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Testimonial: Chest/ribs pain, gallbladder pain from beet-based and liver-based supplements, now gone, kids improving too!

It was an excruciatingly difficult spring.

My kiddos were struggling with some intense health problems, and I was tanking from the stress.

I had been working with Dr Smith for several years, and God had brought so much healing in my life! But all that progress seemed to be fading away. Day and night my children’s health issues were practically affecting me, to greater and greater levels. I was completely spread thin, depleted, and wiped out.

(Don’t despair, this has a happy ending).

At the worst point, I noticed strange pains in my gallbladder. A family friend (natural medical professional) suggested a supplement made of liver and beets, and even though I had a nagging feeling that I should run it by Doc Smith, I started the supplement since I needed to stay well and on my game working with my troubled children.

The second day I started the beet/liver supplement (which I did notice was high in Vit A) I got the dosage mixed up and took too many. That night, I woke with throbbing intense pain, burning hot and pulsating my gallbladder. Could it have have ruptured?! We grabbed ice, put it on my gallbladder, called our family friend at 2 am, and on his advice, rushed to the ER.

After a ultrasound they discovered my gallbladder was thankfully not ruptured, but full of gallstones (which some think are caused from stress—I certainly had had a mega dose of that this spring). The Doc at the hospital wasn’t sure what caused the pain, besides the stones (no blockage, no inflammation), and advised me the beet/liver supplements were great.

The subsequent days I adjusted the dosage to a super low dose just to make sure this problem did not happen again.

The next month, we had a huge breakthrough with the years long struggle with my kiddos and they started improving! Drastically! It was amazing. And Doc Smith was the brains behind the operation. (Mamas of struggling children, keep working to find the keys for your child’s health. Think outside the box. Pray, pray, pray for wisdom and direction from God. Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.).

In the summertime, as well as my children’s health improving, my gallbladder also seemed to settle, as long as I avoided fats (egg yolks, dairy, chicken skin, etc), and faithfully took the beet/liver supplement.

Except one thing puzzled me. I still craved butter. So every once in a while, I’d give myself a sliver of butter as a treat. And I never had the usual gallbladder symptoms when I ate it (headache, nausea, gallbladder pain)!  That was odd.

The other puzzle, was, as the months went by and I continued the beet/liver/vit A supplement, I started having mysterious chest pains. At first I thought they were gallbladder pains, but I realized they were in a completely different quadrant of the chest.

The chest pains had two different qualities. One, was a slowly tightening pressure, that crept week by week, month by month, slowly getting stronger. I had to stop wearing constrictive clothing, and couldn’t sleep on my left side.

The second pain was a sharp random pain. The kind that shoots down your arm. Yes. I thought about heart attacks.

Every time I would check in with a medical professional (the family M.d., the family friend natural doc, the acupuncturist, my mother in law nurse) they assured me it wasn’t a heart attack. Eventually it was diagnosed as "idiopathic costochondritis" (inflammation of the rib cage from an unknown cause).

But still the chest pains got worse (both tightening and sharp).

Then, I *finally* made time to write Doctor Smith.

And he shared the crazy but compelling hypothesis that Vit A (the beet/liver supplement I was taking) could actually be causing the chest pains.

Wait a minute! Not resolving the gallbladder issues, but actually making them worse!???

It was true. I had tried to stop the supplements a month before to see if the gallstones had dissolved, and tried eating egg yolk to see if my body could handle it. No way. The supplements didn’t do what they promised (dissolve the gallstones).

So, it kinda made sense? And since Doc Smith has been right many times before, I went with it. I stopped the Vit A supplement, dropped Vit A foods, and lo and behold, my gallbladder was ok. In fact, it actually started feeling better!

I can wear constrictive clothing as needed, and sleep on my left side. Digestive upsets (gas, burping) are fading away. And both gallbladder and chest pains have faded. I’m back on the track to full health! And by the way, the vit A free diet seems to be helping to heal my kiddos too. ☺😀


After a month or 6 weeks of being on the vit a free diet, we had a traveling day. My children are doing so well with Doc Smith’s supplement suggestions, we’ve been able to start traveling again (after months and months at having to not leave the house). A long car ride, lunch with a relative (where I realized there was nothing vit a free on the menu) and dinner with a kind friend (loads of vit a), when we arrived home at night I realized that the familiar tightening feeling in my chest came back. And I even had a sharp pain or two!

Coincidence? I think not.😉

Look into the Vit A thing, people. It’s worth a long and hard think.

Dr. Garrett Smith, the "Nutrition Detective"
Licensed Naturopathic Physician (NMD) in Arizona, home of the Love Your Liver program
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