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Gallbladder/liver Congestion

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This is really for the women on the board. I've been trying to figure out for ages why my liver gets congested twice a month, halfway and at the end of my cycle (and had obstetric cholestasis in pregnancy). I'm wondering if somebody out there, perhaps Skylark, could look at what I think the key issues are below:

So, when we eat, as celiacs/intolerants, our guts have become a bit leaky so more toxins, bile, estrogen are absorbed back in to the blood from the bowel than would normally be. These make their way back round to the liver. On receipt of higher levels of bile in the blood, the liver starts making more cholesterol, which in turn thickens the bile even more?

I used to take Milk Thistle, which was brilliant at the beginning but just ended up making me feel worse, itchy and more congested. So what I figured was that I didn't need to produce more bile or improve my liver function (my tests are always within range) but that I needed to thin the bile so that it could flow easier.

So far, with peppermint, that seems to be working. Had a bit of a disaster with linseed tea and goldenseal the last few days so have had to go back to peppermint :blink:

Does this make sense to anyone? So now my question is, how do I tie in the excess bile/estrogen/toxins in to my bowel to excrete without eating the recommended wholegrains/linseed etc as I don't seem to be able to tolerate any of these. Would well cooked white rice do the same thing? Is there insoluble fibre in white rice?

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This is really for the women on the board. I've been trying to figure out for ages why my liver gets congested twice a month, halfway and at the end of my cycle (and had obstetric cholestasis in pregnancy). I'm wondering if somebody out there, perhaps Skylark, could look at what I think the key issues are below:

So, when we eat, as celiacs/intolerants, our guts have become a bit leaky so more toxins, bile, estrogen are absorbed back in to the blood from the bowel than would normally be. These make their way back round to the liver. On receipt of higher levels of bile in the blood, the liver starts making more cholesterol, which in turn thickens the bile even more?

I used to take Milk Thistle, which was brilliant at the beginning but just ended up making me feel worse, itchy and more congested. So what I figured was that I didn't need to produce more bile or improve my liver function (my tests are always within range) but that I needed to thin the bile so that it could flow easier.

So far, with peppermint, that seems to be working. Had a bit of a disaster with linseed tea and goldenseal the last few days so have had to go back to peppermint :blink:

Does this make sense to anyone? So now my question is, how do I tie in the excess bile/estrogen/toxins in to my bowel to excrete without eating the recommended wholegrains/linseed etc as I don't seem to be able to tolerate any of these. Would well cooked white rice do the same thing? Is there insoluble fibre in white rice?

Hi Caroline,

In effect I was a self taught herbalist for many years, although roughly a year ago I discovered I have salicylate sensitivity and thus can't tolerate most herbs at all anymore. So now I am looking at homeopathics and finding some solutions.

Meanwhile for you going the herbal direction, however, I would highly suggest you take dandelion root. It is a wonderful gallbladder/liver and kidney cleanser. Completely safe and well tolerated by most people almost every day. It adds back in the potassium that you excrete from it being a diuretic. It also is not an immune stimulant. Immune stimulants are an issue for most folks with celiac or other auto immune conditions.

Be certain too to not take tinctures since they are usually made with alcohol that has gluten in it. This may have been the problem with the milk thistle?? Don't listen to those who say you can just boil away the alcohol. Nonsense! The gluten remains in the solution. Its much better to boil your own herbs anyway--both cheaper and safer. Just make sure your source is safe and not cross contaminated like in bins at Whole Foods. A dedicated herb and supplement store is a lot safer, and ordering herbs online is better yet. If you like a particular herb, you might also consider growing it eventually.

Eating lots of parsley and fresh garlic can also help. You can actually make "smoothies" with some fresh vegetables like celery, lettuce and parsley with maybe a little zucchini or yellow squash that will give you a big energy pick up. No--don't put garlic in it, you will never drink it -- it will taste too pungent!! the garlic is to add chopped up to put onto your other food.

Having a fresh lemon with either water or on a salad is very good for the gallbladder and liver. For some they tolerate apple cider vinegar with similar good results. Best if you get the real kind of vinegar with the live "mother" still in it. Again both no no's for me due to my salicylate sensitivity, but not likely for you.

Why not eat cooked brown rice? It is so much more healthful than white rice... Unless you have problems with roughage?? if you do, consider taking marshmallow root for a while to help heal your villi.

