Gallstones and Low Carb

Gallbladder in pink

Do gallstones improve or worsen on a low carb / high fat diet? It’s a common question with an interesting answer.

The gallbladder stores bile, a yellow-green fluid manufactured in the liver. The bile is used to digest the fat you eat. The question is: Is it good or bad for the gall bladder to eat fat?

The conventional fat phobic answer

The usual medical belief today is that fatty food can result in gall stones. This is because what happens if you already have gallstones in the gallbladder and eat fat: A gallstone can get stuck on the way to the intestines and give you a gallstone attack (pain in the top right part of your stomach).

The conventional advice is thus to eat low fat – and take pain killers if you get a gallstone attack. If the attacks continue the gallbladder is removed by routine surgery and the problem usually goes away. Probably with the side effect of slightly decreased ability to absorb fat and nutrients from what you eat (there is a reason we have gallbladders).

The conventional low fat advice rarely makes gallstone disease go away. Instead it often gets worse with time, until surgery is necessary. That is hardly a coincidence.

How to get gallstones

If you eat low fat less bile is needed to digest your food. More bile thus stays in the gallbladder. Long enough, perhaps, for stones to form. It’s been shown that people who (instead of fat) eat more carbohydrates are at increased risk of gallstones.

It all sounds logical. And there is even better evidence. The risk of low fat diets have been tested at least three times:

Studies of extreme low fat diets

  • In a study of 51 obese people using an extremely low fat low calorie diet (just one gram of fat a day!) the gallbladder was examined by ultrasound before the diet and after one and two months. After one month four of the 51 participants had developed new gallstones. After two months more than one in four (13 people) had new gallstones! This on an almost fat free diet. Three participants needed to have their gallbladder removed during the study.
  • A similar study examined 19 people eating an extremely low fat low calorie diet over 16 weeks. At the ultrasound examination at the end of the study five people (again about one in four) had new gallstones.
  • A third study compared an extremely low fat diet with a diet slightly higher in fat during 3 months. More than one in two (6 of 11 people) in the group eating extremely low fat developed new gallstones. Nobody in the group eating more fat did.

Conclusion: Do you want gallstones? Avoid fat.

What happens if you do the opposite?

What if you were to do the opposite of the usual advice? Regularly eat food with fat in it? Then more bile will be used to digest the food. The bile ducts and the gallbladder will be flushed through regularly. Probably no stones will have time to form, and pre-existing stones might (if you are lucky) be flushed out into the small intestine.

The risk is that you will get gallstone pain in the short term – if you already have gallstones.

The question is: Do you want to think short-term (low fat) or long-term (higher fat)?

Does high fat food work?

It’s logical to think that food higher in fat can result in a gall bladder free from gallstones. But as far as I know no study has tested high fat food to people with gallstones.

On the other hand I know quite a few people who have experienced that their gallstone disease disappeared on a LCHF diet. Sometimes at the expense of initial gallstone attacks though.

A Swedish low carb site conducted a survey of its members. 145 people who used to have gallstones answered what happened since they started eating LCHF. Take the result with a huge pinch of salt as this kind of survey gives very unreliable answers:

This survey gives some support to the theory that high fat food can cure gallstone disease.

Gallstones and kidney stones

Patients with kidney stones get better advice. They are told to drink a lot of fluid, increasing the production of urine, so that stones do not have time to develop. If you already have kidney stones this advice could give you a painful kidney stone attack initially – but you are still advised to drink a lot.

The reason why we give the opposite advice when it comes to gallstones might be the obsolete fear of fat. If we were afraid of water instead patients with kidney stones might have been advised to avoid drinking to avoid kidney stone attacks. If they did not improve their kidneys would be surgically removed.

What do you say?

Have you had gallbladder problems? Have you tested a LCHF diet? What happened?

Mer

Other health problems

LCHF för nybörjare

PS

Another common question is if you can eat LCHF if your gallbladder is already removed. The answer is that this seems to work fine.

Some people without a gallbladder might have to increase their intake of fat gradually to allow their body time to adapt. Otherwise the body might not have time to digest the fat which could result in loose fatty stools initially. However this rarely seems to be a problem.

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105 Comments

  1. Paula
    I was advised this week to follow a low carb diet. My GI doctor told me to increase the healthy fats in my diet and avoid sugars/starches. This is because I have a gallbladder that has a 27% ejection rate and I have stomach dumping syndrome. He was very clear in that I was lacking FATS in my diet. The added benefit is I am losing weight and my reflux coughing is getting less frequent. (I had 2 Nissen Fundoplications for the coughing...both of which I coughed until they came "unwrapped".) On a disappointing note, my 84 year old obese mother was told yesterday by a cardiologist at a respected mid-western hospital that low carb will damage her kidneys!!! Of course this was all because he was scheduling an appointment for her with their in-house nutritionist (ch-ching).
    Reply: #53
  2. A low carb diet when you replace the carbs with protein can damage the kidneys, that's why Atkin's diet got a bad name in some circles. However, if you replace carbs with fat as LCHF followers do, I don't think it will do harm. Wishing your mother good luck!
    Anna
    Replies: #71, #91
  3. nostent4me
    Great to hear that there are sensible docs like your one around, Paula!
    And Anna Page is 100% correct. A LCHF diet is not about increasing protein, actually instead reducing it gradually as weight loss goes on , in line with falling metabolic requirements.

