat. I have been dealing with digestive issues for many years. The past year have been struggling with bloating nausea unintentional weight loss, just an over all sick feeling. After working with the gastro doctor he finally ordered a HIDA scan with CCK. My EF was 17% so I met with a surgeon who recommends removel of my GB. I had no pain or nausea during the HIDA scan. I have no pain in my upper right quad or anywhere near gallbladder. I have no stones determined from an ultrasound. Do have a small amount of sludge. No thickening. I do suffer from IBS-C for many years and had a hysterectomy 5 years ago. I have in the past felt like I had a gallbladder attack after eating a fatty meal such as a hot dog. But since dealing with IBS I wait it out and it passes. But have not such an incident for 3 years now. I am a picky eater and do not eat anything high in fat or fried. I can’t tolerate fried foods. I am in a complete dilemma as to the possible removal of my gallbladder as I have been told it’s only a 50 – 50 chance I could feel better. They diagnosed me with Biliary Dsysknsia and when I read the symptoms they do fit some of the criteria, but I have no pain. I do have major sweating issues during digestion that are horrible, and think it is associated with IBS. Trying a FODmap diet but it calls for slot of bread and rice ect. Dr. Ganggemu. Can I live my life with a Gallbladder functioning at 17% or will it continue to fail. I am very tired if not feeling like the healthy person I was. Is the gallbladders low function causing me to feel sick all I do t want to have surgery, as I worry about a outcome of worse problems. But am way to active to be ill feeling. We get to the point where we will try anything and the removal of a GB scares me to death. Especially because I have no stones or pain. Any help would be so appreciated from your amazing knowledge of GB issues. Thank you

  113. Elana Hardin permalink

    I am 37 weeks pregnant, and yesterday I had a horrible gallbladder attack. And today, it seems in that area is sore. I’m afraid to eat cause yesterday I barely ate anything and it happens. Is there a reason why its sore? Does that mean its infected. I’m really worried.

  114. Bryony permalink

    Thank you for a very interesting article. I wish I had read this before removal of my gallbladder in 2013. I didn’t really know I had stones until one got stuck causing pancreatitis. Gall bladder was whipped straight out without time for me to consider implications. Since then I have had digestive problems. Nausea every morning and discomfort after certain foods. Doctor found my amylase levels to be high and suspects sphincter of Odi syndrome, so I am being referred for a ERCP. I’m worried that this is going to do more harm than good. Do you have an advice or links to articles on what to do if your gallbladder has already been removed? It is interesting that you say the gallbladder has an influence on hormones as I have had such strange seemingly unrelated symptoms for 2 years coinciding with the gallbladder removal, cold intolerance, shivers and palpitations. To me these seemed like a thyroid thing but tests were negative. To hear that gallbladder issues can have an influence on hormones is reassuring that these symptoms are not in my head as it has been suggested my doctors.

  115. Jane permalink

    Hi Doc,
    thanks for the great artical.

    I had a problem with now a mild acne rosacea (after they overdose me on 1,5yr of antibiotics till 2008- absolute disaster of overall health- then after holistic aproach only until today:),
    so I went to a well known astro-healer, who told me from my date of birth (my relatives who unlike me had been diagnosed- he told them their known problems correctly, so now I am puzzled…)
    that I am allergic to CASEIN and cannot eat any dairy, milk products, esp. bifidus and fermented milk, kefir (butter he said does not cause a problem or milk in cooked or baked goods)-
    that the allergy on casein is causing my gallbladder not functioning well and therefore I have a mild redness around the nose (+noticable red circles under eyes) and tiny white pimples esp. on the nose- diagnosed as an acne rosacea.
    (1week before period I have the most breakout- so hormonal connection perhaps?)

    Have you ever heared of such connection with gallbladder+casein allergy-rosacea???
    Could it be possible, what he said?

    (Also would think that fermented casein will not be as bad as other forms of not sure why he was so much against that…)

    I am on strict remineralising paleo diet(no gluten, any sugar, casein, dairy, seeds+ FAT=only coconut, e.v. olive oil, and a bit of organic pork lard…2month on my white strikes on front teeth looks the same not better, but my skin improved a bit, esp. cheeks…the pimples are just still on my nose….and my skin on forehead+ into the hair+around lips is still flaking like not oily dry dandruff- before dry flaky skin on all my face due to rosacea and no use of commercial creams just shea or olive oil…)

    I am writing this just in case you would know some trick to help:)

    P.S. I have also read (i think on that they tested the green stones from BM- from gallbladder flush and it was nothing else than the product of olive oil+lemon…or whatever was actually just used in the flus recipe…
    not the actual stones from gallbladder…
    …have you ever tested the stones for the content so that you do recommend the holistic flush recipe?

