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How to Restore Your Bile’s Natural Balance

Posted by Deborah Graefer, L.Ac., MTOM on

Most kids want to be firemen, doctors, models and movie stars. I always wanted to be the leading expert in alternative gallbladder care. Just kidding! Who would ever dream of that?

But I did wish for relief from digestive pain. I can’t remember being without it. I would go to bed with a hot water bottle, knowing it would be at least 2 hours for the pain to subside enough to drop off to sleep.

At that time they didn’t know much about gluten intolerance or dairy intolerance for that matter. They didn’t check children for gallbladder problems in those days either.

I lived for more than 30 years going from one practitioner to another, trying food combining, eating small meals, not eating at all (which is the only thing that helped). When I just couldn’t stand it anymore I’d fast for 3 days and be symptom-free for those 72 hours. And when I gave in to the inevitable, the need for food, the indigestion and tightness would creep back in with every bite.

Until somewhere in my early 30s I tried a Chinese digestive formula that changed my life. I took a lot of it with every meal, between meals and before bed. Instead of a hot water bottle I’d take this formula and repeat it maybe 3 times before I was free from symptoms enough to fall asleep. But it worked! It worked so well I signed up at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to learn all about it. If no one in western medicine could figure out my problem with all the medicines and tests available, and a simple herbal formula could do that, they clearly had some knowledge unknown to science on this side of the world.

And thus began my training and my practice which after some years ended up focused on digestion and specifically gallbladder, with strange concepts like the wood element invading earth. That is – emotions affecting digestion. Simple, really. Stress affecting digestion is not only accepted, it’s completely scientific. The problem is the only solution we have for that in western medicine is Prozac or its equivalent. Not exactly healthy, nor is it a real solution. But calming emotion (wood) and rectifying digestion (earth) is treating both the branch and the root and doing so in a way that enhances health. Which would you prefer?

My gallbladder protocols are geared around this principle. Removing offending foods from the struggling digestive system takes a load of stress from the whole body – not just digestion. This one step alone can help to reduce inflammation (a big stressor caused by certain foods) and pain. Castor oil packs reduce inflammation and may help to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (fight or flight syndrome) and calm down the nerves, relax the muscles, stop the cycle of a turned-on immune system. Coffee enemas have the effect on the body of stimulating the vagus nerve – the nerve that contributes to gallbladder contraction, sphincter relaxation and the smooth muscle contraction of the bowel. It can help to move sluggish bile, a sluggish bowel as well as a sluggish brain.

These protocols as well as natural supplements (Bile salts, HCl and enzymes) to thin and move bile, to support digestive processes are used to support the slow-moving and impaired digestive system until it is back on its feet, and are the main ways I have successfully helped thousands of people for more than 16 years to get their health back.

I have pursued research diligently, always looking for new understanding and for new ideas to use, especially for stubborn symptoms. And one of the things I have come to understand is that so long as there is discomfort going on in the gut, the whole body suffers, including the brain. The health of every cell is at risk – from inflammation and from toxin. Because with any problem with acid, or with gas and bloating, or with pain, there is most likely going to be an imbalance within the acids of the bile. For sure, once the gallbladder is removed, the bile is affected. And even though gallbladder attacks from stones may stop, the bile’s homeostasis will never be the same. In fact, it can even get worse. Although not everyone will get noticeable symptoms, 60% do. And some of them are worse off than before removal.

This has led me, through research, full circle – back to my original Chinese formula. Studies of this ancient classic remedy have shown to have an effect on the constitution of the bile through its action of “adsorbing” bile acids. And it has a stronger affinity for the toxic bile acids than the water-soluble ones. That means it has the ability to change the toxicity of the bile salts which are being blamed for unresponsive ases of GERD and DGER (acid and bile reflux). 

Interestingly, a GI doctor friend of mine just told me that this is exactly where drug research is going – trying to change the constitution of the bile. And while they may have found a drug to do that, it is not without side effects. So now they are working on a drug for the side-effects. And so it goes.

This formula is actually given to counter the side effects of PPIs and other medications such as the nausea and vomiting from chemo therapy. It is also used for acid and bile reflux, gas and bloating, constipation and diarrhea, stomach pain, gallbladder pain and more. So even though it is so effective for so many digestive problems, the most exciting thing is what it does for the bile. Because, to me, what it does to the bile explains how it can do all that it does.

So we’ve done the only logical thing – we’ve made our own version of this formula with gallbladder issues in mind. It’s our pleasure to introduce, BileCalm.

For orders, you may visit the Gallbladder Attack online shop or click on this link.


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