October 25th, 2016 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, PCOS, Thyroid

The Gallbladder and Hormone Balance Connection. And, What Does It Mean When You Don’t Have a Gallbladder?

gallbladderandhormones

 

This guest article was written by my friend Debbie Graefer, L.Ac. MTOM
Licensed Acupuncturist and Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine. Debbie is the mastermind behind the great site called GallbladderAttack.com. If you have ever searched online for gallbladder information (like symptoms, attack, foods to avoid, etc), you probably came across her site.

I’ve asked her is she could write and educate us on the very important topic of the connection between the gallbladder and our hormonal balance. You see, I’ve seen many women after having their gallbladder removed develop many hormonal problems. It seems that Western medicine is failing us again – liberally and mindlessly treating the gallbladder like a useless organ that we can easily disposed of to address an immediate pain. At the cost of other issues developing further down the road – only to be treated with more meds.

Here is what Debbie has to say.


What and where is the gallbladder

Although digestive symptoms may be brought on by any number of things, what is often overlooked is the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ that sits under the liver on the right side of the rib cage and stores liquid bile which is used to digest fats. Even without eating a fatty diet, the gallbladder can begin to act up with symptoms ranging from pain or tenderness under the right rib cage, pain between the shoulder blades, indigestion especially after fatty foods, a feeling of fullness, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, burping and the list goes on. For symptoms of a full-on gallbladder attack, visit GallbladderAttack.com.

When the idea of gallbladder problems is first mentioned, one automatically jumps to the conclusion of gallstones. While gallstones are the most common cause of these digestive symptoms, they are not the only one. Symptoms occur even without the presence of stones, usually brought on by a sluggish or low-functioning gallbladder. In fact, this low-functioning probably allows the gallstones to form in the first place.

The gallbladder and hormone connection

Hormones are always involved in one way or another. A hormone is simply a protein that is used to deliver a message or a command from one part of the body to another, usually initiating or terminating a function. Considering how many functions are going on in the body at all times, it will not be so surprising to learn that there are more than 50 different hormones and several that are involved in the proper functioning of the gallbladder. And there are others yet that affect it less directly. This article will discuss only a few of them.

Motilin is a hormone found in the cells of the intestines. It is released in response to fat intake or acidity in the small intestine. Motilin initiates the contraction of the gallbladder to induce its emptying of bile. In pregnancy, motilin is found to be profoundly reduced, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. It is postulated that this may contribute to gastrointestinal hypo-motility (or a slow-moving GI tract) which symptoms include constipation, indigestion and gallbladder disease, all of which are quite prevalent during pregnancy.

Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted in the dark and stops secreting in response to light. It regulates not only sleep, but your whole biological clock. Traveling through several time zones can really throw melatonin production out of balance. But did you know that melatonin may also inhibit gallstone formation, reduce the cholesterol in the bile by inhibiting its absorption as well as increasing the conversion of cholesterol into bile salts? Studies show that melatonin therapy could possibly assist in the recovery of the neuromuscular function of the gallbladder wall during or following acute gallbladder inflammation, allowing it to contract more fully.

Cholecystokinin or CCK is a hormone that initiates gallbladder contraction and pancreatic enzyme secretion. If you have had a HIDA scan to test for a low-functioning gallbladder, they will have injected CCK to initiate gallbladder contraction and measure the amount of bile that is secreted. Normal is from 32-44%.

Thyroxin (also spelled thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone which helps to regulate metabolism. Low thyroxin levels or low thyroid function is connected with low gallbladder functioning as well as low bile flow, both which contribute to the formation of gallstones.

The sphincter of Oddi, which controls the release of bile into the small intestine, has receptor sites for thyroid hormones, and the sphincter relaxes in response to the thyroxin. A relaxed sphincter of Oddi allows for free flow of bile which is less conducive to the formation of gallstones. Lack of thyroxin such as found in hypothyroidism could result in a contracted sphincter. This phenomenon is thought to contribute to the formation of CBD or common bile duct stones that form from the bile left sitting in the duct.

Interested in learning more about how to find hormonal balance with proper nutrition? Join our exclusive full program viewing below:

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Gallbladder Surgery and Its Aftermath

There are several common side-effects following gallbladder surgery which can be read about here. It is the hormone related side-effects that I’d like to touch on as they are not generally acknowledged.

It was complaints from women, mostly, following gallbladder surgery that prompted my research into the why. Comments that their body was thrown out of balance or that “things have just not been the same since” as well as “weight gain that I’ve never had an issue with before.”

Some of the reasons could be coincidental, or hitting at the same time as surgery such as age-related peri-menopausal symptoms, insulin resistance or poor eating habits catching up with you. But what is more likely is that the stress from both the gallbladder disease and the surgery are triggering hormonal imbalances all over the place.

Everyone will react to an affront like surgery differently, but in everyone, surgery will stimulate a major stress response that is accompanied by both hormonal and metabolic changes. It activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the hypothalamic-pituitary axis ( HPA), and the adrenal cortex. The hormones ACTH, catecholamine, cortisol and glucagon all play major roles in regulating the stress response.

Specific markers increased in gallbladder surgery are somatropin (growth hormone), CRP (acute inflammatory markers) and cortisol (the adrenal hormone involved both in stress and in reducing inflammation).

Somatropin is a protein anabolic hormone which basically means when protein cells are destroyed due to surgery, growth hormone is released in an attempt to rebuild or create new protein cells. There have been studies done showing that people given somatropin intravenously following gallbladder surgery recuperate from the surgery faster. To date this is not a practice that is used but it would be nice!

Inflammation can cause a cascade of hormonal havoc which people will react to and recover from differently. It can knock some people out for weeks to months, depending on their underlying health. Others are not affected. Also know that something as stressful as a surgery can bring on a latent condition such as Hashimoto’s and make it express.

For those of you who lost your gallbladder to surgery, this article discussed several things you can do to steer your health back on track; improving your digestion and hormonal balance.

Gallbladder and Sex Hormones (like estrogen, progesterone) 

It has long been known that both pregnancy, long-term oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) contribute to the formation of gallstones and the accompanying symptoms of pain, indigestion, burping, gas and bloating, and possibly nausea. But what are the underlying mechanisms involved?

Estrogen and progesterone (known as the female hormones) when present in excess cause three separate alterations in the biliary (bile) system:

  • a higher ratio of cholesterol to bile salts – also called super saturation of bile
  • a higher propensity of the bile to aggregate or clump together – or stickiness of bile
  • a lower than normal functioning of gallbladder emptying – leaving bile sitting stagnant in the gallbladder sac

Note from Magdalena: On the other hand, the bile helps the liver to excrete hormones like excess estrogen and its harmful metabolites. That explains why women who have their gallbladders removed often suffer from symptoms of estrogen dominance a few months after the surgery.

Counteracting the effects of the female hormones on the biliary tree

There are always choices that can help – pregnancy excluded.