    Thanks for any advice

  116. Erin permalink

    I’m not sure if this thread is still being used, but I had my gallbladder removed at 27 weeks pregnant, semi-emergency style. Prior to my pregnancy I’d always been very fit (surfer, ran, played soccer regularly) with no need to diet to maintain my always on the dot 128 lbs. I had also never taken any hormonal birth control. I was 36 so considered a “geriatric” pregnancy. Unfortunately 3 years later I still have similar pains crop up every few months – mostly post-strenuous workouts or when dehydrated (during stomach bugs). My theory is that whatever pregnancy hormone switch got turned on (more estrogen?) to cascade into the worse-than-labor pain of gallbladder attacks hasn’t been turned off. I’ve done plenty of self-experiments but the only thing that seems definitely correlated is hydration. I’d love to find a way to feel normal again…
    Any input would be so appreciated.

  117. I was wondering who u reccommend I go see in or around Albuquerque, NM if I have Gallstones and attacks rhat set off my Costochondritis and severe constipaton but want to avoid surgery and any advise or help u can give, or a way to have u treat me from afar. Thanks

  118. Becky permalink

    Can you reccomend a Dr in the Dallas area?

  119. harry lim permalink

    Hello sir. I am from Philippines and was diagnosed of a 2 pcs of 0.46cm polyps in my gallbladder.

    Can I do this cleanse for my polyps ? Would it help ?

  120. Marjorie permalink

    I month ago I was dignosed with Gallbladder stones they say I have baby ones. Today was my second time going to the emergency thanks to the pay :(. I wanna know if I can do the Flush instead of surgery. Am I still on time to do it?

  121. Pamela permalink

    About a week ago I had an attack that lasted 24 hours. Afterwards I had some weird pain in my abdomen, but only when I moved around. That pain is now gone. My problem now seems to be whenever I eat, even if I just eat fruit, I get fatigued. Could this be my gallbladder? I have no insurance and I would definitely not be able to pay for surgery, even if I wanted to (which I don’t). I could deal with the pain. What I can’t seem to deal with is food sapping my energy. What would you recommend?

  122. Angie permalink

    Hi I read you article and for 4 weeks I’ve had severe pain on my right side and I’m up vomiting at night and nausea during the day i get the chills at night also i thought it was ulcersuntil i went to urgent care and they said it could be gall bladder problems i just had a hysterectomy lady month about 3weeks before i got my symptoms i got an ultrasound done and it said i have multiple gall stones and sludge in my gall bladder would the cleanse work for me? I’m in so much pain i just want it to stop. Can my gall bladder issues be life threatening cause it seems like the Dr s don’t care it’s taking forever to get them to do tests and now forever to see a general surgeon and I’m not sure i want to remove my gall bladder.

  123. Cathy permalink

    Hi doc i had the hida scan done and the only pain im having is the right shoulder but the doctor says needs to come out it’s dirty. What does that mean. And should i have the surgery. ..thanks

  124. karen permalink

    Wine is a big trigger for me. I can drink it. But if I drink it several days in a row, it starts to hurt.

    Funny thing is that I didn’t know it was my gall bladder for a long time. I mentioned the pain at a doctor visit once. I told them that it seemed to get worse when I drank wine, and then would get better when I stopped. The doctor never mentioned my gall bladder at all. It wasn’t till I told an ER doctor friend of mine about the “stomach” pains I got right here, and she said, “You’re stomach isn’t there. That’s where your gall bladder is.” Then it all made sense.

  125. pam permalink

    Hi, like all the rest of you I was told gb wasnt working, I was wondering if it was causing me to have the itch that is from the inside out, u can’t rub or nothing BBC it will only get worse u have to let it run its coarse. I can’t rub skin in shower or with towel. Dizzy also.