    The only start problem with high fat is that old stones created under (years of) low fat
    eating can get trapped instead of dissolved if change is not gradual, as I elaborated in post #49

  4. I have had a lifetime of roller coaster weight gains and loss. 17 years ago I lost a few stone on a low fat diet, this resulted in gall stones, I removed them through flushing, so for those people that say it doesn't work and to all the doctors that say its just an old wifes tale - it can work. I drank apple juice for 7 days, large quantities then on the 7th day drank olive oil, 115 grams then 50g of lemon juice and latetr epsom salts then lay in a certain position, then the next day they were passed, I had another ultra scan and guess what - no more stones. I went back to eating unhealthy foods put weight on some loss then gain. I have just spent 5 months loosing 3 stones and guess what I have gall stones again, 1 quite large around 3 cm. I dont know what to do. I am scared to try the flushing again in case the stone gets stuck, plus I think it might be for the best to just get rid of the gall bladder altogether, its obvious I am prone to this problem. I dont want to live my life anymore on a high fat diet, I want to live a healthy life that I can enjoy fully with my young family.
    Reply: #55
  5. nostents4me!
    "..start by adding lots of green salad and dressing with AN EXTRA spoon of good olive oil to meals, twice or even three times a day. Bile flow is triggered only by the fat in the food coming from the stomach into the small intestine, what I know." (As I wrote in #49 above.)

    The above restores DAILY small bile flows that then can be gradually increased. Combine above with coconut oil and lots of good butter from grass fed cows and your carb consumtion will automatically decline.
    But if you feel pain, wait and start again with less, maybe even half the fat. The important thing is to restore a daily flow and then build it up, so that the stones can DISSOLVE instead of be "pained out"!

    After all, the bile has to carry out all the stuff that the liver has cleaned out from the body.
    A low flow during long time (low fat diet!) makes stones form for this reason:
    Crystallization risk increases with slower flow as concentration of bile salts and bound impurities then is higher as gradually more of it must be gotten rid of in smaller volumes. In other words low fat diet closes the operational gap from two sides.

    A month or two on gradually increased high fat diet is the answer, as I see it!
    Avoid fructose and alcohol during the build up time would help.
    If you are "fatscared", olive oil is approved by all but make sure it isn't diluted with controversial omega-6 oils!

  6. Richard Close
    Someone mentioned enzyime supliments for those who had theie G B removed. Anyone know which ones and other info?
  7. Richard Close
    And does anyone else without a GB have sudden needs to "go"? I hope there is something to take to do the work of bile
    Reply: #58
  8. Zepp
    Do you have that examined?

    Becuse that shouldnt apear.. if one not eats a lot of fat at the same time!

    Its your liver that excrete bile.

    I know a lot of peopel that removed there bladder without any problems to digest fat.

  9. Derek
    I did a quick search. I didn't find a chart with trends over the last 50 years, but I did find out that yearly 500,000 Americans have their gallbladders removed.

    That number flat out shocked me.

    Doing a little math: Over the course of a lifetime, say 78 years, the number of gallbladder amputations will be 39 Million. That just over 1 in 10 Americans.

    I looks like the low fat craze inspired by poor science in the 70s has had a horrible effect in the gallbladder cost to Americans.

    I have a friend who had to have her gall bladder removed after years of low fat dieting. My wife's mom nearly had to have hers taken out as well. Her doctor told her that its been very common ever since the low fat diet craze started. The amount of gall bladder surgeries over the last century should definitely be charted. I feel like it would give a very clear answer.

  10. nostent4me
    Compared to UK figures with approx. 60,000 Gall bladder removals p.a.. Using same formula you did, UK comes out att approx. 7%. Low fat craze developed and of course more deep rooted in the US, yet Sweden is worse if the estimate 10,000 ops p.a. on only 8 million is correct. It is bringing it up to 12 % over a lifetime, 2% more than the US.
    Swedes have been very trusting following dietary advice coming from authorities. Something that seems to be changing rapidly today.
    This ad for a gall flush is of interest as it points out a few important functions of bile flow.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78d0im1MSHY
    It is hard to see how proper bile flow without the gall bladder bile reservoir can function long term without complications.
  11. Rick R.
    I had issues with my gallbladder and I now know why. Well I was on a HFLC diet and did good on it. But then I let in some bad sugary stuff in and overtime got ill. I turned out I had fatty liver. I then went on a LFHC diet lots of veggies and some fruit but almost no fat. Then I started suffering these bad painful attack and didn't know what they were. All I know is there were severely painful. It turns out a lady at my work had gallstones and described her attacks and they matched mine. So one night I had another severe attack that just wouldn't stop so after 4 hours of severe pain I went to the hospital. They thought it was a bladder infection...I said no it's my Gallbladder. Then they told me they were the professionals and knew what they were speaking about.

