DEAR DR. GOTT: I have a family history of gallbladder trouble, and I react badly to fatty foods. Have you heard of Dr. Hulda Clark’s recipe for a gallbladder cleanse? It is very popular, but is it safe? Sign me cautious.
DEAR CAUTIOUS READER: During Dr. Hulda Clark’s lifetime, she claimed to cure cancer, AIDS and a number of other diseases. She claimed to have held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Minnesota. The Register of Ph.D. degrees from U of M, however, indicates that Dr. Clark actually held a doctorate in zoology and minored in botany. She also listed a degree in naturopathy from the Clayton College of Natural Health. This college is a nonaccredited correspondence school in Birmingham, Ala. The course has been described in a magazine article as a 100-hour course with a tuition of $695.
Dr. Clark claimed that many diseases and all cancers are caused by pollutants, parasites and toxins, and the body can be cured simply by ridding itself of these substances. Accordingly, she invented a “parasite Zapper” that passes an electric current through the blood, thus becoming effective against the AIDS virus, herpes, obesity, parasites and numerous other serious conditions. In 2004, the respected publication New England Journal of Medicine reported that a 52-year-old man with a cardiac pacemaker experienced dizziness and near fainting after using the equipment. It was determined the Zapper caused his pacemaker to malfunction and disrupted his heart’s rhythm. In fairness to Dr. Clark, a warning was posted on the packaging, but the patient apparently didn’t read it.
In 1999, Dr. Clark was arrested in San Diego based on a fugitive warrant from Indiana, where she faced charges of practicing medicine without a license. She was returned to Indiana to stand trial. In April 2000, a judge hearing the case dismissed the charges on the grounds that too much time had elapsed between the filing of the charges and her arrest. The judge did not address the merits of the charges but only the issue of whether the delay had compromised her ability to mount a defense and her right to a speedy trial.
The irony of it all is that in September 2009, Dr. Clark died of complications of multiple myeloma, a form of lymphoma. I could continue with volumes of information, but enough is enough. My recommendation to you is an emphatic NO.
Avoid large meals, fatty foods, alcohol and other triggers that cause indigestion. While low-cholesterol meals will not prevent gallbladder stones, they can keep pain and symptoms from occurring. Avoid crash diets. Lose weight and keep it off. If appropriate, review your medications with your physician, since estrogen, some cholesterol-lowering medications and oral contraceptives are known to increase the risk of developing stones. If appropriate, request a referral to a gastroenterologist.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Medical Specialists.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092-0167. Be sure to mention the title or print out an order form from my website www. AskDrGottMD.com.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.