Your gallbladder is a small sack that stores bile until needed. Bile is made in the liver and is used during digestion to emulsify fat. When you eat a meal that contains fat (like butter, dairy, meats, oils, etc), the gallbladder squeezes the proper amount of bile into the beginning part of the small intestines. The bile is mixed with the food so the fat can be broken up into smaller and smaller particles so that lipase (digestive enzyme that specifically breaks down fats) can digest the fat and the body can then absorb it.
Bile is an extraordinary liquid in that it has a very wide range of pH: from about 4-9. It works best at 7.6, but can have a broader range for your survival. Your body needs to maintain a slightly alkaline pH to stay healthy and alive. pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of how acid or alkaline something is. The pH scale runs from 0-14, with 7 being neutral. Stomach acid is very low on the pH scale– about 1-4.5, whereas ammonia is very high – bout 11.
The best way to maintain your body’s slightly alkaline balance is be eating lots of fruits and vegetables; especially deeply colored ones. Deeply colored plants, especially vegetables are full of minerals that you need to give you mineral reserves for your natural buffering system. The problem is that in our standard American dietary habits, we don’t consume nearly as many veggies and fruits that our bodies need for normal health. Our mineral reserves become depleted.
The good news is that your body is designed with many back-up systems so that if you don’t eat properly, you can still survive for a certain amount of time. While you should be getting your alkalizing minerals from the foods you eat, your body can access your bile to get the alkalizing effect it needs to neutralize the acidifying residue left behind from meats, grains, soda, candy, chips, coffee, and all the other goodies ingested. When you eat improperly for too long, the bile gets out of its normal pH balance and stones form. If your habits are not corrected, the stones continue to form, eventually leading to an inflamed gallbladder which you then blame for “attacking” you.
The way to prevent gallstones and possible gallbladder removal is by eating the food that God provided for you. The diet best suited for humans should contain around 60-70% fruits and vegetables. More vegetables are better, and ½ of what you consume should be raw and/or fermented. This will ensure you are getting the minerals you need to provide your body with the material need to keep you healthy for many years to come.
If you have already had your gallbladder removed, your liver still produces bile and there will just be a steady drip into your intestines. You should not eat too many fatty foods at any given meal. Trial and error will let you know how much fat at once is too much for you. Taking digestive enzymes that include lipases is a good idea. They will ease the digestive burden on your pancreas and help you digest the fats easier since you might not have sufficient amounts of bile to emulsify your whole meal. Continuing a high fruit and veggie diet will help prevent your body from becoming too acid and going to the other back-up systems: your kidneys, bones, and muscles. But, that’s another post.