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Was That a Gallbladder Attack?

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Was That a Gallbladder Attack?

The last few months of 2011 were indeed the season to be jolly! We were jolly all right. For Americans, It started with Thanksgiving and all the trimmings that go with it, then we had the leftovers. We just barely recovered from Thanksgiving when the rest of the holiday celebrations got under way. It seems like all these meals just never seemed to digest and then the next feast is laid in front of us and that feeling of being uncomfortably full seemed to last forever. Throw in traveling during the holidays, which upsets our internal clocks and then the stress of it all adds to the digestion anxiety. Exposure to a different holiday diet, perhaps in a different locale or country, usually leads to eating something we shouldn’t and this stress is compounded by knowing that while we feast there are all too many people the world over who have no food at all and so we eat what is put in front of us without being entirely conscious of its consequences in our bodies.

Every year most of us make New Years resolutions to never do this type of eating again but temptations are always all around us and for some of us our willpower just goes out the window when the stress in our lives mounts up again and comfort foods beckon!

In order to have some real questions to ask ourselves after we have indulged, it is important to review some symptoms. And because I have so much to share with you all on this subject matter, for everyone’s convenience, I am going to break this Celestial Musing blog up into two parts. (Stay tuned for Part Two: Best & Worst Foods for Gallbladder Disease)

In Part One, I am going to ask you some serious questions to help you determine if that case of acute indigestion was indeed a dreaded gallbladder attack and also review what the gallbladder actually is.

What is the gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped muscular sack that acts as a storage tank for bile. The bile is made in the liver by liver cells and is sent through tiny ducts or canals to the duodenum (small intestine) and to the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores the bile to have it available in larger quantities for secretion when a meal is eaten. The ingestion of food and especially fats cause the release of a hormone, cholecystokinin, (CCK) which in turn signals the relaxation of the valve at the end of the common bile duct (the sphincter of oddi) which lets the bile enter the small intestine. It also signals the contraction of the gallbladder which squirts the concentrated liquid bile into the small intestine where it helps with the emulsification or breakdown of fats in the meal.

What causes gallbladder attacks?

The pain can come from a stone making its way down the biliary duct or bile tube toward the duodenum of the small intestine. It can also be caused by a backup of bile in the gallbladder (with or without stones) that causes it to swell from fullness, causing discomfort. Or it can come from an infected gallbladder itself that becomes inflamed, known as cholecystitis.

That’s what’s happening when you are having a gallbladder attack, but the underlying causes of a stone forming or bile thickening or low-functioning gallbladder are important to understand in order to heal the root of the problem. Hypothyroidism is a major contributing cause to gallbladder disease of all kinds. The thyroid is responsible for metabolism and when it is not working optimally, metabolism in general slows down. Your digestion may be slower, the bowels may be slower, gallbladder emptying may be slower, even thinking may be slower. Food allergies are also major contributors to gallbladder disease. They cause a histamine release that can cause excessive fluid in the bile ducts, causing them to back up. It is important to isolate those specific foods by eliminating them and introducing them back in one at a time and watch for reactions, so that you know just what is causing the problem.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Celestial Musings, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, Remedies & Treatments, Stress, ,

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.


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5:45PM PDT on May 31, 2015

Gall stones are awful!!!!

8:02AM PDT on Mar 8, 2015

wow. thanks. Never thought there was much nutritional value in green beans. I've never experienced anything like this, but this is good information to have. Someone I know might have the experience someday.

9:54PM PST on Feb 6, 2015

Thanks for the information.

8:38AM PST on Jan 19, 2015

One big symptom that has not been mentioned is severe itching in the stomach area. When the bile duct is blocked, the bile salts release into the skin, causing severe itching and discoloration of the skin that is brownish/blackish, looking like bruising.

4:55AM PST on Dec 31, 2014

I had gallbladder problems and it is very very painful.

11:13PM PST on Dec 27, 2014

I have never had gallbladder issues, and I don't care to. This is good and interesting info. The green soup recipe seems really good, full of veggies I like.

6:16PM PST on Nov 29, 2014

I will try the beet recipe soon.

1:10AM PST on Nov 19, 2014

Live long and prosper

12:55AM PST on Nov 13, 2014


7:48AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

chickens will gobble up those egg shells as well...

Interesting ideas.

Good options for the vegetarians/vegans


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