Suffering With Digestive Problems? It Could Be A Sluggish Gallbladder

Most people attribute digestive conditions to a problem with the stomach or intestines.  Not many realize it could be a problem with bile. Could this be the case for you?

Try our checklist

Do you experience any of the following:

  • Bloating after eating
  • Burping after eating
  • Intolerance to fatty foods
  • Reflux after eating
  • Discomfort over the right upper abdomen that may go through to your back
  • Discomfort in the right shoulder from pain referred from the gallbladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach cramps after eating
  • A history of gallstones
  • A history of gallbladder surgery

If you answer yes to 2 or more of these problems you could have a problem with your bile.

Your liver cells make fluid called bile, which is secreted into the bile ducts and then flows to the small intestine. Your gallbladder stores bile; when you eat a meal that contains fat, your gallbladder contracts to release concentrated bile into the small intestine. If your gallbladder is not functioning well, you will not release adequate bile into the gut. If you have lost your gallbladder you will not be able to concentrate or store bile for the extra spurt of bile you need when you have a meal.

What does lack of bile cause?

  • Reduced ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins – these are vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin D and they need efficient digestion of fats to be absorbed; thus you can become depleted of these fat-soluble antioxidants.
  • Poor elimination of toxins via the bile (these are eliminated in the bowel actions)
  • Poor breakdown and digestion of fats

No wonder you will find yourself feeling uncomfortable after eating. You will also find that you have problems controlling your weight even though you are not eating more than normal. You will also have a higher risk of developing a fatty liver.

To produce healthy bile you need healthy liver cells and healthy bile ducts. To get the extra spurt of bile you need during a meal you need a gallbladder that is functioning well.

Medications can upset your liver

If you are taking prescription medications such as cholesterol lowering drugs, pain killers, the oral contraceptive pill, oral estrogens, cortisone or anti-inflammatory drugs, your liver cells may not produce adequate amounts of healthy bile. Your poor liver will not cope unless you give it extra help. Toxins will accumulate in your liver and cause your complexion to deteriorate; you may find that you see the appearance of brown liver spots on your skin.

You can see that your gallbladder is precious! It is worrying that over half a million Americans have their gallbladders removed every year! In many instances this could have been avoided.

A study reported in the British Journal of Surgery found that 40% of patients who had their gallbladder removed did not get relief of their symptoms.

Over 60% of gallbladder surgeries are unnecessary and in many patients removing the gallbladder does not relieve symptoms.

I have seen patients who have had their gallbladder removed and think that they will never have problems again. Unfortunately, they often grow more stones in the bile ducts higher up inside their liver and the same pain recurs. Stones higher up in the bile ducts can lead to chronic painful liver cysts.

So you may have been through surgery for nothing! It makes sense to treat the cause.

I have formulated Livatone to give your liver cells and bile ducts the extra help they desperately need. Livatone contains the most important liver herbs – Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Globe Artichoke combined with taurine, which is an amino acid your liver cells need to make healthy bile. Extra ingredients are vegetable powders and psyllium fiber. Psyllium can bind cholesterol and toxins and carry them out of your body via the bile. Livatone also contains lecithin to help keep cholesterol soluble.

Did you know you can have a Low-Functioning Gallbladder and have no gallstones and that your ultrasound scan of the gallbladder can look normal? – so it’s hard to diagnose! This condition of low functioning gallbladder is called “acalculous Gallbladder Disease”

Acalculous Gallbladder Disease is a disorder of your gallbladder without gallstones. In this condition the gallbladder does not contract properly and its walls may be thickened and inflamed. The most accurate way to measure the function of your gallbladder is called a HIDA scan, which your doctor can order.

A HIDA scan is a nuclear medicine imaging test that tracks the production and flow of bile from your liver via your bile ducts and gallbladder and thence to your small intestine. The HIDA scan uses a radioactive tracer to enhance the bile ducts and gallbladder and see how well the bile is flowing into the small intestine. A HIDA scan can measure how well the gallbladder is ejecting (squirting out) bile.

It is a very useful test as it shows how well your liver, bile ducts and gallbladder are working. An ultrasound scan only shows the shape and size of the liver and gallbladder and if there are any stones but an ultrasound scan will not show if the bile ducts and gallbladder are functioning well. Thus you can have a normal result on your ultrasound scan but your bile ducts and gallbladder may still be functioning very poorly and indeed may be diseased.
A HIDA scan, which stands for Hepatobiliary Imino Diacetic Acid scan, shows pictures of your liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and duodenum. The HIDA scan gives a percentage of bile ejection from the gallbladder. Normal ejection fractions range between 33 and 40%.

A HIDA scan is extremely safe but rarely an allergic reaction to the medications used in the scan can occur or a rash may occur.

Nuclear medicine tests, such as the HIDA scan, are generally avoided in pregnant women.

The risks of radiation from a HIDA scan are miniscule and don’t compare to the risks of undiagnosed gallbladder disease.

The amount of radioactive tracer injected during a HIDA scan is very small and gives off radiation for several hours only; it then becomes inactive. The gamma camera that takes pictures of your organs during the HIDA scan doesn't give off any radiation.

Tips to improve a low functioning gallbladder

  • Take a supplement of ox bile. This will help to supplement your bile level if you are not producing enough, or if your gallbladder is not ejecting enough. Ox bile also helps to make your bile more thin and liquid, thus reducing the risk of gallstones
  • Take a magnesium supplement such as Magnesium Complete or Magnesium Ultrapotent powder to help the gallbladder to contract
  • Drink a raw juice of ginger, carrot, mint, basil and orange each day
  • Pour two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a small glass of warm water and sip it before your meals

Sometimes the gallbladder is so diseased that it must be removed to save your life. But be vigilant as after your gallbladder is gone your liver and bile ducts will need extra support. Otherwise you may get a fatty liver or more stones in your bile ducts much higher up in your liver.

It is important to remember that your liver is the most important cleansing and fat burning organ in your body- don’t take it for granted that it will continue to be healthy in this toxic day and age!

The Livatone Formula can help, even if you have lost your gallbladder because it supports the production of healthy bile and the flow of bile.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.