L-glutamine can help your villi heal too as long as not taken in excess for too long. It is best to go off it now and then. Don't take it if you tend to have salicylate problems like me or diabetes or are fighting cancer. For other folks however it is another godsend.

I take nattokinase to get rid of the scar tissue in the villi which then helps your body stop having so much leaky gut. You can also make or buy natto, however it is very smelly!! If nattokinase agrees with you and you seem to need it, consider ordering larger quantities on the Internet. It is worth the savings.

I suggest you also have fresh ground up flax seed with a small amount of apple pectin as a great way to have better bulking and elimination. I can no longer have these things due to salicylate sensitivity, however for most everyone else this combination works wonders. Take one tablespoon flax seed with 1/4 tsp. apple pectin. Then grind it in a coffee grinder. This way the pectin mixes in better whereas other wise it gobs up when put in water. Then mix it in water and drink, followed by more water. Also the fresh flax seed gives you much needed omega 3's.

If you can't tolerate the ground up flax, perhaps you can still tolerate the apple pectin??

Further I suggest you take pancreatin whenever you eat meat. And of course, reduce your fat intake while you are having the gallbladder/liver problem. Thus when you prepare chicken for instance, remove the chicken skin and fat. For now I suggest you eat the lighter rather than the darker meat--unless it makes you light headed.

It is also possible that if you make your own yogurt it will help you heal. I did this when I was recovering from kidney infection when I could not eat meat. I basically lived on plain yogurt, sprouted sunflower seeds and salads since I did not tolerate much of anything else much to my surprise. Definitely a way to lose weight, though I wouldn't suggest it unless you had to live like that due to health concerns! If you were to eat partially that way I would add in rice and yams. And if not rice, then consider eating some squash.

If you are lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy yogurt by making it ferment 24 hours, since by then the lactose is then eaten up by the probiotics. People also do similar things with chopped cabbage supposing you are casein intolerant. Ferment it for quite a long time. You can google it here on this site to get exact directions.

Good luck, hope some of these suggestions help.

Bea

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Hi Yolo! Thanks so much for this amazing information. I just started to study for a degree in Herbal Medicine at Lincoln, UK so your information is so interesting and adding to the body of knowledge (little though that might be right now!). I will definitely try dandelion, I was looking at that yesterday in my books. Is it better to eat the root or are the leaves just as effective. Thinking that it might be better to gather some fresh as I know herbal teas off the shelf are not as well preserved. How annoying for you that you can't take the tinctures any more. Though I have heard that homeopathy is just as good.

We get to taste new herbs every week in lectures and so far crossed fingers no reactions. I think you are def. right about the echinacea and I've also decided not to try the linseed again until things calm down. I'm taking a good probiotic as I just don't have the wherewithall to try making cultured yoghurt myself - plus i find milk products really difficult. The strangest thing is that I react to the dry milk thistle herb as well as the tincture... I did have swine flu with my kids earlier in the year and i think that it does something not so great to the liver and gut (sits in the small intestine apparently). I think the milk thistle is just leaking back over to the blood!

It takes such a long time to work out what suits you and what doesn't... it's exhausting! I might go back to writing the detailed food diary. Interesting about the pancreatic enzymes. I think I have some in my ever growing arsenal of vits,mins,digestive enzymes and herbs!

Will let you know how I get on!

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Bea! You are a life saver. I took the dandelion root in a decoction today and it really worked a treat! Now need to go and dig up more dandelions!

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Bea! You are a life saver. I took the dandelion root in a decoction today and it really worked a treat! Now need to go and dig up more dandelions!

Am glad to hear that the dandelion is working so well for you!

I also thought I'd mention that while studying herbs is a wonderful thing, you might want to consider also studying homeopathy, just for the simple reason I mentioned before: so many herbs are immune stimulants. Sad but true. The good thing however here is that they still often can be used homeopathically.

Certainly one thing that needs to be developed more for the homeopathic industry, are a couple of lines of gluten free and lactose free homeopathics. I hear there are some alternatives to the standard lactose and alcohol, but they seem to be few and far between. For a healing modality based on the energy of things to not to pay attention to the difficulty we have with trace gluten (and often lactose too) seems incredible to me. Perhaps you could help make a difference.

