Gallstones are not the only gallbladder issue that can cause us to feel terrible.
The gallbladder is responsible for the release of bile into the small intestines during the digestive process that helps break down and digest fats. Bile is actually made in the liver and then transported to the gallbladder, basically a holding tank for bile until it's needed.
Most people are familiar with the symptoms of gallstones. According to the Mayo Clinic, they include:
Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen.
Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone.
Back pain between your shoulder blades.
Pain in your right shoulder.
Nausea or vomiting.
Here are some of the risk factors for gallbladder issues?
Being obese or overweight
People who experienced a significant loss of weight in a fairly short period of time
Lack of exercise
Pregnancy and childbirth
Native and Mexican Americans
Women and adults over the age of 40
Low fiber diet
High fat diet
High cholesterol intake
If the symptoms for gallstones don't fit your symptoms but you experience indigestion, bloating after eating fats, or acid reflux, you may actually be suffering from gallbladder sludge.
What in the world is gallbladder sludge?
It is the buildup of bile that thickens causing the gallbladder to not be able to release it, forming what is known as gallbladder sludge. Over time, this sludge can form stones that can obstruct the gallbladder. Important note, gallbladder sludge isn't always seen on imaging tests.
The symptoms for gallbladder sludge may seem very familiar to you....
Bloating and distention when you eat fats
Diarrhea or floating stool
Oil in the toilet after a bowel movement
If you have been living with these symptoms and nobody has considered that the gallbladder could be the culprit, you should know that there are some health issues associated with gallbladder problems. Mainly, gallbladder issues can lead to a deficiency in fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K which can cause a whole host of health issues like cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and also negatively affect the immune system.
Some things you can quickly add to your daily meals and snacks that could help increase fatty acids are a variety of nuts and seeds, avocados, spinach and fish.
Improving the health of your gallbladder may require supplements until healing can happen. Additionally, try incorporating daily body movement to your routine.
It may be necessary for short term use of supplements that support the liver and gallbladder in order to turn gallbladder issues around.
Reach out if you feel like you might need help, I know all too well what how gallbladder sludge affects our daily lives! There's no need to continue to suffer.