Gallstones occur in up to 20 percent of Canadian women and 10 per cent of men by the age of 60.
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms listed below?
• Pain or tenderness under the rib cage on the right side
• Pain between shoulder blades
• Stools light or chalky colored
• Fatty stools
• Indigestion after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods
• Burping or belching
• Feeling of fullness or food not digesting
• Diarrhea (or alternating from soft to watery)
• Headache over eyes, especially right
If so, you may have a gallbladder problem…
What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is the organ that sits just beneath the liver. It measures approximately 8 centimeters in length and 4 centimeters in diameter when fully distended. The small organ plays an important role in the digestion of our food. Its main purpose is to store bile that is produced by the liver. It stores the bile until it is needed for digesting fatty foods in the duodenum of the small intestine.
Though an important part of our digestive system, the gallbladder is one of the few organs our bodies can live without. Gallbladder removal (Cholecystectomy) is commonly performed on patients with gallbladder disease or gallstones.
Common Gallbladder Problems
• Inflammation of the gallbladder and bile ducts
• Muscular spasms and/or poor contraction of the gallbladder wall
• Obstruction to the free flow of bile
• Stones forming in the gallbladder and/or bile ducts known as gallstones.
What are Gallstones?
When bile in the gallbladder crystallizes, it forms gallstones. Gallstones range in size; they can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball and look and feel like a pebble. If left untreated gallstones can become extremely painful and potentially life threatening.
Are You At Risk for Gallstones?
Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones, especially those who are pregnant, or are using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
• Are over 60
• Are overweight
• Have a family history of gallstones
• Have diabetes
• Take cholesterol-lowering drugs
• Follow a high-fat, low-fibre diet
• Are Aboriginal
• Do not eat for long periods (fast)
…are also more susceptible to gallstones.
How Can You Treat Gallstones?
Gallstones are not always detectable; some of us may have even had gallstones in the past without realizing it. In most cases small gallstones require little to no treatment. However, if an individual starts experiencing a steady, extreme pain in the upper abdomen (this occurs with 20% of all gallstones), treatment is necessary. In fact, gallstones that cause this type of pain may need to be removed surgically.
Surgery isn’t always the safest option; people with gallstones should try the following before going under the knife…
• Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to address gallbladder dysfunction. However, if you are already experiencing gallbladder problems, than exercise alone may not be an effective treatment. Regular exercise is necessary in the prevention of gallbladder disease.
• Clean up your diet. Stop eating sugars, reduce or eliminate grains and try to eliminate all fluids, but water. Also, try to reduce your saturated fat intake. Too much fat in the diet contributes to gallstones. But don’t eliminate fat. Fat is an essential nutrient. “ To prevent gallstones eat a low fat, low cholesterol, high fiber diet!” ? <— Tweet this! (Come on, we don’t mind!)
• Lose weight gradually. Have a few pounds to shed? Losing weight too quickly can cause gallstones, therefore be sure to diet sensibly.
• Take a Multi-Probiotic Supplement. Large amounts of high-quality probiotics may also be helpful in correcting the problem. We recommend Douglas Laboratories Multi-Probiotic 4000.
How Can The Es-Teck Full Body Analysis Help?
Interested in finding out if your Gallbladder is functioning optimally? Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre offers the Es-Teck Full Body Analysis. The ES- Teck System is advanced technology and is a Health Canada registered Class III Medical Device. Using a finger “Oximeter” it allows for observation of heart rate, tissue oxygen uptake, arterial stiffness, hemodynamic indicators and autonomic nervous system (ANS) levels of activity. It is able to detect whether you are susceptible to gallstones, and allows us to provide you with personalized recommendations so that you can live a healthy, long life!
Book your very own Es-Teck Full Body Analysis by calling the clinic at (613) 837-2883.
If you found the information in this blog useful, please pass it along to your family and friends! You never know…it could save their life! Oh, and be sure to leave any questions, comments, or feedback below! We’d love to hear from you.