Gallstones & Gallbladder Update – #Eatclean plan

GallBladder Panic

Last week I posted in a bit of a panic about being advised to have my gallbladder removed. I have taken some further advice from a trusted expert and friend and we have come up with a plan, I love a plan!

Gallstones & Gallbladder Update - #Eatclean plan

I met Helena during my third pregnancy she was my wonderful calming yoga guru and helped to make my third pregnancy amazing. Those of you reading this who worked with me at EE in 2012 will know I was motivated, happy and well, all through my pregnancy. A very different story to pregnancy 1 & 2.

Helena and I have stayed in touch over the years as she holds a super yoga class in Letchworth every couple of months and she helps with my nutrition whenever I need it. Last time she helped was after Jack was born and he would not stop crying. I suspected it was because of my diet and what I was feeding him through my breast milk. We changed a few things in my diet and the crying stopped!

Assessing the Problem

We arranged a Skype chat last Saturday morning as I wasn’t 100% happy with the diagnosis of gallbladder removal from the doctor. I filled in a very long health questionnaire, which started off the healing process as it made me realise what the issues were.

We spoke at length about my medical issues and eating issues, what has potentially caused the problems. We dealt with that with some tears. And then moved on to how to sort out my problems.

I have always had a bad relationship with food. I have addressed many of the issues through my hypnotherapy treatment with Heather Hall so the binge eating issues left me 1 year ago. This didn’t deal with the binge alcohol issues I had. I have spent the past 25 years’ binge eating and drinking, generally treating my body badly. Now my body is saying no more. It cannot cope any longer. I am extremely lucky that it’s just the gallbladder that has given up.

My Lifestyle and my Dedication

We talked about balance and the fact that I don’t have much balance in life. Much of what I do is all or nothing, summer is everything, winter is nothing from a mental health point of view. Drinking was all or nothing, Thursday nights were a classic night for lots of wine & cocktails, particularly with the amount of social events and networking I do with Mrs Mummypenny. My old job at EE involved lots of overnight stays and lots of drinking. My best friend drinks a lot.

We talked about how serious I was about sorting out my diet. I am deadly serious. I say deadly because let’s be honest I am afraid of dying. My mum died when she was just 58, when I was 16. This was too early and the consequences on my life of losing my mum at 16 were huge. So I really want to do everything I can to be around for my children as long as possible.

I am scared of having my gallbladder removed. It’s an operation, key hole I know, but I have low platelets so there is increased risk for me. Maybe a 20-30% chance of the operation not going to plan and me being opened up. If this happened, it would be 6 weeks of full rest. I can’t take 6 weeks off Mrs Mummypenny at the moment. And I don’t have private health care or insurance to cover my lost earnings.

The biology comes into play as well. We have a gallbladder for a reason, otherwise why include it in our make-up. Being without a gall bladder means your body is unable to process fat properly and it becomes more reliant on the liver and kidneys. We can survive without a gallbladder, but we live better with one.

So yes I am serious and I am doing this. So last Saturday was my last drink. I had a glass of prosecco and a small bottle or organic cider. So very restrained for me. From Sunday I was eating clean. Eating clean for 5 weeks until 1st August.

Eating Clean

3-7-16 GallBladder eat clean healthy chicken, leeks, rice noodles

Week 1 was the hard-core week. The detox. All I was allowed was chicken and fish, preferably steamed. Brown rice, rice noodles, green veg, papaya, pear and blueberries. Drinks allowed were water, green tea, coconut water for sweet cravings and pear juice from the farm (no sugar, additives etc.). So that meant no booze, sugar, gluten, dairy, red meat, caffeine (except green tea). To the left is chicken, leek, corgette & rice noodles. It was yummy..I promise. The peri peri spices added the zing.

I spent a lot of money on supplements to help with my constipation and inflammation issues. I am also taking things like aloe vera, probiotics and milk thistle. The lovely team at Natural Health in Welwyn Garden City were most helpful.

3-7-16 GallBladder eat clean healthy wedding food

Week 1 was hard mainly because I had 1 business lunch, 1 wedding, 1 barbeque party. The food choice was quite easy as I could get fish or chicken at all of these events. I explained what I was doing and all places were extremely accommodating. So the Hermitage in Hitchin and Friern Manor in Brentwood, thank you for helping me out and giving me lovely food. This picture shows my food on the left and hubbies food on the right.

I didn’t miss the booze at all, but I did struggle seeing nice food. The buffet was hard at the wedding in the evening, all I could eat was chicken skewers and the salmon from inside the bagels!! I just wanted to go home at that point!

