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Intro to Gallbladder Health

Hippocrates, in all his divine wisdom, once said “all disease begins in the gut.” And since then, researchers have, in fact, found that statement to be quite true. Many diseases can trace their origins back to a change in gut microbes. This is also the case for gallbladder issues, which are often an unfortunate symptom of larger inflammation as well as dietary intolerances and allergies. In fact, research has linked gluten intolerances and celiac disease to the increased prevalence of gallbladder issues. This is likely due to the fact that gluten-driven inflammation can wear down the grooves in the intestinal tract which helps absorb nutrients, which then impairs the digestive tract’s ability to absorb fatty acids as well. This is in part why the surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder is one of the most common procedures performed on adults every year in the United States. However, there are a few trial steps you can take before going under the knife.

Follow a gallbladder diet:

  • Increase fiber intake from leafy greens, nuts & seeds (soaked to aid in digestion), fruits, and other fresh veggies.

  • Add in detoxifying foods like beets and sweet potatoes. These foods help support the liver, which then helps break down fat - they’re also super tasty and at our Wednesday and Saturday markets!

  • Medium-chained triglycerides (MCT) are one of the easiest forms of fat for the body to digest - you may have heard of MCT oil. Consuming small amounts of healthy MCT throughout the day has been shown to have many overall health benefits including lowering inflammation.

Medicinal Herbs!

  • Milk Thistle: has been shown to help treat liver and gallbladder disorders by way of detoxification. It’s also highly anti-inflammatory and has been found to have immunomodulating (either stimulates or suppresses the immune system in order to return to homeostasis) effects. It can be taken in pill form but make sure you talk to your doctor before you start using milk thistle as it may lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

  • Turmeric: is highly anti-inflammatory and has been found to help reduce gallbladder swelling as well as improve bile flow.

  • Dandelion root: has been used for many centuries for its abilities to help aid in digestion, support the liver, and regulate bile levels.

  • Lipase enzymes: this obviously isn’t an herb, but it’s a wonderful supplement. Taking one to two capsules with meals can help in fat digestion and the use of bile.

Exercise: This might be the most annoying health suggestion as it seems to fall under every health topic and it feels like we all know by now that we need to maintain healthy levels of daily exercise throughout our lives in order to stay in good health. But, we all could also use the reminder as well as encouragement from time to time. Exercise helps gallbladder health specifically by helping balance hormones, reducing inflammation, as well as contributing to overall digestive health. Exercise, like many activities, is best done outside with friends and community. Feel free to continue to join us for volunteer hours every Friday from 9 am-noon!

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