A delightful 42 year old lady, Kirsten *(not her real name) came to see me suffering from severe gall bladder pain. She described her pain as a tight band across her chest, and felt as if she might have a heart attack. On examination her abdomen was tender to touch. She travelled extensively with her work, and her pain was worse when she was out of routine. She also experienced fatigue, bloating and nausea from time to time. An ultrasound detected multiple tiny gall stones. Kirsten’s GP had her booked in for a gall bladder removal, which she wanted to avoid. Kirsten admitted that her diet in the past was less than perfect. When travelling, she consumed many processed foods, which included refined carbohydrates, lots of sugar, dairy and processed meats (salami, bacon, etc.) She recognised that gluten and dairy gave her epigastric pain and had recently eliminated them from her diet. Since doing this, Kirsten’s pain had reduced significantly.
Her past history revealed that she had been taking the oral contraceptive pill from the ages of 15-40. Kirsten was unaware that the Pill increases the risk factor for gall stone formation. Since ceasing contraception, she experienced painful menstruation which required Nurofen or Codeine for pain relief. Kirsten was quite busy and her job demands carried a reasonable amount of stress. She felt that she coped with this relatively well, although she suffered from some insomnia.
Key treatment included a big focus on nutrition. Kirsten commenced a protein and fibre rich, low fat and low carbohydrate diet, and kept a diet diary to keep her accountable and focused. The emphasis was on lots of fruit and vegetables, quality proteins including pulses, fish, activated nuts, seeds and a plant based protein powder. Since eliminating dairy, she was concerned about calcium status, so we placed extra emphasis on calcium rich foods. These included tahini, fresh figs, LSA, green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Focus was also on avoiding foods such as sugar, heavy oily foods, packaged products and alcohol. Kirsten was highly motivated to take positive action, as the GP had given her just 4 weeks to make changes. For lasting symptom improvement, it was also important that Kirsten’s digestion was functioning optimally. She was prescribed vegetarian digestive enzymes and a liver support herbal mix. Magnesium powder was included to assist with digestive and menstrual pain.
Two weeks later
Kirsten diligently completed her diet diary and really noticed how poor food choices affected her pain levels. She was drinking more water and really worked hard on eating well. Kirsten had hardly any abdominal pain and felt that the digestive enzymes and herbs had relieved her stomach tenderness. She continued with her treatment and I included a treatment specific probiotic and Omega 3 oil, as we had limited time before Kirsten’s surgery date.
4 weeks later
Kirsten said she felt much lighter, as though her food was moving through her more efficiently. Her stomach tenderness was much improved and her energy levels were 8/10. By this stage, she was totally free from painful episodes. For the first time in months, Kirsten was able to avoid medication for her period pain. Whilst she noticed some pain, it was much less severe than previously. We continued treatment and increased her magnesium dose during the week of her period to provide more extensive pain relief. At this point, her GP was happy to cancel her gall bladder surgery.
8 weeks later
Kirsten was feeling good and her menstrual pain was significantly better. We ceased many of her supplements and replaced them with complementary foods. I continued to work with her to improve her nutritional status and to implement a comprehensive detoxification program. Kirsten was sleeping better and was really happy with her improved health. She even got her husband to do the detoxification program with her. Could your digestion need some attention? Then don’t put it off any longer! Support is only a phone call away. For more information, call me on 0402 539 020. I am here to help. Yours in Health, Lynda. (Photo courtesy of Kat Jayne from Pexels.)