What Does Your Gall Bladder Do?
What is the purpose of that small sac under the liver?
Let Me Tell You About the Gall Bladder:
As I mentioned before, the gall bladder is the tiny sac that is found under the organ of the liver. It is approximately 8 centimeters in length and 4 centimeters in diameter when fully distended. It also has a capacity of 100 mL. The main job of the gall bladder is to store bill which is a fluid that is produced by the liver. The gall bladder stores the bile and concentrates it before the bile goes into the small intestine. The gall bladder squeezes stored bile into the small intestine through ducts. Bile is important because it helps digest the fats that are ingested in the body.
While the gall bladder seems to be an important organ, it is not necessarily needed in the body. There are many people that live without their gall bladders after having it surgically removed. Many people can develop what is called gallstones in the gall bladder. Gallstones are crystallized bile in the gall bladder. These gallstones can cause immediate pain, nausea, and inflammation when individuals ingest fatty and greasy foods. In these cases, the gall bladder cannot perform its job of storing bile. Therefore, the gall bladder is only causing pain and needs to be removed from the body. Individuals who have their gall bladders removed are still able to eat fatty and greasy foods, but they have to do so moderately and more carefully.
What Can You Do to Help Your Gall Bladder Function:
1. One major way to prevent gallstones is to control your weight. While losing weight, try to not involve yourself in crash diets where you lose a lot of weight at one time because this can increase the likelihood of gallstones. Try to keep your weight loss steady with losing one or two pounds a week. Once you have lost this weight, maintain keeping that weight off. If you gain this weight back very quickly, your likelihood of obtaining gallstones can increase. Therefore, try to maintain your weight without losing too much too quickly, and without gaining it back, and see if you maintain gallstone free.
2. Another major way to prevent gallstones is to eat healthy and exercise regularly. While many people think all fats are bad, this is not true. Start by maintaining a diet with monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids because these types of fats lower the likelihood of developing gallstones. The fats that you need to stay away from are the saturated fats. Fiber is important in helping prevent gallstones. Fruits and vegetables can also help prevent gallstones. Peanuts and tree nuts can also prevent gallstones. Sugar and carbs can increase the likelihood for gallstones, so try to stay away from these foods. Focusing on exercising at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week can decrease the likelihood of gallstones. Therefore, if you maintain a diet of monounsaturated fats, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and nuts, while exercising regularly, you will maintain gallstone free.
3. Another major way to prevent gallstones is to avoid certain medications. The two types of medications that increase the likelihood of gallstones are cholesterol-lowering medication and hormone therapy. Two types of cholesterol-lowering medication, Lopid and Tricor, can increase the likelihood of gallstones. These medicines increase the amount of cholesterol released in the bile and this can lead to gallstones. Hormone therapy causes estrogen to make more cholesterol which increases the likelihood of gallstones. Therefore, do not take these types of drugs in order to keep your gallbladder free from gallstones.