Your gallbladder is an organ located in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, under your liver.
It’s the size of a small pear, and its function is to store and disperse bile as needed.
There are several conditions that can affect your gallbladder negatively, but there also are a number of ways you can work with a naturopathic doctor to support your gallbladder naturally.
Now, let’s find out more.
What Is Your Gallbladder?
Your gallbladder is an organ that can be found in your abdomen.
Its main function is to store bile until it is needed for digestion.
When you eat, your gallbladder sends bile into your digestive tract by contracting.
What Does Your Gallbladder Do?
Your gallbladder is a part of your biliary system which also includes your liver and associated ducts.
Basically, the main purpose of this system is the production, storage, and secretion of bile which is a thick liquid that is often green, brown, or yellow in colour.
The role of bile is to help you digest fats.
It is produced by your liver.
While you’re not eating, the bile is stored in your gallbladder for future use.
Common Gallbladder Conditions
There are a number of gallbladder conditions that you can develop.
The symptoms which indicate a potential gallbladder problem include:
- Sudden pain that intensifies and occurs in the right upper area of your abdomen
- Pain that occurs after a meal, often in the evening Digestive health issues like nausea and vomiting
Let’s dive into some of the more common gallbladder conditions below.
Gallstones are hard masses of either cholesterol or bile salt that can vary in size.
Many people with gallstones won’t experience any symptoms until a stone blocks a duct in your biliary system.
This can cause complications if left unresolved.
2. Gallbladder Inflammation
Gallbladder inflammation, also known as cholecystitis, is often caused by a gallstone blockage.
It can also be caused by tumours, infections, or blood circulation issues.
Symptoms of gallbladder inflammation include:
- Pain that spreads to you right shoulder and back
- A tender abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe pain located in the upper right or centre of the abdomen
Gallbladder inflammation can cause potentially serious conditions including a tear in the gallbladder or an infection of the bile.
3. Bile Duct Stones
Bile duct stones happen when a gallstone blocks the common bile duct.
The common bile duct conveys bile from the liver to the small intestine, so if it’s blocked your bile will back up into your liver.
In addition to symptoms similar to gallbladder inflammation, bile duct stones can also cause:
- Very dark urine
- Clay coloured stools
4. Gallbladder Disease Without Stones
It is possible to have gallbladder disease without any gallstones.
It is rare, but this condition is often found in people with injuries to their abdomen or who have been in an intensive care unit.
The cause it thought to be a lack of oxygen to the gallbladder, which creates bile build up.
5. Gallbladder Abscess
Gallbladder abscess can happen when pus forms in the gallbladder.
It is often a serious complication of a gallstone blockage.
6. Other Gallbladder Conditions
A few other gallbladder conditions include:
- Porcelain gallbladder
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gallbladder perforation
How To Support Your Gallbladder Naturally
There are a number of strategies to help support your gallbladder naturally and reduce the risk of developing a gallbladder condition.
Let’s dive into some below.
If you’re seeking acupuncture treatment in Mississauga, you might not think of gallbladder support as your main reason.
But among acupuncture’s many other uses, it can help support your gallbladder.
Gallbladder inflammation is often linked with gallstones.
Acupuncture, an ancient treatment that reduces inflammation, can be a great option to support your gallbladder naturally.
It may also help to relieve common symptoms associated with gallstones including back pain and nausea.
2. Eat A Gallbladder Diet
Adjusting your diet to be gallbladder friendly is another great way to support your gallbladder naturally.
Remember, foods high in trans fats, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates may irritate your gallbladder.
Instead, try to add the following foods to your diet:
- Calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy, and dark leafy greens
- Plant-based protein like tofu, beans, and lentils
- Healthy fats like nuts and fish
- Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, like apples, carrots, avocados, and flaxseed
Another great addition to your diet to support your gallbladder naturally is dandelion.
Dandelion contains well known liver cleansing agents and is also effective in supporting your gallbladder and bile ducts.
It’s easy to incorporate the leaves from the plant into salads, or to drink them dried as a tea.
You can also make a natural coffee by drying, roasting, and grinding the roots.
4. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is another great addition to support your gallbladder.
It can be taken in capsule, tablet, or tonic form to detoxify your liver, which then supports your gallbladder because they are so intimately connected.
5. Vitamin C
Finally, taking regular vitamin C supplements or eating it in your diet is associated with a reduced prevalence of gallstones.
Many fruits and vegetables that are considered gallbladder friendly will have vitamin C, so you can get multiple benefits by incorporating a gallbladder diet.
It’s also recommended to increase your physical activity, together with incorporating regular vitamin C in order to optimize your gallbladder naturally.
Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic
As you can see, your gallbladder is incredibly important for your overall health.
There are many ways to support your gallbladder naturally, which can be augmented by working with a naturopathic doctor.
To get started, contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today to begin working towards optimizing your overall health.
Naturopathic doctors are a great resource to make sure that you make informed decisions about your body, and the benefits of the food you eat.
Book an appointment today with the Mindful Healing Clinic.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D