Any Reason This Diet Would Increase Risk Of Gallstones?

What follows is a detailed account of my day today. I'm not asking for any medical advice (I already visited the doctor), but just wondering if there is any inherent risk that you notice in what I'm doing daily.



First, I'm 5'10" male at 165lbs and I have no history of medical issues. I've been slowly transitioning to a predominantly bulletproof diet over the past month or 2. I started with the coffee every morning (4-5tbsp kerrygold butter, 2 tbsp MTC oil, 450ml of coffee), and found a good source of pastured eggs and grass fed meat at a local farmers market. The past couple weeks I've started with intermittent fasting as well. Most days my first meal consists of 3 pastured eggs over easy and 4 strips of bacon. If I eat a second time, it may be as little as a couple bites of grassfed beef, or at most a pound of grassfed beef on a bed of spinach with a little dressing. Other than that I have the coffee every morning, and fast 16-18 hours between last meal and first meal. I also began incorporating supplements the past couple weeks: magnesium, selenium, D3, C, Cod liver oil, Biotin (personal choice), and Copper/Zinc - most all are the recommended brands and doses.



Having said that, today I woke up feeling fine. A few moments out of bed, and I felt what seemed like a terrible sudden strain on my lower right back. I tried to pop my back by twisting (probably not a good idea in hindsight), but felt no relief. Over the next 15 minutes the pain increased as I made coffee, to the point of being unable to stand or sit, and having to climb back in bed. Once in bed I was doubled over in pain, with an unrelenting pressure in my side and lower right back. No position I took in bed could bring any relief to the consistently terrible pain and pressure. I tried to use the restroom (unsuccessfully) to relieve pressure, which I failed at, and after gasping in pain for a while with no conceivable way out of the pain, I vomited heavily (only water/liquids were in my stomach), and I then called a doctor. After the call to the doctor, I realized the pressure was substantially reduced after vomiting. I could stand upright, and lie down again, and feel alright if I didn't move around. I went to the doctor an hour later, he pressed on my stomach and back which I didn't respond negatively to. Not the appendix I guess. Then we ran an ultrasound scan and looked at my gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. Nothing abnormal to the doctor. I stressed the pain I was in earlier, so we took a second ultrasound look, but still nothing. He said it was probably just a strained muscle (even though it felt like an internal pressure, even gaseous) and to take it easy the next couple days.



After getting home I looked up gallstone symptoms on WebMD, and found several key similarities with my experience today (even though the ultrasound turned up no apparent evidence of gallstones). First, gallstones are the result of cholesterol build up - and I'm guessing I get plenty of cholesterol from my diet up there. Some of the similarities from WebMD are: 1) Continuous pain for 1 to 5 hours is common, 2) It is usually hard to get comfortable. Moving around does not make the pain go away, 3) can cause vomiting which 4) may relieve some of the belly (abdominal) pain and pressure, 5) A fever and chills (however could have just been cold, or tense muscles from inability to relax). So while the doctor said there's no evidence, I share many symptoms.



So the acute pain has been gone for 12 hours now, but I still feel a distinct pressure in my lower right side (not a pain, just a definite presence). I'm worried about continuing the diet...but of course, when I regained my appetite about 8 hours after the pain, I downed eggs and bacon.



Is there anything in my routine that could cause the high fat/cholesterol content of the diet to create gallstones? Is there anything missing in my diet? Should I continue eating high fat, or should I try something else for a few days? Sorry for the long winded explanation, but wanted to provide as much detail to elaborate on the question.

Comments

  • suntouchersuntoucher Uninspired Potential ✭✭✭
    I'd caution against self-diagnosing. With enough selective researching you can talk yourself into anything.



    Give it a week, talk with your doc again if you still have problems. You can perfectly have a strained muscle made worse by worrying and overanalyzing.



    As far as I'm aware, gallbladder problems primarily occur in low fat diets where it doesn't get enough bile turnover. As such, on a diet with sufficient fat intake, it gets enough workout and everything should be fine.



    If you are worried about continuing the diet, ask yourself - what is the alternative? There hardly is any! If you want, you can do heavier carb - as long as you control the quality. It would still be "BP."



    And, naturally - a low toxin, low inflammation diet will be beneficial for cholesterol problems, regardless if it's lower or higher carb. Clean carb sources are fairly limited, after all.



    Remember, BP is more about food quality and elimination of toxins, rather than low carb. You can even be high carb and still be BP!
  • RoarkRoark
    edited January 2013
    Thank you for your input. You are spot on about fat intake and bile turnover.



    You're right, I can think of no diet alternatives. I wasn't so much concerned about the lack of carbs, but rather the abundance of fat, as I've upped my fat intake DRAMATICALLY over the past few months.



