Metabolic Research Center - Increased chance of gallstones on MRC?

10-02-2010, 07:42 PM
Hi everybody,

I've been doing MRC since August 15. As of weigh in last Monday I have lost 11.5 pounds. I am thrilled with this loss because I am a 55 year old woman who loses weight very slowly. I've been taking all the supplements they recommended for me and have felt great. On Monday evening I had a severe gallbladder attack, and another one on Tuesday. I went to ER on Tuesday night and just got released this morning after they removed my gallbladder. My Dr.'s were a bit concerned about my use of the supplements and the MRC diet since I hadn't had gallbladder problems before. Have any of you heard anything negative about MRC diet and products causing gallbladder problems? I was so excited about my weight loss and was so looking forward to finally reaching my goal weight. Over the past 2 years I have lost 55 pounds on my own through traditional diet and exercise. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Thanks so much!

10-02-2010, 08:06 PM
I have had gallbladder problems myself in the past but I haven't had any issues with MRC so far. Actually, I found that coffee was one of my big triggers and I haven't had any further attacks since giving it up. But I do know from my gallbladder research that people who lose weight rapidly (the usual example they give are people who have had weight loss surgery) will often be at higher risk for gall bladder problems.

It's possible that doing MRC was a trigger because of some sensitivity to something you're taking OR it could be related to losing weight quickly.

10-02-2010, 08:38 PM
Very low calorie diets can cause them too because the gallbladder doesn't get used much and then when it's asked to work it kicks up sitting stones.

This is why you often see people who have weight loss surgery preemptively having theirs taken out.

Only time I ever had gallstone issues was when I was doing 1000/cal per day diet and dropped 50 pounds quickly.

10-04-2010, 01:20 PM
I've been feeling pretty bad for about 2.5 weeks. After most meals (on plan or not), I feel bloated and burp a lot - even when i just drink water. I went to my dr. and she took a bunch of blood and will be running lots of tests. She said it could be gallbladder, could be that i'm low in magnesium, etc. She said it could be lots of things and 7 months on any diet pretty much guarantees i'm probably not getting enough of something. I'm hoping to get answers this week so I can stop waiting and get back to solving. I'll keep you posted if it turns out to be gallbladder related.

10-07-2010, 08:17 PM
well well well, my ultrasound labs are back and it's gallstones for me too.

Risk Factors: Losing weight quickly (more than 1# a week)
Causes: high levels of bilirubin in your system - which for me, my liver has been overworked from supplements and processing ketosis, so my bilirubin level has been high for a while.

Lesson learned: it's important to get weight off, but the slower the better for your body and check with your doctor regularly throughout the process.

10-08-2010, 12:36 AM
So oddly, I have had a very uncomfortable feeling under my right rib cage for the past 2 days. It's almost like something is getting "caught" against my ribs and alternates with being mild/moderately uncomfortable. Did you have this symptom?

10-08-2010, 01:05 AM
I didn't have that symptom. Mine is a feeling of being full, bloated and burping way too much. Also the whites of my eyes are not quite as bright/sharp. They're not exactly yellow, but definitely liver related.

What you're describing sounds like heartburn or an ulcer perhaps, you might find it is most noticeable after eating especially when you're extra full. Go see your doctor and let them know whats going on. Better safe than sorry.

The gallbladder stuff is super common when losing a lot of weight quickly, you've lost the same amount as me, so it's probably a good time to go have your annual physical and bloodwork done to make sure everything is in check.

10-08-2010, 11:07 AM
So oddly, I have had a very uncomfortable feeling under my right rib cage for the past 2 days. It's almost like something is getting "caught" against my ribs and alternates with being mild/moderately uncomfortable. Did you have this symptom?


That's exactly what mine felt like. I've had two major "attacks" about a year apart, where it started with the mild/moderate ribcage pain, then escalated to excruciating pain that felt like someone was stabbing me straight through in that spot, ribcage to shoulder blade. Next morning, pain was gone but the residual ribcage discomfort continued on and off for some time after that. Scans showed gallstones and surgery was recommended. I saw an osteopath to see about alternatives to surgery. She recommended getting off coffee and that did the trick for me. No coffee, no symptoms. There are significant side effects to having your gallbladder out. You can live just fine without one, but it does have a significant digestive function so I'd like to keep mine if I can. Most doctors though think pretty much nothing about yanking it out. I think it's the most commonly performed surgery, so to them it's no big deal.

10-08-2010, 06:00 PM
Thanks for all your input on the gallbladder issue. To give you all a bit more information as you deal with your pains etc., my liver enzymes were extremely elevated which they discovered during the testing before the gallbladder surgery. They kept looking in my eyes to see if they were yellow etc. I will go in next week so they can do another test on the liver enzymes to see if it was the gallbladder causing this (which I guess it can do because it's right next to the liver) or if it's possibly MRC supplements, or a completely different issue all together.

Good luck to all of us as we try to figure this out!

10-08-2010, 07:36 PM
Interestingly, I started MRC April 30th and by the first part of June, I had my first gallbladder attack. I didn't have another one for about a month but now I'm having a couple of them a week. I had a abdominal ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and they discovered that I have gallstones too. I'm having my gallbladder taken out on Tuesday.

10-08-2010, 08:19 PM
So i'm now off all supplements (pills & HNS's) and have an appointment with a Hepatologist in a week. MRC isn't really sure what to do with me, they said to just do the preconditioning menu since it's the only menu that doesn't use HNS's.

I suspect that once my liver levels go back down, I'll be able to start back up on the HNS's but i'm going to stay off the supplements.. it's too much for the body to process pills + fake protein + ketosis.

I'm not going to do surgery unless I have multiple really bad attacks. In my case, I think it was this crazy mix of variables that caused these stones to become symptomatic and i'm going to talk to my dr. about doing a gallstone cleanse first and see if that resolves the issue. Once i'm not losing crazy amounts of weight, my liver and gallbladder should go back to normal and I really don't want to lose this part of my digestive system unless it truly is the only option.

10-08-2010, 08:53 PM
Does anyone know if you can do this diet after having had issues with gallbladder and then having the gallbladder taken out? I've lost 30 pounds on the program and really wanted to get back to it once I recover from surgery, but now I'm wondering if I'll be able to process the supplements and HNS.

10-09-2010, 01:03 AM
I'll bet you'll be fine processing the supplements & HNS, but you might need to scale back a bit on the pills to give your liver some support. It's going to be processing things different, and your doctor might want you to be especially nice to it for a while so it can catch up and recover.

10-09-2010, 10:22 AM
I still have my gallbladder, for now anyway. You should talk with your doctor about getting back on the program.

Since the gallbladder's function is to assist with the digestion of fats I would think the MRC program would be ok but I don't know anything about extra stress on the liver that might result from the high protein and no gall bladder combo.

Talk to your doctor.