What is the gallbladder, anyway?
Why is it important?
I know a lot of people whose gallbladder made them so sick they had it removed.
My own doctor says I should do the same.
For being such a tiny accessory organ, the gallbladder is a big deal. I’ve never believed that human bodies have “spare parts.” Just because we can live without our gallbladder, our tonsils, and our appendix (to name but a few underappreciated body parts), that doesn’t mean our bodies will function optimally if we have them removed.
Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) is the most common elective abdominal surgery performed in the United States. But most people who elect to have the surgery have no idea that their gallbladder matters—or that they have other options.
Rather than blame our gallbladder for giving us trouble, I’m convinced we should take responsibility for the food and lifestyle choices we subject it to every day. What we eat makes a huge difference in our overall health—including, of course, the health of our gallbladder.
How so? Let’s start by taking a look at the important role the gallbladder plays in fat digestion. Fats are essential for numerous body operations, including brain function and hormone synthesis. Without proper fat digestion, you can suffer lifelong health repercussions. Most medical doctors won’t tell you this. In fact, most of them won’t even think about it before recommending that you have your gallbladder removed.
At last year’s Back to School for Doctors seminar, Mark Anderson stated that about 700,000 cholecystectomies are performed in the United States each year. And according to the Centers for Disease control, about 715,000 Americans suffer from heart attacks each year. Considering the similarity of these numbers, is it a stretch to think that gallbladder removal can lead to heart problems down the road? Of course not. Anderson understands that the body cannot efficiently process vitamin F and other fat-soluble vitamins, which we need for proper heart function, without the gallbladder. Not only that, every other muscle in the body requires these vitamins to function properly.
In my role as a nutritional counselor, I’ve learned that many people—even nurses—have no idea what role the gallbladder plays in the body. Yet the gallbladder does matter, and this is an important message to get out.
That’s why Richard and I wrote Gallbladder Matters: Keep Yours for Life, available through Selene River Press in both print and ebook editions.
Our hope is that this easy-to-read and timely book will become an invaluable resource for doctors, nutritionists, and patients. More importantly, we believe that once the public has a deeper understanding of the gallbladder, the number of unnecessary surgeries performed each year will begin to drop.
Let Gallbladder Matters by the first step in taking your health into your own hands, educating yourself about matters that involve your long-term health, and improving your quality of life.
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Wishing you health and joy!