My whole life my mom taught me that God designed my body in complex and amazing ways. Whether we fully understand how it all works–we won’t–or not, we can trust that each part serves a function and is not a spare. For years, people assumed that the tonsils, appendix, and gallbladder served little purpose and life could easily function without them. Although I did have to undergo surgery to get my ruptured appendix out, I’ve tried to keep the other parts of my body, despite encouragement from some doctors to remove them. Talking to friends who had their gallbladder removed, they pleaded with me to reconsider. My homeopathic doctor did as well.
Alternative doctors have long promoted natural ways to combat gallstones and inflammation, but people often remain ignorant of the options, or too passive to implement them. [Below are tips I’ve found useful. I am not a physician; if you are having issues with your gallbladder, consult a naturopathic doctor for further direction. In other words, I am not responsible for what you choose to do, but here are so things that have helped me. 🙂 ]
- Balance hormones. Women are naturally more prone to gallbladder issues, especially after pregnancy. I didn’t have any issues with mine until after my second child was born.”High levels of estrogen are more common today due to to the growing presence of endocrine disruptors. These are found in chemical beauty or cleaning products, certain water supplies and chemicals added to processed foods. These chemicals “mimic” the effects of true estrogen, linking to receptor sites and contributing to excess estrogen, which can cause fat cells to become resistant to normal breakdown” (Dr. Axe). So, have your hormones tested by a good endocrinologist to see if you need to balance out the chemicals. And consider getting off birth-control pills, if you take them.
- Eat a liver-happy diet. Despite common belief, a high-fat diet will not necessarily provoke a gallbladder attack. The wrong kinds of fats (saturated, fried foods, canola, and the like are all bad), but olive oil is actually helpful to the gallbladder. For me, lettuce and peppers (and sometimes tomatoes) are hard to digest, but I can eat spinach, and most other fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugar, alcohol, dairy, and fast food (which is good to do anyway). Drink a lot of apple juice to soften gallstones, and start each morning with lemon juice in water. Combat the pain: If you find your gallbladder flaring up or causing discomfort, put 2 tsp. of organic apple cider vinegar in apple juice and drink quickly. In 5-15 minutes, your pain should ease.
- Use pressure points. On the bottom of the right foot rest buttons that will help reset your digestive system. Although I use the liver and gallbladder points most often (have a mate help you out by applying rotating pressure), #18 and 19 have both been helpful in releasing pain as well.
- Incorporate supplements. Since my gallbladder has a hard time keeping up, I take ox bile (or bile salts) to help break down fats. Turmeric and Milk Thistle are also healing for cleansing the gallbladder and reducing inflammation. Taking a good liver-gallbladder cleanse will assist your body as well. I’ve used this one in the past:
- Exercise and yoga (stretching) help circulate the blood, detox the cells, and reduce fat. Do it all regularly.
If you have other tips or thoughts on detoxing, I’d love to hear them.