What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is connected to the liver by the hepatic duct. This pear-shaped organ is small, approximately 3 to 4 inches and about 1 inch wide. It acts as a storage facility for liver bile, which helps to digest food. Bile contains cholesterol, bile salts, lecithin, and other substances.
Function of the Gallbladder
The primary function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile. Bile is secreted by the liver and is the main substance responsible for breaking down of fat in the digestive system. Bile flows from the gallbladder into the cystic duct along the common bile duct and through to the part of the part of the small intestine known as the duodenum.
Diagnosing Gallbladder Diseases
The potential problems that may affect the gallbladder include:
- The gallbladder may become irritated, infected and swollen
- The gallbladder may develop gallstones
- The passage leading from the gallbladder to the intestines may become blocked
Help for Gallbladder Diseases
In cases where the gallbladder is inflamed, infected or partially blocked by gallstones, then it may have to be removed. This type of surgery is called a cholecystectomy so that bile is delivered directly from the liver ducts to the upper part of the intestines. Individuals who have their gallbladder removed need to be aware of their fat intake and balance it with the correct supplements.
Natural and holistic treatments are also effective in improving gallbladder functioning and stimulating bile flow. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle to use without the harsh side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medication.
Use Silybum marianus (Milk Thistle) as an excellent liver tonic but also for a variety of other conditions. Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) has a beneficial effect on the liver and gall bladder and improves bile flow. In addition, Verbena officinalis (Vervain or Wild Hyssop) acts as a powerful hepatic (liver) tonic but also promotes overall systemic health.