A friend of mine just had her gallbladder taken out and now suffering terribly with indigestion. I posed the question, "Why?" to Natural Healer, Anna-Inez Matos, to see if she could help unravel the mystery. Meet Anna-Inez, below, and please take the time to read her amazingly thorough explanation of the GALLBLADDER MYSTERY! I hope this will help the millions of people out there now suffering....!
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Chef Michelle Schulman of Arnold's Way
When you part your lips, you open the entrance to the digestive system The teeth, tongue and saliva then begin this long journey of digestion. The tongue, besides having taste buds to detect rotten food and different flavors, is richly supplied with nerves, enabling this organ to manipulate food in the mouth and place it between the teeth for chewing, without biting itself. Its carefully coordinated movements are necessary in the initial stages of swallowing.
Gradually the food is chewed, pummeled and pulped, mixed with saliva into a moist mass called a bolus, and made ready for swallowing.The tongue tip touches the roof of the mouth and traps the bolus behind it. The body of the tongue rises from the front to push the food back and down into the throat, pharynx.The pharynx is an apparatus of muscles and specialized tissues used for accurate transport of the food to the esophagus (gullet) and past the trachea, windpipe.
As the food reaches the pharynx, it lifts the rear, soft palate, which swings up like a trapdoor to block its passage into the nasal cavity. Likewise, a flap on the lower front of the pharynx, the epiglottis, swings over and down to cover the entrance to the trachea.Simultaneously the larynx raises itself to narrow its entrance and hide it beneath the epiglottis. As all this occurs, further muscular activity creates propulsive waves in the pharynx, massaging the bolus down into the esophagus.
The whole of the gut, from the top of the esophagus to the rectum, can make snakelike writhing movements (peristalsis) whereby the digestive contents are progressively pushed through the system. The contraction and relaxation of the muscle moves the bolus throughout the entire system. Peristaltic waves travel down the ten inches of esophagus at about two or three inches per second.
At the base of the esophagus is a ring of specialized muscle called the esophageal sphincter. The esophageal sphincter is important because the next region is the stomach which has powerful churning acid. When this sphincter relaxes, it allows the contents to ooze through into the stomach. If the sphincter weakens or if there is high-abdominal pressure, stomach contents may well-up into the lower part of the esophagus and produce an unpleasant, bitter sensation, reflux.
The stomach of an average adult holds from two to three pints and manufactures the same volume of gastric juices every 24 hours. First the stomach's upper bag-like portion, fundus, holds an eaten meal and feeds it part at a time to the lower portion, the antrum.Then strong muscle, principally in the antral wall, contract to squash and pulverize the contents into a sticky, slushy mass called chyme.
Parietal cells in glands in the stomach lining make powerful hydrochloric acid that kills many of the germs in unwisely consumed contaminated food. The acid, along with protein-splitting enzyme pepsin made by other cells in the stomach wall, begins to split and crack the chemicals in food. A thick layer of mucous, secreted by other cells in its lining, coats the inside of the stomach to prevent erosion of its wall.
The control of acid and enzyme secretion in the stomach is crucial, because it must be coordinated with the appearance of the food on which these substances work. The organ is well supplied with nerves; most of which come from the autonomic nervous system.The most important nerve is the vagus, which runs from the brain stem (medulla) at the base of the brain, down through the chest and abdomen to control various autonomic functions. The vagus carries nerve impulses directly from the brain to the groups of cells in the stomach lining, which secrete gastric juices.
Nervous stimulation of cells in the upper part of the stomach wall causes the cells to release the hormone gastrin, which spreads through the blood supply and encourages further release of juices into the stomach cavity. So, soon after the chewed food enters the stomach, it is assailed by various chemicals designed to break it down.
The pyloric sphincter at the stomach's exit relaxes to let squirts of chyme through into the duodenum, the first ten inch section of the small intestine. Squirts of chyme gradually fill the initial part of the duodenum and distend its wall. Sensors in the wall initiate reflex, sending nerve signals along the vagus, and other small nerves, back to the stomach. The signal weakens the stomach's movements, so the amount of chyme flowing from it decreases.
