The most common problem associated with the gallbladder is gallstones, which is the focus of this article. A gallbladder attack usually presents with constant pain that progresses slowly, rises to a plateau, then gradually decreases, within several hours of eating a meal (especially after meals containing large amounts of fat). You may also experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- right-sided pain in the abdomen
- right-sided shoulder pain
- pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- upper abdominal pain over the breastbone, centrally located
- abdominal fullness/bloating
- recurrent intolerance of fatty foods
When your abdominal pain becomes extremely painful, even to the touch, and a fever starts, this is most likely a symptom of acute cholecystitis (an irritation and infection in the gallbladder) usually due to a gallstone becoming trapped. Recurrent attacks of this nature are called chronic cholecystitis. In such instances, seek medical care from a qualified health practitioner.
What causes it:
Jonathan Wright, MD, states that “most gallbladder surgeries could be easily avoided through nutritional and natural intervention, with emphasis on identification, avoidance, and treatment of food allergies.”
Your gallbladder is a small sac-like organ that lies underneath your liver. Its job is to receive, store and concentrate bile and bile acids made in your liver. Your liver sends the bile to your gallbladder through a small tube called the cystic duct. During digestion, your gallbladder contracts and delivers bile to the small intestine (duondenum) to help break down (emulsify) the fat that is contained in the food you eat. Under certain conditions the bile can harden into stones. When gallstones are congesting the gallbladder or become lodged or block any part of the biliary tract that carries bile from the liver to the small intestines, a gallbladder attack occurs.
There is definitely a dietary factor present with gallbladder problems. Here are some possible causes for you to consider:
- food allergies/intolerances – especially to milk products and eggs
- digestive disorders – especially lack of hydrochloric acid
- intestinal imbalances – (Leaky Gut, Candida/Candidiasis)
- excessively low-fiber diet
- being overweight and/or rapid weight loss
What can I do about it:
Researchers say many gallbladder symptoms stem from the modern Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. If you no longer have your gallbladder, these tips are going to help you transform your digestive health and your ability to digest fats. If you still have your gallbladder and you are experiencing symptoms, these tips still apply as most people today do not have a gallbladder that is functioning at 100%.
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Fasting may be helpful during acute stages of a gallbladder attack. Avoid animal products as much as possible during acute problems and eat smaller meals, as large meals stress the gallbladder. Juicing vegetables can bring in nutrients without the heavy burden of digesting big meals.
(2) Drink more water. Water is one of nature’s natural cleansers. Drinking optimal levels of purified water will benefit your digestion, detoxification and elimination abilities. Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help you detoxify the congestion in your lymphatic system. Eliminate all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, and carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop).
(3) Avoid the foods that often trigger gallbladder attacks: fried foods, highly processed foods (doughnuts, pie, cookies, etc.), whole-milk dairy products (cheese, ice cream, butter), and fatty red meats. Focus building your meals to include these nutritious foods: vegetables, fruits, soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds, organic meat, raw and fermented dairy.
(4) Remove any form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils from your diet (especially canola, soybean and corn oils) because they are very difficult to digest and they cause inflammation. Remove mono-unsaturated fats (like olive oil) and replace them with coconut oil. While olive oil can have great health benefits, if you’ve had your gallbladder removed or you’re struggling to digest healthy fats, use organic coconut oil instead.
(5) Hot pack to the abdomen and low back or castor oil pack on the gallbaldder. Apply for 10-15 minutes one or more times per day for relief of pain. Follow each hot application with a short period of cold application.
(6) In Germany, Peppermint oil is approved as an OTC drug for upper gastrointestinal cramps and spastic conditions of bile ducts. Apply to 2-3 drops to the right side abdominal area below the breast area on the ribcage and around the side of the ribcage. You may need to add these drops to a carrier oil, such as V6 or olive oil if you have sensitive skin. DiGize is another essential oil combination that can be beneficial for your digestion.
Young Living Essential Oils are safe, effective and known for their pureness and therapeutic-grade qualities. For more help with choosing the right oils and application of specific points or meridians on your body, schedule an appointment with us at Essential Wellness.
(7) Take the HCI Challenge Test, to determine if you have low stomach acid, as it interferes with protein digestion, which leads to Leaky Gut, suppressed immunity and food intolerances. When you have low stomach acid, bile from the gallbladder is not released optimally which can interfere with digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination.
(8) De-stress and detoxify with a Gallbladder Flush.
(9) Incorporate these supplements to support optimal digestion of fat: Lypase to help with fat digestion; Ox Bile to help break down fats and support the growth of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract; Probiotic to support digestion and immunity; and Milk Thistle to help detoxify and support the function of your liver. Read information on Leaky Gut to see if there are other supplements that might benefit your support and repair of your digestive system.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you have chronic gallbladder attacks multiple times per year, it’s time to dig a little deeper to determine their cause, by adding these steps.
(10) Proper diet is the foundational step in dealing with all health issues, especially when you experience your symptoms in a chronic nature. Your diet should consist of balanced meals with healthy proteins, low-glycemic and high fiber starchy carbohydrates, lots and lots of dark leafy greens, and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). When you don’t provide the necessary nutrients, all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination will be impaired.
(11) Set yourself up for optimal digestion. Take time to sit down, eat and enjoy a stress-free meal. Chewing thoroughly and in a relaxed manner in order to help facilitate the best digestion possible. Set an intention to enjoy your meal without interruption so that your body turns off the sympathetic ‘fight-flight’ stress response and turns on the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ response. Eat until you are 80% full.
(12) Determine what triggers are causing your symptoms. They are often something you are consuming (food/drink), the air you are breathing, or chemical exposure (household, yard, and personal care products). The easiest way to begin with a minimal investment is to engage in an elimination diet of the most common reactive and inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn). Only reintroduce one food group at a time to see if it creates a reaction. If this method isn’t working for you, ALCAT testing can easily determine what’s triggering you.
(13) Reduce your stress levels. Stress is a very important key to your well-being and your digestive health. A little stress can prompt you into action and that’s good thing. Too much stress can be debilitating. Find stress reduction techniques that work and practice them. This could be something as simple as eating your meal in a peaceful environment without the watching tv.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
When you are experiencing a gallbladder attack and the therapies you’ve tried are not giving you relief, Essential Wellness can help you. We do this by sharing our knowledge and experience, tools, techniques, and these therapies:
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change. When you are ready, we can help you complete a 14-day cleanse to support deeper detoxification, clear lymph congestion, and support your overall well-being.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including Gallbladder Attacks are connected to some physiological dysfunction that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you if part of your gallbladder issue includes constipation. All these therapies support the removal of toxins that are congesting your lymphatic system and elimination channels.
- For pain relief and stress from structural imbalances in the digestive system, we offer Core Synchronism. Eden Energy Medicine can be helpful in flushing out blocked or congested energy in your energy system, thereby reducing stress. A Vibrational Raindrop session using essential oils can be specifically geared to address your metabolism and digestive system, and it would be highly beneficial to you.Bottom line, when your body feels out of balance you feel stress. This is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in the physical body. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. Hard thoughts and feelings of bitterness, condemn, and pride can settle in the gallbladder and congest it. If you are ready to release the resistance connected to such experiences, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques may help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the emotions and stress connected to them. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- With Gallbladder discomfort you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms and are not digesting your food optimally. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.