  • Choosing contraceptive measures other than hormones.
  • Chinese and western herbs including adaptogens, nutrients and adrenal support to manage the symptoms of both menopause and peri-menopause.
  • Support bile thinning, bile flow and liver detoxification.

These can make a huge difference when taken in tandem with any increased presence of hormones. All of these methods, excluding the liver detox can be used during pregnancy and nursing.

 

What kind of diet helps the gallbladder and bile as well as hormonal balance?

This is a two part process – what to avoid and what to include. General principles are listed here but
for a list of specific gallbladder-friendly foods, foods that trigger gallbladder symptoms, or to download our 30 day menu plans, check out the gallbladder diet page.

Avoid:

  • all common allergens such as gluten, dairy, eggs and soy
  • all refined foods – sugar, flour
  • trans fats such as fried foods, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
  • red meats which are inflammatory

Include:

  • organic foods with a focus on fresh vegetables and fruits
  • small amounts of complex carbohydrates such as rice
  • moderate amounts of wild-caught (not farmed) fish
  • good oils such as olive oil, fish oils, coconut oil – all in small amounts

DO NOT OVEREAT – EVER!

It’s the worst thing for your digestion and for your health overall. And it can trigger gallbladder attacks if you have a gallbladder problem.

Regardless of which hormones are off balance within you, as you work to harmonize those, begin now to address your specific gallbladder condition as well. First of all, take into consideration what may be the cause of your gallbladder symptoms. Address the ones that you are able to. And simultaneously, eat foods and take products that help to thin and gently move the bile. And apply castor oil packs over the abdomen which research shows have the ability to reduce inflammation in the area and which may also help you with much-needed relaxation and stress reduction.

 

Deborah Graefer is a Licensed Acupuncturist with a Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine. She has been specializing in gallbladder and other digestive issues since 2001 with the launching of her website GallbladderAttack.com. She consults with people who are looking for answers or for alternatives for their symptoms. You can read more about her story here.

 

 

 

120 Comments to The Gallbladder and Hormone Balance Connection. And, What Does It Mean When You Don’t Have a Gallbladder?

  1. I had my gallbladder removed when I was 20 years old. I am now 53 with insulin resistance, 30 pounds overweight, through menopause and have always had a hard time controlling my weight since I was about 30 yrs old. At 40 I also had part of my colon removed. I eat fairly well but do consume to much sugar at times. I am looking for any suggestions you may have on essential oils that may help. I feel that some of these issues may stem from loosing my gallbladder at such a young age. I would be grateful for any suggestions or help you can offer. Thank you

    • Hi Denise,
      Thank you for sharing your story.
      I don’t find that EOs alone can help solve issues if the biggest thing you are putting into your body – food, is not well taken care of. I explain at length the difference between “eating well and eating right for YOU” in this free workshop: http://www.cookingforbalance.com. I hope you get a chance to listen in and decide what else to do to improve your health. 🙂

    • Wow Denise, your story is pretty much my story. Gallbladder removed at 21, now 54 and through menopause. I have managed to put on an extra 100+ pounds, extremely discouraging….I watched the Hormone Balancing webinar and am going to check the Thyroid webinar, it’s obviously time to stop eating dessert every day and get moving!!

  2. I as well had my gall bladder removed, probably 20 years ago, thank goodness, that was so painful to go thru the many “attacks” I had for a few years before I found out the cause, I did have some weight gain, I am now 64, and the best thing I did for myself was the “whole 30”, it made me more in tune with my body, was able to lose that last 10 lbs, that was hanging in there, now I still continue with a paleo diet, but am always open to learning MORE! I think the key is to eat clean and stay active!

  3. Hi Denise
    After doing some research I think having my gall bladder removed has contributed to my hormone positive breast cancer which spread to six lymph nodes. After chemo and radiation I am taking tamoxifen and about to start aromatose inhibitors. What can be done now to help eliminate excess oestrogen from my body without the help of a gall bladder?
    Thankyou

    • Tierri,
      Thank you for your question. There are alot of things that can still be done with the gallbladder. It is important to keep the liver working in tip top shape. The Cooking for Balance free workshop will teach you about the Hormone Balance ecosystem. You can register here at hormonesbalance.com I hope you will join us.

    • Thank you for your question. There are alot of things that can still be done with the gallbladder. It is important to keep the liver working in tip top shape. The Cooking for Balance free workshop will teach you about the Hormone Balance ecosystem. You can register here at https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb I hope you will join us.

  4. I am 53 and in perimenopause. My gall bladder was removed when I was in my 20s. I have been experiencing flatulence and general indigestion pain and ‘pop’ movements in my chest area in recent weeks. Do you please have any advice for me. The only medication I am on is Ramipril 5mg. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Angela, thank you for your question. Check out the last part of the article about what kind of foods to eat. That is a good place to start. Additionally, you may want to try digestive enzymes with each meal and consider a probiotic. Hope that helps!

  5. I had my gallbladder removed 4 weeks postpartum. It’s been 4 years now and I have been battling anxiety and some panic attacks since the surgery. I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and went on 50mg setraline for a year after my baby was born. I went off the setraline for 3 years but have struggled badly and needed to go back on setraline for anxiety recently. I felt like I was swimming while walking, so dizzy I was afraid of falling down while walking. The anxiety heightens during week 3 of my menstral cycle. I constantly worry about everything and it’s worse in the mornings. I really think I have a hormonal imbalance. What blood tests should I start with? I don’t want to be on anxiety meds if something else is wrong?

    • Hi Tiffany, I had a similar situation post partum (minus the gall bladder removal) and have been on oral progesterone bio identical for the last 10 years. You have your progesterone tested 3 days post ovulation and see what the number is. Low progesterone will cause anxiety and it is very challenging to feel anxious all the time. Once I got on progesterone my anxiety went away ;). Let me know if I can help you further.

      • Hi Julie! Thank you for the advice!!! I keep saying that once my body knows it’s mot pregnant right after ovulation, I feel the anxiety kick in like clockwork. I just thought I was being silly! This really could be a problem?! I will talk to my doctor. Did your GP doc help you or your gynecologist?

        • Tiffany, I go to a functional medicine place with a nurse practitioner that is dialed in on hormones. Unfortunately, most Gyns are not great with hormones. Try to find a functional medicine doc that is good with hormones where you live.

    • Removed at 36 – 8 months ago always been slim and very active, I’ve experienced anxiety and the weight is coming on, I’m still very active and eat very clean.

  6. Your liver does that hun. So long as your not drinking alcohol, not eating inflammatory food like A1 milk, you can take Vitamins. Try and get them from food and the sun where you can

    • Hi Simba,
      The liver and gall bladder work closely together. These detoxification pathways can become clogged by many factors including environmental toxins and body care products. It goes deeper than food and vitamins can cover. Thank you for being here and learning.
      Kindly, Angela HB Team

  7. Hi I recently had my appendix move along with one ovary during an emergency appendectomy. The surgeon was concerned that my ovary was the cause of my pain. It looked inflamed like a cyst had ruptured. I was glad he removed it because I think I was having issues with cysts for years. Now I am having gallbladder issues ironically after my ovary has been removed which I never had before. I don’t got the profile for someone with gallbladder disease. Doctors keep telling me stay away from fatty foods when I’ve been eating clean and organic for the past 5 years. I looked further that other foods cause gallbladder attacks which I’m avoiding now such as gluten, dairy, eggs and red meat. I’m going to do the gallbladder diet. Is there anything else I should do like get my hormones checked to see if that helps alleviate my gallbladder symptoms? I’ve already been to the ER once for severe symptoms.

