The great gallbladder update

A gallbladder update (I wasn’t sure if you guys would want one but it’s the #1 search term on the blog every single day).

So here it is! A whole post about an…organ.

I hesitated to write this post for a couple of reasons. 1) Maybe this signals the death of my blog when I’m writing about a gallbladder?? lol and 2) Not only is this about an organ, but it’s pretty much the least glamorous one out there. Never google pictures of an actual gallbladder.

I didn’t really want to write this post because ew and blah but after checking my blog stats, month after month, the top search term was “gallbladder.” I figured it made sense because I didn’t write much about it (not intending to be vague but to avoid boring you with personal medical details) and figured it would be worth a post because gallbladder issues are so common and many of you may be experiencing something similar. Please keep in mind that I’m not a medical professional. I’m just sharing my experience. Comments attacking me, my gallbladder (heh), and/or other posters will be deleted.

Here’s the story:

About 6 months ago I did some hormone testing. I was feeling tired and my previous hormone test had shown some low levels, so I did the DUTCH test, which is a gold star in hormone testing. It tests EVERYTHING. My body was making sufficient hormones but not processing them effectively, leading to estrogen dominance. This is what can cause PMS symptoms, mood swings, and fatigue. When my doctor was going over the Dutch test results, he mentioned that I had some signs of fatty liver disease. He said that the gallbladder supports the liver and that he would send me some supplements that would help my liver and my gallbladder work together to process hormones and all of the other functions that they need to do, especially digestion. I received the supplements and was really excited to try them out. They were plant-based herbs (and an ox bile one that makes my stomach churn to think about…) but it was a lot more supplements and I’m used to taking and many of them were alcohol-based. I only drink maybe twice a week now, so alcohol in my stomach first thing in the morning was rough. I took the supplements twice that day, and was up all night curled in a ball with searing pain in my stomach.

This was alarming to me because besides the occasional gluten food baby, I’ve never really had stomach issues. I I texted my naturopath and he said it sounded like an ulcer (even though I thought the supplements likely made me sick). I couldn’t eat anything besides applesauce for two days and I reached out to one of my good friends who is a PA to see if I could get in for an appointment. I’m glad I decided to see her through all of this because she’s become my favorite medical provider. She’s extremely thorough and while she has a more Western medical philosophy, she believes in solving problems instead of masking symptoms. She’s absolutely amazing and wanted to check all the boxes, so she ran a bunch of test and suggested an abdominal ultrasound just to make sure I didn’t have an ulcer or anything else going on.

When I got the ultrasound of my stomach, it was painful for them to press down on my organs. Thankfully everything looked good but the ultrasound showed two small polyps in my gallbladder. (No gallstones or anything like that.) My PA told me that the polyps could have been there this entire time and were likely cholesterol deposits but that we would keep an eye on them over time and monitor for any changes. Worst case, I would end up having to have my gallbladder taken out. (She said of all of the organs to lose, that’s the best one.) I also started working with Ali Damron over the fall and she has me on a couple of very gentle supplements that have helped remarkably with the estrogen dominance issues.

I understand that a lot of things are outside of our control but I am also a believer in controlling any variables that we can. I researched a ton and I learned a lot about gallbladders -I never thought I would know so much about dang gallbladders -and I’m not going to share everything I did here because the and result is that the polyps didn’t go away. (I highly recommend this book if you’re having any gallbladder probs!)

51GeJSy HPL SX310 BO1 204 203 200

The good news is that there were no changes. I recently had another ultrasound and the polyps were same size. My PA said that since I don’t have any symptoms, we’ll likely just wait and watch. If they change or grow over time, or if I start to have symptoms, I’ll have to have it taken out. For now, it would be cool if I got to keep it, mostly because I’m SO OVER surgeries.

Over the past six months I’ve made some changes to my diet to make my gallbladder happy. They’re not huge fans of dairy or gluten, which are two things that have made me bloated and uncomfortable for years. Since I’ve paid more attention to keeping them away for now, I’ve been WAY less bloated and feel great. (Real sourdough doesn’t mess with me if it’s made the old-fashioned way.)

If I know I’m going to a party or holiday event and am going to eat dairy/gluten or super heavy/rich foods, I just pop a couple of these:

Digestive enzymes

(I order these through Thrive Market! You can use my link to get 25% off your first order.)

I eliminated eggs for the past 5ish months (apparently gallbladders can also have probs with eggs and pork, and I don’t eat pork) in the hopes that maybe it would help the polyps go away. Since they’re still there, I’m eating eggs again and OMG I MISSED THEM. I’m just trying to be more moderate about it, and instead of 2-3 eggs per day (that I had for years and years!) I’m having about 2 a week. I found a lot of egg-free breakfast options that I love over the past few months. 😉

ACS 0577

Since this whole experience happened:, I’m doing more things that are good for our health as a whole:

– I’m eating way more colorful foods, leafy greens, and veggies.

