What’s in those liver stones that came out of my body yesterday in my fifth liver flush?? I’m so tempted to have them analyzed and I bet we’d find out they contain a cornucopia of drug residues from Ambien, Protonix, Prilosec, and Zantac along with a smattering of volatile organic compounds from paints, industrial adhesives and composites, PBDEs from mattress and pillow flame retardants, and heavy metals from paint, food and immunizations.
Back around 2005, I carried a little bag of rolled oats everywhere I went eating a teaspoon every time I got hungry. I ate nothing else until the pain in my stomach subsided after a week. I was in the process of trying to figure out my health problems. I had a very open-minded holistic integrative medicine doctor “helping” me.
Unknowingly, I was only two years away from falling off the metaphorical cliff. My doctor gave me Bactrim, a very strong antibiotic, but it didn’t help. He gave me pancreatic enzymes and they didn’t help either. I was also using a lot of Isocort (hydrocortisone) and got careless with it ignoring the warnings to always take it with antacid.
In addition to those three powerful stomach irritants, I was taking about 20 different supplements and all these things combined to give me a nasty case of gastritis which led me to take proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, zantac, etc) continuously for a couple years. What I didn’t know is that proton pump inhibitors reduce stomach acids by up to 99% severely inhibiting vitamin B12 absorption and other methylation cofactors.
But the real nail in the coffin for my liver was my diet. I stopped eating fat almost entirely and that deprived my liver of the precious little choline it was getting. Just like most Americans, I was not eating a lot of eggs or liver even before cutting fat out of my diet. That’s a big problem because our livers are very dependent on a steady ample supply of choline:
Genetic research has shown that the gene responsible for synthesizing choline, the PEMT gene, is susceptible to common polymorphisms which alter its function by slowing it down. In a recent study looking at a population in North Carolina, men and women of various ages were placed on a choline-deficient diet. They were followed closely for up to 42 days on a low choline diet consisting of less than 50mg choline per day.
Throughout the study, the participants’ liver function was continuously assessed for any sign of fatty liver and damage. After eating a choline deficient diet for just six weeks, 63% of participants developed liver dysfunction and choline blood levels dropped 30% in every single participant, including premenopausal females.7 During this six week trial of low dietary choline the odds of developing liver dysfunction were 77% for men, 80% for postmenopausal women and just 44% for premenopausal women.
A number of other genetic flaws related to the methylation cycle turned this into a perfect storm for my liver. I discovered all this as I was trying to organize my initially nonsensical post about understanding how liver function is affected by methylation.
You might be thinking that if this were true, my doctors would’ve easily caught it because they always test for liver enzymes when they do their basic blood testing. Well, I also read that it’s very common for people to develop fatty liver disease without elevated liver enzymes. Which goes to show you why your average M.D. won’t be of much help when it comes to many chronic illnesses.
The good news is that my liver flushes are expelling so much garbage. The stones you see in the picture came out along with around 170 small stones and my bile flow is increasing steadily. With choline supplementation, methylation support and many more flushes, I’m very hopeful that I have a good chance of full recovery. I don’t doubt it could take a few more years but I’m happy to put in the time.
I’ve been so fortunate to find all the pieces of this puzzle coming slowly together!