    • Heather, I would recommend having your hormones checked as soon as possible. Ovarian cysts are consistent with estrogen dominance in most women. High estrogen levels can cause gall bladder symptoms as well. Considering your history with ovarian cysts I think hormones could be at play here.

  8. I agree with you totally, I too feel like I was deceived. I wish I wouldn’t have had the surgery. It just causes more problems. I wish there was something I could do to stop it. Sorry about your friend.

    • Without a Gallbladder but found something that HELPED!
      Gallbladder removed 10 month ago. Never had digestive issues. Once removed, I began to feel bloated, constipated, etc. Asked Doc to prescribe something that would help digest food. They were no help. I eat “CLEAN” always have and always will. Did my own research, and just stumbled on this product. What attracted me to this product was soy free, etc. free. Which you want in any supplement. Started taken this product for 4 days now and I feel amazing. No gas, no bloat and oddly – NOT CRAVING FOR FOOD? Is this possible. I read that this product would help with Pancreatic issues resulting from a missing gallbladder. But never imagined that it would curb my CRAVINGS. Anyone else experience this? I had put on weight since surgery, but now feel like my weight will come down since my food is ACTUALLY NOW DIGESTING! Anyone experience this side effect, please email me. Would love to hear your experience. Thank you. Oh and I workout like faithfully. Aging gracefully!
      Anna on Aug 2, 2018

      • Sorry I forgot to include the product name:
        From The Vitamin Shoppe- their brand_ multi-enzyme. I take 4 with each meal and 1 with coffee. (milk no sugar).
        1 cup a day of coffee.
        I don’t drink nor smoke and workout
        I found i gained weight after surgery for sure. but I think perhaps why so many people may have issues, is perhaps their diet wasn’t clean to begin with. Just my observation. I eat clean and exercise. I am 54 yr old and for sure maintain a healthy lifestyle with these supplements. Anyone tried taking the multi enzyme? without any filers of course.

        • I’ve been suffering from gallbladder attacks after pregnancy. Went to the ER and they said I HAD to get my gallbladder removed. I cut out all dairy from my diet. I should also mention I have celiac disease. I was eating a gluten free diet and after still having issues I went grain free. Got a little better but still had attacks and still was dealing with inflammation, bloating and water weight. I live in a very isolated, rural area and food is hard to get around here (well, anything unprocessed and fresh or froze). I was eating red meat (grassfed) and spinach because spinach was the only thing we could get at the store. Eventually the spinach was becoming difficult to find or it was rotten. Out of necessity, because we couldn’t get anything else at the store, I started eating only red meat and supplementing with ox bile (ancestral supplements), my inflammation has gone away, no water weight and I generally feel better. I’ve noticed that if I do have an attack, it’s due to high stress! I’ve seen other people claim they’ve healed their gallbladder with a high fat (healthy animal fat) and mea. There’s also a study, in Sweden I believe, where they healed gallbladders with a high fat diet. I’m not ready to get rid of my little buddy, gallbladder, and I’m willing to try whatever to get healthy and not go through surgery!

        • There are also gall bladder enzymes you can take from oxbile which closely mimics our own natural bile. There are also lipase enzymes you can take with food to help break down the fats. I take both by
          Dr. Mercola and they work just fine. I work in the industry and the vitamin shoppe multi enzyme is just too many. Plus vitamin shoppe loves the bait and switch to their label. But if it’s working yay for you and definitely yay for you for going to the enzymes in the first place. Just remember the most important thing is for the enzymes to make contact with the food to help break it down and alleviate some extra work the pancreas might have to do without the gall bladder. So take with your first bite of food!! These enzymes will work in the cardiac portion of your stomach where not much digestion takes place it’s just like a storage tank, but you will start digesting there and help your whole digestive system by breaking down your food first.

      • Thanks for your information Anna. I had my gallbladder removed when I was 23. I’m now 76. Suffered with digestion constantly. A few years ago I did a candida cleanse which helped immensely. Plus, I take “Quiet Digestion” by Health Cocerns. It’s amazing! I take 2-3 tablets after eating. No more Imodium necessary. Just the Quiet Digestion. I take it for an upset stomach, flu, fever etc.

  9. I believe that is not true. There are water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins (such as Vitamin D and a few others). If you do not have a gallbladder you should be able to absorb the water soluble ones just fine. BUT, since you do not have a gallbladder, you probably will have trouble absorbing fat soluble vitamins and end up with a vitamin D deficiency or any other fat soluble vitamin deficiency as well. You will have trouble absorbing fat soluble vitamins because your fat digesting ability has been hindered. The solution is to take digestive enzymes with food and the multi vitamin. That is my advice. I had my gallbladder removed and I have a vitamin D deficiency because of it.

    • Agreed. I noticed that I was not absorbing A,K,D,E etc. My eyesight tanked. My periods just stopped. Weight gain, etc. My skin suffered. It’s as if I am instantly older.

  10. Dont ever ever get your gall bladder removed. My Mom did. Her life ruined with diarhea attacks. Me too. Diarhea uncontrolable diarhea… Miserable life. And Drs should be sued for misinformation. I live in Mexico. My maids told me you disdolve the stones with Jaimica. a drink made from Hibiscus…I want to get a gall bladder transplant!

    I finally found Questin and Smecta from my Monaco Dr. It has stopped the diarehea…

    Ask your Pharmacy about it. They know much more about meds than Drs do!

    • Any information on a overactive gallbladder and possibilities of what could cause that?

