The gallbladder is a small pouch located just under the ribs, just below the diaphragm to the right of the center of the abdomen. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile. Bile, produced by the liver, is needed for digestion of starches and fats. When a fatty meal is eaten, the gallbladder contracts, causing bile to enter the digestive tract to assist digestion.
Bile consists mainly of a mixture of cholesterol, lecithin and bile acids. When the proportions of these components or their composition varies from normal, the bile can precipitate or harden to form gall 'stones'.
Many people have small gallstones that never cause symptoms, however, symptoms can occur when one or more of these stones attempt to pass into the intestines and becomes trapped in the bile ducts. The bile ducts are the small ducts leading from the gallbladder into the intestines. The resulting pain is called a 'gallbladder attack'. The pain can be severe, usually centering in the gallbladder area and often radiating to the back, roughly between the shoulder blades.
Causes For Gallbladder Dysfunction
Gallbladder problems are unfortunately very common today. In fact, at autopsy, most people have some degree of gallbladder dysfunction. In our experience, most people who experience gallbladder problems are slow oxidizers. Slow oxidizers are more prone to gallbladder problems because:
- Liver activity is often sluggish, resulting in a reduced flow of bile. The reduced flow may contribute to stone formation.
- Improper diet contributes to gallbladder problems. In the slow oxidizer, eating excessive fats and oils is more likely to cause discomfort. Slow oxidizers cannot handle as much fat in their diet, as fats and oils tend to further slow the oxidation rate.
- Liver toxicity is more prevalent in slow oxidizers. Copper, which accumulates in the liver, is often present in toxic amounts. Other toxic metals and poisonous substances may affect the liver and thus affect the quality of the bile produced.
Fast oxidizers with a low sodium/potassium ratio are also prone to gallbladder problems. A low sodium/potassium ratio is an indicator for chronic stress on the liver. This stress can alter the composition of the bile, or might cause a tendency for sluggish bile flow. Either of these factors could cause a greater tendency to form gallstones.
An emotional imbalance may also contribute to gallbladder problems. Perhaps one's thoughts and attitudes affect the composition of the bile, or perhaps the flow of bile itself is affected by one's emotions.
What To Do For Gallbladder Problems
Surgery is commonly recommended for gallbladder problems. However, if certain nutritional measures are followed, gallbladder surgery is rarely needed. In any case, we find that natural measures can be tried first, as they are not harmful and carry far less risk than surgery.
Nutritional solutions for gallbladder problems fall into two groups - prevention and correction of existing problems. Prevention begins with a healthful diet, including a diet suited to one's oxidation type. Slow oxidizers in particular must not overeat on fats. Deep-fried food and fast foods are often hidden sources of fats. Fast oxidizers with a low sodium/potassium ratio should also reduce fats and oils in their diet. Anyone with a tendency to gallbladder difficulty should avoid junk foods.
If a hair analysis reveals slow oxidation or a low sodium/potassium ratio one can follow a nutrition program designed to balance these ratios. This will enhance liver function and bile flow.
Certain nutritional products may be helpful to assist liver activity. We have found that a product containing black radish root, ox bile and pancreatin may enhance bile flow. Extra fiber may also be helpful. Regular, sit-down meals and emotional control are also very helpful to assist the gallbladder to function normally.
In an acute gallbladder attack, nutritional remedies may also be helpful. The pain of a gallbladder attack is due to a spasm of the bile duct - the body's effort to move the lodged stone along the duct. It is at times possible to relieve the pain by taking magnesium - 2 tablets repeated every half hour. Magnesium may help relax the bile duct. No fats or oils whatsoever should be taken until the attack passes.
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.