About 600,000 people in the United States each year have their gallbladder removed making it the eighth most common surgery performed. 1/10 of those patients end up with the same problem they came in with before the removal of the gallbladder regardless. 
The gallbladder is responsible for storing and releasing bile which is critical for digesting fats in our food. Bile breaks fat into smaller pieces in the same fashion that soap breaks dirt into smaller pieces making it much easier to digest and absorb fats.
When the gallbladder is unable to do it’s job, then the result can be the following gallbladder symptoms.
Common Symptoms of a Poor Functioning Gallbladder
- Nausea or even vomiting after meals particularly ones higher in fat.
- Pain around the lower right rib cage or right shoulder blade
- Diarrhea, but also constipation
- Hormonal Issues secondary to fat absorption problems
To correct a gallbladder issue you may need to help thin the bile, aid the breakdown of stones if present, stimulate the production of bile, or work through possible infections either in the gallbladder itself or a gut infection.
Supplements that have worked well in my practice include:
- Vitamin A
- Bile salts
- Betaine or beets
- Disodium Phosphate (Standard Process, for stones)
- Try to increase healthy fats, if even those case issues really focus on the above options.
Secondary Drivers of Gallbladder Issues
Do you also suffer from indigestion or are on stomach acid reducing medication? A common cause of indigestion or reflux is low stomach acid. A proper amount of stomach acid is also essential for bile secretion.
Stomach Acid Support
- Betaine HCl
- “Characteristics of Operating Room Procedures in U.S. Hospitals, 2011 – Statistical Brief #170”. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-24.