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Signs & symptoms of gallbladder dysfunction

  • Chronic right shoulder pain, spasm, or instability (right shoulder, right upper back, or thoracic spine, right upper rib subluxations)

  • Pain in the spine (feels like a chiropractic misalignment) between the shoulder blades

  • Constrictive pain across the abdomen

  • Headache over one or both eyes

  • Intolerance to fried or greasy (high fat) foods (bloating, nausea, diarrhea, cramping, etc.)

  • Indigestion

  • Reflux or heartburn-like symptoms

  • Flatulence

  • Periodic pain below the right side of the rib cage

  • Bitter taste in the mouth

  • Chest pain

  • If you consume a diet full of refined carbohydrates (sugar & white flour), you are likely to have gall bladder dysfunction!

How does the gallbladder work?

The gallbladder is a muscular sac that stores and (when needed) releases bile into the small intestine via the common bile duct (which it shares with the liver). The purpose of releasing the bile is to help the body make the fatty/greasy and oily things in our digestive tract water soluble (emulsification). The intestines and healthy bacteria that live in the intestines do not like non-emulsified fats. Consequently, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and acidic or bile reflux can result and are the way the body lets us know our gall bladder is not working well.

Did you know that right shoulder and neck pain can indicate gallbladder dysfunction?
Some people have problems localized over the gallbladder (which is in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen just under the rib cage), but most people also get pain/inflammation into the back and/or front of the right shoulder, upper/middle back and shoulder blade. That pain can also migrate up into the neck or over to the left upper/middle back. These patients manifest real shoulder problems like tendonitis, ropy muscles, stiff/sore neck, etc. However, in many cases, the cause of all the inflammation and pain, strangely enough, is from a dysfunctional gallbladder.

Causes of gallbladder dysfunction
Although the gallbladder issues become more apparent when the patient consumes or overconsumes fat, the cause of the thickening of the bile and inflammation of the gallbladder is often an overload of refined carbohydrates [e.g. white table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and unbleached as well as enriched white flour (processed from wheat)].