People tend to disregard their gallbladders unless gallstones become a painful and debilitating problem in need of surgery. But you shouldn’t disregard your gallbladder. They could cause gut problems or chronic inflammatory issues, even if you have no overt gallbladder symptoms.
The most common reason for chronic gastrointestinal is gallbladder issues due to gallbladder health negligence.
The gallbladder is a reservoir for bile, responsible for emulsifying fats in the diet.
Many cases of poor gallbladder health aren’t gallbladder stones, it is biliary stasis. This is a condition when the bile becomes overly think and doesn’t secrete well to help digest fats.
Gallstones are obvious and easy to diagnose. Symptoms of gallstones include:
• Severe and sudden pain in the upper right abdomen and possibly extending to the upper back.
• Fever and shivering.
• Severe nausea and vomiting.
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
• Clay-colored stools or dark urine.
Typically, gallstones can cause you a trip to the emergency room and a gallbladder removal surgery, one of the most commonly performed surgeries today.
You can prevent unnecessary surgery that raises the risks of developing other health problems by giving your gallbladder health attention. You can also improve your gut function and lower inflammation.
In some biliary stasis cases, an ultrasound show gallstones that have formed but not yet obstructed the gallbladder. However, for many patients, overly thick bile is the problem. Biliary stasis can be identified by these symptoms:
• Bloating after meals
• Burping after meals
• Fish oil burps from fish oil capsules
• Fatty foods make you feel worse
• Floating stools
• Chronic constipation
These are the symptoms that a conventional doctor may disregard altogether, and that can also be caused by other imbalances.
Biliary stasis is common in overweight women over 40 who have hormonal shifts on the gallbladder.
Gallbladder function and biliary stasis should be address immediately as sufficient bile flow is necessary to digest fats. When fats aren’t digested, it causes imbalances elsewhere in the body.
Undigested fats can lead to poor sphincter function in the digestive tract. This can lead the transport of bacteria from the large intestine into the small intestine causing a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO causes multiple symptoms, including chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea or both, and bloating.
Biliary stasis backs the liver’s detoxification pathways. As a result, the liver can’t effectively detoxify hormones, toxins, and other metabolites. This leads to an increase in the toxic burden on your system, which will also increase your inflammation.
Patients with poor gallbladder function and biliary stasis should start avoiding fats, and no exceptions. Even healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil. They also should consider avoiding fish or fish oils because they can get “fishy burps.” This increases health risks, particularly for the brain and the hormones, because we need sufficient healthy fats for our system to function well. It can also lead to deficiencies in the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
If you are taking all the right GI supplements and changing your diet into a healthy gut diet but your gut problem is still not improving, you should consider your gallbladder health.
How to improve your gallbladder health
Fortunately, various nutritional compounds support gallbladder health, fat digestion, and liver detoxification, like dandelion root, milk thistle seed extract, ginger root, phosphatidylcholine, and taurine
These compounds can also help if your gallbladder has been removed, along with ox bile.
To improve and maintain your gallbladder health include these practices in your everyday life:
• Eat 25–38 grams of fiber a day.
• Avoid processed and excess starchy carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, potatoes, pasta, etc.).
• Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and processed vegetable oils.
• Get plenty of essential fatty acids and omega 3s.
• Eliminate foods to which you have an immune response; gluten and dairy are the two most common.
• Support low thyroid function or autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Ask my office for more advice on how to support your gallbladder health or your general health if your gallbladder has been removed.