More than 700 thousand gallbladders’ are removed annually in US. There are some significant reasons for that. First is modern diet that leading to widespread of gallbladder stones and gallbladder diseases. Second is the growth of the laparoscopic surgeries that make removing the gallbladder relatively painless procedure in the last decades. Third, there are not accepted, non-knife, common treatments of gallbladder’s disorders. Fourth is the view on gallbladder as a simple bag for storage the bile, a secondary organ that one can easily live without.
Mather Nature does not make mistakes. Gallbladder is extremely powerful player in digestive team with many vital functions. Knowledge of these functions can explain symptoms, which occur when one lost gallbladder.
Let us look on gallbladder and its relations with liver, pancreas, sphincter of Oddi and small intestine. All these organs work as orchestra, to play the very important symphony by name of proper digestion. Orchestra means that all instruments play the same music. Without gallbladder, proper digestion is difficult.
What does gallbladder perform in the body, what is its relationship to other digestive organs?
Gallbladder collects liver’s bile, it concentrates this bile and releases bile exactly in a good quantity and appropriate time into duodenum; first part of the small intestine where 90% fat is metabolized by pancreatic digestive enzymes.
Liver produces bile not only for digestion. There is another highly vital role of the bile – detoxification. Through the bile, liver removes many fat-soluble toxic substances such as bile pigments, heavy metals, drugs, alcohol, medications, excess of the cholesterol, etc. Contractions of the gallbladder quickly move these poisonous compounds into the duodenum without constant irritation of the gallbladder ducts and sphincter of Oddi.
Gallbladder has close nervous and hormonal connections with other upper digestive organs especially with the sphincter of Oddi. If gallbladder contracts, sphincter of Oddi normally opens to release bile into the duodenum for digesting fatty foods. Contrary, when sphincter of Oddi is closed liver’s bile fills up the gallbladder; therefore it is dilated. This pendulum effect prevents increasing pressure inside the bile duct and pancreatic duct.
Concentrated gallbladder’s bile stimulates peristaltic; contracted motions of the gut. Contrary, low amount of the bile causes constipation.
Bile duct and pancreatic duct join each other before sphincter of Oddi so many problems with gallbladder and bile can cause pancreatitis – inflammation of pancreas that can be life-threatening disease.
Everything above may help to explain symptoms that arise after gallbladder removal: indigestion, abdominal pain, heartburn, fullness, fatty foods intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
According medical literature, symptoms after gallbladder removal affect about 10-15% of patients. The term postcholecystectomy syndrome describes the presence of symptoms after cholecystectomy; gallbladder removal. With at least 10% of patients developing postcholecystectomy syndrome, approximately 70,000 cases or more of this condition occur in US each year. Many of these sufferers look for help without success.
Surgeon spreads his hands; the operation was successful without any complications. Often people, which lost gallbladder take plenty of medication or pain killers without substantial lessening of their pain and indigestion.
It is almost impossible to solve these troubles without focus on the root of the problem. Main problem that brings people to surgery is gallbladder attack with severe pain in the upper part of the stomach, nausea, vomiting, and temperature. Gallbladder stones and gallbladder’s inflammation are revealed. These diseases do not fall suddenly from the sky; it needs time to get gallbladder stone.
Many reasons can predispose to gallbladder stones, such as diet without oil and fat, obesity, parasites, chronic infections and food’s sensitivity, Candida-yeast overgrowth, rapid losing weight by dieting or after bariatric surgery, anatomical abnormalities, medications etc.
But the most dangerous problem is acidic life style. Acid-formed foods such as red meat, sugars, white flour and white rice, processed foods, sodas, consumption of alcohol, drugs, sedentary life style lead to whole body acidity. Acidity causes biomechanical and biochemical changes in bile system, especially in the gallbladder.
In a healthy situation, liver produces alkaline bile. When body is getting acidic, bile also becomes acidic. It leads to precipitation of the aggressive bile acids inside the gallbladder, precipitation of cholesterol and calcium salts; thus gallbladder stones occur. Acidic, aggressive bile irritates gallbladder and bile ducts causing inflammation, spasmodic jerky contraction of gallbladder with spasms and abdominal pains. Acidic aggressive bile creates spasms of the sphincter of Oddi; the strategic gate between bile and pancreatic ducts and duodenum. Spasms of the sphincter of Oddi create back up of the bile and pancreatic juice. Increasing pressure inside these ducts can lead to activation of the pancreatic enzymes inside the pancreas, self-digestion and possible pancreatitis.
In duodenum, acidic, aggressive bile causes inflammation, ulcers and irregular contractions of the gut’s wall. It, in turn, causes refluxes; wrong way traffic with throwing up aggressive combination of the bile and pancreatic enzymes up into the stomach, or even esophagus with severe heartburn and pains.
What is also extremely important, that acidic changes in the bile and pancreatic juice make acidic environment inside the duodenum. Pancreatic digestive enzymes, which work only in alkaline milieu, stop digestion of food. Undigested food is fermented by yeasts and bacteria causing a lot of gas and irritation of the gut.
Alkalizing the body can relive many these symptoms. Naturally, human being keeps normal slightly alkaline condition by consumption of minerals and bicarbonate from alkaline-formed foods.
Another way to get more minerals and bicarbonate is drinking healing mineral waters. European doctors have sent their patients with postcholecystectomy syndrome in Karlovy Vary, in the Czech Republic to drink water from thermal spring for last fifty years. Also, healing mineral water can be prepared by dissolving genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt at home. Various medical articles and books prove that drinking Karlovy Vary healing mineral water decreases gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain in persons without gallbladder.
Some herbs, mineral supplements, such as cellular magnesium-potassium, acupuncture, abdominal massage and medical hypnosis can have beneficial actions on different symptoms of the postcholecystectomy syndrome. Doctors all over the globe widely and successfully use many of these non-drugs, safe and effective healing methods to treat people after gallbladder removal.
The goal is to find knowledgeable practitioner.
The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified licensed professional.