Gallbladder dysfunction must be one of the most common issues seen in my office. I have lost count of how many patients and friends have either had gallbladder issues or surgery to remove the organ. Why is this so common? How come surgery and removal is the most common treatment for this organ? My guess would be the ease in which they can remove the organ, but I am here to tell you there is a better way to get this simple organ back to functioning properly.
Let me add something before we move on. If you are currently having gallbladder attacks and are having unbearable gallbladder pain, then seek the proper medical attention. Gallbladder removal might be what must happen for you and that is ok. This paper is for those that are noticing gallbladder symptoms, indigestion, and do not tolerate fatty foods well. So, if that sounds like your situation, then this article is for you.
Dealing with gallbladder pain and symptoms is no doubt tiresome and can affect how you feel. Restoring gallbladder function IS possible. It helps if you understand why your gallbladder is being dysfunctional to get a better grasp on how it’s possible, and then how to do so.
Typically, people suffering from gallbladder dysfunction have intense abdominal pain. This pain tends to worsen after eating. Particularly if you consume a heavy meal, or foods that are high in fat or are super greasy. Due to the gallbladder being inflamed and swollen when it’s not functioning properly, people will notice: pain above their stomach. The discomfort can be bad enough to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They may also be dealing with a backache and/or pain in the right shoulder blade and experience fever and chills. Pain and discomfort that is caused from gallbladder dysfunction can be mild and come and go, or it can be consistent and severe. Again, if the pain is intense and unbearable, seek the proper medical attention.
While there is more to restoring the function of your gallbladder than just avoiding certain foods, avoiding foods that irritate the gallbladder is a good place to start!
Some foods you should avoid are:
-carbonated soft drinks
-greasy and fried foods
There are a few simple steps that need to be accomplished first before we know where to start. The question every doctor should be asking when a patient presents with gallbladder issues is WHY is the gallbladder not working well. An answer to this question might surprise you.
The stomach is one of the organs that directly affects the gallbladder. It goes all the way back to chemistry class to explain how this happens. The stomach is responsible for the production of hydrochloric acid (low pH) and the gallbladder is responsible for the bile salts (high pH). When the Chyme leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, it is very acidic due to the stomach acid. This is where the body balances the pH and uses the bile salts.
However, if your stomach does not produce much Hydrochloric acid, then there is less of a need for the bile salts. Given enough time the gallbladder starts to become sluggish and fill with small granules then eventually stones. This happens because the body will reabsorb the Sodium that is sitting in the gallbladder for different jobs in the body (use it or lose it in effect). When that happens, water follows sodium and starts to dehydrate the organ.
The gallbladder stores the bile that aids in digesting your food. The liver produces the bile and then stores them in the gallbladder. When the gallbladder is removed, the liver has nowhere to store the bile, so then it continuously drips into your digestive system. Sometimes it’s an emergency situation and gallbladder removal is necessary. However, restoring gallbladder function is much more ideal if you’re just starting to experience some gallbladder symptoms.
Now you may start to ask yourself, that’s all well and good but how do I know if I am producing enough stomach acid. If you are a person that suffers from acid reflux or are currently taking PPI drugs (lowers stomach acid) then you qualify as a person that is not making enough stomach acid. If you want to read more about exactly how that happens, please read the article about the stomach.
There is still hope for you because the correction for these problems is fairly simple. I accomplish this in my office using a combination of enzymes and supplementation. First the stomach must be corrected and then the gallbladder needs to be supplied with the proper nutrition for correct function. So, as you can see there is a natural and simple solution to your issue. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment call (314) 805-7837.
It is a commonly held belief that if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux that you must reduce your stomach acid; therefore, people tend to rely on antacids because they believe this is helping their problem. However, this could be a mistake that leads to further health issues. I can tell you with certainty, YOU DO NOT HAVE TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID! Physiology and chemistry back me up in this argument. Diseases that cause you to truly have too much stomach acid are things like Zollenger-Ellison syndrome, which is a very rare disease. The reason this disease causes too much stomach acid is that it causes tumors to grow on your stomach, pancreas, and small intestines.