– Stopped tracking macros. I was eating a lot of brown food and heavy animal proteins to hit my numbers, and found that I was often eating when I wasn’t hungry to hit a number. I’m back to eating more intuitively and it feels great. My food is way more nutrient-dense, higher in fat, lower in protein, and more varied.

– I’m drinking more water. My Hydroflask is my constant companion and I try to refill it at least twice during the day.

– I’m practicing hot yoga regularly again. Yoga can help our organs function more effectively, plus you get the benefits of mindfulness, flexibility, and a good sweat. I’ve been going about once a week since school started in the fall, and it’s something I look forward to each week.

So there’s the story! We’re just watching and waiting and hoping for no changes. Thanks to those of you who sent me good vibes along the way. <3



Post Navigation:


  1. Jessie R on February 11, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    yay for eggs! Sorry that the polyps didn’t shrink, but great news that your symptoms have decreased and you can avoid surgery for now :). You’ll have to get some stickers for your Hydro Flask, apparently, that’s what the young kids do these days haha. I have one on mine

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:48 pm

      thank you!
      haha i need to up my sticker game 🙂

  2. Maeghan on February 11, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    So happy to hear you are doing well, friend!

    • Theresa on February 11, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      I always searched “gall bladder” because you kept mentioning it and I always thought…what the heck is she talking about? As a dedicated reader, I thought: how did I miss something about her gall bladder…??!? Anyways! Thanks for the post! Interesting info, hope things continue to be on the upswing for you!
      And I hope you delete/block/voodoo doll any haters you get on ANY post

      • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:42 pm

        thanks, girl! <3

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:48 pm

      thank you, lovely!

  3. ErikaMC on February 11, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    I hope you don’t take this as criticizing because it certainly isn’t and I truly am curious… What made you feel like you were “need to look into help” tired vs. just day-to-day parenting tired? I think most people have an issue with some type of foods so how do you know when to just avoid those foods or if you really do need your gallbladder checked? I can’t eat things like broccoli, cauliflower or squash (to name a few) without bloating and/or gas pains. I guess I’m just curious what really pushed you into looking for help and what other symptoms you had. Good point to drink more water – definitely something I’m always working on.

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:47 pm

      i think it’s when it’s constant or you notice a huge difference from *normal.* i think any time something feels truly off, it’s worth checking it out.

  4. Emily on February 11, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Omg! As soon as you said don’t ever search for a picture of a gallbladder I immediately had to! Definitely not glamorous lol…but I am so happy for you that you’re feeling better, nothing is worse, and you can eat eggs again! I’ll continue sending some good vibes you and your gallbladder’s way!

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:47 pm

      haha they’re pretty gross looking!
      thank you!

  5. Katie on February 11, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better and found strategies and supplements that work for you 🙂 Also, huge props to you for taking control of your health and listening to your body when something doesn’t feel right! I love the example you set for us readers and your daughters, too, for truly taking care of yourself and not defaulting to being the martyr and putting your own health and wellbeing second to everyone else in your life. That might sound like a weird comment, but I know so many women who just completely ignore their own overall health and claim to be too busy taking care of family and work obligations to even make it to the damn dentist at regular intervals.

    • Theresa on February 11, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      Hear hear to this! (Also, I’m a dentist, and your ending comment made me smile 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:42 pm

      thank you so much! even though it can be so tricky to add in any additional appointments, i think it’s so worth it to see what’s going on. <3

  6. Janice O'Kane on February 11, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Yay, yay, yay!!!! So happy to read this post my friend! Been thinking of you throughout this and am so glad you have your results.

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:42 pm

      thank you!! so glad that i’m at least in maintenance mode for now 🙂

  7. Lindsay El-Yussif on February 11, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    So happy to hear that you’re feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      thank you!

  8. Jodie on February 12, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Sorry you were going through all this but I am glad you are feeling better. Sending you more good vibes .

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      thank you, friend!

  9. Lorna on February 12, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Great news! I’m glad you can have eggs, AND keep your gallbladder! My dad very memorably had to have his taken out the night of my 12th birthday party sleepover. He says it was all the girls running around, I tell him it was the pizza.

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      thank you! and LOL what a way to remember it.

  10. E on February 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Hi! I was wondering if you could share some of the egg-less breakfasts you enjoyed! I need to avoid eggs too and struggling. I think a lot of people would enjoy!

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      Hi! Yes I can definitely do that!! <3

  11. Jennifer on February 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    My Father in Law had an emergency surgery for gallstones, and what you wrote sounds like many of the dietary changes he made. Mostly plant based (though not gluten free) Glad you have it under control, and you are honest about the whole macro thing. I’ve heard some people who are heavy weight lifters even say their tummies do not like following such high protein macro numbers

    • Fitnessista on February 17, 2020 at 12:27 am

      yes, i really think it was too heavy for my stomach. feeling way better now! hope your FIL is feeling better too

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.