There were 1.2 million gallbladder surgeries last year. That’s a lot of gallbladder surgeries if you consider that you can only have your gallbladder out once. Just because they can cut your gallbladder out doesn’t mean that they should. Your body doesn’t have organs that you don’t need. Every organ has a purpose to support the body’s function even the gallbladder. If people knew what the #1 reason for gallbladder surgery was, they could easily avoid a needless surgery.
Do I Need My Gallbladder?
Nobody wants to go under the knife for no reason and it makes sense to hold on to as many of your organs as you can, right? Many people have been told by their doctor that the gallbladder is just a storage unit, and they can live a normal life without one. Some people are told that they don’t need to make any changes while others are told they just need to stop eating fats. That doesn’t make any sense! Your body needs fats. So many people have the surgery, their symptoms don’t go away and now they have a limited diet and don’t have a gall bladder. Your gallbladder is more than just a storage unit.
Your gallbladder is a sensory organ that releases bile into the digestive system to emulsify and breakdown fats. If you don’t have a gallbladder then your body doesn’t know when to release bile or how much to release. It might release too little which can lead to digestion issues. Or it might release too much. Too much is when you could end up with something known as anal leakage. Yeah, a quality of life where I regularly shart myself when I sneeze? No thanks, I’ll keep my gallbladder.
What is the #1 Reason for Gallbladder Surgery?
Now you’re wondering, “If I need my gallbladder, what is the reason for gallbladder surgery?” The reason most people end up getting gallbladder surgery is because of low stomach acid. Most people don’t know it because they think stomach acid is bad and there is no way to test for stomach acid. We know it because we see the physiological response of the body.
We understand how the digestive tract works. The gallbladder gets inflamed and irritated because of low stomach acid. The gallbladder stores bile and spits out bile based on what the body needs. If your body isn’t digesting food, it’s going to be overstressed or overworked. That’s when it’s going to get gallstones or inflammation.
When you have low stomach acid you are going to miss a critical part of the digestive process. You can’t break down food if you don’t have stomach acid and your gallbladder doesn’t know to release bile. That will put more stress on the gallbladder because it’s trying to work harder on improperly digesting food. If you have enough stomach acid, you won’t need gallbladder surgery.
The Causes of Low Stomach Acid
Low stomach acid leads to a variety of digestive issues including heartburn, nausea, poop problems, poor nutrition absorption, and gallbladder surgery. Are you surprised by the list? Many people want to lower their stomach acid not realizing how beneficial it is. It is so important for a healthy digestion and sterilizing your food. What causes low stomach acid?
Causes of low stomach acid:
Stress- Chronic stress can put the body in a constant state of fight or flight state rather than the rest and digest state that is needed for optimal digestion.
Poor diet- Lots of sugar and processed foods can have an impact on your stomach acid
Food allergies- Your allergies can cause inflammation and mess with your stomach acid. Get tested.
PPI’s and other medications- Proton pump inhibitors, antacids and other medications reduce your stomach acid which actually leads to more digestive distress rather than relieving it.
Avoid Gallbladder Surgery by Increasing Stomach Acid
Now that you know the #1 reason for gallbladder surgery then you know how you can avoid it! Make sure you have enough stomach acid. You can do that by reducing your stress. Yes, I know that’s easier said than done but it’s important for protecting your health in so many ways. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and avoiding your food allergies to keep your GI healthy. Avoid PPI’s medications that reduce your stomach acid. I know when your stomach is burning it seems wrong that you need more acid, but it is true.
Another way to help your stomach issues is to take a shot of apple cider vinegar before every meal. This will improve your digestion by regulating your stomach acid and boosting digestive enzymes. Find an organic ACV that has the spider web looking mass inside. Don’t be put off by its appearance. That’s the mother and it’s loaded with beneficial bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is my favorite supplement because there are so many benefits and its very low cost.
I have worked with patients for years who say they just can’t do it. Trust me it is easy if you just take it like a shot and get it over with. Some patients still couldn’t do it, so we created a powder capsule, Digest-Well Complex, that has the same benefits without the taste. But seriously, just try the shot of apple cider vinegar first.
What If I Don’t Have a Gallbladder?
Gallbladder surgery is becoming more common and it’s happening at even younger ages. In our clinics we are seeing more and more people who don’t have a gallbladder. They don’t even connect some of their symptoms to it because they were told that you don’t need your gallbladder. You do need your gallbladder! We have talked about how important it is and that it is a sensory organ. If you don’t have one your body won’t secrete bile at the right times and amounts needed for absorption. What can you do if you do if you don’t have a gallbladder?
If you have had your gallbladder removed some doctors will recommend that you don’t eat fats. That’s likely impossible and it’s not healthy. Don’t stop eating fats! Your body and brain need healthy fats to function properly. To maintain a good quality of life you will need to have lifelong support to aid your digestion. Because gallbladder surgery has become so common, we created a Gallbladder Complex. It’s a unique combination of ingredients that will aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. Take one with every meal if you don’t have a gallbladder.
Your Gallbladder is Important
Just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s normal. Gallbladder surgery is on the rise. You probably know quite a few people who have had it. It doesn’t make it a good idea. If you are experiencing pain or digestive issues, make sure you are supporting your digestion and healthy stomach acid. The #1 reason for gallbladder surgery is low stomach acid and that can be avoided.
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn
Check out this episode of the Four + You to learn more about gallbladder surgery.