With the herbs, again be careful about the alcohol in the tinctures. I have found that even the distilled alcohol that is supposed to be safe for us gluten sensitives, isn't for me as well as many other sensitives. Glycerin works too, it just isn't as strong... Plus I always wonder, what are their practices making sure there is no CC with gluten in the glycerin given their close proximity with the alcohol tinctures??

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Hi Bea, I'll bear the homeopathy in mind but here to practice either herbalism or homeopathy the training is very extensive not to mention expensive! As I really am looking to practice as a herbalist with probably some other additions like massage and acupressure I'm not too worried about the immune stimulant issue. That is really something I need to worry about for myself, but not necessarily the patients I hope to end up treating. I certainly have used homeopathy myself and I know a few people around here who do too so a great suggestion!

Interestingly, while the dandelion is brilliant for my liver (I can actually hear and feel the bile making a quick exit after I relax a little with my feet up) I'm finding it quite drying. I'll reduce the dosage a little and perhaps try Angostura bitters in the evening before dinner ( I think the dandelion needs a lot of water drinking because of it's diuretic qualities - which means up all night weeing, like i was last night!). Do you get the bitters where you are - it has gentian in? Incredibly though, since taking the dandelion root all my sinus, shoulder and upper right quadrant pain has completely died down! Wouldn't it be interesting if a lot of our (collective) pains were caused by liver congestion, rather than something else (like an allergy to another food, or perhaps even a suspected glutening?). What do you think?

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Good point too re the tinctures and trace gluten... I'm not entirely sure but I know that our regulations are very strict for large scale production so CC would probably not be a problem, but you are right about the grain alcohol issue - I'll look in to that more - that might be why I was having a problem with the H&B milk thistle tincture but not with the Vogel Cynara. Will let you know!

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Some folks are so blocked up however they can't handle to cleavers and should go for something more gentle, at least at first. Cleavers is also great for the urinary system.

Too bad yellow dock meanwhile is also an immune stimulant. It is fantastic as a systemic for these kinds of problems... Ditto with burdock.

If peeing is a problem, just take your dandelion in the morning (or at least not much beyond noon) and see if it does all you need... Initially however you probably need to be drinking a lot of water to clean yourself out.

Hi Bea, I'll bear the homeopathy in mind but here to practice either herbalism or homeopathy the training is very extensive not to mention expensive! As I really am looking to practice as a herbalist with probably some other additions like massage and acupressure I'm not too worried about the immune stimulant issue. That is really something I need to worry about for myself, but not necessarily the patients I hope to end up treating. I certainly have used homeopathy myself and I know a few people around here who do too so a great suggestion!

Interestingly, while the dandelion is brilliant for my liver (I can actually hear and feel the bile making a quick exit after I relax a little with my feet up) I'm finding it quite drying. I'll reduce the dosage a little and perhaps try Angostura bitters in the evening before dinner ( I think the dandelion needs a lot of water drinking because of it's diuretic qualities - which means up all night weeing, like i was last night!). Do you get the bitters where you are - it has gentian in? Incredibly though, since taking the dandelion root all my sinus, shoulder and upper right quadrant pain has completely died down! Wouldn't it be interesting if a lot of our (collective) pains were caused by liver congestion, rather than something else (like an allergy to another food, or perhaps even a suspected glutening?). What do you think?

I understand your feelings about herbalism as a useful adjunct to massage. It really is an excellent choice. I wish I could have followed that path but I had too many problems from undiagnosed celiac and salicylate sensitivity. My joints just could not take it even though I am quite good at massage. Instead I became a ceramic sculptor and a property manager. Even the property manager business has become a bit of a liability due to the fact so many things in my work environment have gluten in them.

Am glad meanwhile to hear you are feeling so much better from the humble dandelion!

I think that when your liver is congested it makes it hard for your body to deal with toxins in general, since it is a huge site for reducing and dealing with toxins. When the toxins build up it seems it then puts more of a load on your other detoxification systems, including the lymphatic sand urinary system.

Thus if you can also use either a bulking agent like fresh ground flax seed with apple pectin to clean out your intestines or have fresh blended veggies like parsley with celery and lettuce with water, or have some herbs that help clean out the lymphs like cleavers then you are way ahead of the game.

For some they also find relief detoxing through the skin, either in a sauna or using mud-- and of course sweating from exercise--which is also a huge help to do anyway of course.

Bea

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Check out my new post. Seems my liver/gallbladder are now blocked up too. Suppose it is due to it being Fall?? Plus too much fatty meat and butter of late...

