You may not think about your gallbladder much. Until it suddenly causes pain, that is. With symptoms so intense, you might even mistake it for a heart attack. Doctors are often quick to recommend gallbladder removal. But is that the only option available? In the throes of pain and with the doctor’s insistence, a patient might get the impression that it is.
Before that happens to you, it’s worthwhile to give your gallbladder the ample importance it deserves.
Some people are more prone to gallbladder diseases than others. If you fall under any of these factors, you have to be proactive about your gallbladder health:
Risk Factors Associated with Gallbladder Diseases
|Gender||Women, especially those who undergo hormone replacement therapy, tend to be more vulnerable than men.|
|Age||Older people produce more cholesterol, which is the main component of gallstones.|
|Race||Native Americans and Mexican Americans have the highest risk, probably the combined effect of genetic and dietary factors.|
|Family history||It runs in the family, so to speak.|
|Medical conditions||Diabetes and liver cirrhosis affects the production and release of bile, which in turn impacts on gallstone formation.|
|Weight||Overweight and obese people have increased risks of developing gallstones. Rapid weight loss also adds to the risk because it causes high cholesterol production.|
You need to understand how to best keep it healthy and what you can do if you have a high risk of developing gallbladder diseases.
You can start planning on a gallbladder diet cleanse with the help of your doctor or health care specialists. For added protection, it’s also prudent to incorporate gallbladder supplements in your diet.
Understanding the gallbladder and liver bile
The gallbladder is that pear-shaped membranous muscular sac located just beneath the liver on the right side of your abdomen. It stores bile, which is a yellow-brown fluid produced by the liver. The gallbladder releases bile to the intestines to aid in the digestion of fats.
The more you eat fatty or greasy foods, the more bile is released from your gallbladder.
That’s why efficient gallbladder performance is needed for efficient digestion.
The most common gallbladder diseases today
The following are three of the most common gallbladder diseases today:
- Inflammation of the gallbladder or cholecystitis – mainly caused by gallstones that blocks the gallbladder’s opening. It can also be triggered by infections, excessive alcohol use, and tumors.
- Biliary colic – this occurs when the flow of bile from the gallbladder to the small intestines is blocked by a gallstone. The symptoms include intense pain in the upper right section of the abdomen radiating up to the shoulder or to the back.
- Gallstone – a small, hard mass formed in the gallbladder or biliary passages. It is usually formed from calcium salts, bile pigments, and cholesterol. When the gallbladder or bile ducts are blocked by stones, severe pain and secondary infections ensue.
Gallbladder supplements and Life-changing tips that you can do at home
If you have the misfortune of having 3 or more of those risk factors, don’t despair.
You cannot change your gender, age, race, and genes, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about reducing overall risks. In fact, here are very doable tips:
- Prepare a well-planned diet. Work your diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of refined starches, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat and fish. You will not only make your gallbladder happy, you will also enjoy overall health.
- Avoid heavy meals and oily food. Spread your meals throughout the day, taking small meals each time. Avoid greasy food because it will make your gallstones act out.
- Exercise moderately and regularly. A study shows that regular and moderate physical activity reduces the risk of developing gallstone diseases.
- If you are overweight or obese, trim your weight.
It’s crucial for you to lose weight gradually. To sustain your regimen, make it fun so you will want to do it every day. Don’t do crash diets. By all means, avoid weight cycling or yo-yo weight loss. This happens when you alternate from losing and gaining weight repeatedly. This will be detrimental to your gallbladder.
- Take vitamins and gallbladder supplements that help keep the gallbladder functioning in top form.
Below are a list of vitamins and supplements that may help:
Vitamin A deficiency may result to an inefficient gallbladder. Vitamin C breaks up cholesterol and prevents buildup Vitamin E aids in preventing gallstone formation. Choline essential for liver health; aids in the digestion of fats. Beet Root thins out the consistency of the bile; prevents formation of gallstones. Ginger increases bile production and contractions in the bile ducts. Turmeric acts as stimulant; increases bile solubility. Psyllium Husk a good source of fiber; reduces cholesterol accumulation in the gallbladder. Magnesium boosts contraction in the bile ducts; aids bile flow. Ox Bile a good source of bile salts which are essential in breaking down fat and preventing stone formation. Lecithin breaks down fat; helps keep cholesterol flowing through the bloodstream. Taurine boosts production of bile acids for efficient and proper digestion. Milk thistle detoxifies the liver and is naturally good for the gallbladder.
To avoid misuse, we recommend consulting first with your doctor or a healthcare professional.
- Do periodic liver and gallbladder cleansing. Proper medical guidance is vital before using any supplement or going into a gallbladder diet cleanse.
The Bottom Line
If you happen to be at risk of developing gallbladder diseases, consider that as your wakeup call. Do something about the risks that you can control. There’s a lot you can do and being a defeatist isn’t one of them. Lead a healthy life and take gallbladder supplements. What’s good for your gallbladder is also good for your whole being.