The Liver Cleanse Myth and Gallstones
The liver was designed to detoxify your body. There is no reason for you to detoxify it. There is also no reason to expect to be able to see a stone in the toilet if you pass a gallstone.
There is a lot of information available that claims that the body needs your help keeping your liver clean. They claim that the liver becomes toxic and there must be certain things done to detoxify it. There are even special diets that will get rid of your gallstones. But, the truth is that the liver was designed to detoxify your body. There is no reason for you to detoxify it.
Getting Rid of the Myth
Let's get rid of the gallstone diet myth first. The claim here is that by using certain things in your diet, you can make your gallstones pass into your bowel and then into the toilet. Supposedly, if you look in your stool when using this diet, you will find gallstones.
But, look at the facts. The tube between the gallbladder and the small intestine is called the bile duct. The end of the bile duct is the ampule of Vater. The final part of the bile duct goes through the pancreas and shares a small part of the tube with the duct from the pancreas.
The ampule of Vater normally has about the same diameter as a pencil lead. So, what do you think would happen if you make a gallstone start traveling down the bile duct? Well, if it is smaller in diameter than a pencil lead, it should pass through without any problem. But, would it be big enough to even notice in your stool? Hardly!
In fact, if you were successful in making a stone larger than that leave your gallbladder and enter the bile duct, you would immediately become very uncomfortable. The pain would start under your ribcage in front on the right - or sometimes in your back - and pass across to the other side under your ribs. The pain would typically also go to your back on the right and cause nausea as well.
But those that push the liver cleansing diet don't ever even mention any possible complications like that. In fact, there are even worse possible complications. If a stone became stuck at the ampule of Vater, the back pressure could also cause inflammation of the Pancreas. That would result in Pancreatitis - a very painful and potentially fatal condition. These people often need emergency surgery.
There are a couple of medications that causes gallstones to shrink ursodiol (Actigall) or chenodiol (Chenix). But, these medications can take years to work and don't prevent the gallstones from coming back.
So, what are people seeing in the toilet that looks like gallstones? I have not seen any actual chemical analysis of these crystals, but my guess would be a component of the apple juice or olive oil that crystallizes in the presence of stomach acid.
The exact cause of many gallstones is not known, but we know that there are several things that contribute. These include a high fat diet and being overweight, heritage and having given birth to children. Another surprising thing that seems to cause them is rapid weight loss and a very low fat diet. The rapid weight loss contributes to gallstones because the liver pumps out cholesterol in the bile and it becomes so concentrated that it can form stones.
The gallbladder's normal function is to collect and concentrate the bile. The bile is used to help digest fatty and oily foods. When you eat something containing fat or oil - like something fried - the gallbladder squeezes out bile. So, those that never eat anything with fat or oil do not ever have the gallbladder emptied. The bile then becomes more and more concentrated until crystals start to form.
Unfortunately, there may be no way to completely avoid gallstones if your ancestors had them. But, you may be able to decrease the chance of getting them by several methods.
First, try to maintain a reasonable weight. Being overweight or underweight increases your chances of getting gallstones.
Second, drink enough fluids. Any time you are dehydrated, you can make the bile become more concentrated and gallstones can result.
Third, keep up with your good balanced diet. Don't eat a lot of fats. But, don't avoid them altogether. As always, the best fats are those you get in their natural state. The best place to get corn oil is by eating corn. The best place to get olive oil is by eating olives. If you want to avoid anything it is highly refined food.
Fourth, a good exercise program will keep the blood flow through your liver and gallbladder at good levels and will help with any problems that may occur.
Finally, if you do develop pain that sounds like it may be a problem with your gallbladder, see your doctor. If you do have pain from gallstones, the best and final treatment is still surgery. I hate to tell you that, but it remains true. I can show you the scars.
Article Tags: Bile Duct
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Ron is an Emergency Room physician with over twenty years experience in the health care field. He often treats people for problems with their weight. Come to http://eightstepstohealth.com/The_Liver_Cleanse_Myth_and_G now for more great resources.