      • Hi Pete,
        It could be an inflammatory response. It might be a good idea to consult your physician about this.
        Healthy Regards,
        HB Team

  11. I had my gallbladder removed 10 years ago, I am now 54. Menopause begin within weeks after removal along with digestive problems. Even though I have made a lot of positive changes into my lifestyle since, nothing has changed the severe hot flashes that I have been experiencing shortly after removal. The ability to cope with the smallest amount of stress has been forever changed since surgery. I wish I would have been more informed about the connection of hormones after gallbladder surgery as I would have not done it.
    Is there anything that can help the hot flashes? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

  12. Hi, i’m so glad i found this article… ive been searching for something that matches what i’m experiencing. I don’t know what or where to turn… i was against surgery feom the start. 10 yrs ago when i was 6 months pregnant, i went to the er for horrible pain i was having. Right away i was told i need my gall bladder removed it was so sudden, but the next day i was recovering from the surgery. That 48 hrs from when i went in through that night ( orders to prepare me for surgery the next morning) till i was able to go home. But the only thing i could focus on was my baby… i was informed that i need to have the surgery for my better health and the baby will be fine. I was against the surgery and i guess ever since, in a way i feel like i was cheated out of options. (I literally tear up everytime i think about it) every day i have to live in hell without a gall bladder. My health has plummeted and i fear what is coming for me in the future. I’m 33 yrs old. I used to be healthy. Active fit. I still dont understand why (at 6 months pregnant) i had to have my gall bladder removed. I gained so much wait overnight it seems. In 2015 i was 135 lbs. And now i am 220. I cant eat anything without rushing to the bathroom, and yes sometimes im not lucky enough to make it intime. Tge noises that my stomach makes are embarrasing. I would rather accidently let out a little air in public then sit in a public place while my uncontrollable stomach makes the noises that are just as bad, but contstant. Im losing my hair… i have horrible acne now. And just the other day, even my dentist asked me if i have had my hormones checked, because i have had so much bone loss in my upper jaw that i am now facing losing my teeth. My life is a nightmare that started with the simple act of going to the hospital & not over the pain necessarily but more as a precaution do to the fact i was pregnant. I know whats done is done. But what do i do. Ive made lifestyle changes and i need a dr who will listen to me. so far… i just find doctors that want me to make more changes to rule out other possible reasons or condition but what about my deficiency in my health and nutrition i suffer with in the mean time . Yesterday i had one dr suggest i start juicing. & I am sorry for venting like a lunatic… but finding this website feels like i just found the end of the internet. Please Any insight will help.

  13. Oh i should add that i take oxbile wirh my food… i cit back when i feel nauseous from it but i also take probiotics / digestive enzimes… and milk thistle. Which seems to help some. But still i have not found any help with the deficiencies

  14. I have been going through menopause for 4 years ,on HRT for 3 years. One week ago l had gall bladder removed and yesterday my period resumed. Is this normal. Will l go through the whole hot flushes etc again or is it just a shock to the system.

  15. Cholecystokinin secretion after Cholecystectomy?

    Hello, i had my gallbladder out in march 2017, by January 2018 I began having the most horrific panic attacks, and i mean absolute terror, with closing of my throat, dry mouth and a sense of all-encompassign terror in my solar plexus.

    Fortunately I knew straight away that this was a physical ersponse, because they only happened after meals, and if I di d not eat they did not happen at all.

    So I read-up on panic attacks and found i had none of the other symptoms often associated with panic attacks – sweating, tachichardia, tremors – and wondered about the connection between the absence of my gallbladder and these episodes.

    Researching in more depth revealed tha the gallbladder is connected to the solar plexus via the upper mesenteric nerve, and that one ofthe hormones you mention, Cholecystokinin, is both, panicogenic and anxiogenic.

    This led me to conclude that my attacks were of purely physical origin and i asked my GP for help. though she did not comment on my hypothesis – of a link between the attaks and my Cholecystectomy – as soon as she heard that this was effectively nerve pain, she presecribed Amitriptyline, 10 mg in the evening.

    The treatment works, mostly, and I only suffer very light and brief episodes now, mostly after eating. Only, I am not happy to be on such a heavy drug, sith so many possible side effects over time, and I wonder also how it will interact with my Thyroxine, that I take for my Hypothyroidism (100mg a day).

    I wondered whether others experienced the same issues, and would warn them not to allow their physicians to put them on heavy medication. i have read of patients being put on heavy doses of antidepressants and becoming very unwell and even addicted.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    • Hi Toni,

      Your experience that you shared has brought me a bit of hope. I had my GB out January 2019 and started having severe panic attack like episodes. They would start with a burning hot sensation like the worst hot flash you could imagine and can include numbness, feelings of emanate death or that something is very wrong, fear, throat tightness, heart pain. I will have “episodes” that last anywhere from a few days to two weeks at a time. I’m worried that I won’t be able to get rid of this. I’m currently working with a naturopath to figure it out so I’m going to bring up your experiences. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you feel better soon!

    • Yes, It can be a real rabbit hole when practitioners do not make the gall bladder connection with these very serious symptoms. Thank you for sharing what you have done. We cannot comment on the medications. Magdalena does recommend healing the gut, supporting the liver and balancing sugar to help the body heal and thrive. People usually notice a difference rather quickly when they follow Magdalena’s guidelines. ~HB Team

  16. Apologies fo rtypos, also the malfuctioning SHIFT key on my keyboard means I have problems with capitals.. as if panic attacks weren’t enough! Lol. btw I am 64 years old, and ptherwise in good health, considering. 🙂

    • I had my gallbladder removed 9 years ago and for this entire time I’ve had estrogen dominance going bad to worse, The worst case my doctor has seen. I’m on high dose progesterone to control nasty migraines and ptsd like anxiety. Just realizing now gallbladder removal may have something to do with it.

  17. I am 71. 6 weeks following gallbladder removal , I had severe pain in my left breast that lasted 2 weeks. Has anyone else experienced this?

      • Hi!
        Very informative . Thank you !
        I had about 12 stones in my gall bladder and I had no choice but to get it removed . My weight is stuck , I have a massive abdomen . I exercise and I avoid sweets as much as I can . It’s frustrating .

        • I’ve actually had low estrogen since getting my gallbladder out. I think it’s because I am deficient in omega 3s or some sort of essential fatty acids and don’t have the building blocks to make estrogen. I absolutely hate to be 20 going on 50. I removed my Nexplanon a month after my gallbladder got removed and my symptoms never went away. I started to have my low estrogen symptoms a month before I got my gallbladder removed. Even with a smoothly functioning thyroid I still deal with the symptoms of heat flashes and vaginal dryness sometimes to the point I bleed just from normal motions and activities. It is horrible.

  18. I had my gallbladder removed 6 months ago. I adapted a vegan diet that is low in fat as soon as I was diagnosed and ever since. I generally feel good, but have to watch my intake of high fat vegan foods –
    Such as nuts
    I have noticed that i feel it is more difficult to digest fat during PMS, but overall my health and PMS improved greatly when I changed my diet. Eating whole grains, veggies and fruits and beans and reducing my intake during PMS helps – as well as staying away from too much fat.

    Thanks for the great info about how our hormones are related to digestion and the gall bladder! I recommend – from my personal experience – a vegan diet to those having a hard time with digestion.

    • Thank you for sharing some of your personal journey Donna. We are pleased to hear that you are feeling good and found some helpful strategies that work for you 🙂 ~HB Team

  19. Hello, I had my gallbladder removed when I was 28-29, I have experienced really bad hair loss, weight gain, gas, bloating, frequent poop breaks. I am 31 now, my hair is so thin you can see my scalp now and so weak it breaks easily . Has anyone found a way to help with these symptoms? I got blood work done but all they found was low vitamin D . Any suggestions would help, please !

    • This happened to me after losing my gallbladder and apparently the stress triggered celiac disease. Have you looked into that?