Just looked up dandelion, marshmallow, oregon grape root and barberry and found they are actually NOT high in salicylates plus they are NOT killer T-cell immune stimulants (with celiac etc. you need to avoid T-cell stimulants since they get the auto immune system to go wild). Instead they stimulate the macrophages which just eat up toxin in your system. Wow!! Which means this is why I am managing the herbs OK, eh? Let me know what/if you can find out any info on that at your school to see if I am right about that or not.

Bea

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Check out my new post. Seems my liver/gallbladder are now blocked up too. Suppose it is due to it being Fall?? Plus too much fatty meat and butter of late...

Just looked up dandelion, marshmallow, oregon grape root and barberry and found they are actually NOT high in salicylates plus they are NOT killer T-cell immune stimulants (with celiac etc. you need to avoid T-cell stimulants since they get the auto immune system to go wild). Instead they stimulate the macrophages which just eat up toxin in your system. Wow!! Which means this is why I am managing the herbs OK, eh? Let me know what/if you can find out any info on that at your school to see if I am right about that or not.

Bea

Hey Bea. Yes, I saw your post, I'm having the exact same thing. It might have something to do I will thinking with all the bugs/viruses flying around at this time of year. My children are on their fourth cold already! I haven't had a bug yet but I can feel that my body is fighting something... hence the liver congestion I think. It has our normal excess toxins to deal with plus bug toxins. I am super amazed that I so far have only felt a bit groggy but ZERO real bug/cold symptoms! I'll have a look at these herbs for you. Good for me in terms of learning too! Will get back to you later. Do you want me to email them on here rather than put them in a message... there might be some papers I can find too.

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Hey Bea. Yes, I saw your post, I'm having the exact same thing. It might have something to do I will thinking with all the bugs/viruses flying around at this time of year. My children are on their fourth cold already! I haven't had a bug yet but I can feel that my body is fighting something... hence the liver congestion I think. It has our normal excess toxins to deal with plus bug toxins. I am super amazed that I so far have only felt a bit groggy but ZERO real bug/cold symptoms! I'll have a look at these herbs for you. Good for me in terms of learning too! Will get back to you later. Do you want me to email them on here rather than put them in a message... there might be some papers I can find too.

Hi C,

No bugs for me either, however honestly I think the liver/gallbladder issue is dietary related as well as stress an d possibly some CC issues with gluten to start it all off. Ihave been completely gluten free now for 4 years and have found that I just don't get the colds and flu etc. I used to get bugs with a vengeance--and for far longer than the average despite all my herbs. Its just possible your kids are having some gluten issues too if they are getting sick so very often.

You could meanwhile email the herbal info here no problem if others see it too. It may be of interest to those with enquiring minds after all, eh?

Given all this (ie., not having to give up herbs after all) I am considering taking a course(s) online to get officially certificated plus maybe learn a thing or two. That plus some kind of nutrition certificate. I'd like to help folks with all this stuff I have gleaned over the years... along with my hypnotherapy.

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Had the liver exam today and luckily there seems to be no swelling, or scarring of the liver so it is a functional problem with blood flow (probably excess hormones/bile/cholesterol and other stuff that is getting too easily back in to the blood stream from the gut). He thought that it might be Familial Meditteranean Fever but we both thought this picture was too dramatic for the symptoms I have. He still does however think that there is a small fault in the processing of some chemicals in the liver, but something that they will be able to help.

They have given me a herbal tincture of seven herbs as follows:

Oregon Grape Root

Burdock

Dong Quai Root

Borage off.

Schisandra Chinesis

Rosemary

Siberian Ginseng

Will let you know how I get on for the first two weeks of the tincture. They review regularly so if there is something that is causing a problem they will tweak the prescription.

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Had the liver exam today and luckily there seems to be no swelling, or scarring of the liver so it is a functional problem with blood flow (probably excess hormones/bile/cholesterol and other stuff that is getting too easily back in to the blood stream from the gut). He thought that it might be Familial Meditteranean Fever but we both thought this picture was too dramatic for the symptoms I have. He still does however think that there is a small fault in the processing of some chemicals in the liver, but something that they will be able to help.

They have given me a herbal tincture of seven herbs as follows:

Oregon Grape Root

Burdock

Dong Quai Root

Borage off.

