If you experience symptoms such as burping, bloating, any other form of indigestion, have been diagnosed with cholecystitis or have any other sort of trouble with your liver or gallbladder– or both, as they work in conjunction— then you may want to consider learning the nutrients you can use to support these organs upon which your entire health is based. You’ll know you have gallbladder problems if you experience pain in the right shoulder blade. Liver issues can lead to tension in the neck. Common issues which indicate liver or gallbladder dysfunction can include chronic fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, dry skin, blood sugar issues, acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and bumps on the back of the arms.
Beet powder or beets would be my first go-to option for anything liver and gallbladder related, given that it’s well tolerated. There’s something called taurine in beets, and another “ingredient” naturally instilled in this root vegetable called betaine that can assist in digestion by helping to thin the bile and help eliminate toxins at the same time. This is known to help people who might otherwise have to get a cholestectomy, or in other words, gallbladder removal. It acts as a kind of “roto- rooter” for the most important detoxification pathway on which everything else is based. If toxins aren’t passing through here fluidly, there will be back-up everywhere else, from the pores to the sinuses. Bowel movements become irregular as the gallbladder, which rhythmically contracts with regular meals, controls motility.
Lecithin can also work in the gallbladder by the same action of thinning the bile. This is important when gallbladder stagnation is so common in our toxic society. Lecithin is additionally known to help with nervous system support, particularly pineal gland function which produces melatonin that is also very important for detoxification. This is because the pineal gland is detoxified by something called the glymphatic system in the head. Guess what? Like the lymph, it relies on the gallbladder pathway to be flowing properly for its toxins to be able to pass through and detoxify. Pineal gland dysfunction can lead to a host of issues, particularly calcification wherein much like the gallbladder, this gland in the brain can actually crystallize and become like stone. This matters because we depend on sleep to restore us which requires a functioning pineal gland. Pineal gland dysfunction can also lead to troublesome issues ranging from restless leg syndrome to even deafness and on the more extreme end of things, seeing darting objects that aren’t there or even hearing voices. These symptoms have shown to be correlated with pineal gland dysfunction by Dr. Dick Versendaal. It makes sense, though, that something so good for the gallbladder would also help heal the brain. This is because fat is largely what the brain is made out of. We need the right kind of bile to break fat down and assimilate it for proper use in our brains and throughout the body.
Bile can become thick when we take in processed, less recognizable fats to the body like canola and other refined vegetable oils (which we turn to in avoidance of wrongly villainized saturated fats). This along with not eating enough, not eating regularly, and not consuming fats that the body can more easily recognize and process can form a sludge which can eventually turn into gall stones and even over time crystallize significant portions of the gallbladder, leading some people to believe they have to resort to the removal of these vital organs. We need gallbladders for fat digestion which is required to make every cell in our body, to make our skin smooth, get rid of toxins and absorb nutrients. This is why it’s so important to eat the right, unrefined fats such as avocado, hemp, flax and chia seeds as well as whole, grass fed milk and butter or ghee if you’re lactose intolerant. Other sources include chicken with the skin on, tallow, and even lard for pork eaters. As long as the source is high in quality and comes from grass fed, pasture raised animals this can be extremely supportive to not only gallbladder contraction and health, but also for nutrients, immunity, and even heart and brain health! If you’d like to learn more about this, I have multiple blog posts about this: Why you Need fat for Optimal Health- Part 1: Digestion and Why you Need Fat for Optimal Health- Part 2: The Benefits all about the importance of fat and how it’s utilized in the body. We have been mislead by the vegetable oil and sugar industry to believe fat is bad, especially saturated kinds. However, quite the contrary is true— these are exactly the kind of fats we need to release cholecystokinin in the gallbladder, allowing for bowel movements and a feeling of fullness when we eat. We also need cholesterol to create the bile that breaks down all the toxins we consume day to day.
I highly advise not getting any organ removed if at all possible. If your MD tries to pressure you, get a second opinion from a holistic practitioner or functional doctor as there’s no such thing as an accessory organ. I’ve been taught by a practitioner who’s saved hundreds of gallbladders in people who thought they had no choice. They stated that they believed the vast majority of cases— as much as 99%— can be helped by other interventions.
If you already have your gallbladder removed, hope is not lost. There are certainly things you can do, such as taking bile salts with meals to emulsify fats you take in (like your gallbladder used to do). It’s a shame more doctors don’t know about this because it could potentially help a lot of the symptoms people experience after surgery, and improve the quality of life for many. It’s also important to support the liver if you’ve removed it’s friend the gallbladder as it now needs to work over time to eliminate any built- up toxins. Enzymes can also be helpful for processing food better when impaired, as well as generally taking care of any unwanted substance in the body (this is what enzymes recognizable by the human body are programmed to do).