by Dr. David Jockers
Gallstones are crystalline formations of cholesterol and calcium formed within the gallbladder and biliary tracts. These stones can vary widely in size from as small as a grain of salt to nearly the size of a golf ball. Gallstones are a sign of incomplete liver detoxification and pose a significant threat to the body. Beat gallstones naturally with an anti-inflammatory diet and cleansing cycle.
The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for the bile that is produced by the liver. Bile is necessary to digest and metabolize fatty acids. The extra bile storage allows the body to effectively metabolize fat-rich foods such as steak and eggs. When the liver and gallbladder get congested with toxins they are not able to secrete bile effectively. This can cause bile material imbalances that lead to gallstone formation. Gallstones are typically a combination of cholesterol and calcium. Most individuals do not experience any outward signs or symptoms.
As the stones get larger they hamper digestion and can cause mild to severe pain in the upper right abdomen area. These painful episodes usually occur at night after eating a fatty meal. Other symptoms include abdominal bloating, belching, gas, fatty stools, low energy after eating and diarrhea.
Gallstones can also lodge infectious organisms such as E Coli and Bacteroids and cause further inflammatory stress to the liver and gallbladder. These infections can create life threatening issues and must be addressed. Fermented foods and probiotics work to both inhibit these infectious bacteria and reduce the severity of any infection. An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is necessary to inhibit gallstone formation.
This diet consists of phytonutrient rich organic fruits & vegetables, grassfed animal products and healthy fat sources such as avocados, coconut & olive oil. Raw cheese from grassfed cows and goats is an important food due to its rich content of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K2 & D3. The synergy between vitamin K2 & D3 helps regulate calcium metabolism to inhibit the formation of gallstones.
Foods that are rich in organic acids and natural enzymes are especially important for the entire digestive system including the liver and gall bladder.
These foods include apple cider vinegar (ACV), fresh squeezed lemon/lime, kombucha, kimchi and red cabbage sauerkraut. Probiotic enriched, raw dairy products such fermented whey, kefir & amasai are extremely beneficial.
Liver health is dependent upon a regular fasting cycle to effectively cleanse and detoxify. A 12-hour fast between dinner and breakfast is a great daily habit.
If one were to finish their final solid food meal at 8 p.m. they should not attempt another solid food meal until at least 8 a.m. This gives the body four hours to digest and metabolize the food and then 8 hours for the liver to cleanse.
Once you incorporate this 12-hour daily detox cycle into your lifestyle you can choose to increase this period of time.
Two to three 16-hour liquid fasts each week and/or a 24 hour liquid fast will keep the liver well flushed.
These fasting periods are much easier than most people believe. Many individuals will drink fresh vegetable juices, functional beverages made with fermented whey, kombucha and water with lemon. The fluid and nutrients supply the body with very clean energy that enhances the liver’s ability to purge toxins and facilitate bowel movements.
Anyone with pronounced and symptomatic gallstones should go on a liquid diet with lots of water & lemon, ACV, fermented whey, coconut kefir and fresh organic vegetable juices. Try to limit solid food to one meal per day with very moderate portions of anti-inflammatory foods.