Schisandra Chinesis

Rosemary

Siberian Ginseng

Will let you know how I get on for the first two weeks of the tincture. They review regularly so if there is something that is causing a problem they will tweak the prescription.

Sounds great Caroline. Its good news that you have no swelling etc!

Best to be certain however that the tincture is entirely gluten free. Boiling it will not get rid of the gluten despite what they might tell you. Your doc might not be very conscious of these kinds of concerns. (I have run into this a lot even in the alternative medical community.)

You could probably get away with having it be a simpler remedy if it proves burdensome. Some of the recommendations are definite immune stimulants. Are those OK for you??

Have you also considered doing a gallbladder flush? I have always been leery of them, but now that I am becoming more aware of this issue I am starting to think its a great idea since most everyone produces liver and gallbladder stones that can block up one's flow of bile plus are a source of possible contaminants that just sit in your system. They often are quite small but still can block up your system. My best advice is to approach this topic carefully and slowly. I know I do need to approach this slowly since I have been exposed to some very nasty contaminants in my time.

Also consider going vegetarian for a while to clean your system out. Might be a good idea to do now and again. Certainly it is what I am currently doing and I find it really is helping a lot. Eggs in particular should be eaten in moderation if at all.

The interesting thing is that now taking my herbs is making it so I can tolerate lentil soup whereas before I just could not digest it. I tried the plain no fat yogurt again and found it now agrees with me too!!

It is also suggested that eating a lot of apples and pears is excellent for the liver and gallbladder (mainly due to the pectin and the vitamin C). They are best eaten alone however since otherwise they can interfere with one's digestion of other food.

Taking the fresh ground flax seed twice a day (1 tbsp. at a time in a lot of water) is also really helping me.

Starting the day with half a fresh lemon squeezed in water is also helping. It stimulates the bile flow and helps clear liver/gallbladder congestion.

Do let us know again if your new formula works for you. The TH 1 and TH 2 info that Skylark sent might be particularly apropos.

Bea

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Sounds great Caroline. Its good news that you have no swelling etc!

Best to be certain however that the tincture is entirely gluten free. Boiling it will not get rid of the gluten despite what they might tell you. Your doc might not be very conscious of these kinds of concerns. (I have run into this a lot even in the alternative medical community.)

You could probably get away with having it be a simpler remedy if it proves burdensome. Some of the recommendations are definite immune stimulants. Are those OK for you??

Have you also considered doing a gallbladder flush? I have always been leery of them, but now that I am becoming more aware of this issue I am starting to think its a great idea since most everyone produces liver and gallbladder stones that can block up one's flow of bile plus are a source of possible contaminants that just sit in your system. They often are quite small but still can block up your system. My best advice is to approach this topic carefully and slowly. I know I do need to approach this slowly since I have been exposed to some very nasty contaminants in my time.

Also consider going vegetarian for a while to clean your system out. Might be a good idea to do now and again. Certainly it is what I am currently doing and I find it really is helping a lot. Eggs in particular should be eaten in moderation if at all.

The interesting thing is that now taking my herbs is making it so I can tolerate lentil soup whereas before I just could not digest it. I tried the plain no fat yogurt again and found it now agrees with me too!!

It is also suggested that eating a lot of apples and pears is excellent for the liver and gallbladder (mainly due to the pectin and the vitamin C). They are best eaten alone however since otherwise they can interfere with one's digestion of other food.

Taking the fresh ground flax seed twice a day (1 tbsp. at a time in a lot of water) is also really helping me.

Starting the day with half a fresh lemon squeezed in water is also helping. It stimulates the bile flow and helps clear liver/gallbladder congestion.

Do let us know again if your new formula works for you. The TH 1 and TH 2 info that Skylark sent might be particularly apropos.

Bea

Hi Bea, that is great that you've been able to reintroduce foods that before you couldn't eat. One thing on the yoghurt is the temperature. Much better to eat it at room temperature (so let it sit for a while outside the fridge) than cold. Cold is not great for the system, particularly one struggling immunity wise.

This formula has brought the cold out that I know my body was struggling with. But I suppose that is good in a way. As soon as a cold actually exhibits in mucus, i.e. boogeys then you know the body is on the last battle front to getting rid of it entirely. Interestingly the liver pain has also dissappeared! I still have a little tension discomfort around the diaphragm but all in all much much better.

My sleep is very fitful, though with the cold coming I have body aches so didn't feel particularly great this morning.

