our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
Gallbladder, Gallstones & Gallbladder Sludge
Tell me about
to do if
your gallbladder has already been removed
Gallbladder: a membranous muscular sac in which bile from the liver is stored — called also
The gallbladder is a small four inch long, pear-shaped sack located between the liver lobes directly under the liver. (see
photo) A small Y-shaped duct, called the common bile duct, carries bile from both the gallbladder
and the liver to the small intestines. The gallbladder's job is to
store and to concentrate bile which the liver produces.
When fats are taken into the digestive system, a hormone is secreted which
cause the gallbladder to contract, thus releasing the bile into the
stomach and small intestine. The bile's job is help
food digestion by working on digested
fats. Lecithin in the
bile dissolves this fat
into droplets so small that the enzymes can surround them and process them so they can pass
through the intestinal wall into the blood which takes it to the cells where you body can use it.
Bile is a green blend which contains water, lecithin, acids, cholesterol, bile salts,
and minerals. Bile is vital to health.
Inadequate Bile Flow
Trouble starts when the diet is too high in refined sugar and starches
and fats and too low in protein. When too little bile is formed by the liver and
when the gall bladder is too "lazy" (due to nutritional
deficiencies) to empty its content, the fat can not be readily absorbed.
When not absorbed, the fat then unites with calcium and iron from food
(stopping these minerals from entering the blood where they can do some
good), and forms a hard soap, then forms hard packed fecal matter and causes
This persistent stealing of essential iron and calcium can bring on
iron-deficiency anemia, osteoporosis (honeycombed bones) or osteomalacia
(week and caving-in bones).
Without enough bile, fats, which
quickly melt at
body temperature, cover the carbohydrates and proteins that is also being
digested, making it hard to continue the digestion process.
Then bacteria attack this
partially digested mess, bringing on gas and discomfort, contributing to an smelly bowel movement and an
equally foul breath. Much of the undigested food is usually lost
in the stools. Poor elimination associated with gall bladder problems invariably
indicates a major loss of vital minerals.
Because the lack of
bile acids prevents the absorption of vitamin A, D, E, &
K, and whatever fat has been broken down, deficiencies are produced. People with insufficient bile
flow are usually so deficient in vitamin A that they have difficulty in
driving a car at night, sewing, or doing other close work.
Although a low fat diet is recommended to decrease these digestive
problems (it keeps the gall bladder quiet until healing has occurred), when the gall bladder has to be removed
obviously a low fat diet cannot rectify this situation or increase the absorption of
There is a peril of a low-fat or no-fat diet. (See Low Fat Foods)
Gall bladder sludge: Also called, biliary sludge, can
upon as a condition of microscopic gallstones, although
it is not clear at what size the particles should be considered gallstones.
Gall bladder sludge is composed of calcium
salts and cholesterol crystals. Unless you flush it
from your system quickly, it can lead to gallstones,
or worse, painful pancreatitis and inflammation of the
gallbladder. If it isn't resolved, surgical removal of
the gallbladder is sometimes recommended by medical
Gall bladder sludge can develop after fasting,
rapid weight loss, certain medication, a high
cholesterol level, drug or alcohol damage, or
Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, nausea, and
vomiting just like gallstones.
1) Eat a high fiber diet. Eat more
beans and fresh fruits and vegetables each day.
You can add oat bran to your cereal.
2) Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. It
flushes the liver and dilutes the bile secretions that
lead to gallstones.
3) Green juices. Spinach, parsley -
these are rich in chlorophyll, a pigment that has a
natural cleansing effect. An eight ounce blend
of two ounces of green juice and two ounces of carrot
juice, diluted with an equal amount of water.
You can also find fresh vegetable juices with this
combo at your health food store such as Whole Foods
For healthy gallbladder:
II: Cholacol II supports healthy fat
body's normal removal of toxins
Source of bile
break down fats, which can help with discomfort
after eating a fatty meal
To Order: Standard Process Cholacol II 90 T
For more information about
What is a gallstone?
Gallstones form when cholesterol and bile pigments become so
concentrated that they form lumps inside the gallbladder. Eighty to eighty-five percent of all
gallstones are coated
with layer upon layer of waxy-looking cholesterol, although many stones
are coated with both cholesterol and bile pigments. A few are made exclusively of
yellowish green bilirubin. a substance that is part of the hemoglobin in
What causes gallstones?
The incidence of gallstones in the American population is high and
increases with age. There is most definitely a familial
predisposition to gallstones, but it is difficult to say whether there is
truly a genetic factor since most family members usually have similar
dietary habits. Diabetics have a higher incidence of stone formation
and women are more commonly affected then men and the incidence increases
As we said above, normally, the gallbladder is a storage
compartment for the bile that you body needs to digest fat. You
eat fat, the stomach sends it through to the small intestine, and your
gallbladder squirts some bile onto your food to break up the
fat. Your body then finishes its digestive process, and
everything heads for the exit. But occasionally something breaks
down during the eat-squirt-exit process and the gallbladder's sludge like contents crystallizes. This provides the opportunity to layer
thicker and thicker coats of cholesterol or bilirubin around a calcium
speck, thus forming a gallstone.
