The Gallbladder: Facts and Myths

What is a Cholecystectomy

Cholecystectomies are one of the most over performed surgeries in the United States, and far too often, completely uncalled-for. Even in the presence of gallstones, one should always consider alternatives before rushing under the knife. The gallbladder is an essential organ responsible for collecting and storing bile in order to process and digest fats. To say that it can just be removed without consequence, is rather reckless. Aside from a number of potential dangers and complications stemming from its removal, weight problems and diabetes type two risks rise significantly.

Gallbladder attacks are often a sign of much larger problems, problems that do not simply disappear only once a small piece of that puzzle is removed. Our typical desire for instant gratification, coupled with the misconstrued notion that the gall bladder is an unnecessary organ, has led to an alarming number of these senseless surgeries.

Even worse is the large percentage of people that STILL experienced the same pain and other symptoms even after the gallbladder was removed. In fact, over a third of the cholecystectomy patients return to their doctor with the same pain they suffered with before the surgery.

The pain is not always due to the presence of gallstones. In fact, close to half of the people reporting pain have no stones at all. Many others live with gallstones all of their lives without incidence. Several other conditions have similar symptoms, so be sure to rule out causes such as ulcers, reflux, pancreatic disorders, infections, and a fatty liver.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • bloating
  • belching
  • abdominal discomfort
  • abdominal pain (usually upper right quadrant, under the rib cage)
  • gas
  • constipation, nausea, and vomiting are also possible

All organs, fluids, and systems of our body were put in place for a reason. It is silly to think we can just rid of one without consequence somewhere down the line. Gallbladder pain and gallstones are signs of digestive disruption. With close to 80% of our immune system residing in our digestive tract, we feel it is crucial to address what may be going on. With over a half million cholecystectomies performed annually, at around 15k a pop, the medical industry might be more willing to let go of your organ than you should want them to be. Clearly, if you have gotten to the dire point of a severe attack, infection, and/or blockage — removal may save your life. However, if you have the options of avoiding surgery, there are options for repairing and healing.

What are gallstones?

Gallstones occur if the liver becomes congested and produces toxic bile. This build up can block the bile duct and eventually grow large enough to block it and cause extreme pain. The gallbladder is essentially for storing bile and supports the small intestine’s ability to absorb essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Trying to heal and retain this organ is important, despite what we have been led to believe.

Eating a whole-food diet and the RIGHT fats can allow for gentle flushing, while leaving the organ in tact. Be sure not to demonize all fats. Steer clear of those high in unhealthy cholesterol and/or fried foods. Healthy sources of fat and omega 3 fatty acids (raw nuts, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, raw seeds, etc.) can help to reduce your symptoms and begin to heal. Our approach for ALL of these conditions are the same, despite our blog being Gout focused. Since we are targeting the inflammation that is causing the pain and destruction behind all of the degenerative conditions running rampant today.

Healing Applications:

  1. Castor Apply: castor oil packs externally over the gall bladder area. Saturate a cloth with castor oil, apply to the affected area and cover it with plastic wrap. Put heating pads on top and leave it on for half an hour. You can do this once a day for a month.
  2. Begin a gentle body cleansing program with key antioxidants and organ cleansing herbs such as turmeric, milk thistle, artichoke, etc.
  3. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.

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