The other great thing is that the annoying itching seems to have stopped too!

Hoping that finally I have a mixture of herbs that can help in the long term. I looked up the actions of them all and in summary they are dealing with the liver, gallbladder, digestive system (rebuilding), nutrition, effective bowel motility, the nervous system, endocrine system, modulating the immune system (balancing only), skin regulating (sweating, rashes etc), hormone regulating, helping deal/protect colds and flu... the list is endless! So I'm hoping that this month I don't get the awful sweats and overheating I've been experiencing... though I have had some heating moments from the Ginseng... might have to look at that one again, but it may be down to the cold?

Hope you're getting on okay with your week. I still have to take a look at Skylarks TH1&2 papers. They sound really interesting! What suits one person doesn't necessarily suit the other makes an awful lot of sense!

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How did you find out your liver was congested? Was it an acupuncture exam?it

This is an interesting discussion to read. I was taking herbs from my acupuncturist and then he had me on something that landed me in the hospital. My body wasn't producing aldosterone, the hormone that regulates kidney function. At the time we didn't know that. The docs were trying to figure out what was going on with me.

The acupuncturist put me on two formulas containing licorice. Licorice lowers alodosterone, which I found out later. I got worse and worse to the point where my kidneys were dumping all my salt and I couldn't keep any water in my body. I was collapsing and ended up in the hospital for 10 days.

So now I'm really frustrated because those herbs were supposed to be healing me! I can't blame my acupuncturist because we didn't know at the time that my aldosterone was low and my symptoms were confusing at first. But now I'm scared to take herbs. UGH

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How did you find out your liver was congested? Was it an acupuncture exam?it

This is an interesting discussion to read. I was taking herbs from my acupuncturist and then he had me on something that landed me in the hospital. My body wasn't producing aldosterone, the hormone that regulates kidney function. At the time we didn't know that. The docs were trying to figure out what was going on with me.

The acupuncturist put me on two formulas containing licorice. Licorice lowers alodosterone, which I found out later. I got worse and worse to the point where my kidneys were dumping all my salt and I couldn't keep any water in my body. I was collapsing and ended up in the hospital for 10 days.

So now I'm really frustrated because those herbs were supposed to be healing me! I can't blame my acupuncturist because we didn't know at the time that my aldosterone was low and my symptoms were confusing at first. But now I'm scared to take herbs. UGH

Hi Sandsurfgirl. Yes, I have an acupuncturist decongest my liver (it's liver Qi stagnation in TCM, which I suppose is why I call it liver congestion) on a regular basis. Whilst I was eating gluten and other foods my body couldn't cope with it, the congestion just kept coming back. Personally, being now in training to be a herbalist, I would always try and firstly get bloods done on a regular basis, particularly for all of us on here, and also not missing out things like cortisol levels (this is a home test you take and give back to the doctor I believe). An issue with aldosterone is indicative of adrenal insufficiency, which is quite common in Chronic situations, like sickness, stress, allergy etc. Everything ties in together.

Liquorice, of all the herbs, and particularly the adaptogen grouping, of which this is one, is a tricky one. It is contraindicated in high blood pressure and is generally not used long term as it raises blood pressure. In situations of inflammation, edema, water imbalance, digestive issues I would guess that it is not recommended frequently for this reason. Adaptogen was probably the right route for your acupuncturist to take but I suspect things like gingseng (take cautiously as it can cause excess heating) and hawthorn would be better for Celiacs. The gentler the herb, the longer it takes to take effect but generally the safer it is. The note Holmes makes in the cautions section on Licorice is as follows:

'Licorice root should be avoided in conditions of adrenal hyperfunctioning such as hypertension, water retention (especially around the heart), hyperglycemia, osteoporosis, and with excess secretions generally (as found in stomach Qi stagnation, for example).'

I still have three and a half years till qualifying but am happy to quote things in my books! I can't recommend things per se as UK practice does not allow it. From experience I tried Licorice and it did help me a little but it was not particularly effective in my set of symptoms. Your acupuncturist sounds good but if you are going to take herbs it might be better to get them from a fully qualified herbalist. Where abouts are you based? There are a few eminent herbalists in the US. Might be worth emailing them if you have a prescription you want to get a second opinion on.

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I had the opposite problem. The low aldosterone was making my blood pressure drop to dangerous levels because I was excretindg so much fluid and salt.

