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Dr. David Brownstein, M.D
Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: gallbladder | CT scan | radioactive dye

Diagnosing Gallbladder Problems

David Brownstein, M.D. By Tuesday, 08 October 2019 04:32 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common operations performed in the U.S. In fact, too many such surgeries are performed because most doctors do not understand how patients can maintain a healthy gallbladder.

Rather, physicians are trained to diagnose a problem with the gallbladder and have a surgeon remove it.

If a doctor suspects a problem with the gallbladder, he or she will usually order an ultrasound to visualize the organ. An ultrasound is good for identifying gallstones and inflammation around the gallbladder.

The procedure can also help determine if the bile is too thick and literally gets stuck in the bile duct.

But ultrasounds aren’t perfect. They can miss a diseased gallbladder.

Next, a computerized tomography (CT) scan may be ordered. A CT provides a more detailed view of the gallbladder, but also exposes the abdomen to damaging ionizing radiation.

I try to avoid performing CT scans if possible, but there are cases that require them.

A final test to determine if the gallbladder is functioning is called a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, which involves injecting a radioactive dye that binds to bile-producing cells.

A HIDA scan allows a doctor to ascertain the function of the gallbladder by observing whether or not it concentrates the radioactive dye.

I occasionally order a HIDA scan, but a gallbladder diagnosis can usually be made based on a physical exam and history. Radiological tests merely confirm the diagnosis.

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If a doctor suspects a problem with the gallbladder, he or she will usually order an ultrasound to visualize the organ.
gallbladder, CT scan, radioactive dye
Tuesday, 08 October 2019 04:32 PM
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