The Gall Bladder: What It Does, How to Tell If Yours Is Sick & How to Get It Healthy
Gall bladder surgery has become one of the most common procedures performed in the United States, but it’s NOT always necessary. Here’s how the Body Ecology program can help your gall bladder (and the rest of your body) heal.
Gall bladder surgery has become one of the most common surgical procedures, but it isn’t always medically necessary. 1
While in some cases, gall bladder surgery is necessary, too often, even surgeons themselves will say that gall bladder surgeries happen more often than they should due to the money-making opportunities.
And if you read the Internet forums or talk to people who’ve had their gall bladders removed, you’ll often find they still suffer from pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other symptoms that they thought would be “cured” by gall bladder surgery.
When I created the Body Ecology system of health and healing, it was with the intent to use foods as medicine to help heal imbalances in the digestive system, which includes important organs like your gall bladder.
So if you want to keep your gall bladder tucked nicely away in your body and/or if you’d like to have a happier gall bladder, read on to learn more about this organ that is essential to your digestive health. You’ll also learn what to do if you are at risk for gall bladder disease. If your gall bladder is just fine at this moment you’ll want to know what to do to enhance your gall bladder’s performance so that you and it are in peak condition.
Gall Bladder Complications and Risk Factors
Your gall bladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits underneath your liver.
It is the storage container for bile, the greenish-yellow digestive liquid produced by your liver.
Gall bladder disease and gallstones have become increasingly common and are directly linked to a Standard American Diet full of sugar and processed foods.3
Certain factors put you at risk for developing gall bladder disease, including3:
- Age. People over the age of 60 often have gall bladder disease.
- Gender. Overweight women over the age of forty are the population that has gall bladder surgery most frequently.
- Hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen stimulates the production of gallstones, so women on hormone replacement therapy or those who have taken birth control pills for many years sometimes have gall bladder disease.
- Diet. There is a generally recognized link between a diet high in poor-quality fats and sugar and gall bladder disease. This is the diet that most Americans eat today.
- Obesity. People who are obese have bile that is saturated with cholesterol, making them more likely to develop gallstones.
- Slow transit time and constipation. Constipation and slow intestinal transit time are linked to the formation of gallstones.4
What To Do If You Suspect You Have Gall Bladder Disease
Symptoms of gall bladder dysfunction can vary and include:5
- Pain in the abdomen or the right shoulder.
- Pain accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
- Pain that is triggered by eating fatty foods.
- Pain and tenderness under the ribs on the right side, sometimes with a fever.
- Pain that gets worse with coughing.
- Jaundice: yellowing of the eyes and skin.
These are just some of the symptoms of gall bladder disease, and many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions like kidney stones, heart attack, and hepatitis.
If you have any of the above symptoms, the best thing to do is consult a doctor to determine your condition and discuss your options for treatment.
But remember: there may be other options to surgery, so explore them all before you decide which step to take.
Your Liver and Your Gall Bladder
Did you know that problems with your gall bladder may be caused by a weak, insufficient or overactive liver?
Your liver is a filter of toxins, a biliary organ and an endocrine gland. It plays a key role in your digestion, formation of blood and guarding against infection.
During digestion, your liver secretes bile into your small intestine, lubricating your intestinal walls. Bile is stored in your gall bladder between meals.
After eating, your gall bladder releases the bile. Bile is important because it regulates the level of your friendly bacteria, destroys dangerous organisms, helps you digest fats and other nutrients and stimulates peristalsis to move fecal matter out of your body.
When your liver is not able to remove toxic substances from your body, toxic bile is secreted into your small intestine, creating leaky gut.
In Chinese Medicine it is well understood that when your liver and gall bladderare impaired, energy is drained away from your spleen, pancreas and stomach meridian – organs that are also important for your digestive health. Your intestines, too, are affected by the health of your liver and the bile it produces. Because so many organs are impaired you will experience many different kinds of symptoms and this makes it more difficult for your doctor or naturopath to give you an accurate diagnosis.
In Chinese medicine, your liver and gall bladder are paired. This means that anything you do to strengthen one will strengthen the other. Our Body Ecology program focuses on strengthening all of the organs of your digestive system, so that your body can come back into balance.
Often, once balance is created, symptoms start to go away… you may even find that the surgery you thought you needed is no longer necessary.
