22 Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease:
These symptoms indicate that your gall bladder may not be functioning well. You may have several of these, rarely will you have all of them.
1. Nausea and Vomiting:Any disruption in the digestive tract can result in a feeling of nausea and vomiting at times. This is a common issue with poor bile motility.
2. Fatty/Greasy Stools:Poor bile release leads to a failure to effectively emulsify fats in the diet and leads to undigested fat being excreted in the stool.
3. Pain Between the Shoulder Blades: The liver and gallbladder themselves do not feel pain, but the nerves that innervate them also go into the muscles in the back. In particular, the area just under the right shoulder blade.
4. Abdominal Pain: When the liver and gallbladder are inflamed, it can cause swelling, distension and pain throughout the abdominal region. Sometimes the whole rib cage will feel sore or just “awkward,” due to the distension.
5. Chronic Gas and Bloating: Poor bile production will lead to poor bowel motility and microbial overgrowth and fermentation. The fermentation process leads to gas production which can cause bloating and cramping.
6. Itchy Skin: This is also called pruritis. When the gallbladder is obstructed it leads to a rise in a compound called autotaxin (ATX) and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) which causes the characteristic itching.
7. Yellowing of the Skin: Bilirubin is a yellow pigment and when the body is unable to metabolize bilirubin effectively, it ends up seeping into the tissues near the skin. This is a condition called jaundice.
8. Headaches and Migraines: Gall bladder congestion can cause stress on the body and more gut based inflammation. Both of these mechanisms can increase tension in the blood supply around the skull and brain and lead to headaches and migraines.
9. Constipation and Diarrhea: Poor bile motility will slow down the peristaltic action of the intestines resulting in a greater degree of constipation and often times alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
10. Light Colored Stools: The bilirubin in bile helps to create the classic browning of the stool. If you are noticing lighter colored stools frequently it may be due to poor bile function.
11. Sexual Dysfunction: Sluggish biliary function can cause a decrease in overall sex hormone balance as the liver metabolizes the steroid hormones estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. As a result, the individual may have issues with menstrual function, sexual function and fertility.
12. Bitter Taste in Mouth: This will often happen after meals and is due to bile regurgitation.
13. Fibromyalgia: This condition of chronic pain is often due in part to low hydrochloric acid and a sluggish liver and gallbladder.
14. Hypothyroidism: Individuals with hypothyroidism will typically have a sluggish biliary system. It is hard to say what comes first, but they do feed into each other.
15. Loss of Hunger: A feeling of constant fullness is often a sign of a sluggish digestive system and that includes biliary stasis.
16. Dry Skin and Hair: Poor fatty acid absorption will result in poor fatty acid utilization and fat soluble vitamin deficiencies (A, E, D & K). This can lead to dry, scaly skin and hair thinning and dryness among other problems.
17. Chemical Sensitivities: Individuals who have a greater reaction to chemicals are often plagued by a sluggish liver and biliary system.
18. History of Prescription, Over The Counter or Illegal Drug Use: These can all place undue stress on the liver and cause it to be overburdened, which also leads into biliary stasis.
19. Weight Loss Resistance: If we cannot metabolize fatty acids well than we cannot use the calories they provide which will then cause our blood sugar to be unstable. Blood sugar instability will cause hormonal changes leading to weight loss
20. Skin Rashes: Sluggish bile leads to leaky gut When the gut is insulted it releases substance P which when elevated in the bloodstream can cause rash and eczema reactions in the skin.
21. Constant Runny Nose: This can indicate a need for bile salts.
22. IT Band Pain: The iliotibial (IT) band runs from the lateral side of the hip down to the lateral side of the knee. This band can often be very tight and painful in individuals with gallbladder dysfunction.
Dr. David Jockers DNM, DC, MS
This article was originally written by a good colleague I graduated with at Life University. It’s very relevant around the holidays as the gallbladder likes to act up around now. November though January is a common time due to the holiday foods, eating out more, desserts, alcohol and coffee consumption. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or flu like symptoms are common, and the gallbladder may be the underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Rancid oils and trans fats typically are the culprits when this organ acts up. Of the top 5 conditions addressed within our office, the gallbladder falls within the 5. Even if you have had your gallbladder removed, you still need to support your digestion of fats. See the video below for explanation.