HOLLY CARLING: Whose fault is it?

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Every day someone is having their gallbladder removed. It is treated like a naughty, dispensable organ and therefore it is no big deal to have it removed. If a gallbladder is not working right, is it really the fault of the gallbladder? Or is there more to it than meets the eye?

The gallbladder is a simple organ, dependent upon other organs of the digestive system, namely the stomach, pancreas and liver, for proper function and health.

The messages to the gallbladder start in the mouth, then the stomach, then liver. Most of the time when the gallbladder is malfunctioning, it’s because of an upstream problem — the stomach. Proper pH of the stomach is critical in proper gallbladder stimulation. Improper enzyme production is a key problem. Taking antacids is a recipe for gallbladder problems. Not doing anything to control heartburn or reflux is also a recipe for gallbladder malfunction.

Stomach health alone could take up an entire article or class, but it’s only a part of the problem. Nutrition also plays a primary role. The main function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile — an enzyme responsible for emulsifying fats. Breaking fats into tiny fatty acids is critical for a lot of functions in the body. Bile, the enzyme released by the gallbladder, improves the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids. If fats weren’t broken down to their tiny components they couldn’t do their nearly 200 functions. Bile, in addition, is responsible for the smooth flow of waste from the body. When released in inadequate amounts, constipation results.

What goes wrong? Our lifestyle is the perfect recipe for creating gallbladder challenges. We eat the wrong fats, too much sugar, refined flour and other processed foods and cook our meats incorrectly — all leading to malfunction of the gallbladder.

If you eat fatty foods and they upset your stomach, you wake up feeling nauseous, have excess belching or are bloated shortly after meals, you likely have issues with your gallbladder. So is removing it the answer? Let’s just say there is no organ you don’t need. Fortunately, there are many remedies available to save such an essential organ as the gallbladder.

The start of healing any gallbladder challenge is to first identify “who” is at fault. When that is addressed, the possibility of restoring gallbladder health is very real. Please join us for our upcoming health class, “How to Naturally Improve Liver & Gallbladder Health,” to learn how the liver affects almost every function in the body, why the gallbladder is important, useful tips for saving your gallbladder, what to do if you’ve had yours removed, how resolving liver and gallbladder problems can result in the resolution of many of your health challenges, and what to do to naturally improve the health of your liver and gallbladder. Class is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or online at: http://bit.ly/LVGBClass

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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