Admitted in emergency room with suspected cardiac problems....UPDATE #44 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 48 Old 08-17-2010, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had this problem for a while and it's slowly gotten worse. Today I swear I was going to die. My husband was so afraid, and I was so afraid. He drove me to emergency where I was admitted and given oxygen, BP cuff every 5 minutes, and an EKG. All came back good. 100% o2 sats, 119/68 BP, EKG showed no abnormalities. Doctor checked my stomach and gave me the diagnosis of GERD with anxiety caused by the GERD.

Symptoms are:
-frequent burning of the stomach after eating
-chest pain, after eating. When I wake up in the morning I feel great but as soon as breakfast is over the burning and chest pain kick in.
-inability to take a deep breath
-dizziness and feeling faint (could be related to the inability to take a deep breath)
-when the doctor pressed right below my sternum it hurt when she released the pressure. No pain upon pushing, just releasing.
-heavy heavy pressure in my stomach. Feels like I ate a bowling ball.

Now this is a case of which came first...the chicken or the egg. Doctor thinks the anxiety is caused by the GERD. I had my very first panic attack when one day post op last May. I was on percoset at the time.

I'm now on 150 mg of zantac and I have been feeling better since I got released from emerg at noon. My stomach does burn still, but I've only had one dose of the zantac.

Any suggestions or recommendations??
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#2 of 48 Old 08-17-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are suffering! How scary!

I had a very similar experience with those symptoms, but called my doctor and had the ECG test a few times. My heart was fine. I ended up going to a GI doctor later and had an endoscopy (a small camera put down into my GI tract) and they found I had a hiatal hernia. It was causing all the pain and pressure, as well as my heartburn. I wonder if you have something like this? It's not uncommon, esp for women who've had babies.

See if you can go to a GI doctor ASAP. If it's a hernia or bad GERD you may need something stronger than Zantac, or you can make modifications to your diet to help. You might even have an ulcer or something, or gallsones, or something else. It's hard to make a diagnosis just based on symptoms when it comes to pain in that general area.

I am currenly only taking my med once in awhile when I'm under extra stress. Otherwise I can control through my diet as well as small meals, and not eating close to bedtime.

I hope you feel better soon!

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#3 of 48 Old 08-17-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I would see a gastroenterologist to confirm the diagnosis, but it sure sounds like GERD. I just got my own shiny diagnosis a few months ago, after apparently having undiagnosed and untreated GERD since early childhood. Whee, fun!

If that's the case, here are a few things my GI doc recommended in addition to medication: A GERD diet of low-acid foods (this has a decent list of both foods to avoid or limit AND foods that are generally safe: http://www.gicare.com/diets/gerd.aspx). Raising the angle at which you sleep by several inches, so that you sleep on an incline to prevent refluxing while lying down. There are wedge-shaped pillows you can get for this; you can slide them under your mattress for a more gentle incline if need be. Taking a walk or doing mild upright exercise after eating. (No jumping up and down, no lying down.) Eating at least 3 hours before going to sleep, to give your body a chance to process everything downward.

It really makes a difference, just making those lifestyle changes.
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#4 of 48 Old 08-17-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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My DH has these exact same issues and has been to the ER multiple times (different hospitals) and is always given the "anxiety and GERD" diagnosis too... He can't seem to get a full breath of air and then he gets severe chest pain. He also has signs of hypoglycemia a lot of the time but his BS is fine. He gets numbness in his extremities and gets dizzy/lightheaded during these spells. I have noticed the stress correlation to these symptoms but I still believe it is something else.
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#5 of 48 Old 08-17-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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My DH has these exact same issues and has been to the ER multiple times (different hospitals) and is always given the "anxiety and GERD" diagnosis too... He can't seem to get a full breath of air and then he gets severe chest pain. He also has signs of hypoglycemia a lot of the time but his BS is fine. He gets numbness in his extremities and gets dizzy/lightheaded during these spells. I have noticed the stress correlation to these symptoms but I still believe it is something else.
GI distress can trigger the nervous system to produce the dizzy feeling-- like you know how you feel right before you have a bad case of diarrhea? not the pain part but feeling dizzy/yucky?

Have either of you (OP or your dh) had any bloodwork done to test for anemia or other things that might cause these symptoms? Have you had a followup at the doctor for a full set of blood tests?

I was told it was nerves, stress, and pleurisy before finally getting to the bottom of what mine was. Very scary and frustrating.

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#6 of 48 Old 08-18-2010, 02:53 AM
 
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I was misdiagnosed with GERD and truly had a bad gallbladder. I second seeing the GI doctors. I went through years of unbearable unnecessary pain.
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#7 of 48 Old 08-18-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had to call in to work sick this morning. We need the money but I couldn't even stand up without feeling super nauseated. I puked once, which was all stomach acid. And I keep burping up stomach acid. It's disgusting. I felt fine when I woke up in the morning, tried to eat a tiny bit of rice krispies with almond milk, took my zantac, and everything went downhill from there.