    Well after a blood test that showed a high white cell count, they admitted me. After a few days and now being able to see my gallbladder on an Ultrasound they believed I had an infection of my GB, as some infection produce a lot of gas the will interfere with the Ultra Sound. A few days after the antibiotics I felt better. Didn't get severe paing again just very mild.

    I started introducing more fats and this seems to of helped. But I believe the reason for my trouble was after being on a HFLC diet then allowing a lot of sugar into the diet, which had me gain much weight. Then switching to a LFHC diet was the culprit. It probably allowed a bunch of gunk to stagnate in my gallbladder and become infected. I never had stones but had what they called sludge.

    If our gallbladdesr are there to help with fats then fats have to come into the diet is my belief now.

  12. Annie
    I freaking knew it. My personal experience meshes with this exactly. I normally eat a HFLC diet because it's what I feel healthiest on. I do have gallbladder disease, because it runs in my family and my tendency to form stones is genetically high, nothing I can do about it.

    What I have noticed is that as long as I'm eating a high fat diet, with low to moderate carbs, I'm fine. Whenever I eat high carb foods without fat, bam, I get an attack. The last week I've been pretty broke, so I was eating a lot of rice, with little else. I got really sick with gallbladder pain. Yesterday was payday, so I went shopping for the foods I normally eat. After one day of my normal HFLC diet the pain is gone, and I'm no longer feeling bloated and nauseous.

    I started doing some research on this, which led me here. There are numerous other sources on the web, and I've found many medical journal articles that reference this phenomenon.

    I've been eating HFLC despite the gallbladder disease, just because I believe it's the healthiest way of eating for me, but it's nice to have some confirmation that I'm doing the right thing.

  13. angie
    Thanks a lot for this article. Im eating lchf since two years, everything is great. my husband started lchf in januar and lost about 8 kg since then. This night we needed to go to the hospital, because he had strange stomach pain. The ultrasound showed one bigger gall stone and many very small stones. i made myself a reproach because i thought "oh god your diet made him sick". But as a first benefit we got the blood values wow! his cholesterin went down from december to now from 256 to 221 and ldl cholesterin went more than 50 mm/dl down. So i relaxed a bit.
    As i came home from the hospital (the doc wanted my husband to stay for med observation) my first work was to search your homepage to get some more information about this gall stones stuff and how i can help my husband to get healthy. The explanations you give are making sense to me and i know one time more how lucky we are that we've found this kind of diet. Thank you so much! today i recognized how important your work is, because when it comes to trouble a layman like me is lucky to have easy access to such great and profound information. kind regards from snow-covered germany!
  14. Betty
    I have more a question than a reply. I just found out my son has to have gallbladder surgery.. do you think that a contributing factor was that he did like the adkins low carb diet? He lost a ton of weight which he needed to or do you think that he already some issues and the diet did not help him. Just thought I would get some feed back and see what you thought. Thanks for time and help.
    Replies: #65, #66, #67, #72
  15. nostent4me
    Strange! These problem usually come on when fat consumption increase, that is when going from a low fat diet to a high fat diet.

    After a month or two all should have been flushed out well, is my understanding.
    But that is with olive oil and natural fats, know nothing about omega 6 oils and margarins.

    Yet low carb without added fat can cause all kind of problems. Proteins must remain the same, only fats to replace carbs. Else kidney and liver problems can follow from too much proteins.

  16. Zepp
    Well gallstones is concetrated bile.. its the bladders jobb to store and concentrate it!

    But if one dont flush the bladder by eating enough fats regulary.. it forms to stones or pebles.

    Some peopel have an heredity to form gallstones, they should be extra careful and eat enpugh of fat so there always is new and fresh bile in the bladder.

    But that one seldome know before its a problem.

    Some.. verry few peopel get stones anyhow, they have some failure that make them stone builders what they do anyhow.. but they are rare!

  17. nostent4me
    I found this that may apply in your sons case: "However, avoid rapid weight loss such as occurs with crash diets, as that can actually trigger gallstones. Weight loss should be slow and steady — focus on losing a pound or two per week".
    Another thing that can be good to know about liver gall bladder & bile is this:
    "The efficiency of this system is enhanced by the reabsorption of bile acids from the intestine, minimizing the quantity lost in the faeces. Reabsorbed bile acids are then carried by the bloodstream back to the liver, where they are available for further recycling into the bile"

    Another implication is that UNLESS the fatty food that triggers the bile is consumed together with (green) vegetables or not fully processed food, some parts of the bile that contains toxins meant to be excreted could be recirculated via the hepatic vein.
    This seems to be a very good reason to why refined foods are higly unsuitable to consume as they contain no scraps to bind to. The liver cleanses itself through the bile!