So I am now on day 8 of #eatclean and I am doing great. I am going to weigh myself tomorrow to see if I have hit 1) target from #40thingsb440.

Week 2 onwards means I don’t have to be so strict. I can slowly introduce healthy stuff from the week 1 banned list. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a nice bit of chicken from Trussells my local butchers.

The aim of this healthy eating plan is to repair my gallbladder and reduce the size of the gallstones until they disappear. Healthy balanced eating for the rest of my life should mean no further complaints.

Negative side effects

  • I am tired…and am needing to go to bed at 9pm/10pm.
  • I got a few mouth ulcers from day 4 to 6.
  • I got headaches for 2 nights. Cured with going to sleep.
  • I ended up eating too much chicken which has caused constipation again!

Positive side effects

  • I had been constipated for 6 days prior to changing my foods, that was all cleared out. 3lbs weight loss after 3 days 😉
  • My skin feels more alive.
  • I am getting solid 7-8 hours’ sleep a night.
  • Weight loss to be confirmed!

So there you have it, let me know your thoughts. Do you eat clean and or detox? Can you share any tips with me? Have you avoided the gallbladder removal operation? If you are interested in learning more about #eatclean drop me an email I post my journey on Instagram and Twitter so please give me a follow @mrsmummypennyuk.

The next post in this series is here, did I end up having the operation?

This is post 3/7 in my week of blog posts to celebrate my 1 year of leaving EE and launching Mrs Mummypenny.


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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19 Responses

  1. Lynn this is very inspiring. Having read the above most of us should change the way we eat for a better life. It is not just eating it making sure we have enough exercise and balancing the stress also.
    I was diagnosed with having celiac and lactose intolerance earlier this year. I have to adapt my diet and exercise. I feel much better with my changes. Small steps.

    Thank you


    1. Oh Bhav thats a huge dietary change. So glad you are feeling better with the changes. You are very right, its all about balance. Something that I am really keen to get in my life. I think it will sort out everything if I get balance across mind/body and spirit. xx

  2. Hi Lynn, I also had the same problems with my gallbladder but don’t want to have surgery due to other big health problems ( under active thyroid, sickle cell anaemia and seriously low blood count) however I do swear by apple cider vinegar for gallbladder pain, and control. Just 1 or 2 tablespoons in fresh apple juice and the pain quickly subsides, and i do this regularly even when I’m not in pain and It seems to have kept the pain away for a lot longer than normal. For me I think it’s what’s made me avoid gallbladder removal! I swear by it!

    1. Oh wow thanks Anne. I’ve not heard of that one before. The pain is unbearable isnt it? Nothing can touch it except morphine at the hospital! Im hopeful with the new eating plan I can stop the pain, but if it comes back I’ll give that a go.

      1. Yes the pain is horrific! But I would seriously research and try the acv as sometimes you really can’t get to the hospital and spend all night there when you’ve got a family to look after! I hope it helps you Lynn. Let me know.

        Anne Singh xxxx

  3. Lynn, your such a determined lady and when I read about your health problems I knew you would find an alternative to surgery! Your looking amazing, not that you didn’t before! Well done! X

    1. Thank you so much hon. I think I got the point across as how scared I am!! I have struggled today and did eat a little slice of the banana cake I made for the boys….the 7 day hardcore detox ended on Sunday though. Now I can slowly introduce other types of food. Not alcohol though;-)

  4. Hi Lynn,
    Loved reading your post, I do believe that if surgery isn’t necessary and you can make the change yourself – do it! I am a big believer in clean eating and I gave up coffee a while ago. I add chia seeds to my yogurt and it gives me natural energy instead of caffeine. Good luck. The box is lovely x

    1. Oh wow what a great idea. Chia seeds have been recommended to me..I just cant eat the yoghurt at the moment as Im off dairy. Hmmm. I am allowed green tea which tends to give me a good boost and a caffeine kick. Plus its detoxing;-)

  5. Is there an update to this? What ended up happening? Struggling with this currently and curious if you were able to shrink the stones, and if so, what worked best and how long did it take?

  6. I am currently going thru the same thing. I had an ultrasound which showed several stones. I haven’t had too much terrible pain but the nausea is horrible. How did you deal with nausea. I’m also opposed to surgery if I can get by without it.

    1. I’m going through a lot of pain due to gallstones. Dr berg’s gallbladder formula is helping me not get the pain and my surgeon said I could continue to take if it’s helping with the pain, I heard any bile salts should help. I don’t want to go through surgery either and making diet changes, when I get pain I drink ACV in hot water and in about an hour pain comes down. Hope this helps. Take care 🤗

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