Gallbladder problems

Hi Wray
Is there a proven link between hormonal imbalance and gallbladder problems. I have read that gallbladder problems are much more common in women. Is it due to oestrogen dominance and are there other things, not including progesterone cream, that can help treat the gallbladder?
Great site!

Comments for Gallbladder problems

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 01, 2012
Gallbladder problems
by: Wray

Hi there The ratio of women to men with gallbladder problems is about 80% women to 20% men, or 4:1. The obvious reason, well obvious to me, is oestrogen. I feel one can't look at gallbladder problems without looking at the liver first. The gallbladder is only a storage organ, bile is formed in the liver. It comprises cholesterol, bile acids, electrolytes, phospholipids and bilirubin. It emulsifies fats helping to keep cholesterol levels down. It also assists with absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Protein, in particular the amino acid taurine, is essential for the production of bile. Without protein, deficiencies occur, followed by illness. Another essential is cholesterol which the liver uses to make bile. Bile also helps to rid the body of up to a half of total cholesterol. In fact before looking at the liver, a look first at the transport of bile acids from the blood to the liver should be undertaken. Bile salts from blood into bile is essential for the generation of bile flow and to solubilise cholesterol in bile, see here. The most common problem are gall stones which form in the liver, gallbladder and the bile duct. They comprise cholesterol stones, which make up over 80%, caused by an excess of cholesterol in bile and insufficient bile salts, and pigment stones, made principally of bilirubin and calcium salts, caused by an excess of bilirubin in bile. Gallstones are found in approximately 10% of the population, with the incidence in women (14.6%) twice that in men (6.7%). Women are also at increased risk of developing chronic acalculous cholecystitis and sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. Problems in the gallbladder stem from insufficient bile production, toxins, slow flow of bile, an excess of cholesterol in the bile (which causes stones to form), infections, poor choice of foods, excess oestrogen, contraceptive Pills and HRT, certain blood disorders. Excess oestrogen, contraceptive Pills and HRT, may increase cholesterol levels in bile and slow gallbladder contractions resulting in gall stones. Unfortunately there are studies which 'prove' progesterone is the cause of all the problems. But when looking through the papers, it becomes only too apparent the 'progesterone' used was a progestin. Research has shown that too little fat and protein and high levels of carbohydrates in the form of grains and sugar cause problems. Taurine is essential for bile production, see here, here and here. Continued below.

Jun 01, 2012
Gallbladder problems Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there If insufficient taurine is eaten in the diet, the liver cannot make bile. Taurine is not found in vegetables, only meat. The body can convert it from the amino acid cysteine, but if stressed or insufficient cysteine is eaten, taurine will be low. Taurine is essential for the heart and eyes, cholesterol excretion, heart disease and blood sugar control. Milk thistle aids the liver in removing toxins, see here. Oestrogen appears to involve disruption of the membrane transport mechanisms in the hepatocytes and bile ducts, see here and here. 17{beta}-Glucuronides of oestradiol and oestradiol-17-D-glucuronide are known to induce cholestasis, or malfunctioning of the liver, causing inhibition of bile flow. Most studies blame progesterone as cholestasis occurs during pregnancy, see here, but in this study they found it was actually oestrogen which was causing it. I can only imagine her level of progesterone was not sufficient, it should rise to levels of 400ng/ml and over in the third trimester. It seems this was not checked, is it ever. There is evidence cholestatic jaundice increases in winter, which indicates a vitamin D deficiency. Contraceptives can cause it too, see here and here. UGT enzymes (uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase) play a role in the glucuronidation of oestrogens, see here. Progesterone enhances UGT1A1 transferase activity, see here and here. Excess thyroid hormone and ethinyl estradiol inhibit bilirubin glucuronidation. COMT (catechol-O -methyltransferase) is found in the liver and plays a critical role in inactivating oestrogens, progesterone induces COMT expression, see here. Continued below.

Jun 01, 2012
Gallbladder problems Part 3
by: Wray

Hi there Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is one of the major detoxification pathways of the liver. It removes carcinogens, toxins, tumour promoters, the sex hormones ie, the androgens and oestrogens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, aromatic and heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, various nitrosamines, drugs, fungi etc. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase reverses the glucuronidation process. It breaks the glucoronide bond between a toxin and glucuronic acid, and releases carcinogens, toxins and excess steroid hormones back into circulation. There's evidence beta-glucuronidase activity is increased in breast and prostate cancer. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here, here, here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Silymarin from milk thistle also inhibits beta-glucuronidase, plus it helps the liver detox. A lack of antioxidants is associated with cholesterol gallstones, particularly glutathione and the sulphur aminos such as cysteine the precursor to glutathione, see here. You might like to look through this site here too. So after that mouthful, to recap! Taurine, N-acetyl cysteine, vitamin D, calcium D-glucarate, probiotics and milk thistle will help, and to avoid starchy carbs and oestrogen in any form. A liver cleanse can help too, I don't have that on the site yet, one day! Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

Jun 05, 2012
Wonderful answer
by: Kaylana

Wray,
Your response, detailed and full of technical terms, is wonderful. Medical problems can be like a long trail or a mystery since everything is so intricately connected. Keep up the good work!

Jun 06, 2012
Wonderful answer
by: Wray

Hi Kaylana Thanks for the kind words again! It is a mystery trail, or like a game of dominoes. Finding which one fell first, or where the trail starts is the key of course. Take care Wray

Aug 11, 2016
Nina
by: Anonymous

I know this is an older discussion, but if anyone could find an answer to this, I would highly appreciate it: I have been suffering with candida, bloating and pain as well as recurrent infections with my menstrual cycle for years. Now, after months of recurrent pain under my right ribcage, I was diagnosed with a dyskinetic gallbladder (ejection fraction 17%). I started self-medicating with beetroot extract, Choline, and Taurine, as well as vitamins and minerals. Ever since my diagnosis with systemic candida in 2012, I had been eating a healthy but mostly varied diet. Many tests were done, but no one found the source of my gallbladder problems. I did some research on my own and figured it had to be hormones, since symptoms would get worse every month with my cycle. I thought maybe I had low progesterone. All symptoms were pointing towards it. But now my hormones have been tested and it turns out that my progesterone is indeed too high. Measured in the luteal phase, it was 2140pg/ml while amounts of 127 to 446pg/ml are normal. I did not and have never supplemented with progesterone. I was on the pill for 12 years,but stopped taking it in 5 years ago. Ever since then, my health problems have worsened. Can someone explain to me what has happened and how I can fix this? My doctor has no idea either and is suggesting to take foods out of my diet that contain or support progesterone, but that is basically everything.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.


Search over 7,500 pages on this site...