Reflux is a digestive issue caused by insufficient ability to break down the fats and oils that you consume in your diet.  Removal of you gall bladder removed will compound digestive health as bile is needed for digestive purposes (emulsify fats and oils and also helps to lubricate the bowels). Some of the problems commonly experienced are constipation, dry hard stools, bloating,  flatulence, belching, indigestion, stomach pain, ineffective digestive processes, heaviness after eating rich fatty or fried foods, nausea, reflux, hyperacidity, food intolerance, cholestasis and heartburn.

Gall bladder, liver and digestion

The gall bladder and the liver have a close relationship when digesting foods.  In order to maintain a healthy digestive processes without a gall bladder it is important to support the liver as well. The manufacturing of bile takes place in the liver and is transferred to the gall bladder which acts as a reservoir to hold the bile until it is needed for digestive processes. If you do not have a gall bladder the amount of bile released for digestion is reduced. Bile acids are released into the digestive tract to help break down the fats and oils in the foods you have eaten. The fats and oils may then become rancid in the stomach because they are not being properly broken down. This may cause further issues such as constipation, flatulence and a decrease in digestive capabilities.

Diet tips for reflux

  • Reduce saturated fats (animal fats and dairy foods), transfatty acids, processed foods and simple sugars. Saturated fats and transfatty acids are commonly found in foods such as cakes, cookies, biscuits, bakery foods, margarine, donuts, processed and deep fried foods
  • Eat more bitter foods to stimulate liver and gall bladder function such as rocket, endive, raddichio and kale. Also eating foods high in sulphur help to stimulate liver detoxification such as garlic, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and radish
  • Increase vegetables in your meals, especially the family of cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and green beans which encourage the liver to detoxify and support bile function. Preferably steam your vegetables rather than boiling to retain maximum nutrients
  • Introduce herbal teas such as Dandelion, Burdock, Peppermint, Green Tea, lemon and ginger to support liver detoxification, digestion and the production of bile
  • Begin each day with a glass of warm water with ½ lemon squeezed in it. Lemon juice stimulates digestive and liver function, cleanses the bowels and has a beneficial effect on bile production
  • Consume good raw oils in your diet. Foods which contain good oils are raw olive oil, fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil capsules, fish, nuts and seeds and avocadoes
  • Have a vegetable juice each day (beetroot, carrot, celery, turmeric and ginger) as these encourage liver detoxification, alkalise and cleanse the system and provide vitamin C to move the bowels

Lifestyle factors for reflux

  • Check liver function as a decline can dramatically affect the production of bile in the liver
  • Address digestive insufficiencies (bloating, constipation, liver inflammation, heartburn)
  • Work with your body to improve your gut health in regards to probiotic health as there are direct links between low amounts of beneficial bacteria and reflux
  • Improve digestive function
  • Add fermented foods to your daily diet to increase beneficial bacteria into the digestion

Natural remedies for reflux and bile production

  • Probiotics help to increase beneficial bacteria to reduce fermentation in the gut and digestive problems such as reflux
  • Vitamin C and bioflavinoid powder as vitamin C helps to stimulate bile and bowel movements
  • Liver supportive herbs are beneficial for their cholagogue (bile stimulant) effects such as Globe Artichoke, Dandelion, St Marys Thistle, Bupleurum, Citrus Peel, Greater Celandine, Agrimony, Golden Seal, Barberry, Yellow Dock, Chamomile, Ginger and Turmeric
  • Lecithin sprinkled on your food, cereal or in a smoothie helps to emulsify fats, lipids and oils in the digestion