- Can gallbladder problem or lack of bile somehow cause high cholesterol? Yes it can!
High cholesterol is not a disease per se, but an indication of a problem somewhere else in the body. If you have these symptoms of bile deficiency chances are that your elevated cholesterol has something to do with bile insufficiency.
High cholesterol is a health indicator
Instead of automatically reaching for pills to lower cholesterol you should consider that high cholesterol can also be an indicator of
- chronic infection,
- chronic inflammation,
- low oxygenation (ischemia),
- oxidative stress (low antioxidants)
- fatty liver
- poor nutritional state, or just
- a recent injury.
Cholesterol is a main constituent of all cells. Any injury to a cell will cause the its break down and spillage of the content into the blood stream. Excess cholesterol in the blood is normally removed by the liver.
The liver uses cholesterol to make bile, which is then stored in the gallbladder are released at meal time. However, if this removal process is interfered with, one can end up stuck with high cholesterol.
Bile deficiency caused by the liver
A healthy liver is a major cholesterol manager. It is the liver (not the diet) that decides how much cholesterol is produced and how much it is released. Unfortunately, there is no simple test that checks for liver ability to produce bile. Thus if you are stuck with high cholesterol, the only thing you can do is to see if excess cholesterol is actually being eliminated in the bathroom.
Why is looking in the toilet important? Because if you have high cholesterol numbers, you want to see that the lipid excess actually ends up flushed out. But before cholesterol removal happens, the liver has to do a few other tasks: capture the floating cholesterol and convert it to bile first.
Do you make enough bile?
One simple glance over your poop can tell you more about the liver than a list of elaborate blood tests ordered by your doctor. Watch the color. If your stool is pale or shies away from dark brown, you may want to suspect bile deficiency from under-active liver.
Why would poo color be a health indicator? Bile contains bilirubin, a pigment left over by red blood cell degradation. Because of this coloring phenomenon, bile gives stool its brownish color. So if you see no color in the poo, you should automatically think the poo has no bile.
Bile deficiency caused by gallbladder
Has it ever happened to you that the stool looked somehow pale only to get back to its normal color the next day? If your stool color fluctuates the liver may have nothing to do with it and you need to look at the gallbladder instead.
Liver decides on bile production, but the gallbladder is in charge of bile release. There are two common situations that make the gallbladder less cooperating:
- If gallbladder has stones they may be blocking its exit.
- If there is any inflammation or irritation the gallbladder may swell, go into spasm and narrow its exit passages.
If any of the above happens don’t expect the stored bile to leave the gallbladder and finds its way into a poo. Bile-less poo will be pale.
But don’t panic. Gallbladder problem may only be temporary.
- The stone may reposition,
- inflammation may subside and
- spasm may go away
By looking at your poo, you can easily tell when the liver-gallbladder pair works in sync. When gallbladder is “open for business” and the liver produces enough bile, your stool will have normal brownish color.
If you see that your stool alternates between pale and normal, suspect gallbladder rather than the liver problem. Likely you don’t have issues with bile production or chronic bile deficiency.
Can lack of bile cause diarrhea?
Since bile is necessary to digest fats, lack of bile can cause several problems related to fat digestion. One of them is diarrhea from accumulation of undigested fat in the stool.
In fat digestion is a problem, you may also see oily droplets in the toilet. It may also produce a foul smell. Pale stool and oily droplets are give-away signs of a definite bile deficiency. In that case, you would be wise either to stimulate liver to produce more bile, or supplement ox bile.
High cholesterol caused by gallbladder?
If either the liver doesn’t remove cholesterol or the gallbladder doesn’ t release the stored bile, you may end up with cholesterol back up in the blood. Expect your cholesterol numbers to go up.
If your blood work numbers bother you or your doctor, you may want to quickly lower cholesterol with natural methods, while working on the two malfunctioning organs.
Other causes of high cholesterol
If you have normal-colored stools, the likelihood of low bile production or inadequate release causing havoc in blood work is low. Your high cholesterol has likely different causes.
Investigate your diet and pay special attention to dietary fiber. It is the dietary fibre that decides how much cholesterol ends up in the poop.
If there is adequate fibre, lots of cholesterol will be excreted. Without the fibre it will be recycled AKA taken back into the blood stream.
Please note that diets with low fibre are a much more common cause behind high cholesterol than any gallbladder problem. Start with the diet, but don’t bother with foods that cut cholesterol nonsense. And… before you reach for any cholesterol pills whatsoever, you must read “The Cholesterol Trap!”. It is an eye-opener.