Explaining the gall bladder
This little organ is slightly pear shaped and is found just under the liver. It works in conjunction with our liver and is the storage place for bile [this is a product produced by our liver]. Bile [yellow/brown/greenish in color, containing water, fats, protein, bilirubin, bile salts and cholesterol] is released to aid with the digestion of our food as it passes from our stomach into our small intestine. When the gall bladder is not functioning properly we can have some serious digestive problems.
These are crystallized cholesterol and bile salts, they can range from a pin head up to thumbnail in size [some have even been a lot bigger than that] and usually a dark brown in color, though this can vary. Millions of people get gallstones and a few lucky ones don’t experience any pain at all while others suffer mild to severe pain in the abdomen [this is caused by the gall bladder attempting to release the stones into the small intestine]. Women tend to suffer with this condition more than men – generally caused by hormone replacement therapy as estrogen stimulates the growth of these gall stones.
Predisposition to gall bladder problems
Generally the people who are prone to gallstone problems are overweight, have high cholesterol, tend to have a low thyroid function and sugar diabetes. A bad diet can also lead to the formation of gallstones thus causing gall bladder illness and leading on to abdominal pain and discomfort.
Prevention/soothing of gall bladder problems
* substitute your usual salad dressing with a good fat – olive oil for example, mix it with a little vinegar for taste
* fatty and/or fried foods are to be avoided
* red meat to be strictly limited, rather have fish or lean chicken [steamed, baked or grilled]
* carbonated drinks are definitely a NO NO – these can trigger the gall bladder to release gallstones, thus causing more pain
* start by reducing the amounts you eat, so instead of large meals cut down to smaller meals and eat these during the course of the day – in other words eat up to 5 times a day instead of the usual 2 or 3. Never eat a large meal just before retiring to bed, if you are hungry just before bedtime have a light fat free snack – here snack bars are perfect but a glass of water will probably be more effective as water assists with our hunger pangs as well
* never go on a fad binge/purge diet [we all tend to do this] rather lose weight steadily to maintain a healthy weight. This is not only good for your gall bladder but is also excellent for your general well-being as well
* one can never over-stress the amount of water that one needs to drink, drink up to 6 large glasses of cool refreshing water daily
* start taking extra vitamins and supplements – omega 3 [healthy fish oils] will help with the over formation of cholesterol in the bile, vitamin E is good for healing and aiding in circulation and of course a general multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can assist with your overall health
* use more of the natural products that you already have in your cupboard such as – turmeric, this enhances the flow of bile, ginger is a great helper in the digestion of fats and of course fibre, we all know that fibre is one of the most important foods in the aiding of digestion
Good news for all the sufferers out there – you can avoid surgery if you nip the problem in the bud by changing your eating habits and lifestyle. So what are you waiting for – launch that counter attack against your gall bladder, prevent gallstone formation and be pain free!!
As always this is not recommended to the people who have major problems with gallstones already [though the change in diet and lifestyle will help ease some of your pain] – please ensure that you stay under the protection and advice of your doctor.