What is a Gallbladder?
As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I use diet and lifestyle to heal the digestive system and help you keep your organs and body parts. I sometimes advise a vitamin or herb to move things along but I see medical intervention as a very serious method for healing improper digestion. There are 3 major digestive issues popping up in the media that respond very well to nutritional therapy: GERD, allergies, and gallbladder removal. Did you know that the number of gallbladders being removed has increased dramatically in the last decade. This is an obscenely aggressive treatment that is most often unnecessary.
What is a Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is the green reservoir for bile. Bile is made by the liver out of cholesterol, (a necessary component in our bodies), in order to break down fats into essential fatty acids, which are also necessary. The gallbladder is triggered to release the bile into the small intestine when enough fat is present in our meal. The bile then acts like soap and "washes the fat down the pipes." Those of you that make soap know that fats make great cleansers.
What if I Don't Eat Fat?
When we eat low-fat foods or skip the fat all together the bile is not triggered to release; it thus remains in the gallbladder, congests, and hardens. Ever heard of a gallstone? If not, you are lucky because they are incredibly painful. A gallstone is the leftover bile hardening in the gallbladder because there was not enough fat to trigger it to be released. It is not from eating too many eggs or cholesterol rich food. Dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with blood cholesterol levels.
The best way to flush the bile from the gallbladder is to eat enough fat to trigger proper digestion. Our bodies have the amazing capacity to eat healthy fats as they occur in nature, so why are we avoiding them?
The low-fat craze did not begin when a group of scientists or doctors found that the saturated fat that has been eaten for 40,000+ years as a natural part of food was causing problems. No, there was an agenda; large companies like Proctor and Gamble had leftover cottonseed oil and found a way to make a profit. They took this substance which is not even food, (do you eat cotton?) and they deodorized, bleached and hydrogenated it into Crisco in 1910. Look at the marketing on this package: 0g trans fats, cholesterol free, ALA omega 3? Without understanding that those ingredients that were once true to the plant have been manufactured into a useless product that the body does not recognize and hence does not trigger the galbladder to function properly, we may think it is healthy.
In fact the edible oil industry shoves this product into our life by way of the Standard American Dietary Guidelines. On page 3 of the SADG under oils, it is recommended to replace the natural fat of meat with canola, corn and cottonseed oil. Really the hunters and gatherers of our past were dying from a deficiency in cottonseed?
How and why the medical industry came to recommend these foods to us is another depressing story, that you may have to pull out your tin foil hat to listen to. I wish it were not about money, but look at the GMO corn, canola, soy and cottonseed profits in this country and you will see why this agenda against labeling GMO foods is so strong. Next week I will write all about the SAD guidelines but for now let's get back to the gallbladder.
I am asking you to trust physiology. Your digestive system needs a combination of fat and stomach acid. Think of a bar of soap, made from fat and lye (an acid) and see how it cleans your skin, the sink and the pipes. It does not clog veins like the media would have us believe. Now picture a Jolly Rancher candy or a lollypop in your drain and you tell me which would make more damage. We are so afraid to eat butter, but we grab a candy mint like it is a medicine for bad breath. I assure you the sugar is causing more damage and most likely the stink in your pipes.
Gallbladder removal is a growing problem, not due to the saturated fat and cholesterol that has always been in real food, but because of the processed foods and refined sugars that are foreign entities in the digestive system. If your body has bile congestion, known as biliary stasis, it does not mean you have eaten too much cholesterol or saturated fat. No, it means your liver is making the necessary cholesterol bile to wash down the healthy fats, and then storing them in the gallbladder until you eat the right foods to trigger a release. I don't know about you, but I would rather eat butter than give up an organ.