Updated: Jan 17
“If it’s faulty, take it out!” Seems to be the motto applied to everything, including our vital organs. Many articles on the internet state that the gallbladder is an organ that is not vital to the human body. They are wrong!
Removing a gallbladder to reduce pain will give you bigger problems. If there is pain, your body is telling you something is wrong to encourage you to change what you eat or change your lifestyle. Treating it symptomatically is not going to solve the problem, you need to address the cause. Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) is the most common abdominal surgery in America. According to statistics, if you have gall stones, you are destined to lose your gallbladder and survive on a low-fat diet and pain killers for the rest of your life.
Without your gallbladder there is a continuous trickle of bile directly into your intestine and you will lose your natural ability to digest fats, remove toxic hormones and waste. There is no storage of bile and no ability to deliver a large bolus of bile needed to process a fatty meal. Removing your gallbladder without understanding why it is in the state it is in, is not good practice. It would be far more sensible to heal the underlying problems before resorting to surgery. In most cases, gallbladders are removed when doctors detect gallstones without giving the patient time to think about detoxification or being told how to change their lifestyle.
Many people are doing ketogenic or paleo diets or gone vegan and as a result beneficial fats have captured the spotlight. A 2014 meta-analysis proved the saturated fat/heart disease link to be totally false. Fats are a healthy macronutrient, they are key for brain health, elimination of belly fat, and a precursor to eicosanoids (hormones that reset appetite, blood sugar and stress). Your brain is more than 50% fat and, apart from nerves, every single cell in your body uses fat as its primary food source. Some people on these diets drop weight like a rock but for others there is no change and they end up with indigestion, reflux or sluggish thyroids. These issues can be traced to bile and the gallbladder. Bile is responsible for breaking down fats and plays a key role in detoxification. The best diets in the word will do nothing for you if the body cannot process fats and you will not get the fat blasting, immune boosting, membrane protecting, fuel providing benefits from fats.
The gallbladder is a muscular, pear shaped organ located beneath your liver. Its purpose is to store, concentrate and release bile when needed. Without this infusion of bile, you can’t absorb fat soluble nutrients, Vitamins A, D, E and K, and the important essential fatty acids. Everyday your liver secretes over 1 litre of bile and sends it to the gallbladder for storage. Bile serves as a toxic waste sponge, soaking up excess chemicals, hormones, drugs, heavy metals and other toxins for elimination. Your gallbladder performs an impressive number of important tasks.
If you have had your gallbladder removed you are at greater risk for weight gain and nutritional deficiencies as well as toxic overload. The number of toxins you can eliminate directly depends on the amount of bile your body produces. Without a gallbladder, your risk of weight gain increases substantially. Fat globules are unable to be broken down into a usable form and the body has no option other than to store them as fat along with any fat-soluble toxins.
Many gallbladders have become lazy, congested and blocked with sludge and bile stones. When bile stagnates in an underworked gallbladder, it thickens and begins to stick to itself and form gallstones. Processed foods and low-fat diets, compounded by increased toxic exposures, have created a gallstone epidemic. Bile deficiency is a massive problem due to ageing, inadequate intake of fat-metabolising foods, food allergies and sensitivities, stress and overeating. Congested bile is linked to symptoms including hormone dysfunction, hypothyroidism, hot flashes, constipation, depression, migraines, insomnia, dry skin, chronic fatigue, yeast overgrowth and parasites. The worse your bile gets, the more toxic and nutritionally compromised your body becomes. This results in fat storage and accumulation of toxins and has serious implications.
Bile’s many functions boggle the mind, yet incredibly no one is talking about them. These days everyone mentions hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes, fibre, acidity, alkalinity, toxicity, exercise and many other factors, but rarely is the gallbladder ever brought into the equation. Bile is disregarded, ignored—even shunned!
Bile building strategies include eating plenty of foods specific for helping the liver and gallbladder function. These include beets, fresh green leafy herbs, sulphur rich foods, such as garlic, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as oily fish, good quality fish oil supplements, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Another healthy fat to include in your diet is organic, cold pressed coconut oil, it is mostly comprised of medium chain fatty acids, which do not stress your gallbladder because they do not require bile for their digestion. Vitamin K2 found in grass-fed butter, egg yolks and soft cheeses like gouda and brie can help prevent and reverse calcification of the cholesterol in the gallbladder. Lemon in warm water in the mornings has bile thinning abilities. Apple cider vinegar before a meal helps with digestion and to thin out bile. Turmeric aids in digestion, fights inflammation, and supports liver metabolism
If your weight loss is at a standstill, or you have indigestion, constipation, allergies, sluggish thyroid, or a myriad of other persistent problems, congested bile should be your number one suspect. Without proper bile, you’re not breaking down fats or absorbing fat-soluble nutrients. You’re not getting rid of your excess hormones, heavy metals, toxic waste, bacteria, viruses or parasites. To my thinking, a healthy program must include a new and better relationship with your gallbladder—and if you don’t have a gallbladder, some serious bile support for your liver is in order.
Detoxifying our liver not only helps our liver to function well, but also aids in the entire digestion process. This includes the prevention of gallstone formation in the gallbladder. Our liver detoxifies our body 24 hours a day and is protected by natural antioxidants.
The most abundant of antioxidant is glutathione, the body's master antioxidant. Glutathione is produced in every cell of the body. Liver cells rely on glutathione to fight free radicals caused by toxins as well as by the actual act of detoxifying itself. Since the liver is the major manufacturer and storage facility of glutathione in the body, does it not make sense to increase our glutathione levels? Studies have proven that daily consumption of a redox supplement can increase glutathione production by up to 800%.