Gallbladder Attacks

What Causes Gallbladder Attacks?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of gallbladder attacks we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow gallbladder attacks to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind gallbladder attacks consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to gallbladder attacks.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • High LDL/HDL Ratio
  • Increased Intestinal Permeability
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Liver Congestion
  • Food Allergies
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Nat Sulf Need

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
pain medication use
poor mental clarity
allergies as a child
occasional episodes of diarrhea
frequent difficulty falling asleep
poor tolerance of heat
having foamy urine
low alcohol consumption
breast soreness during cycle
indoor allergies
slight abdominal distension
... and more than 150 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of gallbladder attacks:
Cause Probability Status
Gallbladder Disease 95% Confirm
Increased Intestinal Permeability 25% Unlikely
Epstein-Barr Virus 22% Unlikely
Liver Congestion 2% Ruled out
Food Allergies 0% Ruled out
Nat Sulf Need 0% Ruled out
High LDL/HDL Ratio 0% Ruled out
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate gallbladder problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you suffered gallbladder attacks?
Possible responses:
→ Never had one / don't know
→ Probably had one / minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of gallbladder attacks or gallbladder attacks, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Allergy to Foods (Hidden)

A 1968 study revealed that 100% of a group of gallbladder patients were free from symptoms while they were on a basic elimination diet (beef, rye, soybean, rice, cherry, peach, apricot, beet, and spinach).  Foods inducing symptoms in decreasing order of their occurrence were: egg, pork, onion, fowl, milk, coffee, citrus, corn, beans and nuts.  Adding eggs to the diet, for example, caused gallbladder attacks in 93% of these patients.  At a minimum, an egg-free trial period of several months could be worthwhile.

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the association of food allergy and gallstones.  Dr. Breneman, who conducted this study, believes the ingestion of allergy-causing substances causes swelling of the bile ducts, resulting in the impairment of bile flow from the gallbladder.  This reduced flow leads to an increase in stone formation.  [Ann Allergy 26: pp.83-7, 1968)]

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder Disease also suggests the following possibilities:

Cirrhosis of the Liver

If cirrhosis prevents bile from reaching the gallbladder, a person may develop gallstones as a result.

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)

Bladder dysfunction is said to be a symptom.

LDL/HDL Ratio, High

Gallstone formation does not correlate with blood cholesterol levels, but persons with low HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol) levels or high triglyceride levels are at increased risk.

Problems Caused By Being Overweight

Obesity in both men and women increases the risk for gallstones.  This may be a result of lower levels of bile salts relative to cholesterol in the bile causing a higher risk for cholesterol supersaturation and the formation of stones.

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