Gallbladder is not a pill for lowering cholesterol, but a part of your digestive system. Yet a gallbladder decides on cholesterol level and so is major cardiovascular player. The link between gallbladder and heart is called the “bile”.
You may have never heard of bile before, yet bile has major of influence over digestion, immunity, and cardiovascular health. If you ever thought about strengthening your digestion, immune system or heart you should know a few things about bile.
Bile is made in liver, which is behind your lower ribs on the right side. Bile collects in the gall bladder in between meals, and is released during eating. It is the bile that gives your poop a color. The darker brown your poop is the more bile got inside it. This leads us to an important point. Your poop should be dark, not yellow or pale. If it is, you may suspect bile deficiency, which has further implications. Remember however that if you are constipated your poop will be dark due to bile oversaturation.
So, what does the bile do?
Bile is made of cholesterol. High cholesterol, especially the LDL (bad one) depends a lot on bile production and excretion. No bile, no cholesterol removal. So, if you have cholesterol problem an intelligent thing to do is to check your bile production.
Not enough bile may cause diarrhoea. if you eat lots of fat and there is not enough bile to break it down, fat will stay in the intestines. Fatty stools are very slippery and can really cause trouble. Remember Olestra?
Low production of bile can also cause constipation if there is not enough “grease” to make stools easy to pass. In either case low bile may cause all sorts of digestive trouble including bloating, indigestion, fullness, and other symptoms.
Lymphatics hosts your immune system, so think infection, inflammation, and cancer prevention. Bile is a frequently forgotten, yet tremendously important way to detoxify the lymphatic system. Liver detoxifies our bodies from multitude of harmful chemicals, and these are dumped in the bile for removal. Liver is the most important detoxifying organ, so the bile should be looked at with respect as a major detoxifier.
suggesting possible bile problems:
- Too much or too little cholesterol in blood. Bile is a primary route for cholesterol removal.
- Digestive problems such as irregular bowel movement, bloating, bitter taste in mouth, light colored stools, bloating, or Candida. Bile is directly related to digestion.
- Vitamin deficiency especially vitamin D. Vitamin D is fat soluble, and without bile you cannot absorb it. You should definitely check your bile production if you have osteoporosis.
- Presence of gallstones. They are nothing else, but the end result of super-concentrated bile, which never made it to the intestines.
- Skin or vaginal itching: bile that does not make it to the gallbladder will irritate surfaces causing itching
- Environmental sensitivities. Liver detoxifies chemicals, which, after processing end up in the bile. If liver is overworked it will have a harder time to do its detoxifying job properly, which overburdens the body with chemicals, making it more sensitive to environment.
- Thick blood and excessive clotting. Vitamin E is a natural blood thinner. Vitamin E requires bile for absorption. Check your bile production if you have tendency to clots.
Common causes of bile problems:
1. Lack of nutrients necessary for bile production;
2. Lack of specific dietary fibres, which are necessary for bile removal;
3. Liver inflammation; bile ducts can swell up and block bile release. This can happen during liver inflammation like hepatitis.
4. Food allergies. Bile ducts can swell and close after ingestion of foods that cause immune system reaction. This is not the same type of allergic reaction that happens during the anaphylactic reaction (throat closing), hives, or diarrhoea. Your food-immune profile can only be found out through specialized blood work, and not symptoms.
5. Sugary diet. Bile becomes thicker and more saturated with cholesterol after only a few weeks of high refined carbohydrate diet. So, the more sugar and white flour in the diet the more chances for gall stones. These may block bile flow.
Bile and a healthy gallbladder is extremely important for overall health. It is very easy to remove an ailing gallbladder, but this does nothing to improve bile flow. To the contrary, it makes bile flow even more irregular. Unfortunately, standard medicine sees gallbladder as an organ not worth repairing. If you are scheduled for surgery make sure that this is for sure the only option you have. A qualified Naturopathic Doctor will be able to advise you.