    Over the past few days, the pressure in my right side has not ceased. It's not so much a pain, as a persistent discomfort that I would most liken to a side ache while running after having drunk a lot of water. It feels like a persistent version of that side ache, or sometimes it feels gaseous, and sometimes as if there's been an uncomfortable water balloon installed in my right side...but the presence hasn't left since the initial attack.



    Now I'm wondering if it could be 'acute pancreatitis,' as the symptoms are similar to gallstones, and often interrelated. Causes are prolonged alcohol consumption, which I never drink alcohol except for a couple times over the holidays in substantial quantities image/icon_neutral.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':-|' /> as well as 'high fat' diets. Trust me, I get the whole issue with self-diagnosis and placebo effects and neurosis...it's just a persistent curiosity/slight fear in direct corrolation to the persistent yet-to-be explained pressure.



    As of now, I continue eating the BP diet - albeit my appetite has been drastically reduced due to the side/abdomen/back pressure, and I've lost 4-5 pounds over the past few days as a result. I'll continue to play it by ear image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
  • 'Lothario' wrote:


    Thank you for your input. You are spot on about fat intake and bile turnover.



    You're right, I can think of no diet alternatives. I wasn't so much concerned about the lack of carbs, but rather the abundance of fat, as I've upped my fat intake DRAMATICALLY over the past few months.



    Over the past few days, the pressure in my right side has not ceased. It's not so much a pain, as a persistent discomfort that I would most liken to a side ache while running after having drunk a lot of water. It feels like a persistent version of that side ache, or sometimes it feels gaseous, and sometimes as if there's been an uncomfortable water balloon installed in my right side...but the presence hasn't left since the initial attack.



    Now I'm wondering if it could be 'acute pancreatitis,' as the symptoms are similar to gallstones, and often interrelated. Causes are prolonged alcohol consumption, which I never drink alcohol except for a couple times over the holidays in substantial quantities image/icon_neutral.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':-|' /> as well as 'high fat' diets. Trust me, I get the whole issue with self-diagnosis and placebo effects and neurosis...it's just a persistent curiosity/slight fear in direct corrolation to the persistent yet-to-be explained pressure.



    As of now, I continue eating the BP diet - albeit my appetite has been drastically reduced due to the side/abdomen/back pressure, and I've lost 4-5 pounds over the past few days as a result. I'll continue to play it by ear image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />




    Hi,

    As one of the other posters suggested, SELF diagnosis is dangerous ...

    I have been able to manage my gall stone attacks/episodes long term now for about 18 years now, I know it down to a tee ...

    I am waiting on my coffee and MCT oil before starting on BP, I am really scared that the butter and MCT oil will set off the Gall stone episodes.



    I am not a medical practitioner, however lived through many episodes the symptoms you describe don't align with Gall Stone episodes ?

    Gall stones are calcification of the bile in the Gall Bladder, where the bile can crystallise into small pellet sized to larger stones.

    The pain is caused by the stone travelling from the common bile duct from the gall bladder to the stomach, whenever you eat fatty foods.



    From my experiences the symptoms are:

    Cold sweats

    Lower back pain

    pressure near the middle of the chest (feels like heart attack but it isn't)

    can't straighten up, can't bend over, can't breath heavily

    Starts 1.5 to 2 hrs after the fatty food consumption

    Lasts for around 45 minutes



    Hope this helps
  • A more general question - has anyone found any notable negative results from following the BP diet?
  • 'DMS' wrote:


    A more general question - has anyone found any notable negative results from following the BP diet?


    Spending too much money haha
    Please email me instead of PM

    [email protected]
  • This case is identical to mine. I am a 26 year old, active male. Exact same height and weight too. I did the intermittent fasting as well. Started about 2 weeks ago.


    I do submission wrestling so I thought I might have strained and oblique muscle on my right side. It went away after a few days, and a week later it was back and I hadn't worked out in that week.  I could describe the pain as dull, and if you were to follow your ribs to the lowest point on your abdomen and press there felt to be a swollen tender area that didn't feel like a muscle. The pain is not devastating by any means, just annoying. I am getting a pretty rigorous physical next week, and I'll have the doc check it out and update you all on it later.


     


    My cousin is a Doctor and he tells me that gallstones can be associated with fasting and high saturated fat diets NOT low fat diets. But then I read your comments and this article: 


     


    http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20041004/more-unsaturated-fats-fewer-gallstones


     


    Which goes totally against what my cousin said, and most of my web searches said. But we must note that this is only discussing unsaturated fats, not saturated fats.


     


     I get most of my fats from grass fed meat, MCT, fish and avocados, pastured eggs and bacon, and of course grass fed butter. I know that fish and avocados are a great source of unsaturated fat, and are nutrient dense.