    • Yes, having it removed can have an extensive ripple effect of the body causing further imbalance Michaela. Magdalena believes in nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods to support the body. She focuses on her foundational principle of gut healing, liver support, and sugar balancing to help the body regain some balance. Here is a program preview series https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb/ to check out. If you have more questions, please connect with the team at [email protected] ~HB Team

      • After reading about the problems people suffer after having their gallbladder removed helped me make up my mind that I will not have the surgery. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    • Hi, I’ve found this really interesting. I had my gallbladder out in February and my recovery has been good but my hormones are clearly all over the place as for about 2 weeks a month I have a very low mood which has only been this bad for the last few months.
      I was wondering if I’d hit the perimenopause but I haven’t contacted my Dr yet. I’m 40.
      Thanks 🙂

  20. I am 3 weeks post op and have suffered anxiety attacks, nausea and vomiting bile every morning as well as chills. I have kept a low fat diet and am vegetarian but I can’t seem to keep anything down. And when I eat my stomach spasms and I start getting chills is this normal after gallbladder surgery. I cry everyday.

  21. I have been dealing with health issues for the last 7 months. Have had tons of tests done. I have suffered stomach pain, nausea, weight loss and reflux issues through this time. I was sent in for a HIDA scan 3 weeks ago and was told my gallbladder is only emptying at 6%. I only have one stone/polyp and no inflammation. Is there a way to fix this or is surgery my only option?

    • Hi Jessica, how are you feeling now? I have a hida scan scheduled for next week. I’ve had upper right abdominal pain for about two months, only one polyp found in ultrasound. I don’t want surgery either and may need to seek alternative therapies if my hida scan shows a low percentage as well. Curious what your outcome is.

  22. Thank you for leading me in a new direction. I’ve been living without a gallbladder for 7 years. 4 years ago hit menopause and now I have hypothyroidism. My stomach/digestion/constipation is always a problem. I’ve got to find a way to figure out what exactly to eat. Im so tired of being tired and miserable. Its really hard to wrap your around everything when you have brain fog to boot.

    • I’m a 62 yr. old female 1 week post op in having my gallbladder removed. I’m very emotional, combative and the more I get hung up on or hang up on the people in my close circle of friends and family, just puts me in a tail spin further and further to where I don’t want to see or speak to anyone.
      Is there any suggestions for me to utilize where it can bring me out of this funky place.

    • I would check your liver sounds lot like liver issues.. when your gallbladder is out a liver takes over and cause stress.

  23. So glad I found this!
    I was 7 years into menopause. Those years my symptoms had been mild and I was pretty much though them. Until I had my gallbladder removed .In the two years since I’ve had high blood pressure ( never before) palpitations, anxiety, fatigue , weight gain and hot flashes from hell!
    I just knew there had to be a connection even though my doctor did not agree.
    Any recommendation now?

    • Forgot to add …
      that besides the hot “flashes” I am always warm and my face is flushed and hot.

      • Hello June,
        I had my gall bladder removed 5yrs ago but since then I’ve had massive weight gain, my body actually looks fatty too, I was told by my Dr that I was going through the menapause (4.5yrs ago) but like you I have the worst constant hot flushes,my body is so hot that I feel Like I’ll explode. For health reasons I couldn’t take hrt but atm I’m feeling ill, I never thought gall bladder removal would cause these changes, I now know I’m not going through ‘the change’. I need to stop the flushes what worked for you.

  24. Heather, I would recommend having your hormones checked as soon as possible. Ovarian cysts are consistent with estrogen dominance in most women. High estrogen levels can cause gall bladder symptoms as well. Considering your history with ovarian cysts I think hormones could be at play here.

  25. Trying to avoid surgery. I have had 2 attacks that lasted about 2-5 hours. When trying to figure out my issues I had a hida scan(34% ef), upper GI study(no hernia or acid reflux), endoscopy(1 polyp in stomach that only came back inflammation as well as all biopsies taken) , colonoscopy( normal no polyps just inflammation in biopsies), CT with contrast dye they injected ( no gallstones seen but listed 1 kidney stone in left kidneys and I said I had quite a bit of stool in my intestines) the CT made me have diarrhea and vomiting that night as well as 3 large cysts in right breast overnight. food allergy skin test (tomato positive-🤷🏼‍♀️) seasonal allergy skin test( dustmite, hickory and mulberry trees, lambs quarter weed. Now doing immunotherapy for those), stool tested for parasites and other stuff, (came back neg but listed Charcot Leyden crystals in stool- was eating pineapples a lot) finally ultrasound revealed 2 small gallstones and some tiny polyps. So surgeon suggested removal. Then Gi doc wasn’t convinced since eating stuff high fat didn’t trigger anything so I have Breath tests( SIBO neg, lactose neg, fructose positive) cut out all the fruit I was eating and no symptoms. Both times I had an attack I had just got adjusted at the chiropractor ( guessing she pushed hard enough to cause a stone to go in duct) the most recent attack I got an ultrasound in the ER and that one said only a solitary stone and trace amount of inflammation. That was over 2 weeks ago and I can still eat what I want and no issues. I do take livton complex and have hypertension started about 3-6 months after birth of my first child at 29 and mostly controlled by meds- losartan 50mg and hydrochlorothiazide 12mg taken at different times. I also take adderall XR 30mg since I was 18. Also take multi with digestive enzymes. No birth control and cycles are about 30-35 days. Take Zyrtec for the summer fall season. Blood work from last aug said eosinophils 9% and potassium 3.2 so they gave me some pills that day only. 2 weeks ago in ER blood work was all normal but I asked about potassium and they said 3.5. Not sure if that has anything to do with the spasms of my expected location of sphincter of oddi or if it was trying to get the stone to pass. Any advice would be helpful to avoid surgery or to pass my last stone. I feel the livton complex really helps though but it’s expensive. Sorry so long. Thanks

    • Hi Cortney,
      Thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. We would recommend seeking out a functional medicine doctor to work with, to help guide you through some options. Wishing you well. HB Support

    • I am scheduled to have gallbladder surgery in a couple of weeks and after reading all of these comments, I think that I am going to have to opt out. I currently have 1 gallstone and they are recommending that I have surgery because I have been experiencing pain on the right side of my abdominal area for several years. I also have hypothyroid and I am wondering if there are any other alternatives. I have really worked hard on getting my weight down to 130 from 162 and I really don’t want to put myself in a situation where I am going to gain weight unless it’s absolutely necessary. Please help!!!