Waiting 2 months to go see my doctor to ask about seeing a GI specialist.
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#8 of 48 Old 08-18-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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GI distress can trigger the nervous system to produce the dizzy feeling-- like you know how you feel right before you have a bad case of diarrhea? not the pain part but feeling dizzy/yucky?

Have either of you (OP or your dh) had any bloodwork done to test for anemia or other things that might cause these symptoms? Have you had a followup at the doctor for a full set of blood tests?

I was told it was nerves, stress, and pleurisy before finally getting to the bottom of what mine was. Very scary and frustrating.

Aside from the tests run at the hospital (CT scans, EKG's, MRI ect..) we have a family doctor that has been "trying" to figure it out. He already had a cardiology consult since jumping up and down sometimes helps and I thought maybe a valve issue. DH has had all sorts of blood work done and the only thing that came up was a deficiency in Vit b12. He has been on sublingual b12 with good results. Aside from that, everything else was *perfect*. He even had a 5 hr glucose tol. test and that was fine as well. I really don't know what to do with him because it is like a dead end.
He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child (perhaps something with that and his reaction to stress causes an imbalance?)
Also, when he eats and feels like this, he starts to slowly feel better so then I thought ulcer- internal bleeding?! But nothing has come up. Every few months I get woken up by a terrified DH thinking he is having a heart attack.

What tests would you want from the Dr.?
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#9 of 48 Old 08-18-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this.

In addition to the other testing you are having, you also might want to think about pushing for the celiac test. I think celiac can cause so many different symptoms, it can be really difficult to diagnose.

Crazybean....could your husband keep a food journal and try to document if he notices his episodes are related to anything dietary?

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#10 of 48 Old 08-19-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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My husband had a similar experience where he thought he was having a heart attack because all the symptoms were there. Just like you it ended up being GERD but with a twist. He had had a case of cyclical vomiting just a few days earlier and all that force had caused a tiny tear in his esophagus so that whenever the acid was reaching the tear, it felt so painful it was like a heart attack (in sensation that is). They put him on some acid meds (can't remember which one) to allow the tear to heal up and eventually it did. He didn't have the anxiety issue though so I'm not sure about that. However, I have had issues with anxiety/depression and I have found that taking St John's Wort combined with 5 HTP quite effective. The combo I get is from Vitacost.com and it's called Mood Plus. I don't know if it would help in your situation since it doesn't sound like it's necessarily traditional anxiety....The other thing we have found quite helpful for my husband's reflux is having him wear a hazelwood necklace since it's very effective at alkalinizing the body. Also, have you tried any other home remedies for excess acid such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar (counter intuitive, I know, but apparently it's alkalinizing as opposed to acidifying (same as lemons)), papaya enzymes, I've even heard munching on some raw almonds helps some people. Obviously these may not get rid of the issue but may help stem the tide a bit. Good luck!

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#11 of 48 Old 08-22-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been to the emergency room 4 times since my original post. The hospital has a waiting list for ultrasound to check for gall stones, but I was snuck in on thursday. I'm advised to take percoset and gravol every 4 hours.

I have lost almost 10 pounds in 6 days. No more vommitting but I'm barely able to eat and even liquids are hard to get down. Yesterday I had 1 1/2 egg whites and a bite of cottage cheese.

Thursday I went to emerg and got IV fluids for dehydration. Blood tests all came back fine (cbc, pancreas test, and lots others). Only things "off" were ketones and blood in my urine.

Yesterday I went back to emerg for severe nausea and stomach pain. Doctor redid blood tests and they all came back normal. No blood in urine, but ketones still which is probably from lack of eating dr said.

Went to emerg in my hometown yesterday after the first emerg trip to see if they could get me in for an ultrasound and that's when I was booked in for thursday. The doctor suggested it could be anxiety, but I'm 99% sure it's not. My stomach really really hurts and I cannot eat because I'm so nauseated. I also have liquid diarrhea that is quite dark in color. Doctor had me collect stool samples to check for bacteria, but the lab is closed on the weekend so I have to bring it in tommorow.

I feel horrible. I've already taken gravol but realy...how am I supposed to take percoset when I have kids to watch. The doctor said to me "well sometimes families get sick and others have to take time off to look after them". Easy for him to say when he makes $500,000 a year and can afford to take time off. My husband can't.

My pain in my stomach comes and goes. It feels like I'm super super super hungry and I feel bubbles in my stomach and burning/stabbing where my gall bladder is.

