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The Incredible Disappearing Organ

By Daniel Perry | Digestion

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, approximately 1.2 MILLION gallbladders are removed annually in the U.S. as of 2019.

“Another one bites the dust!”

How did it come to this? Where does it end? With a stat like that above, you’re probably wondering if the gallbladder is even really necessary at all. Can you survive without one? Sure you can. Should you care about losing it? Hell Yeah! I mean… absolutely.

First, let’s cover a few basics. Your liver makes bile, which is required to emulsify your dietary fats into tiny droplets for digestion. This is akin to what dish detergent does to grease. That bile is stored in your gallbladder for when you need it, which is when you eat. As food moves from the stomach to the first part of the small intestine, the presence of fat triggers a hormone to signal the gallbladder to squeeze, releasing bile into the small intestine to breakdown the fat that you just ate. PRESTO! You can now absorb all the nutrients from that dietary fat. 

A healthy gallbladder assures that proper amounts of bile are released into the digestive tract when it’s needed. Without a gallbladder, instead of a finely tuned release of bile at the right time, there is a continuous trickle of bile into your system regardless of the presence or absence of fat. The failure to match bile output to fat presence jeopardizes one’s ability to properly digest the fat you consume. And if you cannot digest fat, then you cannot absorb vitamin A, D, E, K(1 & 2), as well as fatty acids, thereby causing deficiencies. Besides nutrient deficiencies, poor gallbladder function, or not having gallbladder at all, can also lead to poor cholesterol and fat metabolism. If all of that sounds serious, that’s because IT IS!

“How do you think I’m going to get along without you when you’re gone?”

All of those effects can lead to a variety of chronic illnesses and diseases over time. If you’re wondering why we target heart health, yet are providing information about the gallbladder, this is due to our holistic approach. Heart health cannot be achieved without proper function of other body systems affecting it. The resulting vitamin K2 deficiency alone will promote heart disease. And aside from affecting your heart, the poor functioning or missing gallbladder can lead to everything from respiratory infections, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, infertility, osteoporosis, cancer, tooth decay, and the list goes on. So there’s that.

Always keep in mind that your organs exist for a reason. Some may be small, but they are mighty.

Once again, how did we get to a point where 1.2 million are being removed every year? One major reason for this is the low-fat diet. This supposedly healthy diet eliminates the presence of fat, which stops the gallbladder from doing its job. Without fat, the gallbladder is not triggered to release bile, causing the bile it’s holding to just sit there. Over time, this stagnant old bile will crystalize and form stones. The problem then worsens to the point where you find yourself having your gallbladder removed. POOF!

“And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust!”

This is like telling an employee to stop working, then firing them for their lack of output. Now before you go thinking surgery solves the problem, let’s not forget the aforementioned possible consequences of not having a gallbladder. Since those chronic diseases develop over time, they are generally not connected to the missing organ. Instead many just consider these symptoms and problems as just a typical sign of aging.

So the lesson here is this: Allow your gallbladder to do its job by incorporating healthy fats into your diet on a regular basis, while avoiding processed fats such as canola, vegetable, corn, and soybean oils.

Think of your gallbladder as a low profile, yet incredibly valuable employee that chooses to let other organs, like the heart, get all the spotlight. Take away its job, and it just may leave, but you will certainly miss it once it’s gone. Fortunately there are dietary changes and supplement aids that can often resolve gallbladder issues. Save yours before it bites the dust.

Suspect you are having gallbladder issues? Experiencing any of the following: pain between your shoulder blades, pain in the upper right or center of your abdomen, nausea or vomiting? Or already had yours removed? Contact us to see how we can help.

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