The gallbladder gets little attention until it starts causing problems. This small, pear-shaped organ is a digestive storage system of sorts. Its job is to hold and release bile, which is a substance your liver makes to help you digest fat.
Adam Massoud, DC, provides whole-body, intuitive care to people at Greenwich Wellness in Greenwich, Connecticut. Believe it or not, reaching optimal health and fitness often starts with your gastrointestinal (GI) system, including the small but mighty gallbladder.
Your gallbladder is just one component of your gastrointestinal system. It has small bile ducts that connect to your liver and small intestine, and it’s tucked in the upper right abdomen.
When the gallbladder works properly, it stores and releases bile. Bile is a substance composed primarily of cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin. The liver makes bile to help your body break down fats, and your gallbladder stores bile until it’s needed.
Each time you start eating, signals activate the gallbladder to squeeze and contract. This action sends stored bile through the ducts into the first section of your small intestine, or duodenum. At this point, it mixes with the food you’ve consumed that’s ready for digestion.
By the time you finish eating, your gallbladder ends up deflated like a balloon. Then the process begins again, and your liver starts making more bile and sending it to the gallbladder for storage until it’s needed again.
People rarely notice their gallbladder until it stops working right. That’s when things go awry, and uncomfortable GI symptoms develop.
The most common cause of gallbladder problems involves gallstones. These deposits can range in size from grains of sand to golf balls. In most cases, they’re harmless, but they can cause intense pain, inflammation, or nausea.
Signs of gallbladder problems vary, but they often include:
Several factors can also increase your chances of having gallbladder problems, such as being overweight, especially if you’re a woman.
When you visit Greenwich Wellness, Dr. Massoud performs a comprehensive physical exam and discusses your health and medical history. He also asks questions about your daily routine, typical diet, symptoms you may have, and whether you take medications or supplements.
As part of your physical exam, Dr. Massoud pays careful attention to your joint and spinal alignment. This may not seem related to your gastrointestinal health. However, the spine protects the spinal cord, and alignment is critical since peripheral nerves exit the spine on their way to other parts of your body, including organs in your digestive system.
After performing your exam and learning more about your health history, Dr. Massoud could recommend additional diagnostic testing, such as imaging to examine the structure of your spine or bloodwork to evaluate your nutritional health.
Once Dr. Massoud has a clear picture of your health and digestive wellness, he creates a personalized treatment strategy to improve and enhance organ function, such as:
In some cases, Dr. Massoud also recommends supplements from Standard Process® and MediHerb®. These whole food nutrient and herbal supplements can further support and improve healing within your gastrointestinal tract while improving function and restoring health and wellness to your body.
Do you have digestive problems or pain after fatty meals? Schedule a GI assessment by calling 203-806-9914 or booking an appointment online with Greenwich Wellness today.