  126. Jocelyn permalink

    Hi Dr G
    Thanks for all the info.I recently had abdominal ultrasound ordered by my primary and results on Gall bladder:there is evidence of echogenic foci with posterior acoustical shadowing compatible with stones.The largest stone measures .4 cm.There is no evidence of sludge.There is no gall bladder wall thickening.There is no sonographic Murphys sign .Ther is no intrahepatic or extra hepatic biliary dilation noted.Thecommon bile duct measures 4 mm within normal limits.I am asymptomatic no abd.Pain. So my primary says it’s up to me if I want to see surgeon or wait and see.So far I’m trying low fat gluten free diet I’m on syntroid 75mcqs doing my exercise 2-3 x a week.Do you think I need to do the flush recipe.ActuallyI ordered the cleanse Drops last week.But now that I read the stones can block the biliary system upon flushing I’m scared.Pls. Advice thanks.

  127. Lynn permalink

    Going to give the flush a try starting tomorrow.
    I had my gb removed laparoscopically on an emergent basis when I was 26 – where a stone was lodged between my bile duct and gallbladder – I never had any prior problems until I was in a dept store with my sister and thought I was stabbed in the back (under my shoulder blade) – ended up in the ER about 2 hrs later as the feeling was getting worse and had the surgery. Now 41 yes female and overweight. I was never given any instruction on diet from the surgeon nor my PCP(so glad I came across your article). A little under 3 yrs ago I started having a small ache under my ribs and told my PCP she advised to lose some weight and I basically begged for at least a Chest X-Ray at the least for testing. She ordered that and it was negative – and in the last 3 weeks this ache has gotten worse; with no relief with anything but time. It comes and goes all day long can last minutes to hours and no rhyme or reason if I ate or anything. Well tonight I was eating a couple licks of an ice cream and it felt as if I had a brain freeze under my right front ribs that extended all the way to under my ribs in the back and slightly into my shoulder blade. This was 5 hrs ago (still hurts under my ribs) I am sure I have a stone in my bile duct – but giving that my PCP didnt order anything close to 3 yrs ago and I don’t like using the ER as a dr’s office; I will give the flush a try. If it don’t work, guess I will be going in to see my dr after all.

  128. Norma permalink

    Hello Dr. G.

    I’ve been going thru some hard times with my gallbladder, I can’t eat anything because I get this burning sensation that starts from my belly button to right top of my stomach, I burp a lot and I have a feeling that I have gallbladder stones. I live in Los Angeles, CA and I would definitely like to come down and see you! How would I go about scheduling an appointment with you? Please let me know? Thank you!

  129. Suella permalink

    just had an abdominal u/s for my liver which showed a polyp (3mm) in my gallbladder, should I be concern? Is there a way to remove it?

  130. Tina permalink

    About 4 months ago I started experiencing gallbladder attacks (bad pain under rib cage radiating to my back), no stones were found during a er visit. About two months ago, I began feeling extremely nauseated (no pain) to the point where I would go all day without eating-I’ve lost 20 lbs since. Recently I had a Hida scan that showed my gallbladder was at 30%, could the gallbladder be causing so much nausea problems without the pain?

  131. Shula Beifun permalink

    What sort (or brand) of magnesium or disodium phosphate is required for the flush and how much (in your medical opinion) should be taken? Please reply . I have gallstones but I don’t have any attacks currently but I have had 2 in the past due to my then poor diet (which has changed for the better since then). My only problem is constant and immediate bloating after eating, it’s non stop’ I can literally eat just a slice of bread or a piece of fruit and its instant bloating. Its frustrating but I am on a journey to resolve this problem. I want to do it the natural way, giving that my gallstones is not life threatening and I want my organ to remain inside me. Please reply to my inquiry, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • I use calcium citrate as well as the brand Calm. I use disodium phosphate from Standard Process.

  132. Heather permalink

    My husband and I have white round stones in our stool. Could that be from a gallbladder issue?

  133. dianna permalink

    Okay, so if I don’t have stones, but I do have a .5 cm polyp and or sludge, how do I fix this? I need the killer pain to go away, and I’m waiting for surgery, but I feel like I’m going to barf all the time, always feel full, woke up 3 nights ago at 1130, to feeling like somebody shot me at the bottom of my sternum with a .12 gauge shotgun! Please help me! I know I’m late to the site, but I’m perilously close to vomiting my life away.

    • dianna permalink

      Also, my hands are peeling like crazy… I was told by one Dr that it was all in my head, now this Dr that I’m talking to that is okay with pulling my GB, isn’t completely convinced it IS my GB. Ugh.