I've never heard of a home cortisol test. I'm being tested for Cushings right now, which is a condition of high cortisol but I get my tests done at the lab. They take blood, 24 hour urine collection samples and saliva. I do different tests on different days.

Adrenal insufficiency is low cortisol, and thankfully I don't have that, but the aldosterone is also an adrenal hormone. The regular medication they have me on is working but I want to get better and not be on this stuff forever.

I'm in So Cal. My acupuncturist is a really good one, but he screwed up on this thing. I haven't even told him yet. Dealing with too much emotional trauma of the hospital and all the things that happened to me.

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I had the opposite problem. The low aldosterone was making my blood pressure drop to dangerous levels because I was excretindg so much fluid and salt.

I've never heard of a home cortisol test. I'm being tested for Cushings right now, which is a condition of high cortisol but I get my tests done at the lab. They take blood, 24 hour urine collection samples and saliva. I do different tests on different days.

Adrenal insufficiency is low cortisol, and thankfully I don't have that, but the aldosterone is also an adrenal hormone. The regular medication they have me on is working but I want to get better and not be on this stuff forever.

I'm in So Cal. My acupuncturist is a really good one, but he screwed up on this thing. I haven't even told him yet. Dealing with too much emotional trauma of the hospital and all the things that happened to me.

Your teaching me things I don't know! Bit odd about the salt as Licorice should make you retain it and raise the blood pressure... Nevertheless, sometimes orthodox medicine is much better for things this complicated! I'm so sorry it has been so traumatic for you. I can quite imagine it would make you very nervous about taking anything else! Yes, by the home test I meant the test you take home, then deliver the tests back to your doc, who sends them on to the lab... dopey me! The adrenals, well all the hormones are complicated little bu**ers aren't they?!

Really hope that you have some encouraging results from the next lot of tests. Hope you don't have Cushings but I'm sure that your docs etc will give you the best treatment, until your body can pick up the pace and help heal you too.

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Out of interest was there anything else in the herbal remedy?

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Out of interest was there anything else in the herbal remedy?

Yeah. I will dig out the bottles and post it later. The licorice lowers the aldosterone, and if aldosterone gets low enough (mine was nearly nonexistent) then your kidneys start dumping salt and fluid. I learned all this in the hospital. Your adrenal glands produce aldosterone to tell the kidneys to either hold salt and water or dump it. I even read on an instruction thing about getting tested for aldosterone that you shouldn't eat real licorice candy because it can lower it and I was on licorice tablets.

The day before I went into the hospital I peed out 7 liters of fluid. Then while they were testing me, they experimented by taking me off IV fluids and giving me a different hormone. I peed out 5 liters and I only drank 3 cups of water because I was sick from being given the wrong hormone. I didn't even know I could lose that much water when I took in so little!!! It was horrible.

I'm still working through the emotional trauma of it all. It happened so suddenly. One day I'm working out and taking my kids all over the place for fun. The next day I'm in an ambulance and collapsing, shaking, weak, can't breathe, etc.

The endocrine system is SO complicated and tricky. I'm doing a lot of meditation, prayer, visualization and postive affirmation so my body can heal itself. I'm also juicing and eating clean. I'm going to get acupuncture too but not take the herbs for now.

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I'm so glad you're okay! Good to know this about Licorice. I will add that to my herbal list of things to know!

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Yeah. I will dig out the bottles and post it later. The licorice lowers the aldosterone, and if aldosterone gets low enough (mine was nearly nonexistent) then your kidneys start dumping salt and fluid. I learned all this in the hospital. Your adrenal glands produce aldosterone to tell the kidneys to either hold salt and water or dump it. I even read on an instruction thing about getting tested for aldosterone that you shouldn't eat real licorice candy because it can lower it and I was on licorice tablets.

The day before I went into the hospital I peed out 7 liters of fluid. Then while they were testing me, they experimented by taking me off IV fluids and giving me a different hormone. I peed out 5 liters and I only drank 3 cups of water because I was sick from being given the wrong hormone. I didn't even know I could lose that much water when I took in so little!!! It was horrible.

I'm still working through the emotional trauma of it all. It happened so suddenly. One day I'm working out and taking my kids all over the place for fun. The next day I'm in an ambulance and collapsing, shaking, weak, can't breathe, etc.

