Did you know that your gallbladder can be affected by going through menopause? Let’s talk about it.
The hormonal decline in menopause affects everything. Your brain, your vagina, your weight, your sleep. Menopause also affects your gallbladder. Just as your skin, eyes and vagina become dry without estrogen, the bile ducts become sticky interfering with bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder. As well as from the gallbladder into the small intestine. The longer bile sits in the gallbladder, the more likely that it crystallizes into stones.
Gallbladder disease is very common in menopause. Many women who’ve never had issues with their gallbladder may develop problems in menopause. Problems including cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), as well as cholelithiasis (gallstones). And women who’ve lived with gallbladder issues all their lives end up needing to have their gallbladder surgically removed at menopause.
So how can you help your gallbladder survive the change?
Well, one thing you can do is make sure you follow a liver cleanse diet, at least a couple times a year. Also, eat a liver cleanse meal at least once a week. More often if you have pre-existing gallbladder issues. You can get access to my liver cleanse diet by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
What my liver cleanse diet does is give your liver a break and the healthy food it needs to start clearing out the bile ducts. If you have gallstones you may also want to consider my gallbladder flush. It’s also included in the hormone reboot training. You will want to flush your gallbladder to clear out any sediment at least once if not weekly, for a month or so.
Taking hormone replacement therapy, particularly estrogen (and of course with progesterone) can actually help the bile ducts become lubricated and more patent. All so the bile flows easily from the liver to the gallbladder and into the small intestine.
Hypothalamic dysregulation, when your hormones are depleted during menopause, can also cause issues. Issues between the hormonal messengers in the gut and the hypothalamus.
Your hypothalamus perceives when you eat fatty foods from your taste buds. Your liver and gallbladder are stimulated by a hormone called cholecystokinin to get ready to dump bile into the small intestine which starts to break down fat.
If you have any congestion in your gallbladder, like the bile is thick, the bile ducts are sticky or gallstones are forming, you’re going to have pain when your gallbladder tries to dump that bile out. You may notice prior to gallbladder pain that you have issues with indigestion, gas and bloating, particularly after fatty meals.
You may have abdominal pressure, usually in the right upper quadrant or underneath the ribs. And it may radiate under your right scapula, which is the path of the nerves that control the gallbladder.
Especially during menopause, it’s important to keep your gallbladder healthy. You cna do this by keeping your bile ducts parent to prevent gallbladder disease so you may keep your gallbladder for the remainder of your life.
If you want more information regarding digestive health and hormones, please sign up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
Gallbladder disease and use of transdermal versus oral hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women: prospective cohort study; Bette Liu, et Al; BMJ 2008; 337