        • Could you please advise me on what to do about polyps? I have pain and symptoms but doctors won’t tell me the cause. I’ve had testicular cancer, a lot of chemotherapy too

  26. I have had intermittent gallbladder issues since menopause age 49-60. I was booked to have my gallbladder removed 5 years ago but canceled the surgery after reading about the effects of estrogen on the gallbladder. Funny the surgeon does not offer any recommendations diet or otherwise, nor have any knowledge of the correlation between HRT and gallbladder issues.
    I had been on HRT therapy for many years initially starting on estrogen and promitrium in pill form. Upon reading about the effects of estrogen on the gallbladder I had my OBGYN change my estrogen prescription from oral pill form to gel, then later to a patch with a Mirena IUD for promitrium. I definitely saw an immediate change and did not have a gallbladder attack for several years after stopping the oral form of estrogen.
    However later at around 60 I started having break through bleeding, light periods every 28 days or so, for over a year after not having had a period since age 49. I made an appointment with my OBGYN and switched back to estrogen in oral pill, thinking that I was not absorbing the estrogen via the gel or patch properly. My OBGYN agreed it was worth trying so we changed back to oral. After almost 2 months back on the oral estrogen I have started to have gall bladder issues again after not having any issues for several years. Two days ago I stopped taking the oral pill and have switched back to topical gel just to see if the symptoms subside. My gallbladder attacks are not painful more like a feeling of extreme pressure or a clog under my right rib cage. Certain food like bread or gluten products, dairy such as ice cream and alcohol especially red wine exacerbate the symptoms.
    Has anybody else experienced this?

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for sharing your experience! You may wish to work with a functional medicine doctor who can assist you on a more individualized basis. I also welcome you to reach out to the HB team at [email protected].

      Healthy Regards!

  27. I had my gallbladder removed over 15 years ago. I was never told to change or doing anything different speed up to current times…I am hypothyroid ( on armour ), menopause ( on hormone replacements). I think the stomach bloating and weight gain is from hormone imbalance but wondering if supplement needed for no gallbladder? Digestive enzymes? Ox Bile? Hyrulonic Acid? Tudca? what is the best eating plan to follow? I need to lose some weight and it is not coming off. Any suggestions? I don’t want to take a dozen different supplements at once, is there a combination that would help?

  28. Hi. I am new to all of this. I have a surgery scheduled to have my gallbladder removed coming up in March . I never thought of having my gallbladder checked until I recently had a colonoscopy (due to family history of colon cancer) in which I had a polyp removed with pre-cancerous cells. My Dr. then suggested an ultrasound of my gallbladder to address some pain issues and diarrhea which were my main symptoms. I had no gallstones, so she suggested that I have a HIDA scan. The scan showed that my gallbladder is contracting at ninety-nine percent. My Dr. then suggested surgery which I agreed to way too quickly. I then did a lot of research and began having second thoughts. I was / am scared. I asked my chiropractor what he thought to get a 2nd opinion, and he felt I would do fine with it and feel much better. My friends and family think I am pre-menopausal because I have many hot flashes on an almost daily basis. I have never had children and still desire to do so – even though it would be considered a “Geriatric Pregnancy”. I do think my hormones are all out of balance, but none of my doctors have ever suggested or done blood work to check even though I have asked. After reading this article, I am even more afraid of surgery. I am afraid that it will cause my hormones to be even more out of control. I am afraid that removing my gallbladder may interfere with my ability to get pregnant due to further hormonal imbalances. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY INPUT ON THIS MATTER AS MY SURGERY DATE WILL BE HERE SOON!!! TY. Should I insist that hormone bloodwork be done before my surgery? I was told my condition is rare, and I think it is called hyperkinetic gallbladder. TY.

    • Curious if you had this done. I too am having mine removed in a week for the same reason! Hyperkinesia. My EF is 98. Curious if you went through with it and did it help?

    • I found this article so interesting. I had my gallbladder removed June of 2020. It was non functioning, full of sludge, grey black on the bottom and had one lasted gallstone that they believe may have been many at one time. I have had GI issues for over 25 years, so they are guessing that this may have been the issue all along. Since removal, I have had a ton of health issues. I am scheduled to have a full hysterectomy April 14th in hopes of ridding me of some of the issues going on. I have said from the start that this all has to be related but my doctors think I am crazy and that it is just coincidence. This just reiterates I am not loosing my mind. I pray to GOD that this upcoming surgery is going to give me back my life and health because the last year has been awful.

    • I had mine out after what I think was caused by doing the Whole30 diet for a year and had sludge and found myself int eh ER super bowl Sunday 2020. Had pain for a while and by super bowl Sunday I couldn’t sit down. I had to watch it standing up and my mom mentioned that pain is GB when I was lvg and she said to go to ER and I said we’ll see. I drove home .8 mile down the street, on the same street and within the hour I told my husband. (A ups driver who leaves at 5:45am and home usually 9pm) that maybe I should go (it was that bad by super bowl Sunday. And ofcourse an issue during the week),

      Let me just tell you….I was in so much pain by the time I got to the ER and they did a CT and told me I had sludge, and they can take it out but I will need to change my eating habits, and that was it and I was admitted and moved upstairs in abt 1-2 hrs.

      I’m always guilty of searching on the internet for hours of my health issues, but this time I was in so much pain it didn’t even phase me. I was all “get this thing out of me”. The next day I had surgery on that Monday and they told me when I woke up that I also had two ovarian cysts that ruptured and could of also contributed to the pain,(Again after the fact) as they saw fresh blood. I heard that cysts can be very painful when they burst.

      Anyhow, fast forward from 1/19-1/20 2020 to 4/7/21 aka May life has been hell since.

      I’m 46 yrs old and feel like I’m in a 96 yr old body.

      I barely eat, and have gained abt 50lns. Found out I’m in menopause (had a partial hysterectomy in 2008) and figured that is messing with my metabolism. (Covid hit 3 mo after surgery so it’s been hard to get help and are finally getting procedures done with my GI)

      I have extremely bad I mean bad acid reflux that warrants 5 pillows again insert the “feel like I’m 86 yr old woman here”

      I can only sleep on my left side as the stomach lays different. . I take acid pills Rx version like candy. Have an upper endo scheduled for 4/21 and if inflammation is present, they will refer me to surgery. I hope I get that surgery for acid reflux. My. Brother had it done and he can’t throw up anymore, as it’s a one way valve, but he no longer has acid reflux.

      I have really bad daily diarreah 8-14x a day that is mostly liquid and bile. every time. I’m extremely bloated. Have to eat small meals due to the acid reflux where I throw up at times.

      I wish I had a chance to research like I always do on the “don’t go on the web and look”, and now I love in daily hell. I’ve become depressed, debilitated due to the chronic diarrhea. I am now a home body and are a prisoner in my own house.

      • Try ox bile.
        It will over time get rid of the acid reflux.
        It is your lack of a gallbladder why you are experiencing horrible reflux.
        I had the surgery for reflux as well but about 7years later started to have terrible reflux almost overnight with punching pain in the right side of my abdomen.
        I also have gallstones but want to keep my gallbladder.
        The oxbile worked for me.
        Go slowly with the oxbile since you have diarrhea but from what I understand oxbile should help you with this because you don’t have a gallbladder.

