The gallbladder is a small sac-like organ located beneath the liver. Its function is to store bile, which is a substance secreted into the gastrointestinal tract after eating. Bile’s function is twofold; It is used as a medium to excrete fat soluble toxins out of the body, and it emulsifies the fats we eat so that they may be better absorbed. Bile’s major constituents are phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol.
The most common issue with the gallbladder is the discovery of gallstones, which occur when the body is trying to detoxify excess cholesterol made in the liver. Working with the patient to decrease this excess cholesterol excretion is often effective at eliminating gallstones. Many botanicals will relax the bile duct and let biliary sludge and small stones pass.
The main concern with gallstones is that a stone will become lodged in the bile duct system, which is a medical emergency. In this event, removal of the gallbladder is usually necessary. After the removal of the gallbladder, dietary modifications are necessary to ensure optimal digestion.
ALETRIS naturopathic physicians investigate the cause of gallstones and customize appropriate treatment for each patient. Call our office to schedule an appointment with an ALETRIS physician.