    As a daily liver/gall cleanse I take a 3-5 chlorella tablets each day followed by fat like a 1/4 of a glass with one eggyolk + cream and/or olive oil plus a dash of lemon or vinegar. Sometimes adding an activated charcoal tablet! The idea is to daily promote some extra bile flow combined with good binders to ensure that any dissolved toxins the liver may excrete are being bound so that they are prevented to recirculate. Unwanted recirculation prevents the liver's daily cleansing and may be one reason for gall stone formation.

  18. Darya
    To all:

    Please read Amazing Liver cleanse by Anderas Mortiz.

    http://innisrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/06/liver-and-gallbladder-miracl...

    Reply: #69
  19. Zepp
    Its rubbish.. it just making soap lumps that get to your stools!

    Do you want to make soap.. take som oil, ad acids and som salts!

  20. Lori Morgan
    I have been LCHF dieting for over a year and just had my gall bladder taken out 3 weeks ago. I woke up early Saturday morning, ended up at the ER that afternoon. They admitted me and I had emergency surgery that Sunday morning. I had 3 gall stones, 2 swimmers and 1 lodged in the duct. I feel so much better now. I also suffer from seizures, so I thought alot of the pain I was having a couple of weeks prior to surgery was actually due to the seizures. Now I know :)
  21. Chi
    It is ignorant professionals who caution against ketogenic, or LCHF diets, as they understand those as same as a high protein diet.
    They routinely scare patients with: "a high protein diet will harm your kidneys" [[well, if that's all you are eating, yes, it can!]].
    That reveals their professional ignorance.

    IF one -only- consumes a high protein diet, keeps carbs AND fats low, they can damage kidneys, damage digestive tract, get all kinds of sick & eventually die
    --it's been called "rabbit starvation", after people desperate to survive, who only have access to eating rabbits--rabbit meat has no fats, is only protein--subsist on that too long, they develop diarrhea, dehydration, [among other things] and die.

    Similar happens if someone -only- consumes a high-protein, moderate to high-carb, and low fat diet. That is still approximating that "rabbit-starvation" condition.

    IF humans consume a high-carb diet, with relatively low protein, and not too much good fats: the overload of carb/sugars revs up insulin resistance, revs up fat storage [body protecting itself!]; carried on too long, this causes all sorts of illnesses to develop.
    This diet--high carb--is what hibernating animals use, to fatten up for a winter's sleep
    --only, while they sleep, they are not continuously eating more carbs....their bodies depend on the fat stores built up over summer berry-eating.
    While a hi-carb diet might work if we were also hibernating in winter, it fails to work for modern humans, in most locations world-wide.

    IMHO, it seems like we'd most all benefit from using a very good rendition of LCHF diet, using all organic, free-range, & organically grown, sources.

  22. Chi
    Betty,

    Adkins diet is high-protein, moderate fat, low carb.
    Those eating the Adkins diet, will lose weight, but MAY do damage while doing it, if they fail to use adequate fats--many say they are eating an Adkins diet, but they are not getting enough good fats while doing it.
    A High protein diet, where protein is the larger portion of the diet, can approximate "rabbit starvation" conditions, which cause plenty damage in the body.
    Please see my post above, or Google "rabbit starvation".

    So, to answer your question, whether your son likely helped cause his gallbladder attack,
    Yes, he may have. He might also have caused kidney stones, IBS, GERD, etc. etc.

    As I understand things at this point in time, for the LCHF diet to work properly, Protein must also be kept, -approximately-, to -less than half- of the good fats intake.

  23. Chi
    LCHF re: seizures:

    Ketogenic diets have been used for decades to decrease seizure activity.

    It is possible, that if one follows the LCHF diet in general, but is not getting adequate good fats, or not enough variety? such as avocado, coconut oil, etc., the chemistry might not work optimally to decrease seizures.
    I'd be exploring what fats I was eating routinely, to see if there was a better mix of various good ones, which might help better to relieve seizures.
    Might explore Lorenzo's Oil, for instance?

  24. Chi
    QUESTION: [[because I've not yet seen this addressed]]

    First: no, am not diabetic nor insulin resistant.

    Is it common to get very, desert-dry-thirsty, even while drinking around 2 quarts of water daily, during the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet?

    Reply: #75
  25. Zepp
    Yes its comon.. its comon transitation problems, drink some broth to, or take some extra salt!

    Becuse you pee out a lot of salts!

    And Atkins is not a high protein diet, its exacly as LCHF a ketogenic diet!

  26. Chi
    Thanks, Zepp!
  27. Michel
    Hi !

    I plan to go on a LCHF diet to lose about 8-10 kg. My doctor told me that I had to have my gallbladder removed cause it is not functioning anymore — meaning, it cannot contract and/or store bile and is only susceptible to inflammation. Also, it is atrophied.

