Gallbladder – an unusual shape of an organ attached to the liver. It doesn’t really get much attention until something goes wrong and then it can be one of the most painful experiences ever.
There is a big myth that eating a high fat diet can cause gallstones. Whereas gallstone production is actually connected with a fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes.
The most common denominator connected with these three conditions are carbohydrates NOT healthy fats.
There are several know connections to the cause of gallstones:
- Blood sugar imbalances (diabetes)
- Oestrogen imbalances (hormone dysregulation)
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Chronic stress
- Low fibre diet
- Low stomach acid production (extremely common)
- Rapid weight loss (weight loss should always be under supervision)
- Low fat diets
- Cholesterol lowering medications
- Leaky gut (extremely common, especially for people with high stress)
It is a common myth that a low-fat diet will prevent or shrink gallstones when in fact the opposite is true. Low fat diets actually encourage the production of gallstones. This is mainly due to the fact that excess carbohydrates are converted into fat in the liver therefore bile from the gallbladder is not needed and in addition eating a low-fat diet basically gives the gallbladder nothing to do. You need to eat healthy fats to keep flushing it out. Sugar and starches are the bigger problem NOT fat.
It is also a common misconception that it doesn’t really matter if the gallbladder is removed as it doesn’t really do much. This is NOT true, whilst it is easy to survive without a gallbladder there is a higher risk of developing certain liver conditions. There is also a higher chance of becoming deficient in vitamins A, K, D, and E as these are the fatty vitamins, as well as a deficiency in essential fatty acids.
Another common misconception is that once the gallbladder is removed it is expected to have irritable bowel syndrome and have to live with diarrhoea. This is just not true.
Symptoms of a gallbladder attack include:
- Severe abdominal pains that may feel sharp or dull
- Abdominal cramping and bloating
- Pain that spreads to your back or below your right shoulder blade
- Loose stools that are light in colour
- Skin turning yellow
When these signs and symptoms are present then the gallstones have already been formed, and are potentially blocking the duct. It is time to seeks medical help.
It is important to remember that it doesn’t need to get to this stage. This can be reversed when signs and symptoms begin for fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes.
Fatty liver is not always associated with particular signs and symptoms, however, common experiences include feeling fatigued and abdominal discomfort. When an evaluation of your blood tests is done we can see if you are headed towards fatty liver.
Obesity signs and symptoms include when the body fat percentage is too high for age and height, when clothes feel tight and uncomfortable, feelings of breathlessness, increased sweating, snoring, fatigue, back and joint pain, feelings of isolation, low self-esteem and confidence.
Diabetes signs and symptoms include, increased urination, increased thirst, increased hunger particularly for carbohydrates, fatigue, lack of interest, difficulty concentrating, and blurred vision.
What can be done?
During your initial consultation, many questions will be asked to confirm that this is a cause of your signs and symptoms and a treatment plan will be created specifically for you to address your signs and symptoms.
Who am I?
I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers. As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.
Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
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