And to top things off, we were supposed to go on our only vacation of the summer on thurday and it doesn'tlook like we'lll be able to go.
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#12 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bump. Please anyone???? I'm so nauseated, sore tummy and shakey this morning.
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#13 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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(((HUGS))) I am so sorry that you are in so much pain. I wish they would just get you in for the ultrasound RIGHT NOW. It does not seem right at all that they are making you wait this long.
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#14 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Bump. Please anyone???? I'm so nauseated, sore tummy and shakey this morning.
So sorry you're feeling so terrible Maybe try homeopathic Ipecac 30c for the nausea...it works wonderfully for us and it even helped my husband with his cyclical vomiting better than the prescription anti-nausea meds he was given. it can usually be found at most natural food stores in the homeopathic section (often a blue tube from Boiron) for about $7 or so. I really hope you get some answers SOON!!! Feel better...

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#15 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I'd go back to ER & refuse to leave without an US. There's no reason to make you wait until Thurs.
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#16 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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I'd go back to ER & refuse to leave without an US. There's no reason to make you wait until Thurs.
I'm with CArrie. when i was 18 i had somewhat of the same experience. many trips to the doctor and er, many ultrasounds. Doc told me it was all in my head. HE actually took my mom aside and suggested she take me to see a pychiatrist. The last time I went to the er with excruciating abdominal pain, my mom said she was not taking me home until SOMEthing was figured out. She insisted they do a full body cat scan. And lo and behold, I had a whole bunch f cysts on my fallopian tubes. I had them removed the next day, and was fine after that. THe cysts were quite large and they 'could' move around, causing the pain in more than one spot, if that makes sense.

I would go to the er and tell them you want an ultraousnd. also, haev they checked for gall stones? I don't remember what you said.

Good luck!
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#17 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I'd be concerned about the dark diarrhea. Dark streaks or an overall dark color are something I was told to look out for while trying to rule out something more serious than the IBS and GERD I was eventually diagnosed with. Internal bleeding shows as dark stools. Given that you're not keeping much down, the color should be a lot lighter, I would think. I'd really push for an earlier ultrasound and some more testing.
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#18 of 48 Old 08-23-2010, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been crying on and off all day because I feel like a nutcase. It's 12:20 pm and I feel fine other than the slight twinge of pain in my abdomen. I"m starting to wonder if it's anxiety. I don't feel like it's anxiety....but after my blood work coming back fine and 4 visits to the emergency room, I am doubting myself.

I have had attacks similar to this one before. My heart starts racing, I get stomach pain, and then the pain subsides. Lasts only a couple of minutes. I had my first one the night after I had breast reduction surgery. I woke up in excrutiating pain in my back. Could barely breathe and it hurt 100 times worst than child birth. After that point I had one once every few months. But since tuesday it's been constant nausea, and the urge to vomit with stomach pain in the morning. By the midafternoon I feel a bit better, and then start to feel worse in the evening again. Gravol does help with the nausea though.

I made an appointment with a doctor this afternoon but I cancelled. Really...what else can they tell me. I begged for the ultrasound and they refused and said earliest they can do it is thursday. I don't want to start on anxiety pills if it's not anxiety.
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#19 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I went for my ultrasound today and I have gall stones. There was quite a few in there that we could see. Biggest one was 1.8 mm. I'm wondering if it part of it is anxiety. I feel good by the evening but the mornings are horrible. Diarrhea, stomach pain, severe nausea. I have to wait for a week for my doctor to call me, then I will find out what the plan is.

My question though, can anxiety be caused by gallbladder or are gallbladder symptoms similar to anxiety?
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#20 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I read your first post and I said "gallstones" before I even got to you last update. I had gallstones after our son was born. They can cause racing of the heart and intense pain. However, I suspect the anxiety is something in addition to that. (I'm not really in a position to say, however, as I had gallstones, PPD, and mastitis all together.)

Panic attacks are really no fun and they do feel very very scary. It does sound like you've had several in the past. But in your case, since your gallstones have been validated (I can't believe they made you wait for an ultrasound -- our ER did the ultrasound the first time I went in), I'd wait until they're treated and then see.

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#21 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I posted above about being misdiagnosed with GERD and having gallstones and a diseased gallbladder.

Try and eat a very very low fat diet until you can see your doctor and have surgery. It will help some.
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#22 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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My question though, can anxiety be caused by gallbladder or are gallbladder symptoms similar to anxiety?
You won't find this anywhere, but from my personal experience (I'm scheduled to have my gallbladder removed in 3 weeks) there is a physical sensation that feels a lot like anxiety that is associated with a malfunctioning gallbladder. Purely based on my own experience.

Also the surgeon whom I met with two days ago said that a dysfunctional gallbladder can cause sensations that feel like GERD, including heartburn, but that it isn't actually reflux. When they did my endoscopy, they saw no signs of acid damage even though I had sensations like you described that felt like GERD.
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#23 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Total side note ( and for your pain) acupuncture can alleviate anxiety. It got me off xanax.