Heal Your Inner Ecosystem, to Help Your Gall Bladder
Increase bile flow, ease elimination and support your body’s detoxification process with LivAmend. This natural formula includes extracts of artichoke and sarsaparilla as well as wasabi powder to naturally stimulate the flow of bile and help detoxify your liver and improve digestion to keep your gall bladder healthy. Try LivAmend today!
Just like the Earth has ecosystems to keep it in balance, your body has an inner ecosystem inside your digestive tract. Mostly of this amazing inner civilization is located inside your colon or large intestine
For too many people today, this inner ecosystem is out of balance, creating a myriad of digestive and other problems. A healthy inner eco “system” would contain unmeasurable amounts of beneficial microorganisms to keep you healthy and strong. And as for your gall bladder …if you want to avoid surgery, help heal your gall bladder, your liver AND your whole body, a great first step to take is to start balancing your inner ecosystem.
So where do you start?
The most important key to creating balance in your inner ecosystem it to improve your overall digestion. You can do this by reducing stress (since stress affects your ability to digest your food) and changing or modifying the foods you eat.
Here are my top dietary recommendations for ways to improve your digestion and the health of your gall bladder, no matter what its condition now:
- Eat a healthy Body Ecology diet. Following the Body Ecology program means you are already removing many of the foods that create gall bladder and digestive pain AND adding foods that help you heal.
Some examples of healing foods to incorporate are:
- Healthy, unrefined fats and oils. – An impaired liver cannot digest fat well and can create symptoms of fat intolerance (some examples are: pains in neck and shoulders, fatigue after eating, bloating, indigestion, belching, spasms in large and small intestines). You may want to reduce your fat intake dramatically until your liver and gall bladder heal. Then only introduce the healthy fats we recommend in The Body Ecology Diet book.
- Plenty of vegetables. Make sure each meal consists of 80% alkalizing, vitamin, mineral and fiber rich vegetables.
- Nourishing grain-like seeds, are also a great source of plant proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- The right amount of high quality animal protein.What is the right amount? This depends on your own individual needs. Blood types O and B may need more animal protein while As and ABs do better on more plant proteins. As we age our body needs more protein but must obtain it in ways we can digest it. Plant proteins are easier to digest than animal proteins. At Body Ecology we always like to remind you that digestion is everything!
- Healing fermented foods and drinks. Cultured vegetables and Young Coconut Kefir are 2 examples of fermented foods and drinks that can help heal your liver and gall bladder. These are cleansing foods and they contain the immune-boosting, also very cleansing microflora. We suggest you drink a small juice glass of CocoBiotic, for a ready-made probiotic liquid that helps strengthen all your digestive organs including your liver and gall bladder.
- Embrace cleansing. Cleansing is one of the 7 Universal Healing Principles of the Body Ecology System of Health and Healing. Clearing toxins out of your body puts less of a burden on all your digestive organs, including your liver and gall bladder.
- Get omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 essential fatty acids may help stop cholesterol formation in bile.6 If you think you might be at risk for developing gall stones, then getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet or via a supplement could help. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil supplements, cold water fish, like salmon, and hemp and flax seed oil. Unrefined walnut oil can also be ordered from Flora Oils (800 446 – 2110). It’s a delicious, gourmet source of Omega 3 as well. Unrefined and extra virgin are the key words to remember when it comes to chosing the best quality oils. Organic may not be enough.
- Take LivAmend. Body Ecology’s LivAmend supports liver function and increases bile flow with three natural ingredients: artichoke extract, sarparilla extract, and wasabi powder. This special formula encourages healthy bowel elimination and can help your body get rid of dangerous toxins.
Start Feeling Good Now
It’s never too late to empower yourself with great health. But great health, unfortunately, does not have a quick fix in the form of a pill or a surgical procedure. Like all things worthwhile, it takes commitment and an investment of time to see the results. But now you know what efforts to put your time into.
Most of the time, it’s the simple desire to feel good that motivates us to change.
Somewhere deep inside, we all KNOW that feeling good is possible with some small changes. And that with each small step we take, we can experience a greater shift over time. Your health is worth it and YOU are worth it!
- Laparoscopic gall bladder removal, Sages.org.
- Hoffman, Ronald, “Gallbladder disease,” Dr.Hoffman.com, Jan 1999.
- “A Stone-free and Happy Gallbladder,”NealHendrickson.com.
- Diggory, Dr. Robert, “Gall bladder disease,” NetDoctor.Co.UK.
Gall bladder removal, NLM.NIH.gov.http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002930.htmhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002930.htm