Gall Bladder Questions
QUESTIONS ABOUT GALL BLADDER FUNCTION
Lately, I have received many questions about the use of enzymes when one has had their gall bladder removed. My gall bladder turned on me a few years ago, so I can identify with these customers' questions.
The gall bladder is basically a storage organ for bile, which is produced by the liver. If you eat a meal high in fats, the gall bladder detects the extra fats and oils and starts to pulsate, releasing more bile into the small intestine. Bile is basically a soap-like substance that binds to fats and makes them water-soluble, just as hand soap removes the grease from dirty hands. When bile gets “sludgy” in the gall bladder, the duct between it and the intestine can become clogged, causing pressure to increase in the gall bladder. If it ruptures, bile is released into the abdominal cavity and creates a life-threatening situation. When my gall bladder became clogged, I actually thought I was having a heart attack! The pain was intense and disabling. I wasted no time in getting a diagnosis and having it removed once it was shown to be not working.
Please do not use “internet medicine” to “fix” your gall bladder if you are having symptoms! See your doctor ASAP.
When your gall bladder is removed, the bile duct from the liver is re-attached directly to the small intestine. A constant amount of bile then flows into the intestinal tract. In some, stools may be looser, some may not notice any difference. Often, though, people may notice diarrhea-like stools especially if eating a high-fat meal. Cholestyramine may be prescribed by your doctor to help bind the excess bile.
Enzyme products containing fungal lipase can help. This lipase is acid-stable so it can break down fats in the stomach before the fat gets into the intestines. This prevents the “grease” from loosening stools. Lypazyme is our high-lipase enzyme product and is my “go-to” product whenever I’m pigging out on grilled steaks, hamburgers, and high-fat veggies like avocados. We also put smaller amounts of lipase in our other enzyme products, but if fat digestion is your main problem, why pay for additional enzymes you may not need? Lypazyme is very affordable and does a great job on fat digestion.