I encourage you to do your own research on this. Then really think about how too much stomach acid could be a truly rare condition, but also extremely common at the same time. The purpose of the blog is to tell you that both statements cannot be true! Many times reflux and heartburn exist because of too little stomach acid.
The stomach is one of the most important organs in the entire GI tract. It is responsible for the maintenance of the mucosal lining inside the stomach, activating a protein digesting enzyme that kills the bugs that accompany your food and drink before it can enter your body. When you take acid-reducing medications you decrease the body’s ability to digest protein and lower the body’s ability to protect itself from foreign particles. The reduction of protein digestion, alone, will lead to several other issues down the road. That is because protein is used for, but not limited to, pH, blood, and fluid balance, repair, growth, and immune function.
Antacids can also cause issues with bowel movements and the gallbladder. The gallbladder is completely dependent on what comes out of the stomach to know how much bile to release. The gallbladder is loaded with alkaline salts (bile salts) and the stomach is loaded with acid (hydrochloric acid). It is easier to explain if you think of acid like hot water and alkaline like cold water and you are needing to mix the two to make room temperature water. If the stomach is releasing a small amount of hot water, how much cold water would you need? Not very much. When the stomach is underperforming it can cause issues with the gallbladder, which I will explain in another blog on another day.
Bowel issues due to the stomach not working correctly can also be easily explained. Think of the GI tract like an assembly line. You have raw material (food) that comes in at the beginning and it needs to be worked and reduced into an end product (poop). If anyone in the assembly line is not doing their job properly then it will be a struggle to accomplish the goal of making the end product. The stomach is at the beginning of that assembly line and needs to be the first organ system looked at to make sure that it is doing its job correctly.
The good news is there is a natural solution to these problems. This comes in the form of digestive enzymes along with other nutritional supplements. Loomis enzymes provide a perfect combination of both and have been proven to be effective for the digestive issues that were just discussed. If you are an individual that runs to the drug store for Tums or Rolaids, know that there are other options that can help fix the root cause, not just mask symptoms temporarily. I use these enzymes in my practice everyday and see great results.
-digestive enzymes (as mentioned above)
-rest and stress-reducing activities
–contact our office to come in for a consultation!
I’m super eager to find out how the self-care tips from Part 1 worked out for everyone! Were you able to implement any of them? Which ones? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let us know.
If you missed out on Motherhood and the Daily Fight for Self-Care—Part 1, I highly recommend hopping over and checking that one out first. It’s brimming with practical ideas and a brilliant self-care list; a perfect guide for self-care for beginners if it’s not something you currently practice. In Part 1 we covered: why self care is essential, warning signs that you may be lacking in the loving on yourself department, benefits of self-care, how to take baby steps into doing better with self-care, and simple chemical and physical modifications you can make.
Today we delve into Part 2 with mental and emotional modifications. And girl, you NEED to read this. Afterall, mindset is everything: we create our lives with our thoughts; your thoughts quite literally become your reality.
Self-care during every stage of life is a fight, but navigating the unknown twists and turns of keeping your children alive increases your daily stress to new levels. Self-care is vital to stress management and key to being your best and the best mother to your children.
Your time is precious, so let’s cut to the chase.
One of the most difficult things about motherhood–postpartum and beyond–is how often mothers stop caring for themselves.
If I am catching you prior to having or adopting your first child (or next child), this is for you.
If I am catching you in the throws of piles of laundry (maybe you remember if they are clean or not), wiping little noses with a Disney rerun entertaining your toddler, this is for you, too.
Resolution success: from a holistic point of view, one that understands your mind/body/spirit are interconnected and regulated by innate intelligence, you can pick any place to start changing your life for the better at any moment and that action will impact your whole being. You don’t have to wait for the new year or a milestone to start transforming your lifestyle with baby steps toward healthier living.
Here at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis, Missouri, we are here to help you successfully accomplish your resolutions and healthy lifestyle goals from a holistic point of view one step at a time.
Your ultimate resolution or goal is probably improved wellness. Wellness is a true expression of health in every area of your life: mental, physical and emotional. Consider these five simple steps to wellness the first step toward a better, healthier you.