     


    But my observation is: Even though the meat, butter, eggs, being pastured or grassfed does not make it devoid of saturated fats, it just reduces the amount of saturated fat. Why then, would the Bulletproof Diet be exempt from causing gallstones or gallstone problems due to possibility of still having a high saturated fat diet? It seems to fit those conditions to increase the likelihood of developing gallbladder problems. 




  • This case is identical to mine. I am a 26 year old, active male. Exact same height and weight too. I did the intermittent fasting as well. Started about 2 weeks ago.


    I do submission wrestling so I thought I might have strained and oblique muscle on my right side. It went away after a few days, and a week later it was back and I hadn't worked out in that week.  I could describe the pain as dull, and if you were to follow your ribs to the lowest point on your abdomen and press there felt to be a swollen tender area that didn't feel like a muscle. The pain is not devastating by any means, just annoying. I am getting a pretty rigorous physical next week, and I'll have the doc check it out and update you all on it later.


     


    My cousin is a Doctor and he tells me that gallstones can be associated with fasting and high saturated fat diets NOT low fat diets. But then I read your comments and this article: 


     


    http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20041004/more-unsaturated-fats-fewer-gallstones


     


    Which goes totally against what my cousin said, and most of my web searches said. But we must note that this is only discussing unsaturated fats, not saturated fats.


     


     I get most of my fats from grass fed meat, MCT, fish and avocados, pastured eggs and bacon, and of course grass fed butter. I know that fish and avocados are a great source of unsaturated fat, and are nutrient dense.


     


    But my observation is: Even though the meat, butter, eggs, being pastured or grassfed does not make it devoid of saturated fats, it just reduces the amount of saturated fat. Why then, would the Bulletproof Diet be exempt from causing gallstones or gallstone problems due to possibility of still having a high saturated fat diet? It seems to fit those conditions to increase the likelihood of developing gallbladder problems. 




     


    Did you ever resolve the pain issue? I have been experimenting with intermittent fasting over the last 8 months. I started out doing Bulletproof intermittent fasting, consuming butter/coconut/mct oil in the morning with coffee or tea. Then about 5 months ago I started doing leangains intermittent fasting with no calories until breaking the fast, still eating Bulletproof. Over the last month I have developed what seems to be gallstone pain. It is on the right side under the ribs and feels like a dull ache, coming and going. I have read that the stones can form during fasting due to the lack of bile turnover, concentrating cholesterol in the gallbladder. I have done a liver flush/cleanse in the past and am planning to try that again to squeeze out any stones. After the flush I think I will try fat in the morning again while fasting or only occasional fasting. 

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  • nikbcnnikbcn
    edited August 2017

    @david.j said:
    I started out doing Bulletproof intermittent fasting, consuming butter/coconut/mct oil in the morning with coffee or tea. Then about 5 months ago I started doing leangains intermittent fasting with no calories until breaking the fast, still eating Bulletproof. Over the last month I have developed what seems to be gallstone pain. It is on the right side under the ribs and feels like a dull ache, coming and going. I have read that the stones can form during fasting due to the lack of bile turnover, concentrating cholesterol in the gallbladder. I have done a liver flush/cleanse in the past and am planning to try that again to squeeze out any stones. After the flush I think I will try fat in the morning again while fasting or only occasional fasting. 

    Hey @david.j @Roark Any updates during last year?
    I have exactly the same problem as David described (and even similar height, weight, work out routine, no alcohol). I've been doing BP, and lately started no calories intermittent fasting for the last 3 weeks and started developing same pain under the rib. I've done some research online and found the same information. What i did find helps absolutely is drinking a 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water every few hours. In the morning, before bed. Also having a glass of water by your bed with a couple of teaspoons. I've just had the best recovery sleep after a week of waking up with the pain under the rib...
    My blood work shows high lipase and amylase. The doctor just had a look and said this looks like pancreatitis, and i'm doing ecography in a week to see if i have stones. He had no idea about intermittent fasting (he doesn't even know what that is) effect on this.
    On a side note: as for the cleanse (olive oil + salts + grapefruit juice), it seems to be a hoax. The "stones" that leave your body after are lumps that turn out to be composed of oil, juice and other materials. You sort of make "soap" lumps in your body, those are not the stones leaving your body...
    I'll post updates soon or will open another thread as it seems none of you are active on the board :)

  • Yes you will find IF can contribute to gallstones if your body is prone to producing them, I had similar issues so IF does not work for me, read this article it explains it better than I can : https://gallstonesdiet.net/can-intermittent-fasting-cause-gallstones/
    hope it helps

  • This diet will certainly cause gall stones to flare up. I’ve had gall stones and the attacks are incredible on the pain scale. It will last anywhere from 20 mins to 3 hours and then suddenly it just alleviates completely. I eventually had my gall bladder removed. That’s 15 years ago now and I use ox bile supplements to help digest fat.

    I would say that gall stones will show up during an ultrasound and you had this done with negative results right?

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