    My question is: can I go on a LCHF diet knowing that my gallbladder is "dead" ?

  28. Chi
    Michel,
    You didn't say about how old are you--increased age can make a gallbladder less flexible or operable. But it can happen in young people, too--especially those who have consumed junk-food diets.
    I wonder if your gallbladder might heal itself, by using this LCHF diet long enough?
    Amazingly severe conditions reverse themselves using this.

    Take it easy, make sure you get plenty fluids; maybe take extra fiber & water to keep the intestines going smoothly/prevent constipation.
    After you eat, you might want to lay on your left side, to help the gallbladder gravity-drain a bit. Some folks have used a gentle, manual, circular massage of the gall bladder area, to help it drain a bit, too. You might hear or feel it gurgle as this is done.
    Some folks might need digestive enzymes to help digest food easier, at least the 1st couple weeks.
    My gallbladder issues decreased, using this diet.
    At first, there was some discomfort, but, eating smaller meals more often, laying on left side, a little massage of the GB, helped. Then suddenly, one day, no more pain, & bile could be sensed moving more normally.
    This diet really does wonders: with the right tools, the body can & does, heal itself.

  29. michele
    reply to #72 Atkins is NOT High Protein...It is high fat, low carb, moderate protein, that protein intake is decreased as weight goes down as per dietary guidelines...

    If you follow Atkins properly you replace carbs with good fats, not with protein... I think many people misunderstand it or misuse it... Many have been lead to believe that meat/protein equals fat.

    I sincerely doubt if the son ate Atkins and followed it properly it lead to the gallbladder issues...more likely he already had issues and it led to the flare up or he did not follow Atkins diet properly.

  30. michele
    I had my gallbladder removed 25 years ago... after my symptoms were misdiagnosed for over 5 years I collapsed in pain and was taken to ER where it was discovered my GB was ready to burst as it had 2 golf ball sized stones as well as many smaller ones. NO ONE ever told me that low fat could be the problem and I had been eating low fat and thinking I was eating healthy. I am now eating lower carbs and introducing more good fats into my diet. I am not following Atkins though I have researched it. I can not get around the thought that carbs from fruit or grains are necessarily bad, so I do eat them, in moderation, but have cut from about 150g carbs a day to about 40-60g/day. I have always ate fresh fruits and veggies, limited fat and while I like meat, have limited my portion sizes and frequency, often choosing leaner cuts and types of meat. I ate low calorie (less than 1500) a day and still I gained. Going to a lower carb, higher fat has seen me lose a steady 1.5 lbs a week for the past 11 weeks and have never felt better...less tired overall, hot flashes have all but disappeared, less headaches, less between meal hunger/snacking, less cravings for junk food. I am due to have a lipid panel done to see if my cholesterol levels are better or not. My BP has improved more than it did on any of the drugs they tried for me. I never had problems with BMs, though often they were loose. I came on here in a convoluted route when trying to see why I suddenly had nearly white stool. Worried if the LCHF diet was bad for me because I had my GB removed.
    Reply: #81
  31. Zepp
    White stools are not normal.. on any diet.. its indicate disturbance of bilirubin.. could be liver damage and others.. go promply to your doctor!

    And its better to go one time extra, then one time too little!

  32. Cleora B. Connell
    Not everyone that has a problem with their gallbladder will even notice anything at all. The fact is that the majority of people that have gallstones will experience no gallbladder symptoms at all. The good thing about these cases is that if there are no symptoms then the gallstones are causing no problems and they can just be left there without having to worry about any negative effects on the health.

    for more info about gallbladder, visit http://www.allgallbladdersymptoms.com

    Reply: #83
  33. sten
    Isn't the danger that with a low fat diet gall stones slowly build up and only when they reach
    a certain size they become a problem? "Gall stone holiday" is a phrase surgeons have used to describe Christmas and Easter, when many low fat diet people indulge in more fats causing sudden rare bile floods that sometimes results in blocking stones and emergency operations.
    The long term solution is to eat a regular diet higher in fats to keep more than a trickle of bile
    flow over the stones which give them the chance to dissolve and completely disappear. Start out with a small increase of the butter!

    An other aspect of maintaining good regular bile flow is that the bile is a multifunctional liquid.
    It is not only dissolving fat so we can digest it. Whatever the liver has cleaned out of the blood and left overs after conversion processes, call it waste, must leave the liver through the bile. This means that a low fat diet produces a more concentrated bile that for immediate reasons easier crystallizes or form stones.

