What is the function of the gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped hollow reservoir located under the liver on the right side of your abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is the break down fats. Bile is a digestive enzyme produced by the liver, which flows into the gallbladder. The bile is then stored in the gallbladder until it is time to digest the fats we consume. When food enters the small intestine, after being in the stomach, the hormone cholecystokinin signals the gallbladder to squeeze out bile in order to help with the digestion of the food.
What happens when the gallbladder is removed?
The ability of the body to break down fats is inhibited. Instead of having the gallbladder reservoir of bile, the liver will make its own bile on demand. The body’s ability to adapt to the removal of the gallbladder is amazing. But we still need to help the process of emulsifying the fats, whether it is healthy fats from avocado, or less unhealthy fats from red meat. A supplement that can help emulsify the fats is Choline.
Choline is an essential nutrient that aides in the absorption of fat and cholesterol.
Choline supplementation after gallbladder removal surgery helps support the natural
digestion of dietary fats and can work well in combination with bile salts to help prevent
gas and bloating. (livestrong.com)
All of my patients who have had their gallbladder removed have been highly encouraged to take choline post-operative. For some reason, choline is forgotten about in the supplementation list after surgery, but it is a very important and essential nutrient to take. When I was in school my biochemistry professor spent an entire lecture on the importance of choline supplementation after gallbladder removal surgery and the importance of patient education around the subject. Whether your gallbladder has been removed because of habitual gallstones or you have gallbladder disease, it is important that the fats we consume are “scrubbed down” by choline before it continues down the rest of our digestive system or else there will be a buildup of gas, bloating and diarrhea, which is an uncomfortable way to live.
Dr. Kay McGowan is a chiropractor at Integrated Wellness Center on Bainbridge Island. She joined Dr. Julie Rosenblatt’s team in 2017. Dr. Kay has many different skill sets she uses in order to address her patients individual needs. Some of her specialties include TMJ release, neuromusculoskeletal issues and sports related injuries. Dr. Kay stays up on the latest research and is always happy to discuss any inquiries her patient’s may have. Her office is located at: 164 Knechtel Way NE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 206-842-4219