Gall bladder disease is epidemic these days; two of my family members have had theirs removed, our best man is seriously ill with complications following a gall bladder removal, one of our neighbours has had a serious infection caused by the same. It seems as though this little sac is causing a health crisis.
Gall bladder symptoms can include: bloating, burping, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, discomfort on right side of ribs or right shoulder after a meal, low alcohol tolerance, sweating, bad breath, smelly stools, fatigue after eating. If you have any of these symptoms, see my recommendations below or contact me for an appointment to evaluate your diet and nutrition.
The gall bladder is, in fact, no more than a little storage vessel and pumping station. Its purpose is to store bile produced by your liver and to eject it into your small intestine when food is released from your stomach. Bile is a digestive juice which emulsifies fats – breaks them down so we can absorb them or eliminate them. If we don’t digest fats properly that has consequences all the way through our digestive system. Problems occur in the gall bladder when the bile produced by the liver stagnates, is of poor quality or is inadequate, ie, cannot cope, with the quantity and/or type of food we’re eating.
To sum up: GALL BLADDER HEALTH IS DEPENDENT ON LIVER HEALTH! So, having it removed and not changing your diet or lifestyle is not going to address the underlying cause.
Your liver could be producing poor quality bile because it’s struggling to cope with:
(a) stress – the stress response causes cholesterol to be released by the liver. This makes bile fatty; it stagnates in the gall bladder and then forms deposits (stones).
(b) sugary diet – sugars from carbs (bread, pizza, pasta, biscuits, cakes, sweets, puddings, etc) get stored in the liver = fatty liver = fatty bile.
(c) pharmaceuticals, alcohol, caffeine, food additives, fragrances – all chemicals create work for your liver.
(d) contraceptive hormones or HRT – oestrogen gets the liver to store and produce cholesterol = fatty bile.
(e) constipation – this is a vicious circle. Constipation means toxins and cholesterol are transported back to the liver from the colon for processing or storing; poor bile quality can cause constipation.
My six recommendations to keep your gall bladder (and liver) healthy:
- Drink plenty of plain water every day – 6 to 8 glasses or 2L.
- Reduce cholesterol production – by cutting out sugar, refined carbs, soft drinks, alcohol, cereals, grains. What should you eat? Vegetables, salads, fish & seafood, poultry, meat and eggs with good fats such as olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.
- Eat plenty of good fats but avoid all seed oils, margarine, deep fried food and dairy products. Swap your margarine for butter! Cook only with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
- Reduce the chemicals in your life. Do you really need those headache pills or are you just dehydrated? Are your skincare products packed with chemicals? Do you need air fresheners in your home? Are your cleaning and laundry products packed with unnecessary fragrances?
- Eat foods/herbs with a cleansing effect – dandelion leaves, chicory, endive, radicchio, fresh mint, globe artichoke, radishes, lemons & limes, rocket, kale, watercress, cabbage, green tea. Take this milk thistle supplement.
- Avoid constipation – try this belly massage.