        • Hello,
          I just want to add to this that you really must take Ox bike as the previous person mentioned. I had my gallbladder out at 24 and for years I suffered from messed up hormones. I only started to sort it out after years of looking for answers.
          I use an enzyme supplement with Ox bile, I use the NOW brand but it can be any as long as it has Ox bile.
          1. You are not absorbing fat without enough bile
          2. if you don’t absorb fat then cholesterol is off–we make hormones from cholesterol (Google hormone cascade)
          3. a good ratio of bile removes excess estrogen from the liver.
          4. removing excess estrogen helps with weight loss. However, it is better to have the right amount of progesterone to balance estrogen–I believe in balance, and also optimizing, to be frank–but that is another subject, but a very worthwhile one.
          5.to immediately help with acid reflux, stop the acid blockers. You don’t have enough acid, not too much as you think, which seems like a contradiction but it really isn’t. use 2tlsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water every morning and evening and it will stop the acid reflux asap. Make sure you use an organic brand with the “Mother”. Rinse, or wash your teeth, and drink through a straw mostly as it is acidic.

    • I too had a HIDA scan that read 99%. It is believed that I may have a hyperactive gallbladder. The docs that i’ve seen don’t seem super convinced of that. I feel a discomfort under my right ribcage. I’m belchy all the time. I’ve been dealing with this for almost a year. The discomfort seems most exacerbated several days before my period. Then once my period ends, I get about a good week or more of reprieve. It’s so frustrating. I don’t know what to do. I feel like these docs are just not educated on any hormonal connection to gallbladder problems.

      • Hi Jenell. Have you considered consulting with a functional practitioner? Here’s a link to help find one in your area: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

        This article was written by Debbie Graefer, L.Ac. MTOM
        Licensed Acupuncturist and Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine. Her website GallbladderAttack.com may be a good resource for you.

        Finding out if you have any hormonal imbalances may also be a piece of the puzzle for you: https://hormonesbalance.com/quiz/

        Please reach out to our Customer Support team if we can answer any questions at [email protected].

        – HB Team

  29. I had my gallbladder out when I was 21. I had 5-6 sever attacks and went to the hospital twice for them.

    I wasn’t really given any info the surgeon was just like “it’s a routine procedure with minimal issues later” and that was it

    It’s been about 9 years and honestly I forgot about it (I’ve had much more severe medical trauma related to my veins that the gallbladder removal just seemed minor)

    When I was 26 I got dx with PCOS. I’m now wondering if it’s related.

    Additionally I do have a lot of vitamin deficiencies, B vitamins, D, omega 3, and magnesium deficiencies. Despite the fact that I have always had a very healthy diet mainly plant based diet.

    I also just made the connection between my severe bloating and my gallbladder removal. Like especially before/during my period of after any kind of higher fat food. I bloat 2+ pant sizes larger. It’s so painful. I had to cut out a lot of food to avoid getting bloated.

    I wish I would have had more info 9 years ago. It was incredibly painful and unbearable to have multiple gallbladder effects

    But I wish my doctor would have asked why a 21 year old – never been on birth control, with an active lifestyle and very balanced diet would be having gallbladder issues instead of just immediately removing it.

    • Hi Nikki,
      Thank you for sharing your story. That sounds very rough and pretty familiar for our health system.
      Healthy Regards, HB Team

  30. Hi, had my gallbladder removed one year ago. I am now getting acne that I never got before. I have come across very few people with these issues. Would love some advise. Thanks

    • I had my Gall Bladder removed in July 2020 mid lock down after experience several painful episodes (had a 2cm Gall Stone). I have gained 1 stone since then despite dieting. Had my hormone levels checked and apparently levels of estrogen so low. GP put me on HRT Continuous patches last month and my weight has now balloned. I am now 2 stone over my pre Gall Bladder removal weight.

  31. Hi,
    I had a healthy gallbladder taken out do to a choledochal cyst bile duct resection. Now I can’t sleep more that 4 or 5 hours unless I am exhausted from lack of sleep. I get bed sweats every few months especially if I have cold, flu or small infection. Can you recommend any help for men? I don’t smoke and drink a pint or cocktail a month.

    • Hi Jimmy, thank you for sharing your story with us.

      First, I would suggest consulting with a functional practitioner. If need help finding one, here’s a link to get you connected with someone in your local area: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

      To gather more individual insights, here is a quiz for you to find out if you have any hormonal imbalances may also be playing a role: https://hormonesbalance.com/quiz/.

      For sleep support, here is an article with some ideas to get you started. But, remember sleep issues are a sign that something more deeply rooted may be going on. Use this to gather ideas but continuing to explore the root cause: https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/how-to-fix-your-sleep-after-45/

      For additional support on gallbladder recommendations, we should suggest exploring https://www.gallbladderattack.com/gallbladder-diet/. This is suitable for both men & women.

      Wishing you well!
      Kamalani

    • Hi Jimmy
      I suffered with sleep problems for more than 2 years.
      After change my diet to ketogenic diet and Intermitant fasting,I sleep now like a rock.
      After discover Dr Eric Berg on you tube,everything changed for me.
      I also included sauerkraut everyday on my meals.
      The answer is in your gut
      Too much bad bacteria in your gut causes too much cortisol and so many other changes in our body.
      Once your gut have a good balance of good bacteria you will sleep a full night everyday again.
      Search for How to Sleep Deeply and Wake Up Refreshed (Must Watch!!) – Dr. Berg on Sleep Problems

  32. I am 40 years old my periods stopped at 15 years old and i was DX premature Ovarian Failure never had a period since.
    I had my GB removed on 13th oct 2021 and today i have noticed spotting of blood like i am going to have anatural period for the first time again after all these years, could there be a link? and could this mean i am ovulating again, obviously all these years not ovulating I have not been able to get pregnant, something that saddened me as I really wanted this but could this be a glimmer of hope for me now. especially with the mentioning on hormone changes with having GB out

    • Hi, thank you for reaching out. Spotting before your period can be a sign of low progesterone, but this will be worth discussing with your practitioner. With any gallbladder removal, various hormonal changes are to be expected. Wishing you the best. ~HB Support

      • I really need help!! I think by my gallbladder being taken out is effecting my health. I have hyperthyroidism and trouble with keeping food in my stomach, I go straight to the bathroom after I eat. And my ph levels down there have been off. Yeast and BV and not sexually active. I need help. I’m losing myself with this

        • I am suffering from the same issues! Aside from the expected loose stools while my body readjusts, I’ve had yeast or BV every cycle since my surgery 3 months ago! I know that the microbiome of the gut is affected and I’m thinking the same applies to my vaginal ph levels. I have been taking probiotics daily, & have been treated each time but it comes back either right before or tight after my period! I am going to see my GYN soon but I can’t find much research online. I’m linking possible acute estrogen dominance with the stress of the surgery but idk! I know my body and I feel helpless! So uncomfortable

  33. Thank you for sharing this information. I am 44 years old and had my gallbladder removed 3 years ago. Since then became peri menopause and had asked my OBGYN multiple times if there is a connection but she would say no. She prescribed a low dosage of estrogen to take but I am not Sure if I trust it. There are side effects. Glad to know that it’s a possibility that there is a connection and I am not just making this up as I would say to her, I know MY body best.

