12201 Big Bend Rd., Kirkwood, MO 63122

Digestive Health

What Drives Gallbladder Dysfunction?

Gallbladder Dysfunction

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.  

Can you heal a dysfunctional gallbladder?

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.

What does a dysfunctional gallbladder feel like?

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.

What foods irritate the gallbladder?

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


-fatty food

-greasy and fried foods

-acidic food



-sugary food

What causes a dysfunctional gallbladder?

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. 

What happens if you have your gallbladder removed?

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.

How do you fix a dysfunctional gallbladder?

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. 

Antacids And Your Stomach

Natural Antacids

Antacids & Your Stomach

What are antacids used for?

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.

How do antacids work?

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. 

What are some natural solutions to stomach issues?

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. 

Some things you can use as natural solutions:

-digestive enzymes (as mentioned above)


-chamomile tea


-rest and stress-reducing activities

contact our office to come in for a consultation!