  34. Terry
    So how much healthy fat is healthy?
    Reply: #85
  35. sten
    Once potential stones are gone, replace most carbs gradually with fat and leave proteins the same. The number of calories will be less as fat is self-limiting, probably main cause of ease of weight loss. But use good natural fats !
    From a very low fat diet the transistion must be trial and error if gall stones are suspected!
    Which means several small doses per day, like cream instead of milk in coffee or tea to start with for a few weeks, then beef broths made on bones for lunch etc..
  36. Phyllis
    ok-now I am totally confused. I have had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago...have found it harder to maintain my weight and loose weight. went back on Atkins diet 3 days ago and have had nothing but stomach problems since...and I have not lost as much weight as I usually do when I go on it (before I had gallbladder removed) Is this common problem. I have 15 lbs I would really like to get off to get back into my favorite clothes and I am frustrated.
    Reply: #87
  37. Zepp
    No its not a comon problem related to gall bladder removal.

    Your liver still produce bile and gall.. and if it dont, you got pale stools and lose weight rapidly.

    I think you got the same problem as I have.. and that is.. when one get older one dont lose weight that easy anymore.

  38. Matthew
    I'm curious about those who still have their gallbladder and are living with gallstones. I imagine you are like me and you would like to keep your gallbladder rather than have it removed. I've been living lchf for about three months and I've had one attack. Ironically the day I had the attack I hadn't eaten a particularly high fat meal. In fact in the last three months it was probably the least fatty meal. Anyhow, I don't intend to stop living lchf because I've experienced way too many positive changes. But, I wonder for those that have been doing this for a while, what problems you've had or positive changes/outcomes you've had with regard to your gallbladder. I know for myself there didn't appear to be a change after one month of lchf. (i had it checked out because of the attack).
  39. Betsy
    Matthew, I am one of those that still has their gallbladder and would like to keep it! Last year I was diagnosed with gallstones and told I had to have it out, but instead I went to a holistic doctor who treated me with various supplements but also recommended the low carb diet. He also determined that I was sensitive to wheat. I haven't been very good about staying on low carb recently, admittedly, and I need to get back to it. But what I find, for me at least, is that if I avoid wheat, I don't have any gallbladder symptoms, but then if I do start eating it again, that's when the problems begin again. I have a feeling that individual people have things that trigger gallbladder attacks or pain that would be different than the next person. For some, it seems to be fatty foods, but fatty foods don't cause problems at all for me, just wheat, and I think sugar. I think it's important to discover what triggers the symptoms. Incidentally, I have never had an actual "attack" as it is usually described, just pain and bloating, and the ultrasound test that showed the actual stones are there. Oh, another thing that I believe helped me is chanca piedra, which means "stone breaker," it's an herb you can take that is supposed to break up stones of different types, including kidney stones. Sorry for the rambling post. I hope what I've said makes sense or is helpful in some way.
  40. Chi
    Matthew,
    I also have my GB, and intend to keep it! HAve lived with stones a very long time, occasionally, when they've acted up, have used alternative methods to get some to release, always seems to help.
    Yes, some foods trigger worse symptoms of them--usually, though, instead of fats, it seems to be carbs that triggers symptoms worst.
    During 1st week of LFHC diet, noted there were some light symptoms, so backed off that diet slightly, to give body chance to adjust.
    Then, added magnesium--which helps the GB and adjoining tubes, to relax, allowing stones to pass some. Also, added Vit. C. Sometimes added some potassium.
    HAve used real apple cider vinegar to help food digest, too--usually about a Tablespoon at a meal, usually in water, before eating--this boosts stomach acid, which helps digestion.
    These simples helped.
    Fiber also helped things keep moving properly.
    ALSO, GMO foods [aka, GE foods], seem to trigger worse symptoms.

    Thing is, when eating the usual Standard American Diet, so many types of foods are put down the gullet at same time, the digestive tract can't properly handle all of them--carbs need less digesting, different digestive enzymes, than proteins.
    So mixing lots of carbs with proteins is just about a guarantee to have Reflux issues--
    --what the stomach can't handle, it -will- try to expel--either by Refluxing it up & out, or fast-tracking it the other way---begetting diarrhea in some;
    causing many professionals to think it's too much acid, or, irritable bowel issues--when really, it's a matter of food combining, and proper amounts of digestive enzymes.
    They may even measure the stomach contents, and swear there's too much acid--when really, there isn't--it's all about what gets put in our mouths, when, and how.
    There's also issues with malnutrition in many--that by no means means skinny--people can be morbidly obese, yet be malnourished. They just may not be able to absorb nutrients they consume--so they keep craving, eating more, yet not getting what they need to be healthy.
    IT's so complicated!

    But using the LCHF diet comes closest to helping the body get what it needs, allowing it to heal in so many ways. It's worth it!

  41. Chris
    Anna,
    There is no evidence that higher protein intake has been associated with kidney damage.

    It has been associated with a higher GFR but that is not an indicator of workload, and not function. It is fine for someone to ingest as even higher of .82g/lb of body weight.

    The original study that came with the conclusion of kidney damage was a very old study with a poor indicator of measurement.

