Written By Michael Gerber, MD, HM |
As organs go, the gallbladder isn’t the sexiest of organs. However, when the gallbladder and liver malfunction, a host of painful and unpleasant symptoms appear, which leads to the surgical removal of roughly 500,000 of them annually. GB disease symptoms include pain under the right rib cage; which can radiate to the back and the top of the right shoulder, fatty food intolerance, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea and many bowel symptoms. No doubt some deserve to go, especially when the gallbladder (GB) is chronically infected with a thickened, dystonic (non-moving) wall and packed with stones. The prospect of GB perforation into the peritoneum is certainly dire. However, in my experience, for most GB’s with acute or episodic pain following fatty meals and mild or moderate disease, a rescue should be attempted.
Over 25 million Americans have gallstones, with one million new cases diagnosed annually, according to the American Gastroenterology Association. Surgery is often not a walk in the park; with 40 percent of post gallbladder surgery patients still having symptoms of nausea, pain, gas, bloating, IBS, dumping syndrome, scarring and food intolerance. Gall stones also pack most of the biliary ducts in the liver, and go unrecognized in ultrasound and CT scans. When they are found, the diagnosis of a fatty liver is given; however, the bile obstruction is still present; which leads to malabsorption of fats and oils, as well as calcium and causing manifold digestive disturbances. In his compelling book, The Amazing Liver & Gallbladder Flush, Andreas Moritz, links these toxic livers and GB’s to over 67 different medical conditions, affecting every organ system in the body.
Many health modalities have good things for the liver and GB. Herbs, antioxidant nutrients, anti- inflammatory nutrients, bile salts, pancreatic enzymes, organic diet avoiding trans fats, acupuncture, neural therapy, energy medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, liver/GB flush, coffee enemas, chiropractic, topical poultices and castor oil packs, mood and stress modulation (Chinese medicine reminds us the emotion of an unhappy liver/ GB is anger), and many other approaches can be employed in the rescue.
In 37 years of medical practice, I have only lost four or five GB’s to surgery. It was usually because the patient did not tell me they were having GB issues; or, a relative, nurse or doctor assured them that if they didn’t have it out, they would die.
I am reminded of a 43 year old, prominent, Reno man who had a GB attack during dinner, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco; and was laid out on the table with doctor relatives obviously concerned and pushing him to go to the hospital for surgery. For some reason, his pain lightened up a little and he called me. I recommended massage for his paraspinal muscles in the thoracic area, which immediately improved his pain. He was able to get home to Reno and apply a castor oil pack over his liver, which was very soothing and pain relieving.
Castor oil packs were popularized by Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet from Virginia Beach, Virginia in the 1920’s, a medical intuitive and psychic who made many accurate predictions for the future. His work is still promulgated by the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in Virginia Beach and other centers.
Unrefined castor oil, also called the Palma Christi, contains resin from the castor bean, a counter irritant with marvelous lymphatic stimulating and pain relieving properties. The pack is made by pouring the castor oil on a diaper type flannel, heavier flannel or on an old wash cloth or piece of towel, and applying it to the skin over any painful area; which is then covered with a baggy or store plastic bag, and then covered with a hot water bottle or hot pad for 30 to 60 minutes. Of course, the GB is just below the right rib cage and the liver is above the right rib margin and extends across the midline above the left rib margin. Remember not to sleep with the hot pad, for fear of burns. Castor oil packs can be used on any place or joint on the body and are especially soothing for inflamed areas. They can be made into a Russian poultice around joints by wrapping them with an ACE bandage.
During our initial appointment, I employed Neural Therapy, among others. He returned the next day with 50 percent of his pain resolved, even after playing golf; although, he didn’t use his driver. I repeated the Neural Therapy during our second appointment as well. He wasn’t very hungry and found the castor oil packs still extremely soothing. One week later, most of his pain subsided; he experienced an occasional twinge if he rolled in bed the wrong way. He was also eating more liberally. Another week later, he was 100 percent symptom free, and still is, nine years later. He loves to embarrass me when we see him at local restaurants, loudly proclaiming “There’s Dr. Gerber. He saved my gallbladder years ago.”
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