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Health / Gallstone problem
« on: January 20, 2010, 04:26:28 am »
Hi all,

This post contains a lot of background information and i understand that will be unappealing for some, cliffnotes at the bottom for those that don't want to read all.

Since this is my first post here i thought I'd explain a little about myself. My name is David, I'm 21 years old and live in Scotland. I've been lurking this forum for a few weeks gathering info about paleo dieting. I'd like to say that i didn't change my diet originally for any other reason than to get healthier. I don't seem to have problems with foods that other people have and I'm not recovering from any illness.

Around Sept 8th last year i decided to lose weight (i weighed 330lbs) and thought switching to a vegan diet would be a good idea since most junk foods contained meat/dairy. I had 1L green smoothies daily and cooked stirfries/snacks. I took a b12 supplement with flax oil for 3 months then switched to a raw vegan diet. I also started taking MSM to help my skin.

On the 100% raw vegan diet i started detoxing for a day or so after switching to 100% raw and felt really good eating only salads/dehydrated foods/smoothies. I continued to take b12/flax supplements daily. Soon after i came across the paleo diet but still followed the raw vegan diet for a month. Since Sept 8th Ive lost ~65lbs.

Now, onto the health problem! The problem started early in January when i started receiving infrequent pains in the center of my chest that felt like indigestion. They lasted around 8 hours and i felt like i wanted to puke but couldn't. I always had the problem after laying down to sleep and got almost no sleep those nights. These attacks were 2-3 days apart and i couldn't figure out what it was that was causing the problem. After the third attack i kept a food log and ate ~280g of raw meat to see how it affected me. I slept fine for a few days and then i had the most painful attack ever that kept me up all night & vomiting 3 times. After 8 hours of ceaseless intense chest pain i decided i had to go see a doctor. To cut a long story short, i kept getting this chest pain for 24 hours and was hospitalised for 2.5 days during which time they told me i had gallstones.

The doctors asked me questions about my raw diet and didn't seem to know much about raw food. They tried to blame the raw meat but i had 3 attacks prior to the 4th and had 2 excellent nights sleep prior to the 4th (most severe w/ vomiting) attack which made me think it was totally unrelated.

Its my impression that most people who get gallstones follow a high fat diet and the advice the doctors gave me was to follow a low fat diet despite the fact i told them i was already following an extremely low fat diet. After some research i found that losing weight rapidly can lead to gallstones:

Rapid weight loss. As the body metabolizes fat during prolonged fasting and rapid weight loss—such as “crash diets”—the liver secretes extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones. In addition, the gallbladder does not empty properly.

I looked at some gallbladder cleansing methods and started one immediately which was eating 100% apples / radishes for 5 days. I followed that for 2 days then felt terrible due to the sugar highs/lows, decided to switch back to my normal diet. Another gallbladder cleanse i found involved epsom salts/olive oil/lemon but Ive been unable to get some Epsom salts till tomorrow. I read something about raw meat being harder on the liver on this forum and although I was unable to find a reliable source on that (link was dead) I implemented some smoked fish and cooked grass fed beef b/c I'm trying to help my liver/gallbladder recover at this point.

Now, i plan to do the gallbladder cleanse tomorrow and was curious if theres anything else you would suggest i should do? I'm curious if any paleo dieters have had gallbladder problems wrt weight loss? Also, maybe the paleo diet will be more beneficial to aiding in gallstones as its a little higher in fat but not excessively? Fwiw, ive not had any problems since being released from the hospital 5 days ago.

My daily meals used to consist of 1-2 huge salads with dehydrated food.
Now I'm mostly having 500g of grass-fed meat by itself and a salad.

Thanks for those that read all of it. I eagerly await any responses!



- Eating paleo. Cooked meat for the moment (easier on liver?) with raw everything else.
- Have gallstones
- Transitioned from cooked vegan -> raw vegan -> raw/cooked paleo lately.
- Lost ~65 lbs since Sept 8th when i started dieting.
- Doing gallbladder cleanse tomorrow and was wondering if theres anything else you would suggest i should do?
- Curious if paleo dieters have had gallbladder problems wrt weight loss?
- Also, do you think the paleo diet would be beneficial to both weight loss while not being excessive to the point of worsening the gallstone problem?

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