BRENDA GILL: Keeping that Gall Bladder With You For Life

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
January 19th, 2009

Patients who suffer abdominal pain as a result of gallbladder disease are frequently told to avoid ‘gallbladder foods’ such as cabbage, fats and many spices. However, at least two studies have shown other foods may be responsible.

The following table shows the incidence of foods shown in those studies to cause gallbladder pain:

egg 92.8
apple 8.7
pork 63.8
tomato 8.7
onion 52.2
peas 5.8
fowl 34.8
cabbage 5.8
milk 24.6
spices 4.3
coffee 21.7
peanut 4.3
orange 18.8
fish 2.9
corn 14.5
rye 1.4
beans 14.5
medications 20.3
nuts 14.5
other foods 42.0

When the food allergens were removed from the diet, the patient was symptom-free. It is important to note that some of the patients who had their gallbladders removed continued to experience problems UNTIL they removed the foods they were sensitive to.

Even if you have had surgery in the past, continuing to eat foods you are sensitive to may stress your immune system. This shows the importance of identifying and then minimizing those foods.

It’s also important to lose weight, if that is part of the picture. This will move excess fat from the system, which will decrease the load on the gall bladder and liver.

Also, as I stated many times before, cheese/pork and beef are contributors to weight gain, high cholesterol and gall bladder attacks. Cheese, therefore, should be used as a condiment not a food source and pork and beef used sparingly. Instead, increasing the use of fish and nut/seed butters will help reduce cholesterol.

Many supplements increase the breakdown of cholesterol such as lecithin, essential fatty acids in flax/hemp/sunflower/sesame/pumpkin seed oil, fish oil, methionine, taurine, Silymarin (milk thistle) and glutathione.

I also have people drink a liver/gall bladder cleansing tea on a regular basis. This can be counted as the fluid intake for the day.

Castor oil packs can be a useful tool as well. Applied to the abdomen on a regular basis helps to draw out toxins and metabolites from the body. This minimizes the need for the liver/gall bladder to surround these toxins/metabolites/breakdown products/hormones with fat for protection.

Some folks find gall bladder flush may also help to prevent stones from forming.

This should give you some ideas on how to improve gall bladder function.

Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC. Her column appears in the Rossland Telegraph on a bi-weekly basis.

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