As chyme slops into the duodenum, it triggers the release of hormones, secretin and cholecystokin, from the mucosal lining. These hormones assist in limiting gastric motility and acid secretion, as well as stimulating organs such as the gallbladder and pancreas to prepare for the coming meal.
The small intestine has three sections. The duodenum, the jejunum, some eight feet long and coiled behind the area of the navel, and the ileum, three feet longer and it loops it's way down to the lower right of the abdomen. Here it swells into the cecum, the first part of the large bowel.
The initial interaction by acid in the stomach does a great deal to break down food, but most digestion and absorption of nutrient molecules takes place in the small intestine. Chyme flows through the duodenum and mixes with a battery of enzymes pouring in along a duct from the pancreas. The food is under heavy bombardment of the pancreatic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypin, which pound proteins into shorter and shorter segments until they are only a few amino acids long. Pancreatic amylase breaks down starches and other large carbohydrate molecules and breaks them into smaller sugar molecules. The pancreatic juices also contain alkalis, which neutralize the corrosive acid of the stomach and allow these enzymes to work at peak efficiency in the now alkaline environment.
Dietary fats present more of a problem. Another component of pancreatic juice, the lipid-splitting enzyme lipase, enters the fray. Non-water soluable fats tend to split up and regroup in the intestine as globules, which lipase finds difficult to penetrate.The globules must be broken down to small droplets, a process called emulsification. Enter bile along the bile duct leading from the gallbladder. Bile is an emulsifying agent that splinters fat globules into droplets so they can be more easily broken down by lipase.
The partly broken down remnants of once-large food molecules drift along the microvili of the small intestine. They are still being broken down by various enzymes. Maltase, sucrase, and lactase break apart the carbohydrates, reducing them to the smallest and simplest sugar molecules. Dipeptidase and aminpeptidase ensure that once huge proteins are rendered down to their individual amino acid subunits. Only at this size are the amino acids, sugar and other products of digestion able to pass through the cells lining the villi of the intestine, into the copious network of blood capillaries lying behind them.
Triglycerides, the subunit products of digested fats, enter the intestinal cells by merging with the cell membrane itself and are assimilated into the cell content. Here they are placed in protein wrappers, which makes them soluable in water, to form tiny packets known as chylomicrons. They then drift into the lacteal channel that runs up the center of each villus and is filled with lymph fluid. The lymphatic system becomes the main mode entry for fats, although this system eventually links up with the blood circulation by draining into a main vein near the heart.
Food popped into the mouth perhaps eight to ten hours earlier is now truly "inside" the body, broken into its smallest viable subunits and floating along in the bloodstream and lymphatic channels. The food molecules are then shipped to the next port of call: the liver.
Incoming blood from the hepatic artery, branching off the aorta, carries oxygen and nutrients for the tissues of the liver itself. Blood arriving along the portal vein carries the products of digestion from the stomach and intestines for processing by the cells of the liver. "Used" blood from both sources leaves along the hepatic vein for return to the heart.
The liver at rest accepts a blood supply of two and a half pints each minute. Between meals, more than three-quarters of this supply comes from the intestines via the portal vein; the remainder arrives along the hepatic artery. When food is eaten, more blood is diverted to the intestines to deal with the tasks of digestion and absorption, and blood flow in the portal vein decreases.
The liver is the body's central "food processor." Chemically, it is extremely active, playing host to more than 500 metabolic pathways. Some involve the breaking down of complex chemicals; others involve the synthesis especially of protein molecules.The liver also acts as a cleansing station for the blood, inactivating hormones and drugs, unwanted elements and infectious organisms.
With carbohydrate metabolism, glucose from the intestines is chemically condensed to glycogen, which is laid down in the liver and in other organs. Excess glucose is converted and shunted off to fat cells, and is stored as fat.
With fat metabolism, the lipid products of digestion arrive in the liver and certain of them are used to manufacture various fatty substances, notably cholesterol, which is an essential ingredient in the construction of some hormones and in nerve cell functioning.
With protein metabolism, unwanted proteins are disassembled into their amino acid subunits, which are further broken down and rebuilt into necessary amino acids.These are then reassembled in the correct sequence to make new, wanted proteins. Urea is the main waste product from the liver's juggling of proteins, which then enters the bloodstream, to be filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.
