Guest Author - Sharon Lasitter
The gallbladder is a small, eggplant shaped organ, tucked just beneath the liver, on the upper right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder functions as a kind of holding bladder for bile, which is produced in the liver, then carried in small amounts to the duodenum (an area of the small intestine) and in varying amounts to the gallbladder, where it is temporarily stored. When the gallbladder receives signals that fats have entered the stomach (by the release of the hormone cholecystokinin [CCK]) the valve (sphincter of oddi) at the end of the common bile duct relaxes, and the gallbladder contracts. When the valve relaxes, bile is literally squirted from the gallbladder, into the upper small intestine, to digest the fats as they are released from the stomach.
Bile is a bright yellow liquid, produced by liver cells, and contains toxins that the liver has filtered. The pancreas also secretes digestive enzymes into a common duct leading from the liver to the gallbladder, then the pancreas and to the small intestine. In this manner, the gallbladder serves to help eliminate toxins through the bile it stores, by delivering it to the intestines, where it eventually exits the body with food waste, as feces.
The gallbladder is designed to hold and release the perfect amount of bile for digesting a balanced amount of healthy fats. When hydrogenated fats and overheated fats are consumed, the gallbladder releases what bile it holds, but the bile produced in the liver cannot digest these unnatural, unhealthy, fats or unreasonable amounts of any fats.
As Westerners, we may have chosen the processed foods we desire to eat (white flour, refined sugar, hydrogenated fats, and low fiber, no fat, low calorie diets) but the body is still functioning to assimilate a healthy, natural diet, rich in foods grown from the earth. When processed foods enter the body, a situation of havoc occurs. One digestive organ, in the process of digestion, affects another and illness is begotten. For the liver and gallbladder, what this means is stones forming, inflammation occurring, and the stagnation of bile. When bile stagnates in the liver and gallbladder it grows thick and toxic, and these organs can no longer function as they should, and any number of digestive upsets occurs, including indigestion. Constipation and medications for acid reflux also negatively affect gallbladder and liver function, causing stagnation.
Once again, keeping the body functioning as it was intended to, means ingesting foods that are fiber and nutrient rich, and including healthy fats, such as olive oil to your diet. Eat for health, and your entire body will thank you!
Of course, the digestive process starts in the mouth, so always chew your food thoroughly, so that the stomach can do it's job!
*Please know that I am not a medical doctor or a health practitioner. I cannot diagnose your stomach problems nor can I guarantee a cure. I am here to share my knowledge, which applications have worked for me and to offer suggestions of where you may go physically, emotionally and spiritually for healing and self-empowerment. If you choose to explore alternative medicine, do not independently stop taking your prescribed medications. Always consult with your current doctor as well as your new practitioner when changing your medical program