How Gallstones Connected to Psoriasis?
I was at a Doctor’s appointment a few years back; I asked a question that required a long answer, I guess, to which doctor replied very politely; “it’s a long story, you could look up online.”
That’s when I thought; I am so lucky to be living at the age of the internet. There is so much information online free of charge, available to anyone who wishes to learn. So here I am, researching my condition, trying to connect the dots, and as I gain knowledge, sharing my seventeen years of experience and findings with you.
While reading and researching, some of the health conditions linkage studies got my attention. Many warriors would agree that the number one trigger of Psoriasis known to be Stress and Stress affects the Thyroid Glands.
In my case, it’s Hypothyroidism, which, according to a study I found could be associated with Gallstones, and there is another study that links Gallstones to Psoriasis. I am trying to connect the dots here and wondering; Stress + Thyroid + Gallstones + Poor Digestion + Toxic Gut = Toxic Blood results in Psoriasis?
I got Psoriasis during depression seventeen years back, sleeping long hours, didn’t do any physical activity, barely drank any water, and ate two meals a day. Even those were my comfort foods like sweet corn and potato fries, which are both lectin rich vegetables.
I was a mess, so then one day, I woke up with Psoriasis. As mentioned in the previous post, I was lucky to go on remission for four years and flared up recently with a wrong decision (my full psoriasis history here).
If you have had similar experience feel free to share in the comment section below. Why is it important? There are thousands of newly diagnosed people out there, desperately looking to heal and find answers. We can help by sharing our real-life experiences and raise awareness!
PSORIASIS AND GALLSTONES LINKAGE
If you have Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis, It is a good idea to consult your doctor and get your gallbladder checked if they haven’t done so yet, because apparently, there is indeed a linkage between Gallstones and Psoriasis.
In its summary study concluded that, A history of cholecystectomy-confirmed gallstones was associated with a higher relative risk of developing both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. A history of gallstones was associated with an increased risk of developing concomitant psoriatic arthritis, especially in patients with a BMI under 30 kg/m2. You can read the full study text here
So, if Gallstones disease associated with a higher risk of developing Psoriasis and PsA, could this mean that those who already have Psoriasis are likely to have Gallstones or Gallbladder Bile flow issues?
In my case, the answer is Yes.
I HAVE PSORIASIS AND I ALSO HAVE GALLSTONES
When I was diagnosed with Psoriasis in 2003, I was also diagnosed with chronic cholecystitis (Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder) among other health complications which were mainly linked to the digestive system.
While all other disorders I had in test results could be blamed as the main cause of psoriasis, two things were highlighted to receive urgent attention; cholecystitis and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), which is apparently is common in bile duct stone patients. While hypothyroidism sounded like “not a big deal,” gallbladder inflammation did scare me, so I was concerned.
After my diagnosis, I started searching for ways to heal, starting from the liver and the gallbladder. All the doctors I met regarding this matter were giving similar advice to:
- Follow a Diet
- Exercise Daily
- Take Bile Thinning Herbal Teas
- Liv52 Tablets
- Activated Charcoal
And few other conventional medicaments, but the majority of the prescriptions were herbal in nature. I met like three or four different doctors, and almost all of them had those in the prescription.
But I needed something more. Those didn’t seem like serious solutions back then, so I started searching for conventional in-hospital treatment. As I mention in my story, that led to more damage than good.
I started searching for answers in ancient and alternative medicine and researching and analyzing studies and information already available in books and on the internet.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE GALLSTONES?
General symptoms of Gallstones:
- Pain that spread to your back, often worse with deep breaths.
- Intense and sudden pain around the liver and the gallbladder.
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of your eyes because of excessive bilirubin).
- Light-colored bowel movements and darkened urine.
I did not feel the majority of the symptoms listed above. I would have discomfort after meats and oily foods. Later it turned to pain, which did spread to the back of my liver.
If you have any of the symptoms above, speak to your doctor without delay, healing internal health conditions will speed up psoriasis healing.
IMPORTANCE OF BILE FLOW IN HEALING PSORIASIS
One of the things I did to address bile stones was the Liver and Gallbladder flush. (which I will share in the next post. Note: this is not a recommendation, don’t do flushes before researching).
Liver and gallbladder flushes using oil and citrus juice has been around for hundreds of years and gained popularity in recent years. I purchased a popular book called “The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush,” written by Andreas Moritz, which contained so much useful information.
In his book, Andreas mentions that:
Without bile, most foods cannot be properly digested. One of the liver’s most important functions is to produce bile, and Gallbladder stores the bile. Bile consists of water, mucous, bile pigment (bilirubin), bile salts, and cholesterol, as well as enzymes and friendly, essential bacteria. Bile is critical for digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and fats.
