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Gallbladder, Hormones, Adrenals & Fibromyalgia

Issues with the gallbladder, hormones, fibromyalgia, adrenals etc., may seem totally unrelated but often occur in a cluster and have the same root contributing factors. Here’s what one site visitor experienced…

Cynthia,
I am a 43 female that had my gallbladder removed in Nov.2008. It took 10 months before the doctors ran the correct test to find my gallbladder wasn’t functioning. I didn’t have any stones. I suffered from constipation, indigestion, acid reflux and abdominal pain before and after the surgery. Six months after surgery I developed fibromyalgia and a high rheumatoid factor. I knew that I wasn’t absorbing nutrients properly so I decided to start taking: calcium/magnesium, vitamin c, vitamin e, vitamin d, strong multi-vitamin with high b complex, turmeric, CoQ10, extra zinc, fish oil and digestive enzymes every day. I was on a strict diet of no sugar, no caffeine, no white flour, no bad fats and drinking lots of water. I was taking the vitamins for 2 months before I started taking the enzymes. In those two months the fibromyalgia improved. I then began taking 2-4 digestive enzymes with everything I ate. Within 6 weeks I noticed that my inflammation went down drastically. My energy and health has improved. I still have pain, stiffness and fatigue. I feel 63 not 43. Is there anything else I can do to improve my situation? I also recently had my hormones checked and they were all low except my estrogen which was normal and my cortisol was high. The tech. thought I could be suffering from adrenal fatigue as well as being estrogen dominant. I am sure this has to do with my condition. I need to elevate my hormones in order to get healthy so I decided to add DIM to my daily pill intake. Do you think this is the correct thing to do? Is there anything else you would suggest? Thank You for listening. Any feedback would be appreciated. Donna

Hi Donna,

Well you certainly have a lot going on and have done a lot of positive things for yourself. Although self-care is a crucial component in our health care plan, the issues you are facing are very complex and a competent medical professional or two would be helpful to cover all the bases. I encourage you to find a good alternative medicine doctor at the Academy of Environmental Medicine or the American Holistic Medical Association to discuss your options.

With that being said, here are my thoughts and opinions, but please be aware I am not a medical doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice. You’re on the right track and doing a great job at making positive changes, but unfortunately these issues are very complicated and usually involve numerous contributing factors that must be addressed and it takes time to piece everything together.

People who have adrenal problems, fibromyalgia, hormonal imbalances, digestion problems, chronic fatigue and often gallbladder issues as well, almost always have candida overgrowth. So If I were you, the first thing I would do is look into this issue more in depth and take the steps needed to address overgrowth. Candida and its toxins disrupt the digestive tract, infiltrate the gallbladder and other organs, upset hormone levels, disrupt the endocrine system and clog the liver, which results in a variety of debilitating symptoms and conditions such as those that you are experiencing.

Another crucial issue for anyone with hormone imbalances or the other issues you’re experiencing is to improve the functioning of the liver. If the liver is not functioning properly, it can’t metabolize estrogen properly, among other things. Alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, warm lemon juice, dandelion root, n-acetyl-cysteine, glutathione and a variety of other nutrients can enhance liver function.

Additionally, many of the symptoms you are experiencing are often caused by unidentified food sensitivities. I would consider having an ALCAT test and making changes to the diet accordingly, based on what the results reveal.

Many of your symptoms are also indicative of possible hypothyroidism.

In regard to adrenal fatigue, the cortisol levels are typically low in a person with adrenal fatigue. High levels of cortisol are what precede adrenal fatigue. They are the cause of adrenal fatigue. As the body is forced to deal continuously with high levels of cortisol, it eventually burns them out and then doesn’t produce enough cortisol. Sugar, environmental toxins, poor diet, ongoing excessive stress, excessive high intensity exercise and caffeine are the primary roots of this issue.

I encourage you to read each of the following pages to get more in depth info on each of these topics

Adrenal Fatigue

Fibromyalgia

Hormone Imbalance

Neurotransmitters

Candida Overgrowth

Hypothyroidism

Food Allergies & Sensitivities

I’m not sure which method you used for testing your hormones and cortisol levels, but I want to make sure you are aware that the most effective method for testing is through saliva, not blood. Blood tests are not accurate and reliable. Cortisol should be tested four times throughout the day, — morning, noon, afternoon, evening.

If estrogen is normal and other hormones are low, then yes that would be considered estrogen dominant. There are many different ways to address hormonal imbalances and different things work for different people. I personally haven’t taken DIM and haven’t worked with anyone who has, so I can’t speak from personal experience.

However, my research tells me that it seems like a sound product based on sound principles that is certainly worth a try. However, I see there are a variety of different brands out there and DIM by nature is not easily absorbed. I would be sure that the brand I use contains Dr. Zeligs patented BioResponse-DIM because it has enhanced bioavailablity for maximum absorption. Additionally DIM is usually accompanied by phosphatydlicholine, which is derived from soy, so I’d be sure to use one that doesn’t contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens will increase estrogen levels, which is not something an estrogen dominant person wants to occur.

Dr. Zeligs patented BioResponse-DIM has been studied well, and doesn’t engage in a lot of extreme marketing hype. Those are two things I look for in a product. If it works, it would be a lot less hassle than bioidentical creams.

So, although I can’t tell you if it is right for you, I can say I would feel comfortable giving it a try. Just keep in mind that hormones are a very delicate and complicated issue and not everyone responds the same. Additionally, it usually requires a comprehensive approach that includes diet changes, nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes, and for some bioidentical creams. What works beautifully for one person can be a disaster for another and vice versa. It takes time to find what your body needs.

Best Regards
Cynthia

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Donna November 8, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Cynthia,
    My hormones were checked through saliva. I had the t3 and t4 tested for thyroid disorder 3 times in the past 2 years. They always come back normal. The tech. that evaluated my saliva hormone test also mentioned that I could also have hypometabolism. I have all the symptoms of a thyroid disorder, brittle nails, hair loss, cold hands and feet, low body temp., low blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, muscle weekness, and especially not loosing weight. I have no problem putting weight on. I have been on the diet with no sugar, no white flour, no bad fats, and no caffeine for 5 months. I have been eating whole grain, lots of raw and aldente veggies 2-3 times a day, chicken, turkey, salmon, beans and nuts for protien. I drink mainly water and once a day I have a cup of tea. I am 5’4” and 170. I have been this weight for at least 15 years. I am active and deffinately not a couch potato. I have struggled all my life to just maintain my weight and as I get older it seems to be getting more difficult. I have read about something called reverse t3 that causes hypometabolism. Have you ever heard of this condition? Can I be tested for it? Could my hormone imbalance be the cause?
    Donna

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins November 10, 2009, 11:03 am

    Hi Donna,

    I don’t know a lot about hypometabolism other than it means that metabolism is slower than normal. According to Dr. John Lowe, hypothyroidism is one of the primary causes of hypometabolism, but so are nutritional deficiencies, being too sedentary and cellular resistance to thyroid hormone.

    Many people have hypothyroidism even though there blood work for the thyroid is normal. My blood work was normal but I had severe hypothyroidism. Dr. Barnes discovered that most people who have hypothyroidism have normal blood work and that blood work is not a reliable means of testing the thyroid. If you read my article listed above on the thyroid, you will see the recommended test for the thyroid.

    Whole grains are often a major contributor to weight gain or inability to lose weight, because many people have unidentified food sensitivities. If I eat wheat on a weekly basis, I gain 20 pounds. Unidentified food sensitivities are often the root cause of fatigue and pain and a major contributor to fibromyalgia as well. When the food is removed from the diet, then improvements are seen.

    Best
    Cynthia

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