If you have a gallbladder removal surgery, you are not alone. More than 700,000 Americans lost their gallbladders last year.
You were told that surgery would be a simple, painless procedure, without big scars, and the recovery would be fast. Possibly, you were also told that the gallbladder is just a sac for bile storage and anyone can live after gallbladder removal without any problems. Sorry to say that but this is not entirely true.
Some people sooner or later suffer from pain where gallbladder was, and in the middle back. These people cannot enjoy foods they love, and often complain of bloating, gas, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation.
If the person does not have a gallbladder and has indigestion and pain, he or she suffers from postcholecystectomy syndrome. Cholecystectomy is a medical expression for the gallbladder removal surgery. According to medical literature, 10-15% of people without gallbladder eventually have postcholecystectomy syndrome. Even brilliant performance, extensive surgical experience, and up to date equipment, does not guarantee that the postcholecystectomy syndrome would not develop.
Some people with postcholecystectomy syndrome suffer in silence considering it is normal, some get the symptomatic treatment that masks the symptoms, or they become addicted to painkillers, others undergo more surgical procedures, etc. Sadly, many people continue to live the unhealthy life-style and poor eating habits, which make things worse.
Fortunately, many sufferers from pain and indigestion after gallbladder removal can improve their condition by using complementary and alternative medicine approach. In my articles and in my book, I put a lot of information on this matter. Most people do not clearly understand the critical role of the gallbladder, especially when it comes to bile in digestion, detoxification, acid-alkaline balance, gut motility, cholesterol metabolism, etc.
Gallbladder is an essential part of digestive team that also includes liver, pancreas, stomach, duodenum, small and large intestines. All these organs work like a well-organized orchestra. Two conductors regulate the digestive team. First, nervous system as a sophisticated computer controls interrelated activities of these digestive organs. Second, blood messengers – digestive hormones supervise the work of entire gastrointestinal tract. By analogy with an orchestra, as lack of the violins causes cacophony, so without gallbladder digestion will never be normal.
Stress, eating habits, especially, how to eat, when to eat, what to eat, what is the right food combination, influence on proper digestion. Alcohol, drugs, some medication can activate or inhibit the digestive system, as well.
Gallbladder is not just a simple sac. There, bile is concentrated and get ready to take part in digestion fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Bile is brown-yellowish, extremely complex mixture of water, minerals, bicarbonate, cholesterol, lecithin, cholesterol. Bile consists of bile salts, bile acids, fat-soluble toxic substances, bile pigments. In some situations, these substances can become fearfully aggressive and irritate, corrode bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi, duodenum, end even stomach, esophagus, and colon.
It is known by medical researches that bile is an alkaline solution and acidity in the body causes acidic changes in the bile. When it happens, bile is getting terribly aggressive, corrodes surrounding organs causing pains, spasms and bile reflux. I repeat myself, aggressive acidic bile and also acidic pancreatic juice is the core of many unpleasant symptoms after gallbladder removal.
To understand what happens without gallbladder, let us focus on gallbladder and its crucial role in digestion. It is known, liver produces bile that goes to the gallbladder, collects, and concentrates there. When fatty, semi digested foods enter into the first part of the small intestine – duodenum, gallbladder contracts, and concentrated bile goes into the duodenum to digest fatty foods.
This process is regulated by the sphincter of Oddi; strategic valve between the bile duct and the first portion of the small intestine – duodenum. Normally, if there no food in duodenum, sphincter of Oddi is closed. During that time, bile from liver goes into the gallbladder, so it expands like a balloon. Therefore, gallbladder has a buffer function to prevent increasing pressure inside the bile duct.
Without gallbladder, everything goes wrong due to spasms or dysfunction of the sphincter of Oddi. Bile from liver collects in the bile duct, pressure inside the bile duct increases causing its extension, inflammation and pain. It also can create high pressure inside pancreatic duct and possible inflammation of pancreas – pancreatitis with severe pains.
There is another awful thing that could happen when sphincter of Oddi opens at an inappropriate time, when duodenum is empty, with no food in it. Aggressive bile irritates duodenum’s walls causing their jerky motions, which can lead to bile reflux. Moving in wrong direction up to the stomach or even esophagus, bile is the common reason for stomach inflammation, ulcers, and stubborn heartburn.
By the practice of the European doctors and my own 40 years experience to heal the postcholecystectomy syndrome naturally, the focus needs to be done on the root of the problems. The goals of the non-drug, alternative medicine treatment includes:
• Make the liver bile liquid, avoid congestion
• Make the liver bile alkaline, diminish aggressiveness
• Decrease pain and inflammation of bile ducts, sphincter of Oddi, duodenum, stomach
• Decrease spasms or looseness of the sphincter of Oddi
• Decrease bile reflux
• Correct deficiencies
• Restore the friendly intestinal bacteria
• Improve digestion, etc
This can be achieved by taking a few basic steps.
The alkaline diet with a large amount of vegetables is highly beneficial. Fresh vegetable blends, vegetable soups, cooked, steamed, boiled vegetables are beneficial.
Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, fennel, ginger can assist in producing and easy elimination of the liver bile. Combination of herbs, some herbal formulas from knowledgeable herbalists also can do this job but also reduce inflammation and pain.
European doctors recommend persons after gallbladder surgery to drink healing mineral water. The most researched is healing mineral water from famous mineral spa Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. It is known that gallbladder removal surgery has more than hundred of years of history. Therefore, Karlovy Vary healing mineral water from the spring or prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt at home has been used by generations of European doctors for hundred of years.
Minerals, trace elements, and bicarbonate from the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water improve liver function; alkalinize the body, make liver bile liquid, and less aggressive. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water enhances pancreatic function, helps to release more pancreatic digestive enzymes, and thus alleviates many unpleasant digestive symptoms, such as heartburn, gas, bloating, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Numerous medical papers support the healing actions of the Karlovy Vary healing mineral water in many liver, gallbladder, and pancreas disorders.
Acupuncture is another alternative method that can reduce the nagging symptoms after gallbladder removal such as pain and spasms. By author’s experience, acupuncture can be helpful in the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction that accompanies quite often postcholecystectomy syndrome.
Methods of complementary or alternative medicine can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine. The goal is to find the knowledgeable, licensed medical practitioner or practitioners to alleviate negative consequences of gallbladder removal.
The information contained here is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.