Bile is a fluid formed in the bile canals in connection with the lobular construction of the liver. One of its goals is to emulsify fats in the intestine. The bile collects in branches of the hepatic duct. Small hepatic ducts merge to form the main right and left hepatic ducts, which lead from the two lobes of the liver and join to form the common hepatic duct, through which all bile passes.
The common hepatic duct runs for nearly two inches before branching up the cystic duct to the gallbladder.The gallbladder is a small pear shaped pouch in a hollow below the liver's right lobe. It is a temporary reservoir that concentrates the bile within and has a capacity of about one and a half fluid ounces.
The union of the cystic and common hepatic ducts produces the common bile duct, which is nearly three inches long and one-fifth of an inch in diameter. It passes behind a loop of duodenum and through the larger "head" end of the pancreas to discharge into the duodenum. Just before it enters the duodenum, the common bile duct is joined by the pancreatic duct, carrying digestive juices from the pancreas. Smooth muscle in the gallbladder wall allows this sac to squeeze out bile when needed for digestion. And a sphincter (sphincter of Oddi) is sited at the junction with the duodenum to control the flow of bile and pancreatic juices into the intestine.
Bile contains a mixture of bile salts, lipids, cholesterol, assorted pigments, proteins and mineral salts, such as sodium. The bile salts are essential for emulsification of fat globules in the upper small intestine.The liver produces around two and a half pints of bile daily. This is collected in the hepatic ducts and trickles along the common hepatic duct, and then up the cystic duct to the gallbladder, to await a meal. In the gallbladder is such active resorption of mineral salts and water that the volume of bile decreases by nine-tenths to a thick, mucous consistency.
Release of bile is triggered by a hormone, cholecystokinin, which is in turn released by the the duodenum when food is present in the stomach. The hormone reaches the gallbladder via the bloodstream and stimulates its contraction, causing the concentrated bile to be squeezed out along the bile duct. Cholecystokinin also initiates the release of pancreatic juices.
Digestion in the small intestine takes place almost continuously and in a slushy, watery environment. The colon (large intestine) resorbs water from the intestinal contents, making them firmer and more manageable. It stores the contents until it is convenient to void them from the body.
The colon is just over two inches across and less than five feet long. Beginning with the ileocecal sphincter, the colon runs the front right-hand side of the abdomen (ascending colon) across the top beneath the liver (transverse colon) and down the left side (descending colon) to turn back toward the mid line in an S-shaped bend (sigmoid colon) before opening out into the rectum.
Some undigested remains, cellulose of dietary fiber, leftover digestive juices, and bile contents, sloughed off cells from the gut lining, and dead and dying bacteria makes up the brownish fecal matter. As most of the water is being reabsorbed, the now semisolid feces is pushed by peristalsis along the colon into the rectum, a six-inch distensible, baglike structure, where they remain until evacuated.
Bacteria make up almost one third of the dry weight of the feces. Colonic bacteria produce and facilitate the absorption of important chemicals into the body including vitamin K. One of their side effects is gas, mostly methane. The quantity and quality of gas depends on the food eaten.
The final region of the gut is the two-inch long anal canal. The internal anal sphincter is normally in a contracted state to prevent any leakage of fecal material through the anus. As the rectum becomes stimulated by the accumulation of feces, nervous impulses pass from it to the anal area and trigger relaxation. Rectal distension produces a conscious desire to empty the bowels and defecation takes place.
And that is the story of the digestive process.
As you can see, every aspect of this, especially the gallbladder and its function, is vital to the efficiency of the entire system. Without the gallbladder and release of bile, the emulsification of lipids is interfered. This will cause the bowel (intestines) to become irritable. Usually people who have gallbladder problems eat a lot of fried or fatty foods. When they get their gallbladder removed and do not change their eating habits, their bowels are sure to retaliate and become very irritable.
The best course of action is to eat raw food, properly combined, instead of getting the gallbladder removed. Gallbladder removal is completely unnecessary!
The best course of action if you have been unfortunate enough to have had the gallbladder removed? Eat raw food, properly combined.
Anna-Inez Matos NATURAL HEALER, ANNA-INEZ MATOS