Do You Know Your Flow? Amazing How Gnarly Your Gallbladder Will Feel If You Don’t.

Gallbladder problems can be potentially serious. Without tending to issues such as diet, these problems quickly get out of control. Problems that can be debilitating, threatening your health. There are things you can do and we will try to address them in this post.

(A note right up front: This post is informational only, and not meant to replace the advice of your own physician. Please seek medical care immediately if you think you have an acute problem with your gallbladder.)

The liver and the gallbladder both involve themselves with clearing toxins from our body. You don’t want the flows of blood and bile through the liver and gallbladder to be stagnant. When there is stagnation, then issues start to arise. Before I get to some simple things you can do to care for and improve the health of the liver-gallbladder system, first let’s do a brief review of physiology and anatomy.


Bile is used by the body to help digest and absorb the fats and oils we eat. The body knows when you have eaten fat and releases a substance called cholecystokinin. This causes the muscles that surround the gallbladder and bile ducts to contract, pumping bile into your gut.

Bile is a precious substance, so the body later reabsorbs it and sends it back to the liver to be reprocessed and reused. The liver cells, knowing there will always be a steady flow of bile through them, use this stream of bile as a way to get rid of many of the toxins the liver is trying to excrete. Put simply, the flow of bile through the cells of the liver is used to put out the trash.

As you can imagine, if this flow breaks down then you stop moving this “trash” effectively out of the body. You likely know what happens when you don’t dump the trash for several days? Your house begins to stink. Keeping toxins moving out of your body becomes essential for your overall health. Connected to this is the toxins you put into your body as well, so a healthy diet plays a role in this process in a healthy gut.

Some first remedies for you to try:

  • Things like organic lemon juice, or the herbs found in the Thorne product Liver Cleanse (Get Today) stimulate the flow of bile and are a safe way to flush the liver every now and then.

Stagnant Flow

If the flow of bile is stagnant, bile salts can precipitate and form stones in the gallbladder. Often these small stones just flush out, but if they stay around long enough they attract calcium and become hard. It is the presence of calcium that allows gallstones to be seen on an ultrasound study. If these stones stay around for a longer time, they get larger. If they do get squeezed out of the gallbladder, they can get stuck, obstructing a duct and causing a back-up of bile and possibility pancreatic enzymes.

In most people, the ducts that carry bile to the gut and the ducts that carry digestive juices from the pancreas join into a single duct, called the ‘common bile duct’ before emptying into the gut. A stone obstructing the common bile duct therefore obstructs the pancreas, and can lead to pancreatitis, a very serious condition.

Bile is what makes our stools brown. Obstruct the flow of bile and the stools become white or blond colored. (Please note that liver disease such as hepatitis or a toxic exposure can poison the liver cells. The sick liver cells can’t release bile, and this is a second reason for the sudden appearance of lighter colored stools.)

If a large stone obstructs just the gallbladder there is the possibility of developing infection in this undrained space. An obstructed and infected gallbladder is a very serious condition requiring immediate medical care.

If the bile duct is obstructed blocking all the ducts from the liver you may develop jaundice with some pain in the abdomen as the first sign that there is a problem. Again, jaundice with pain is a serious condition requiring immediate medical care.

Other issues

But what about lesser problems? Care of the liver-gallbladder system requires care of the mind and the body. In Oriental Medicine, there is the notion of something called “Officials”. Oriental Medicine divides the body into 12 different systems. Each system is ruled by an “Official”, something that oversees all of the functions of that system, including the physical, mental and emotional.

Officials that look after the liver and gallbladder are also the Officials responsible for decision making and planning. So, problems with your liver and gallbladder may reflect problems with decision making and planning. Problems with decision making and planning can lead to feelings of powerlessness and frustration, so the emotions often associated with liver and gallbladder problems are often anger and frustration.

Modern medicine acknowledges the mind-body connection, but rarely gets specific. Well, we need to get specific here. If you have problems with your liver and/or gallbladder, you need to address the issues around anger and frustration in your life. There are many ways to do this, and we have some posts coming with teachings for dealing with anger and frustration.

Once you work with the stagnant emotions, dealing with the stagnant bile flow is pretty easy. Remember that oils and fats stimulate the gallbladder to contract and expel the bile it holds. If you take a good dose of healthy oil on an empty stomach, it flushes the gallbladder.

NOTE: Before doing anything discussed here, consult with your healthcare practitioner. It is prudent to get an ultrasound of your liver and gallbladder to confirm that there are no large stones that could cause obstruction if they were pushed out of the gallbladder during a flush.

Suggestions for Gallstones and a Flush

When gallstones become calcified they become hard. Below are some steps for a simple flush you can do.

  • We recommend that people take ortho-phosphoric acid Get Here or apple cider vinegar for several days to soften any calcified gallstones. Use 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or 15 drops of ortho-phosphoric acid three times a day in some water for five days prior to doing the flush.
  • We prefer the ortho-phosphoric acid. If you use the ortho-phosphoric acid, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after taking as this material can damage the enamel on your teeth if you do not rinse it out.
  • It is important that your bowels are moving regularly before and during the day of the flush so that you will expel the toxic material you flush out. Extra water is the first thing to add if your bowels are sluggish. It is best to have two bowel movements a day during a flush. Do what works for you to promote regular bowel movements.
  • The flush itself is done by taking ½ cup of organic oil at bedtime, followed immediately by ½ cup of organic lemon juice.
  • Take a double dose of magnesium malate Get Here prior to taking the oil and lemon juice. Use any organic oil such as olive, walnut, hemp, almond, etc.
  • Go to bed immediately as you might experience some mild nausea if you stay up. Lie on either your left or right side, but not on your back. If you roll on your back after you are in bed for an hour, that is fine.
  • If you feel you need to repeat the flush, wait at least four to six weeks.

Be sure to let your health care practitioner know when you are doing the gallbladder flush so that they can follow-up on your progress.

Wrap Up

Again the overall issue is keeping your body as supported as possible. Drinking plenty of water, a diet rich in greens and unprocessed foods, regular exercise and working with your stress are all ways to do this. When you make choices that tax your body, constantly making it work to stay balanced, then issues eventually arise. Yet when you make strong choices to support your body, which often can be simple, then the likelihood of these issues drastically reduces.

Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

To Your Health.


Image: (c) Can Stock Photo

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