The gall-bladder is a pear-shaped organ, 10 cm. long and three to five cm. wide,attached to the
under-surface of the liver on the right side. The main function of the gall-bladder is to store the
bile secreted by the liver. Bile is an excretion composed mainly of bile salts and acids, colour
pigments and cholesterol. Bile assists in the digestion and absorption of fats and the absorption
of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, minerals and calcium.
The gall-bladder is usually full and relaxed between meals. During the process of digestion,
when food reaches the duodenum, the hormone cholecystokinin begins to be produced in the
. When this hormone reaches the gall- bladder through the bloodstream, it
causes the gall-bladder to contract, thereby releasing the bile concentrate into the duodenum via
a common duct.
The main problems which afflict the gall-bladder are an inflammatory condition known as
cholecystitis and gall-stones. Gall-stones are usually caused by disturbances in the composition
of the bile. A change in the ratio of cholesterol and bile salts may result in the formation of
deposits. At the start, these may be in the form of fine gravel. But these fine particle constitute
for further deposits, ultimately leading to the formation of larger stones. An irritation
of the lining of the gall- bladder due to inflammation may also led to the formation of particles.
of gall-stones is higher in females than males, particularly in those who are
, gas, a feeling of fullness after meals, constipation
, nausea and disturbed vision are
the usual symptoms
of gall-bladder disorders
. Other symptoms
are intolerance to fats, dizzines,
and other lesions. Varicose veins, haemorrhoids and breakdown of
capillaries are also disorders associated with gall-bladder troubles.
The main causes of gall-bladder disorders
are digestive disturbances due to a regular excessive
intake of fats and carbo-hydrates in the diet. They can also be brought on by disturbances of the
liver and gall-bladder. Meals rich in fats may cause an attack of gall-bladder pain or gall-stone
colic. Often the disorder is caused by a diet rich in refined carbohydrates such as white flour and
white sugar. Poor health, hereditary factors, stress
, spinal displacements, bad posture and
muscular tension may also cause gall-bladder disorders
Types of gall stones
There are three types of gall-stones, depending on the cause of their formation. These are :
cholesterol stones caused by a change in the ratio of cholesterol to bile salts ; pigment stones
(composed of bile pigment) caused by the destruction of red blood cells due to certain blood
diseases, and mixed stones consisting of layers of cholesterol, calcium and bile pigment
) resulting from stagnation of the bile flow.
Surgery becomes necessary if the gall-stones are very large or in cases in which they have been
present for long. Smaller gall-stones can, however, cleared through nature cure methods. Diet is
the basic factor in the treatment of gall bladder disorders. In cases of acute gall-bladder
inflammation, the patient should fast for two or three days, until the acute condition clears.
Nothing but water should be taken during the fast. After the fast, the patient should take carrot,
beet, grapefruit, lemon and grape juice for a few days. Ensure that the diet contains an adequate
amount of lacto-vegetarian, consisting of raw and cooked vegetables, vegetable juices, and a
moderate amount of fruit and seeds. Yogurt, cottage cheese and a tablespoon of olive oil twice a
day should also be taken. Oil serves as a stimulant for the production of bile and lipase, the fat
digesting enzymes. All meats, eggs, animal fats and processed and denatured fats as well as
fried foods should be avoided. The diet should also exclude refined carbohydrates, especially
sugar, sugar products, alcohol
, soft drinks, cakes, puddings, ice-cream , coffee and citrus fruits.
The patient should eat small meals at frequent intervals, rather than three large meals. The
following is the suggested menu for those suffering from gall-bladder disorders
On rising :
A glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice and honey or fresh fruit juice,
Fresh fruit, one or two slices of whole meal toast and a cup of skimmed powder
Mid morning :
Fresh fruit juice.
Vegetable soup, a large salad consisting of vegetables in season with dressing of
lemon or vegetable oil. Fresh fruit for dessert, if desired.
Vegetable oil, one or two lightly cooked vegetables, baked potato, brown rice or whole
wheat chappati and a glass of buttermilk.
Water Treatment :
Regular applications of hot and cold fomentations to the abdomen improve the circulation of the
liver and gall-bladder. They also induce concentrations of the gall-bladder, thereby improving the
flow of bile. A cold hip bath improves the general abdominal tone. The pain of gall-stone colic
can be relieved by the application of hot packs or fomentation to the upper abdominal area. A
warm water enema at body temperature will help eliminate faecal accumulations if the patient is
Exercise is essential as physical inactivity can lead to lazy gall-bladder type indigestion
may ultimately result in the formation of stones. Yogic asanas which are beneficial in toning up
the liver and gall-bladder are : sarvangasana, paschimottanasana, shalabhasana, dhanurasana