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#24 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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Acupuncture can help gallbladder pain, anxiety and liver function/digestion.

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#25 of 48 Old 08-26-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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I had gall stones during my first pregnancy and incredibly panful gallbladder attack which can definitely feel like anxiety/GERD/etc. I had to be on an extremely low fat diet for the last 5 months of my pregnancy since nothing could be done to alleviate the situation until the baby was born (surgery was too risky). I ended up getting it removed 3 weeks after having my daughter but though i feel OK in general, the more I venture down the road of holistic wellness and nutrition, the more I regret having it removed. My body does not seem to be properly absorbing all the healthy fats I am eating (because the gallbladder bile is no longer available) and sometimes I have a hard time digesting certain types of fatty foods (I get painful cramps & bloating). I wish i had looked into the natural ways to excrete the gallstones such as flushes, etc. I subsequently had great results with acupuncture for a few other health issues so perhaps that would have helped as well. Just my 2 cents I do know how painful it is though and I'm really sorry you're having to go through all that

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#26 of 48 Old 08-27-2010, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish i had looked into the natural ways to excrete the gallstones such as flushes, etc. I subsequently had great results with acupuncture for a few other health issues so perhaps that would have helped as well. Just my 2 cents I do know how painful it is though and I'm really sorry you're having to go through all that
Well when I was looking at the ultrasound monitor and I looked at the stones, they were quite big. Then I asked her to see the bile duct and it was TINY! She said as much as she would love to see someone be able to naturally remove their stones she said that if it was HER she would defenitely NOT attempt it because the stones are far too bit and too big of a risk of one getting caught. Of course she said to speak to my doctor, so I will do that.
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#27 of 48 Old 08-27-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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Well when I was looking at the ultrasound monitor and I looked at the stones, they were quite big. Then I asked her to see the bile duct and it was TINY! She said as much as she would love to see someone be able to naturally remove their stones she said that if it was HER she would defenitely NOT attempt it because the stones are far too bit and too big of a risk of one getting caught. Of course she said to speak to my doctor, so I will do that.
Yes, the mainstream medical professionals will probably not recommend the flushes, etc but then again I'm not surprised since they are not trained in that arena. They are trained in seeing a problem and attempting to find a solution. I definitely understand your reticence but I know it can be done as i have heard of many successful attempts at flushing gallstones. I think you would probably have to consult a naturopath though to go down that route. But, in the end, we all do what we have to do and what we think is best at the time...and when you're in that much pain (which I remember all too well) it's completely reasonable to do whatever you can to make the pain stop! You might feel more prepared if you looked at all your options though before deciding on a permanent course of action (ie surgery). Either way, I hope you can get this figured out soon and with as little pain as possible. Hugs to you!

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#28 of 48 Old 08-27-2010, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I saw the nurse practitioner today and got the results of the ultrasound. I defenitely have quite a few gallstones, some are quite large (largest is 1.8 cm's). Also, they noticed that I have an inflammed liver. All of the other organs were fine. He put in a request for a consultation with a surgeon and I'll go from there. Hubby wants me to go a gallbladder flush and I'm thinking about it, but I'm scared. Even the nurse practitioner suggested that I NOT try the gallbladder flush because of the size of the gallstones and because of the liver inflammation. If I knew 100% it would work, I would do it, but I'm afraid of damaging my liver or getting a stone stuck. Argh. I don't know what to do.

I'm going to make an appointment for accupuncture since I don't believe I can do any damage by doing that.
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#29 of 48 Old 08-27-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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I am so sorry you're going through this! It makes me so angry when doctors misdiagnose gallstones as GERD. They tried to do that with me, and they did that with someone else I know which led to many problems for her. I can't say what you should do, but I opted to have my gallbladder removed. Well, actually, once I had the ultrasound done (at my insistence - they wanted to send me home with a prescription for Nexium instead) they insisted I stay in the hospital and have surgery as soon as possible. I personally would not try a flush on my own with gallstones that size. Hope you feel better soon!
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#30 of 48 Old 08-27-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Personally, *I* would not do a "gallbladder flush". I'd consult an acupuncturist who can help optimize the liver from many energetic and physiological levels. Additionally, there are dietary alternatives to improve liver function. A surgeon can only offer surgery. Alternative practitioners have more tools to offer. I'd also immediately consult our classical homeopath.

For liver support, I'd do Black seed oil (nigella sativa), bone broths for the glutathione, and green smoothies for the nutrients which help the body to process toxins, and nettle leaf infusions for the vitamins and minerals to support the immune system. Additionally whole food probiotics and Epsom salt baths, specifically magnesium for liver support. And Milk Thistle.

Pat

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