  134. Adrienne permalink

    Just took a gallbladder function test last week. It’s low functioning and the doc wants to take it out. I know it’s there for a reason for my gallbladder and want to save it. Oddly enough, my pain is more on the left than the right and not constant. I’ve had plenty of other tests showing nothing else wrong. Would the lemon water be a good preventative option to start with on a daily basis? Along with watching my diet, of course.

  135. Howdy! Loved your article!! I seem to be having pain of gallstones passing without a gallbladder. It’s been gone for 26 years (I’m 51). I read about the body forming it’s own new pouch. The discomfort is also worse when I’m stressed….read about that, too! I’ve been told there can be inflammation of the bile duct…I do feel like something in the liver area is swollen. It feels better when I push in under my ribs. Is inflammation a common problem years later?

  136. Mada permalink

    What can cause gallstone pain without a gallbladder? I swear at times it feels like there’s something inflamed and I’m passing a stone!

  137. Liz permalink

    Hi! I am wondering if diet change/flush can help with polyps. I have no gallstones or sludge, however I have a polyp and pain. Would like to keep my GB if possible.

  138. stella permalink

    Thank you Dr.Gangemi for your detailed article and especially for pointing out the four “F”s.
    I often thought there was a correlation with my estrogen level changing (pre and post menstrual cycles) where my gallbladder was most susceptible to attacks.
    Although diet was improved and condition somewhat manageable, but due to many years of attacks, the wall has thickened.
    I will be seeking acupuncture before throwing in the towel to have the Laparoscopic gallbladder removal.

    I hope others will come across your article to help them before resulting to removing a viable organ.

  139. Gracie parrilla permalink

    Hi Dr. Gangemi! Good day, I am patient diagnosed with gallbladder polyps. May I ask if what could you recommend on my case, will any flush could work on this? Any suggestions for diet? Thank you so much for your in advance. 😊

  140. Anabella permalink

    Blessings Dr. G,
    I found both your articles to be very informative and chead some light.
    I was dignnossed with Gallstones in July had I flair up and went to the Emergency Room With A lot of pain and had a lot of test done which pointed it to be my gallstones.
    I recently have been having flair ups more constantly just had 2 in less then a week. And this last one was very bad. Is that a symptom that it’s getting worse? I don’t want to get surgery. But when I’m having an apisode that’s all I think I should have. I’m going to try the flush cleanse you recommend on your article. Hope it eases my flairs and pain! It’s horrible Pain!
    Thank you Again God Bless You,

  141. Nathan permalink

    Hi Dr. G.

    I was diagnosed with 2 stones in my gallbladder one is 1.72 cm and 0.7 cm which is located in bile duct. My question is gallbladder flush is still possible for big stone like this and it will not stuck in bile duct? any suggestions to decrease the size of the stone so it can easily flush.
    Thank you.

  142. Penny permalink

    Thank you for your information I want to try the flush but not know the type of magnesium phosphate to take .2 can I buy organic apple and grind it or buy organic apple at grocery stores please reply .my problem is pain on right abdomen, skin problem ,indigestion sleepless night and more

  143. Joann C. permalink

    I have been having pains for months. After many tests they found out my gallbladder is not working at all. No gallstones were present either. I am meeting with surgician next week. I was told it needs to be removed. I have lost over 30 pounds in less than a month and I am in a constant pain which sometimes gets a lot worst too. Great article thank you!

  144. Patty permalink

    I had a bad gall bladder attack. Really thought I was,having a heart attack. ER didn’t relate it to my gall bladder no stones. Reg dr did a gall bladder function test and mine is functioning at 13% still no stones. They wanted to take it out and I said not yet. Is there something I can do to get it functioning better?

  145. claire wright permalink

    Hi, I am hoping you may be able to shine some light on my problems.
    in May 2014 (nearly 2 years ago) when I was walking I suddenly got a stitch like feeling under my right rib cage like someone was poking me with a coat hanger. I seen a few doctors who both sent me to the hospital with suspected gall stones and possible blood clot (as the pain was going into my shoulder). Cut a long story short I was discharged with mild gastritis after an endoscopy. I was then referred to a gastroenterologist who said I had IBS. to this day I still have terrible pain, especially when I am driving and walking. I was diagnosed with Lupus SLE when I was 14, I have the copper coil (Sep 2012 after birth of son), I am not the healthiest eater but not the unhealthiest, I play football 7 hours per week so relatively fit. I do not drink alcohol often but when I do, most times I am either violently sick or very drunk after only a few drinks – especially wine. I am still going back to my doctors who just don’t seem to want to hear it. I really don’t think it is IBS as all symptoms I have relate to Gallbladder problems (from what I have read). please help :(

  146. Beth permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have been searching for an answer for weeks and weeks. My ultrasound showed nothing and I have put off the Hida scan because I have no desire to have my gallbladder removed. But I was beginning to give up hope that surgery may be the only solution. I am going to try your protocol beginning today! I am already gluten free and have a pretty strict diet, much like you recommend, so I’m ready to try the flush. I’ll post results,… without pictures!