If fats not absorbed properly because bile production is insufficient, the undigested fat remains in the intestinal tract. Then when the fat reaches the colon, bacteria break down some part of it into fatty acid components, or else it’s excreted with the stool. Since fat is lighter than water, it may make the stool float. If fats not absorbed, then calcium is not absorbed too, so the blood has a shortage. The blood takes its needed calcium from the bones, and that’s how most bone density problems arise.
Gallstones are one outcome of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Obstructive gallstones can greatly undermine the liver’s capacity to detoxify and prevent the liver from delivering the proper amount of nutrients and energy to the right places in the body at the right time. This can upset the delicate balance in the body, known as ‘homeostasis’, leading to malfunctioning of its systems and organs.
Wherever the storage capacity for toxins is exhausted, symptoms of illness begin to occur;
Disorders of the Digestive System, Diseases of the Mouth, Stomach, Pancreas, Intestinal Diseases, Disorders of the Circulatory System, Coronary Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Poor Circulation, Enlargement of Heart and Spleen, Varicose Veins, Lymph Congestion, Hormonal Imbalances, Disorders of the Respiratory System, Urinary System, Nervous System, Disorders of the Bones, the Joints, Reproductive System and finally Disorders of the Skin, all connected to Low Bile Production and as a result Digestive problems.
So, in order to heal any disease, it is important to heal the Liver and have a good bile flow and clean gallbladder which will lead to gut repair, . Perhaps this is why all diets and lifestyle changes are focused on liver and gallbladder functions and digestion which of course leads to gut healing.
WHAT CAUSES GALLBLADDER SLUDGE AND GALLSTONES?
There are so many studies and researches that explain all very well in medical terms the reason why bile thickens and stones are formed. Here are the simple facts that I noted to remind myself of what could cause Gallstones and what I should avoid.
Gallstones are hardened deposits of bile that can form within the gallbladder. But how are they formed? If bile contains too much cholesterol or too much bilirubin, or not enough bile salts. So gallstones formed when bile is not balanced.
It is unknown why these changes in bile occur, the logical answer is because of the unhealthy foods we consume. Another reason provided online is because the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough. For some reason, it affects women more than men, and age plays a role too, older you are higher the chances of you having Gallstones.
Age factor sounds logical, older we grow the more we accumulate, but why women? Majority of the online sources say, difference could be because of the female hormone – estrogen, which increases biliary cholesterol production, birth control pills, also hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms could be blamed too. Other factors that could possibly lead to gallstones formations are listed below:
- Thyroid disorders
- Irregular Mealtimes
- Too much Screen-time
- Lack of Melatonin (sleep–wake cycle hormone)
- Excessive Protein Consumption
- Foods high in Saturated Fats
- Low fat and Restricted Diets
- Rapid Weight Loss
What I found particularly interesting are the Stress and Thyroid connection. Stress is known to be the #1 trigger of Psoriasis, also triggers so many other things; it has a negative impact on our immune system, it could suppress thyroid hormone production – lower thyroid hormones result in; decreased metabolic rate, poor digestion, slow breakdown of nutrients and absorption, lower oxygen intake, and if you already have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or low thyroid) like me, it could worsen your symptoms even more, including Psoriasis flare-ups.
Fats – avoid saturated fats and consume enough healthy fats, why? I learned that healthy fats stimulate bile flow, on the other hand, saturated fats and trans fats are hard to digest and could cause gallstones.
Another important thing to me is – too much Screen-time, nowadays we are constantly on Smartphones and Computers. Too much screen-time does indeed disrupt our sleep cycle and also could cause stress and anxiety. This again affects Thyroid glands and consequently liver and gallbladder function.
Immobility – I believe this is how it all starts; the majority spends the most days indoors. For example, office workers like me; most days in the office in front of the screen, long hours straight, when focused, we are tensed, motionless, and not breathing well.
Do you notice when you concentrate on the screen, your breathing slows, and you are tensed? Then we eat, sitting down again, then we go back to work yet to do the same, that food we just ate is in there, we don’t help digestion but opposite. That causes physical stress, and stress affects the thyroid, and thyroid affects bile, then poor digestion, and unhealthy gut, and all that happens almost every day in circles.
It’s all linked, and all makes sense doesn’t it?
HOW TO PREVENT GALLBLADDER SLUDGE & GALLSTONES FORMATION?
If the cause is an unhealthy lifestyle, then prevention is a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding all causes listed above is beneficial for general health, and in my case, I can relate to each one of them except the rapid weight loss.
So, to prevent further damage and to support healing, I have changed and still changing my routine and habits slowly but surely with this to-do list, which helps prevent bile thickening and also highly beneficial for overall health. Everything below really does help improve fatigue, digestion and prevent psoriasis flareup too:
- Exercise, breathe, meditate
If you feel lazy and sleepy all the time like I used to, try Pranayama. Since I started practicing Pranayama, everything changed, I became more active and awake. There are two types of breathing, shallow from shoulders and Diaphragmatic or diaphragmatic-relaxation breathing is breathing from the belly, as babies do.
