Foods And Nutrients To Help Reduce Gallbladder Symptoms
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located under the liver on the right side of your abdomen. Its job is to store and regulate release of the bile your liver creates. Bile is a greenish-yellow fluid which aids in digestion of dietary fat. Many people don’t give any thought to this small organ until they begin to experience gallbladder symptoms.
When you consume a meal that contains fat, signals are sent from the stomach to your gallbladder to prompt concentration of just the right bile formulation. Cholesterol, bilirubin and bile salts emulsify fat globules and allow fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K to be properly absorbed.
If inadequate gallbladder emptying or high cholesterol create overly thick bile in the gallbladder, it becomes inefficient and sluggish. As well, stones can form from hardened bile elements and range in size from grains of sand to golf balls. Though the gallbladder may continue to function and there may be no gallstone treatment required, eventually pain can come by surprise as a small stone becomes lodged in a bile duct. Also known as a gallbladder attack, these painful episodes may last from 15 minutes to several hours and can be excruciating. Pain radiated from the abdomen to the back, chest and even shoulder.
Aside from gallbladder removal surgery, there are plenty of safe, natural ways to relieve gallbladder symptoms and keep the gallbladder intact and working for you.
Eliminate bad fats. This means fried food, saturated and hydrogenated fats, oils like canola and safflower and all processed, packaged sugary foods which contain bad fat and sugar. These foods put terrible strain on the gallbladder and increase the likelihood of cholesterol stone formation, while causing cramping and other gastrointestinal problems after meals.
Add the good fats. Plenty of fats are good for you and help keep your gallbladder and the rest of your body healthy. These include coconut oil, olive oil, seeds, nuts, avocados and wild caught fish.
Plenty of dark, leafy greens are also required to increase healthy amounts of bile and flush out sludge and stones. Bitter plants are particularly well-suited for this and include artichokes, beets, sauerkraut and radishes. Apple cider vinegar and lemon can be very useful as a treatment while experiencing gallbladder symptoms.
Sipping on a glass of water with one tablespoon each of raw apple cider vinegar and lemon helps to thin and increase bile while also providing anti-inflammatory help. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and bile supportive properties, as does Milk thistle which is a liver supportive tonic and may help to decrease cholesterol levels in bile, eliminating stones.
If you are experiencing frequent pain and indigestion related to gallbladder issues, try eliminating coffee, alcohol and cigarettes as well. Caffeine can eventually be reintroduced but will aggravate your issues until your gallbladder is functioning well again.