According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), specific organs have a two hour time period when the Qi (energy) is at its peak in that meridian. The gallbladder meridian is most active between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. The liver meridian is most active between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Consistently waking during these hours is an indication that the gallbladder or liver is out of balance. When the energy of a meridian is not flowing well due to a block such as unhealthy eating, toxic overload or stress, you’ll experience a sign or symptom from the meridian(s) involved.
Pre-disposing factors to consider with gallbladder dysfunction include diets high in processed carbs, hydrogenated & trans fats, fried foods, fructose and dairy; hormonal imbalances (thyroid, ovarian), obesity, hypochlorhydria, insufficient water intake, food sensitivities, genetic pre-disposition and constant runny nose, which often indicates a need for bile salts.
Causes of gallbladder pathology include excessive consumption of processed foods, greasy and fatty foods, anger, frustration, bottled-up resentment and a damp, hot climate.
Symptoms of Impaired Bile Flow and Gallbladder Dysfunction
|Pain over eyes; Headaches||Gas; Bloating||Bitter taste in mouth|
|Sticky coating on tongue (right side)||Pain along ITBand||
Pain between shoulder blades
|Inability to tolerate fatty foods||Hypochlorhydria||Dizziness; Nervousness|
Pain in web between right thumb & forefinger when pressure is applied
Cramping at 4th toe, knees and thigh
|Blurred vision; Cataracts; Glaucoma|
Pre-disposing factors to consider with liver disease include recreational or prescription drug abuse, diabetes, viral infection of the liver, alcoholism, overfed and undernourished, malnutrition, exposure to chemicals and/or heavy metals
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the U.S. One-third of the population suffers from NAFLD, and many don't even realize they have it. (Polyzos et al 2010, Schuppan et al 2010, Younossi 2008). It is estimated that 70–80 percent of obese individuals have NAFLD.
NAFLD is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver cells in individuals with minimal or zero alcohol intake. It often goes undetected for years, and may eventually progress to liver inflammation, cirrhosis, liver cancer or full-blown liver failure. NAFLD is caused by poor dietary choices (primarily excess fructose), and linked to increasing rates of diabesity and metabolic syndrome.
Causes of liver pathology include overeating, obesity, a diet high in fructose, trans-fats and omega-6 fats, excessive use of alcohol, OTC and Rx drugs, exposure to toxins, repressed anger and prolonged stress. When the liver becomes overloaded and damaged, it’s unable to properly detox.
The liver is involved with digestion, the hormone system, controlling blood sugar, protein and fat metabolism.
Symptoms and Conditions of a Sluggish, Congested Liver
|Skin problems; rashes; brown skin spots||Difficulty losing body fat||Increased cholesterol|
|Distended stomach on a thin body||Depression; Fatigue||Cellulite|
|Chemical and food sensitivities||Chronic constipation||Alcoholism|
|Gynectomastia (man boobs)||Nightmares; Insomnia||Digestive dysfunction|
|Dark tint under eyes; bag under the eyes||Hypertension||High Estrogen; PMS|
If you wake up during the night at the same time, or become exhausted at the same time every day in the afternoon, you can look at the meridian that’s active and what may be happening with you.
The emotions that corresponds with the liver and gallbladder meridian include frustration, anger and resentment. The liver is the most emotion sensitive organ and its weakness is often connected to emotional sensitivity.
The key responsibilities associated with the gallbladder and liver are decision making, determination and action. The liver controls ability to plan one’s life, while the gallbladder controls the capacity to make decisions.
Solutions and Tips for a Healthy Functioning Liver and Gallbladder
- Nourish your liver: Juice or blend beets, apples, lemon, carrots and dandelion greens
- Include more liver cleansing foods in your diet: cilantro, turmeric, garlic, leafy greens & cruciferous veggies, artichoke, asparagus, apples, beets, walnuts, olive oil, green tea, avocados, apples, lemons and limes, tart cherries and chlorophyll-rich foods
- Eat more sulfur-rich foods: garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress)
- Start your day with a cup of lemon water
- Sip on some Dandelion root tea
- Identify food sensitivities (very common with gallbladder problems)
- Avoid the typical poisons: HFCS, trans-fats, vegetable oils, alcohol, soda and sugary fruit juices, pasteurized dairy, gluten, wheat & grains, processed foods and artificial sweeteners
- Use a daily detox powder to support a healthy liver. One of my favorites is ProtoClear
- Coconut oil is easily digestible and does not require the liver or gallbladder to digest or emulsify it.
- Those who consume at least 5 oz. of raw, organic nuts per week have a 25% lower risk of having a cholecystectomy compared with women who rarely or never ate nuts.
- Move your body every day to prevent stagnation.
- Yoga stimulates, regulates and enhances liver/gallbladder function through its combination of physical postures, breath techniques and meditation.
- Practice, deep, slow breathing: inhale kindness, generosity, forgiveness and exhale anger, frustration and resentment while focusing on the color green and making the sound shhhhhh
Acupuncture and acupressure
Apply castor oil packs on right side of abdomen
Gallbladder flush: 1/2 cup olive oil with 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon or grapefruit juice taken directly before bedtime.
Keep your liver healthy with these simple detox tips
Unplug and turn off electronics. Spending a lot of time on the internet, playing video games, and constantly checking email via our smartphones creates an agitation in our bodies that quickly causes liver stagnation.
Avoid Rx drugs, antacids, and OTC anti-inflammatory and pain meds
Use natural skincare products. The average woman puts 250 to 500 chemicals on her body every day, which compromises the lymph and liver.
Chinese medicine reminds us that the emotions of an unhappy liver/GB are anger, frustration and resentment. Engage in a process of healing yourself emotionally.
Rule out heavy metal body burdens and viral infections
Annual blood tests to detect elevated values (AST, ALT, GGT, triglycerides, iron, ferritin)
(Source: Paula Owen website for GB research and health tips)