Which one is correct? With shallower breathing, we get less oxygen to the blood, which results in tensed muscles and hurts digestion. But if we take deep breaths from the belly, the opposite reaction happens. Although, So, whether at home or office, stand up and walk around, and work standing when possible and focus on deep breathing.
- Drink two liters of water a day
I have a rule; every time I empty my bladder, I remember to refill, it works. I start my morning with half a liter of warm water. It helps bowel movement, prevents constipation, and I also believe that morning warm water flushes toxins.
You can add a slice of lemon if you are not sensitive to citrus fruits. Be aware; citric acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruits known to trigger psoriasis flareups, and I am one of those sensitive people. It doesn’t bother when I am on remission and surprisingly, it doesn’t bother when it’s mixed with olive oil as a salad dressing, but it triggers redness and itch during a flareup if I drink with water on an empty stomach.
- Don’t overeat and don’t under-eat and eat on time
Eating just enough to fuel your body and fueling on time is essential and helps digestion. If you can, better consult a nutritionist, or you could research meal portions and nutritional requirements online.
- Avoid red meats, and eat more leafy greens and fruits
Red meats are higher in saturated fats compared to chicken and fish, leafy greens and fruits help digestion, and proper digestion is the key to reducing inflammation, consequently no flareups.
- Avoid Saturated fats and trans-fats, and deep-fried foods
Saturated Fats that go solid at room temperature and they are heavy to digest and harm your gut bacteria. Trans fats chemically classified as unsaturated fatty acids, but the molecules get rearranged, so they act like saturated fatty acids in the body. Trans fatty acids are not essential and provide no known benefit to human health, whether of animal or plant origin. Replacing them with healthier vegetable fats promotes healing.
- Take time to rest and sleep on time and avoid screen-time at night
We all know the importance of resting and sleeping on time, yet we fail to do so. Especially if you have the habit of checking your Social accounts before sleep, it can be damaging, hard to find sleep, and stay asleep. I try hard to follow my own set of rules, sleep on time, and wake up early to follow the natural sleep cycle. Its challenging but doable and beneficial effect on psoriasis is almost instant.
- Sunbathe once a week at least
Sunlight generates natural vitamin D from cholesterol in the skin cells, and not only, it also boosts ‘happiness hormone’ – serotonin levels consequently help improve mood and focus, and it also improves digestion. These may be the main reasons why sunbathing helps psoriasis warriors so much.
Of course, there are cases of sunlight making psoriasis worst, and I think it could be because of vitamin D again. What if they have too much Vitamin D already and sunlight triggering D toxicity? Something to keep in mind if your case is the opposite.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
This is a challenge for many, but unfortunately, people have hart time to give up despite having flares and suffering.
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases like; high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems even for healthy people. The negative effects on those who already have Psoriasis are apparent and almost instant with flareups.
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” My general rule is to focus on digestion and elimination of toxic and heavy foods. Imagine your car; It runs better with cleaner fuel, and when it does not move, the battery dies, and later it rusts. Funny, but we are no different, so my rule is not to rust and to put better fuel in my system. It’s not that easy as it’s sounds but doable.
HOW TO TREAT GALLSTONES NATURALLY?
According to NIDDK, If your gallstones are not causing symptoms, you maybe don’t need treatment. However, if you are having a gallbladder attack or other symptoms, contact your doctor without delay. Additionally, natural remedies can help you heal naturally and could save your gallbladder.
Gallstones have been treated naturally for centuries, and there are so many known methods in every culture and ancient medicine to clean the liver and gallbladder people say that helps. Below are the powerful remedies I chose to apply to my routine:
- Celery Juice
I am so glad that Medical Medium did that “Celery juice movement,” which pushed me to try at the time, and I got hooked. I did it when I was having pain around the gallbladder; it instantly triggers bowel movement and relieves pain and bloating. I feel lighter, and the pain goes away after drinking daily for a few weeks.
I am trying to drink and stay on as much as I can, although It is challenging to get it continuously. These days I can’t find fat stems but instead slim stems with so many leaves, which makes it so bitter and very hard to drink, but celery juice is a certainty number 1 remedy on my list. Like Medical Medium quoted, “CELERY JUICE IS THE ULTIMATE GALLBLADDER REHABILITATOR” – I now believe it’s true.
- Turmeric Tea
Turmeric (Curcumin) is already a well-known remedy for Psoriasis. In Ayurveda, Turmeric used for strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and reducing arthritis. In traditional Chinese medicine, Turmeric has been used to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain and regulate menstruation.