  34. I am suffering from the same issues! Aside from the expected loose stools while my body readjusts, I’ve had yeast or BV every cycle since my surgery 3 months ago! I know that the microbiome of the gut is affected and I’m thinking the same applies to my vaginal ph levels. I have been taking probiotics daily, & have been treated each time but it comes back either right before or tight after my period! I am going to see my GYN soon but I can’t find much research online. I’m linking possible acute estrogen dominance with the stress of the surgery but idk! I know my body and I feel helpless! So uncomfortable

  35. We want you both to know that you’re not alone. Women who lose their gallbladders are more prone to hormonal issues as the bile “flushes out” metabolized hormones to make space for new ones. It’s important to really take care of your liver and perhaps adding bile salts if your digestions is not in good order. If you haven’t already, a great resource to check out is, https://www.gallbladderattack.com/.

    In our recent book, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, we take a deep dive into balancing blood sugar, addressing food intolerance’s, healing digestion, and optimizing liver function. All of these things are paramount to balancing our hormone health. Here is the link if you’re interested, https://overcomingestrogendominance.com/

    I hope this helps! ~HB Support

  36. My Daughter had liver cancer at 2 years old, they removed her gallbladder as it was wrapped around the tumor, needless to say, she is now 26, is morbidly obese, suffering from PCOS (with many male hair patterns emerging) and infertility. I want to do something to help her.
    I am assuming that since she had this done well before puberty, that her hormones never truly functioned correctly. I could certainly use some advice.

  37. Thank you for this article. I has my Gallbladder removed at 36, thyroid cancer and thyroid removal at 39 and finally a hysterectomy at 42. I have been having worsening issues with hormones, weight gain, water retention and overall poor health. I am at a loss….no doctor will look at all three and figure out how to combat the issues holistically.

  38. I don’t understand what’s wrong with me. My doctors said my hida scan ejection fraction was 78.4. They said that’s normal but My stomach has been bloated for 6 months. It’s hard and I have pain in the center but also on the left and right side. I can hardly eat and I’m often sick. They are doing exploratory surgery and said they are removing my gallbladder but they act as if it shouldn’tbe removed. So what’s wrong with me if it’s not the gallbladder. It’s not normal to look 6 months pregnant and hurt. My blood pressure has been high and my liver enzymes were high. They act has if I’m crazy. I lost my job due to a car accident that was not my fault so I’m on Sooner Care. I just feel they are not listening to me. I know something isn’t right. I don’t feel well. Any thoughts?

  39. Hi Tammy, if you are feeling like your current team of physicians are not listening to your concerns, our first recommendation would be to look into a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor who can help. Check out https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/ or https://naturopathic.org/search/custom.asp?id=5613 to find resources to guide you to the right fit. There are so many underlying issues that could be contributing even if it is your gallbladder causing symptom which include things from estrogens to thyroid issues, sugar imbalances and more. This would be important to identify in order to correctly address the problems you are facing. ~HB Team

  40. Hi there.

    5months post partum. Been having upper right quadrant pain since 3 weeks post partum. Terrible indigestion and reflux aswell. Recently I have been breaking out in hot flushes and nausea especially during ovulation and my menstruation. It is like a terrible panic attack.
    Ultrasound ans Ct scan show no stones. I am yet to have a hida scan, my Dr didn’t even know who to refer me to for it! I am a nurse and relatively certain this is a gallbladder issue, but I never made the connection between the hot flushes and gallbladder
    . Could it be related? it seems as though many people have been going through something similar.
    I will be seeing a functional medicine dr soon, but I was just wondering if you thought this could be the problem?

  41. Hi Nicole, what your describing could be gallbladder for sure. This is something common postpartum due to the rapid and drastic hormone shifts that happen. It would definitely be a good idea to have a functional medicine doctor look at this situation and get that in depth evaluation. ~HB Team

  42. Hi. I had my my gallbladder removed 9 years ago after developing an awful case of pancreatitis due to a calcium deposit obstructing a bile duct. I was dumb for years and didn’t eat right (before the surgery and unfortunately after) but only over the last year or so have I started experiencing indigestion again that reminded me of symptoms I had prior to having gallbladder surgery.
    About a year ago I started getting abdominal pain. Sometimes it was upper and sometimes it was lower. I was never sure if it was a stomach issue or a female-related issue but went to both Drs’. To make a long story short, in the last year I’ve been diagnosed with a cyst, gastritis, and most recently a peptic ulcer. I was scheduled for a laparoscopy back in June to look for and treat endometriosis and/or scar tissue from past procedures but I had to cancel the surgery the night before due to a family tragedy.
    Interestingly, I didn’t have really any abdominal pain most of the summer until the beginning of August when I felt pain under my lower left ribs that radiated into my back. I thought it was my kidneys. The urgent care Dr thought it was my pancreas after pressing on my abdomen. She did blood work and the following day my results came back normal and that was that. Roughly the beginning of September I started getting burning pain in my stomach. It was at its worst when I woke up in the morning and I felt like my insides were literally being ripped out. I went to my GP who felt my abdomen (pressed on pancreas and said it was fine but it was my stomach that was tender) and believed I had an ulcer. Two weeks ago I started getting pain under my right shoulder blade after eating (I finally changed my diet when diagnosed with the ulcer). Though the burning in my stomach had subsided this was different and I was concerned I had an obstruction in a bilary duct (my GP had this concern too). I reached out to her and she ordered an abdominal ultrasound which I had done this past week. Everything looked normal except the pancreatic tail wasn’t visible due to bowel gas.
    Prior to the ultrasound (roughly a week now) I’ve been getting these horrible pains in my back. Sometimes they shoot up under my shoulder blade in the left side, other times they are just hurting (a tight, squeezing feeling) in the left middle section of back, and then I will also feel this pinpointed pressure on my spine. Right now it’s actually moved to the right side of my back around my ribs and right flank while intermittently shooting back over to the left side of back with the sharp pains. These aren’t normal back pains. It feels very deep within the body and the pain is getting worse. I made a gastroenterologist appointment but it’s a month out but I don’t think I have a month bc it hurts quite a lot. It usually starts in my upper left abdomen under ribs. I thought this was related to my pancreas but I’ve had no fever, vomiting, and have been dealing with this for a week. Though sometimes I feel my symptoms are worsened by eating, they can still be bad on an empty stomach. I can’t keep playing this guessing game with my health and have to hope that I will finally get some answers if I just go to the emergency room.
    I just had no idea how much of a vital role the gallbladder actually does play in our digestive and hormonal health and though my gallbladder was beyond sick (I was told it was a lot sicker than my pancreas was at the time) I wish I had had a lot more information about how to take care of my health after surgery back then.

    • Hi Laura, thank you for sharing your story. It is so true how important the gallbladder is in helping us maintain proper digestion and maintain the digestive environment to prevent improper flora from entering and flourishing. If you haven’t looked yet, maybe try checking your digestive tract with a stool test. This can sometimes be a helpful route when dealing with very severe digestive issues. We wish you the best in your healing journey! Please reach out at [email protected] if there are any resources we can provide. ~HB Support

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