The endocrine system is SO complicated and tricky. I'm doing a lot of meditation, prayer, visualization and postive affirmation so my body can heal itself. I'm also juicing and eating clean. I'm going to get acupuncture too but not take the herbs for now.

Hi,

Hope you all have had a good Thanksgiving! I prepared the whole meal with my boyfriend and we invited a couple of close friends as well as my older brother. Am exhausted but feel great! We all had a wonderful time. I was adamant that everyone wash their hands and one of my guests even took a shower and put on clean clothes so she could help out in the kitchen. We played a board game into the night (a new one that one of my friends had so we wouldn't get CC'd from an old board game that had been played with someone eating cookies and crackers laced into it). My boyfriend and I prepared a turkey and I cooked up a trout for myself plus green beans, yams, potatoes, and an alternative dessert for me with apple and pear that had almost no sweetener (a tad of maple syrup and stevia was all) that I ate with no fat yogurt (yes I now can eat that without a problem!). Everyone else ate my bf's pumpkin pie I helped him compose.

Meanwhile, this thread is continuing to be interesting. Sandsurf girl, I am so sorry you had such a horrific reaction to the licorice root. That truly is awful!!

I too have had problems with Chinese herbs, which are the ones I am assuming you took? I have reacted terribly to some of their combinations. For some reason their herbal remedies generally just don't work for me unless I take them one at a time and I find out what exactly they do and it seems to fit who I am. Maybe due to my salicylate sensitivity?? I also question them in general due to their being highly exposed to insecticides as well as the fact they often can't swear they are gluten free unless you get the raw herbs. Unfortunately they often are not very big on identifying them for you or telling you their properties.

Every time I have read about licorice root , they say not to take it for more than 10 days since it will raise your blood pressure, and especially not to take it at all if you have high blood pressure. It is useful for people that have low adrenal function. Obviously this is not your problem. I wonder why your herbalist gave it to you??

I think this is another case that proves the point that it is best to always look up the herb or the medicine and see what is going on with it for yourself to the best of your own understanding before taking it or taking it for any length of time. For some reason or other it seems we can no longer just trust our doctors to remember everything about us and how that might combine with what they are prescribing.

I was seeing a self described naturopathic "health detective" doctor six years ago, and he gave me all kinds of detox remedies that had gluten in them! I was expiring practically and he just said I was too sensitive! Until I finally figured out it was the gluten!! I had already told him I was sensitive to gluten, but he just did not get it. Of course now I know a lot more about it than I did then, but even back then I was mostly avoiding the gluten since I thought I probably had celiac. Certainly I would not have chosen to detox using anything with gluten in it. If he had been truly worth his salt he would have pointed out that I needed to be even more strict about avoiding trace gluten. Instead he was giving me products that had wheat etc. in them!

The point here is that any system of medicine can mess you up if you are not careful. It has been my experience that if it seems if one's "case" or "condition" is at all complicated sometimes we are not treated appropriately and mistakes can be made. We are not cattle, however the medical system often treats us that way.

It is also quite true that herbs are not necessarily for everyone. There are a lot of herbs for instance that I cannot tolerate due to salicylate sensitivity. The common culinary herbs for instance are terrible for me and a great many others as well. I am just lucky that these herbs with berberine actually are an antidote for salicylate sensitivity, as also are nettles.

I have thus been investigating homeopathics and energy medicine, but am meanwhile glad some of my old tried and true herbs for helping out with the liver/gallbladder/intestines and kidneys are still good for me and are actually antidotes for salicylate poisoning.

The reason I am so motivated in these alternative directions, is that I am allergic to most antibiotics, and only want to use them in an emergency situation, which is best avoided if at all possible. Thus I am treating myself for this liver/gallbladder condition before it becomes something I would have to take myself to see a standard doctor about and possibly get surgery.

And yes I figured it out by where it hurt (just below and adjacent to my lower right rib, right in line with my right breast nipple--and not in the back where the kidneys are) as well as the fact exercise seemed to relieve it and certain foods aggravated it. I am not ashamed to say I looked it up on the Internet rather than rushed to see my doctor. I tried my old detox herbs again in desperation, and to my pleasant surprise they made me feel so very much better, along with avoiding animal fats in my diet (except for fish oil and fish), taking flax seed again (which I also just discovered is good for improving my salicylate condition) etc. this is in fact why I started this thread!

Meanwhile, I hope you continue to feel better and to find out what it is you need to be the healthy you.

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