    Medical professionals use BUN/Creatinine to determine kidney function

  42. Fran Davies
    Hi everyone

    Reading over this forum, I wonder where I can find this low carb high fat diet.
    I am worried now because my daughter has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's and is on the Atkins diet.

  43. sten
    Hi, go back to top (ctrl + Home keys) and then place mouse over "Health and weight loss", and select LCHF for beginners or click on this link: http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    2nd link below recommends ketogenic diet ( low carb with very little protein and lots of fat, mostly butter, coconut oil and olive oil.) It requires also extra salt.
    There should be lots of tips in the first link!
    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/disease/hypothyroidism/

    Good Luck !

  44. Fran
    Hi Sten, thank you so much for your post, I have been trawling the internet for a year as I am sure that you need SOME fats to keep the GB bile flowing!
    My consultant told me 'no fat whatsoever' but that is stupid IMHO lol. My stone is 13 mm so it is not going anywhere!
    Reply: #95
  45. sten
    Go easy but steady up wit the fat.
    An instant simple flush out of bile I read about a long time ago: An egg yolk plus cream was tested out to be the best then, in the 1930s. I would take 1/4 glass of real cream + egg yolk in that order, stir with a fork and down it !
    But with a known gall stone, that needs to be reduced initially to avoid complications.
    I cannot say how much and you really need to find a doctor as I am not allowed to give medical advice and I only write what I would do to myself.

    If you do anything like it, eat plenty of green vegetables 1/2 hour before as the bile from the liver would be concentrated after a long time on SAD or high carb low fat diet.
    The veggies are to bind toxins in the bile to make sure it goes to drain instead of being recyled into the bloodstream! The reason for the stones in the first place is that low fat diets concentrate to much in small volumes resulting in crystallization. Bile flow is triggered only by dietary fat.

  46. Fran
    Hi Sten

    Yes I'm going to do this slowly, my gallstone is the result of hypothyroidism but i did follow low fat diets for a long time...

    Reply: #100
  47. sten
    Fran,
    please keep us updated and the best of luck to you!
  48. Fran
    I will, I am a bit afraid of high fat foods but will take it one day and one fat at a time. Just recently, after eating dinner in the evenings my abdomen burns, so I have to tread carefully.

    Good luck to all on this eating plan.

    Reply: #99
  49. sten
    Charcoal tablets may always be a solution to stomach problems.Take with magnesium tablets if you are afraid of constipation. Also make sure you use natural fats like cream, butter, coconut oil and olive oil. The last one in moderation "unless you got it from the farm" as much of what we buy today may be mixed with cheap omega-6 oils. Our authorities seem to just ignore it!
  50. sten
    I think I have a better idea to dissolve existing gall stones quicker with minimum pain.
    Mix as said above cream + one egg yolk. Drink 1/4 of this and wait 1 hour. The research I saw from the 1930's found this mixture to be the best to promote bile flow and it said that bile would flow within 10 minutes from taking the mixture.
    If no gall stone pain, take another 1/4 of the mix with two hours interval, unless pain. If any pain increase time between quarters as bile is then most likely prevented to flow due to blockages.

    Repeat for a few days, increasing gradually from 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full glass each time,. Keep taking a full glass for a few weeks and then the stone should have dissolved as it has then been exposed for much "lighter" bile than the thick low fat bile that is prone to crystallize due to its much higher solid contents near saturation.

    As I said before this is not medical advice and please find a doctor that are willing to assist you to standby to do this in a safe way as one can get a gall stone attack if one have gall stones and ingest too much fat too quickly. A doctor knows what you be done in the short term to alleviate such pain and avoid complications, which may help you to continue with no need to remove the gall bladder. No informed doctor to help from start can mean pain and panic followed by ER and immediate operation.

  51. Fran
    Hi Sten

    I think your post has a lot of sense to it as bile can become sludgy! I will try this once I get my acid balance correct. It really is quite a pain.

    Thanks you for your help, it is rely much appreciated. I have often challenged the doctors about leaving stones sit in sludge which we keep off the fats.

  52. Trish
    Yep, after one year on a low fat diet my gallbladder rebelled and had to be removed. Total surprise for me....I thought only very high fat diets caused gallbladder problems.
  53. Ana
    I've been experiencing gallbladder pain that started around the time I was first pregnant. After that, everything was kind of different. I've been on a lchf lifestyle for a while, now, and never once have I had another gallbladder attack while eating this way. I notice that when I do incorporate the carbs back in, that is what seems to bring on the pain! The 2013 holidays were painful... I tread a lot more carefully knowing this. Ahhh - the price I pay for certain deliciousness!!! Not going to lie, I still go back every now and then and suffer the consequences, but now that I know what causes it... it kinds of make it somewhat tolerable, if that makes sense?
  54. Sarah
    Wonder if anyone knowledgeable is still reading this article…? I know I've got stones. I got the usual BS advice (gotta love the NHS - NOT! But I won't get started on THAT because I'll just get ranting…) and chose to ignore it (I now want nothing further to do with the NHS - it is NOT a 'health service', it is nothing more than the sales arm of Big Pharma - and your GP is nothing more than a sales rep.

