How to damage your liver… naturally

An interesting case of a naturopath attempting to dissolve gallstones:

A 38-year-old non-alcoholic, non-diabetic man with gallstone disease was prescribed three tablespoons of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate crystals) with lukewarm water for 15 days for ‘stone dissolution’ by a naturopathy practitioner. He developed loss of appetite and darkening of urine from the 12th day on treatment and jaundice from the second day after treatment completion.

The patient was found to have liver necrosis on biopsy. The case report is strongly suggestive that the liver disease was due to the over-use of the Epsom salts, with few risk factors for liver disease or negative tests for viral infections. The patient did have some evidence suggestive of pre-existing steatohepatitis, which was thought to have made the patient more susceptible to this adverse effect.

Removal of the Epsom salts led to recovery of the patients after around 6 weeks. Be careful where you seek advice.

Philips CA, et al. Severe liver injury due to Epsom salt naturopathBMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-221718

Picture from deadmanjones under a Creative Commons licence.