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Time to Care for Your Liver and Gallbladder

By Emily Lindholm

According to Chinese medicine, spring is the season when your liver and gallbladder are the most receptive.  Now that spring is upon us, it could be time to turn your attention to these two friendly organs that work so hard for us every day to keep our systems working properly, especially digestion.  

Did you know that gallbladder removal surgery is the No. 1 most performed surgery in the USA?  Your body can still function without its gallbladder, but fat digestion will always be easier when you have one that is functional.  Here's a guide to help you learn how to understand how to make that happen and the important functions that these two organs serve together.  

The Role of the Liver and Gallbladder

The liver and the gallbladder both work together.  The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ, located just under the liver, and it plays the role of storing and concentrating bile, which is produced by the liver.  Bile that is not being used is stored in the gallbladder, as it acts as a reservoir.  The bile that is being used by the body serves the function of breaking down fats and helps to drain waste products from the liver. 

Since the liver and gallbladder work together, usually an issue with one means that there's an issue with the other.  Gallbladder problems usually point to an issue with the liver too, and vice versa.  

When This System Goes Sluggish

Diets high in fat and cholesterol, not to mention high-stress lifestyles, can lead to liver and gallbladder malfunction.  Gallstones may form, which are small, hard deposits formed inside the gallbladder when bile crystallizes.  

Liver disease is another common problem that many Americans don't recognize until it becomes serious.  Symptoms that the liver/gallbladder system is malfunctioning include:

  • Pain in the upper right corner of the abdomen, just below the rib cage
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Digestive problems
  • Inflammation
  • Brain fog 
  • Poor memory

How to Care for the Liver and Gallbladder

The best way to keep a healthy liver and gallbladder system is to have a healthy diet.  However, it goes further than that because there are specific foods that help with a healthy liver and gallbladder.  Here's a look at what to avoid, as well as the foods that will give your liver and gallbladder a lift, especially during the spring.  

Avoid or reduce the following foods.

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Refined grains
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • Alcohol
  • GMOs
  • Sugary fruit juices
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Other junk food

Foods worth eating.

  • Green apples
  • Tumeric
  • Aromatics, such as garlic, onions, and leeks
  • Fermented veggies, such as sauerkraut and pickles
  • Healthy fat, such as coconut oil, avocado, and olive oil

Also, make sure to take care of your nervous system!  Your nervous system regulates every tissue and organ in the body. Taking care of your nervous system will benefit all organs, not just the liver and gallbladder!  Download a meditation app or begin your day with 10 minutes of deep breathing.  Reduce your intake of caffeine if you need to, or switch from coffee to green tea.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rialto, Calif, 

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