    Eating HF now DOES NOT cause pain - it wipes me out. Not in the sense of needing to sleep, but I simply can't function. My diet is now crap. I'm eating all the grainy crud I'd eliminated (I lost 23 stone eating LCHF palaeo). It's a little like the 'low-carb/keto flu' but, I was fully fat-adapted before I started having stone trouble (I was IFing and following Mark Sisson's Primal Fitness fasting moderate cardio regime very successfully). This is ALWAYS worse round TOTM (I should mention I also have PCOS which was probably WHY I was obese - and type 2) like now.

    I'm becoming scared of food - ANY food; scared of ODing on the carbs - for obvious reasons - and scared of fat (again, for obvious reasons). I'm in my 40s, I shouldn't be like this (the other problem is that I'm severely autistic, and I'm beginning to feel out-of-control and panicky the whole time; I knew where I was when I was able to eat LCHF - EVCO, grass-fed goats' butter, MCT oil, goats' cream, high-fat non-cow cheese, goats/buffalo milk, fatty cuts of GF meat (not often because I simply can't afford it, I was buying 100% grass-fed beef burgers though (no fillers of any kind, just beef, onion, herbs (thyme, oregano, sage, and basil) and they did one with tomato & mozzarella in the middle (PROPER mozzarella - you'd not BELIEVE the number of times I've bought what I thought was mozzarella only to get it home and read 'contains cows' milk' on the pack! THATS *NOT* MOZZARELLA! Sorry, but there needs to be some kind of a regulation preventing a 'mozzarella-like' cheese being called 'mozzarella'. I've yet to find feta, for example, made with cows' milk. It's deceitful.

    I'm wanting to take control of my diet again - because I've been stuck in bed 3 years and, frankly I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!

    Obviously now I'm no longer FA, but I know that, SOMEHOW, I must get my body 'reset' - but HOW…? The only thing I CAN'T tolerate anymore (in the sense that it DOES cause pain and makes me throw up) is MCT oil. When I was palaeo, I was able to tolerate 2tblspns (around 40ml) in a standard sized mug of strong black coffee (LOVE my coffee, I can't seem to tolerate that now, either). Got that tip from a dude on Mark's forum - he said it helped him IF and train fasted for longer and - sure enough - he was right. I've tried starting small (1 x 2.5ml scoop) but I can't even tolerate that small amount now… :*o(

    So, what to do…? Although I'm still small (though EXTREMELY bloated - I look permanently 6 months pregnant) I have zero muscle tone now, unsurprisingly and I'm living in baggy PJ bums because of my swollen and distended belly. I'm also suffering from what I term a 'hyper-spasmodic' colon (it's like having my IBS back again - but this time it's satanically evil! Without being too graphic (I hope - I'm autistic, so I find it impossible to judge whether I am or not) I'm either having up to 12 BMs a day (and, yes, if I'm trying to increase fat, they ARE orangey) or I'm lying on my bed with my guts constantly cramping (and erm, I honestly don't know how to put this delicately, passing copious amounts of 'gunk' - I'm having to wear large Always, otherwise I'd be changing my knickers every 5 minutes!). This is another reason I'm having 'food issues'. I eat, and it sets it off again!

    I'm taking high-strength B vits (as separate tabs, NOT as an all-in-one; for a start they're too large for me to swallow, and secondly, I've always doubted the efficaciousness of multis (I don't take multivitamins for the same reason), CoQ10, Fe, Mg, K, Se, Z, vitamin D3, choline, taurine, ALCAR, tyrosine, tryptophan, TMG, theanine (as needed). I'm NOT good at taking O3, because the gels are really too Big for me to swallow (I've always had issues swallowing large caps and tabs) and the liquid makes me gag (and it's not very high-strength). I KNOW supplements are no substitute for a healthy diet but, when food now seems to be your mortal enemy, what can you do…?

    Sorry this is so long but, if there's anyone out there still following this article and reads this - HELP!

  55. Thad
    My experience has been interesting. When going on a very low carb diet, while overweight, the rapid weight loss caused my gallstones to grow and multiply. Though, after losing the weight and remaining at a stable weight for some time, all while remaining on the low carb diet, my gallstones shrank. The doctors advice to me was, if I ever become obese again and then return to the low carb diet to lose weight, I should take ursodiol tablets (to prevent gallstones) until the bulk of the weight is off. It's the same thing that doctors recommend for people with gastric bypass, because the weight loss is often just as fast on the low carb diet. If you are not overweight, it seems that the low carb diet will help gallstones, if you are overweight, it seems that the low carb diet will make them worse, until you stop losing weight. Ursodiol is supposed to prevent this from happening during rapid weight loss though.
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