The summer months are over, and fall is in the air this week! Fall is my favourite time of year, mostly due to the changing colours, cozy sweaters and fresh cool air. However, we still have many weeks (hopefully) of warmer temperatures to enjoy.
You may have noticed after your summer celebrations and indulgences, that your digestion just wasn't quite right. Were you feeling a little uncomfortable the next morning or knew you had to be careful with your food choices? This ties in nicely with the theme of digestive health and bloating that I started to discuss at the beginning of the summer. I addressed the issue of low stomach acid as a cause of heartburn and bloating, but let's continue our journey down the digestive tract. Another organ of importance is the gallbladder, a sometimes forgotten organ.
The Mighty Gallbladder:
The gallbladder is an organ I see many issues with in my practice. Many people have issues with digestion if the gallbladder is not working properly, or even after it has been removed! It sits just underneath the liver, under the lower rib cage on the right. The function of the mighty gallbladder is to concentrate bile that the liver produces and release the proper amount during digestion. More is needed with more fatty meals. Bile helps to emulsify fats, stimulate digestive enzymes, lubricate our bowels and eliminate toxins.
You may be familiar with gallstones as the major concern of this organ. Some risk factors for gallstones are oral birth control pills, low stomach acid, parasites and eating disorders. The gallbladder becomes more stagnant with some of these, but issues can arise even before gallstones are formed. Stress can cause stagnation in this organ as well.
If there is stagnation in the gallbladder its proper function will be impeded, and symptoms such as bloating, loose stools or constipation, morning congestion, abdominal pain, palpitations and even plantar fasciitis may occur, among others! I see a variety of symptoms relating to the gallbladder, depending on the patient.
As I mentioned, some of these issues may even arise once you have had your gallbladder removed! How you ask? The organ is there for a reason and if your body is not able to concentrate bile and release the digestive juice when necessary, problems may ensue. It isn't always as simple as just removing it...
Simple Naturopathic treatments can be done to heal this organ and its related symptoms. For example, eating smaller and more frequently meals, drinking an herbal tea blend or acupuncture to decrease stagnation. Consider seeing a Naturopathic Doctor if you have any questions or digestive concerns that may be related to this sometimes forgotten organ.
In health & happiness,