Scientific Research suggests that Turmeric helps in the management of many health conditions such as oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia, exercise-induced inflammation, and muscle soreness, enhancing recovery and performance in athletic people. So, my tea these days is blended Turmeric root.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
My personal favorite for a couple of years now and almost instant cure of candida. Many online sources list Apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy for faulty gallbladder. Although, one of my favorite authors mentions that it has no scientific proof, and it’s not helpful to the liver.
But my own experience has been undeniably successful, so I would never stop using this one. In fact, after reading studies and researches that confirm it is effective indeed, I will now take it regularly after meals.
- Activated Charcoal
Now I know why every doctor prescribed Activated Charcoal back then. Activated charcoal, also referred to as the universal antidote, used for all kinds of poisoning and overdose cases because it works by absorbing toxins and poisons, preventing them from getting into the bloodstream.
It is also used to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and bile acids in the gut, resulting in an increased cholesterol breakdown by the liver. Here is another study on PubMed that confirms it’s efficiency; “Seven patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) were treated for 4 weeks with activated charcoal at a dose of 8 g three times a day. Plasma total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) decreased by 25% and 41%, respectively, whereas HDL-cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) increased by 8%. Side-effects were negligible.”
I was taking AC every time I eat out, but now I am taking it every day after dinner as part of my treatment.
- Milk Thistle and Dandelion
A well-known remedy for psoriasis also used to treat Liver and Gallbladder issues since ancient times. While milk thistle used in the treatment of Liver Diseases, Dandelion is used to reduce Inflammation and Infections. Therefore, I have chosen to take a combined supplement form that was suggested by the doctor.
- Bile Thinning Teas
There all kind of herbal teas you can find in pharmacies these days, instead of regular tea, I choose to drink bile thinning tea or even ginger root would do the job, however, this might cause trouble if you have blocked bile duct, so consult your doctor before opting.
- The Liver and Gallbladder Flush
Lastly the oil and citrus flush is what I did already four times, and the fourth time was not so good. I am regretful because I did it wrong and it got me flared after four years of remission. You can read in my previous post. If you search for testimonials, you can see there are so many people who benefit from it greatly, but because it involves a large amount of citrus juice and Epsom salt, my sensitive stomach reacts every time. so this one is something to be very careful about.
- Olive oil and Lemon Dressing
Did you know the Mediterranean Diet which is also referred to as Anti Inflammatory diet is the oldest diet that many dermatologists suggest that help psoriasis? There is a study that suggests People of the Mediterranean have fewer heart diseases.
If we analyze the ingredients, we can see that it has a good balance; lots of fresh leafy salads, fruits, healthy fats. However, it also has a lot of things we should avoid; like pasta, bread, nightshades, etc. So what makes this diet better than others and why scientific researches found it healthier?
My personal opinion; The secret is in the way they cook and use Olive oil and Lemon Juice. Here is why and how:
Mediterranean dishes are mainly prepared using healthier cooking methods like; grilling, baking, slow cooking, light frying with olive oil.
King of ingredients – Olives and Olive Oil! Mediterranean cuisines use olives and olive oil almost in every dish and salads, and you will always find lemon or lemon juice incorporation in them. No other diets use as much.
The Liver and Gallbladder flush methods use olive oil and lemon juice to flush out stones because the combination works like a lubricant and helps to cleanse the whole digestive system when used correctly. The list of benefits of Olive oil and Lemon juice is extensive I could go on and on, and all those benefits added to dishes every single day and with almost every meal. So no wonder they have better health than other cultures.
So to heal naturally, I decided to incorporate above cooking methods by using olive oil for cooking, and also use olive oil and lemon juice as a salad dressing and add green leafy salads to my diet twice daily.
HOW IS THIS INFORMATION HELPING MY CONDITION?
I now have concluded that my personal case of Psoriasis is mainly due to Poor Digestion. Again the chain I see is; Chronic Stress, Hypothyroidism, Gallstones, Poor absorption of Vitamins and Nutrients, and Toxicity and inflammation in the gut, obviously those toxins going to the bloodstream and cause all kinds of skin conditions and all because each condition stresses Digestive system and on top of all I was not helping but stressing even more with unhealthy food and lifestyle choices.
This is why maybe leech therapy worked like magic for me and helped me go on remission because they took the toxins out, this is why maybe exercise and anti-inflammatory and toxin cleansing foods and drinks do work for me and not only me.
This is just my personal opinion, observation, and research. But I want to say this, if you have psoriasis, ask your doctor to check everything and help you connect the dots. Because addressing those health conditions has helped me stay symptom-free for four years. If it wasn’t triggered by my own mistake it would have stayed that way for longer, who knows. I will challenge myself to heal my skin and nail Psoriasis naturally.
I just started following a new regimen that I put in place reading all these studies. It involves all of the natural remedies above. I can only tell if its working or not if my skin and nails heal. Its been only a week, but I have to go on for at least 3 months to see the difference. I will keep you posted.
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