  147. Enan permalink

    Hi dr gangemi
    I have ultrasound today and found out have a multiple 0.9cm GB polyps,my doctor says nothing to worry but need to be monitor. I dont want surgery. Do you have any idea to flush out these polyps?i need your help dr and im highly aprreciated to your response. Thank u n GOD BLESS =)

  148. Cheryl permalink

    Hi Dr G.,
    Several things–Wonder if it might be good to add contraindications for a flush? in my case, I am being treated homeopathically for Crohn’s and it is VERY MUCH better- no back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, which was dizzying. It is clearly healing but will be a few months before I know more. But had I gone thru with the flush recommended all over the web, with no mention until yours (and I think one other) of the diarrhea, I could have done gotten myself into a big problem!.
    My gb has a 2.5 stone that I’m concerned with but no attacks. My N.D. said when I was aching down there, that it was my liver, not gb. I know a gb pack is good for the liver too, so I FINALLY got up the nerve to do a gb pack last night. She tested that I do it for 2 hrs. I was not that tired last night (OK, fell asleep during pack but had been awakened in a,m, early) but TODAY I WAS EXHAUSTED! It took several hrs longer to get up and I had to force myself even then. Is that normal after a pack?? She says I should have 1 daily for 3 days in a row, then 3 days off, and repeat. Should the fatigue improve? Thanks!

  149. Tejal permalink


    I am from India and have a 19 mm gall stone. I will shortly be trying for IVF and would like to try the flush prior to that.

    Appreciate if you can help me with the quantity of magnesium phosphate I should take.


  150. sarwar permalink

    I got gallbladder polyp 5mm and doesnot have any physical problem. My sgpt level is too high 128 U/L but bilirubin, alt, alkaline phosphates are normal in condition. I will meet with doc soon and need natural remedy for that. I surprise sgpt level which is too.high. I’m panic to get this.

  151. Erika permalink

    Great article! I have a question.. I’m 26 and I have a 9 month only daughter. I got a mirena IUD 3 months after labor and delivery. Shortly after IUD placement I’m pretty sure I had a gb attack. If it wasn’t that, it was at least severe pain and nausea. My dr sent me to have scan and I had no stones and wanted to do further testing, but I opted not to and still don’t want to because I am still nursing. After saying all that, is it the mirena 5 year IUD have copper? Or is the the actual copper IUD? Could that be the issue?

  152. Brian Reinert permalink

    Hi I will try to make it quick. I have had atrial fibrillation for about 12 years now. About three years ago I noticed every time I convert back to NSR from afib a couple days later I get pretty bad pain in the gallbladder region for almost exactly three days where I can’t even push on that part of my stomach. I had a ultrasound and a hida scan done and they said that I have a low functioning gallbladder without gallstones. I then on 2/4/2016 was diagnosed with a 4cm flat polyp in my duodenum that two doctors in Las Vegas would not try to remove so a doctor at UCLA removed it on 4/29/2016. I was hoping maybe that had something to do with the pain after an afib episode but I had an episode on 5/20/2016 and guess what I have pain three days later after I went back into NSR. All my different doctors don’t have an answer for me and I’m concerned.

  153. Squidler permalink

    Dr. Gangemi,
    Very informative article. I recently had an ultrasound to check for gallbladder stones and it came back clean. One symptom I have been having is a feeling that something is underneath the right side of my ribs, almost like a bulge that comes and goes (not painful). Looking at your sight and others this never seems to be listed as one of the symptoms. In your experience have patients ever said this to be one of their symptoms?
    Also I will be starting the lemon drink and possible looking into a gallbladder flush. Thank you for the detailed information.

  154. Krystal permalink

    I have had gastritis (burning, gnawing pain and sometime heaviness like a rock) for the past 3 years that started with a single steroid shot. I occasionally get mild, intermittent pains on my right side. I’ve had every test done, including a HIDA scan that came back at 54% ejection two years ago.
    Can gallbladder issues cause gastritis?

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