You may have heard that the gall bladder (GB) has no important role in the human body and therefore as dispensable as the appendix. Let’s clear this up... your gall bladder is very important for your overall health.
Just above your GB is your liver; one of the many roles of your liver is the production of bile. After production, the bile trickles into your GB; think of it as a holding tank. The function of bile is to emulsify fats from your diet. When you eat, your gall bladder secretes the bile into your small intestine so that you can absorb essential nutrients such as:
◦ fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
◦ omega-3 fatty acids (EFAs)
◦ the building blocks for hormones
...these are important factors for your body!
In addition, 2008 saw the discovery of cell clusters in the gall bladder that secrete insulin; an action formerly thought to only occur in the pancreas. This knowledge makes it especially important for diabetics to keep their gall bladder intact, unless absolutely necessary.
In most cases, gall bladder ‘attacks’ can be treated, without surgery. Supporting healthy function of your liver, gall bladder, pancreas and intestinal motility are essential for healing to occur. A naturopathic doctor will address your diet, hydration status, lifestyle factors, stressors, family history and personal health history, to name a few.
How can you prevent gallstones?
◦ avoid rapid weight-loss
◦ avoid hormone replacement therapy, including birth control pill
◦ emphasize a plant-based diet; high in fibre, low in refined carbohydrates
◦ have your diet, lifestyle and family history assessed by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor
So what do you think... vital or dispensable?