Exactly what causes this buildup of cholesterol or bilirubin on the
calcium is not totally clear and there are many theories. Supposedly,
it is from a high fat-high cholesterol diet. This popular belief
may be far less popular and far less believable when evidence of animal
experiments is presented.
1) There is some evidence that a deficiency
of vitamin E may bring this on. It was shown that animals given large
amounts of cholesterol or saturated or unsaturated fats developed no
stones as long as vitamin E is adequate.
Of course, today's fast food diet does not contain a lot of vitamin E.
Check any of the nutritional listings from a fast food restaurant and see
if there is any vitamin E listed.
It is believed that in the absence of Vitamin E, Vitamin A is quickly
destroyed and without Vitamin A millions of dying cells from mucous
membranes covering the walls of the gallbladder slough off into the bile,
and that stones form around a base of organic material. It appears
that these dead cells catch and hold cholesterol.
This theory about gallstone formation holds that dead cells from the
gallbladders inner membrane act as a nucleus around which stones
form. But why doesn't this happen when vitamin E is plentiful?
Vitamin A protects integrity of skin and internal membranes. However
without enough vitamin E to guard it, vitamin A is attacked by oxidation,
permitting membrane cells to die and drop into the bile
2) Stones are formed when a grain or two of calcium arrives in the
gallbladder and hangs around long enough to become coated with either
cholesterol or bilirubin. In other word, they form when there's too much
cholesterol in your bile. This excess forms tiny "seeds"
that start out the size of a grain of sand, but can grow to the size of a
marble, olive, or even an egg.
3) Naturally occurring female reproductive hormones are known to encourage
that process by delaying gallbladder emptying, such as during pregnancy
4) There is also research that shows that gallstones will also form when fat
intake is low. The reasoning is that the gallbladder will not contract
unless fat is taken in and if it does not do so, the bile salts will
crystalize and combines with bile in the gallbladder to form stones. The scientific name for the reason stones
form is "biliary stasis."
5) Another theory is that stones are less likely to form from cholesterol
when there is a high content of lecithin, which homogenizes cholesterol
- also fat - and holds it in this condition.
6) Other research says that it appears that the problem underlying
gallstones is related to a deficiency of hydrochloric acid or to a food
What are the symptoms of gallstones?
The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide (Random House)
says that a million new cases of gallstones occur each year. If
blockage of bile flow persists for long, many complications can occur - obstructive jaundice, infection of the gall bladder and
inflammation when the trapped bile stagnates.
People with gall stones may experience only fatty food intolerance with
mild pain, acid reflux symptoms or diarrhea after a fatty meal. The
stone rarely cause symptoms if they remain in the gall
Gallstones cause symptoms when it interferes with normal gallbladder
function by passing out of the gallbladder and getting stuck in one of the
Pain in the upper abdomen or near the
shoulder blades, along with vomiting and nausea, occurs when the stone
gets stuck in the gallbladder's duct. The pain usually lasts a few
hours, until the stone drops back into the gallbladder. If it stays
stuck in the duct, a stone can block the flow of bile and cause damage to
the liver, pancreas or gallbladder.
If the gallbladder becomes inflamed, it causes severe pain in the upper
right abdomen (under the ribcage). This may radiate around to the
back. This maybe be accompanied by fever, nausea, and
vomiting. This condition must be treated immediately. If left
untreated, inflammation of the gallbladder, called cholecystitis, can be
If a small stone passes out of the gallbladder it may lodge in the
common bile duct causing partial or complete obstruction. This
symptoms are jaundice with yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes to a
See your doctor when - you are experiencing sharp,
unexplained pain in your upper abdomen, between your shoulder blades or in
your right shoulder that lasts more than 20 minutes. Your skin
and the whites of your eyes turn yellow.
Occasionally, a person has the typical symptoms of gallstones, but may
not have gallstones. They will be found to have a dysfunctioning
gallbladder. Although no stones exist, the gallbladder does not
contract normally in response to the ingestion of fats. Symptoms are
produced when eating.
Gall Bladder Attack remedies
For inflammation of the gall bladder, eat no solid food for a few
days. Consume only distilled or spring water. Then drink
juices such as pear, beet and apple for three days. Then add solid
foods, shredded raw beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, fresh lemon
juice and freshly made uncooked applesauce made in a blender or food
To support liver and gallbladder health avoids the excessive consumption of saturated fats
For additional kidney support, drink plenty of pure water and avoid excess consumption of foods high in oxalates or oxalic acid, such as coffee, chocolate, cocoa, tea, rhubarb, spinach, and other plant foods.
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