Many people with thyroid disease have trouble with food in terms of digesting, absorbing, and eliminating. This leads many people to diagnoses of gallbladder problems. Many times this leads to the removal of the gallbladder.
When someone suffers from gallbladder issues they have trouble digesting fats. This can lead to diarrhea, nausea, burping, and stomach pain.
Even though there are thyroid patients that want to lose weight, not absorbing fat is not the way. We need healthy fats to absorb the fatty acids and nutrients in the food we eat. This is often called fat malabsorption. There is a vicious cycle between fat malabsorption, gallbladder issues, and thyroid disease.
The Importance Of Breaking Down Fat
The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are a team, working together to break down the fats you eat. This allows the fat to be absorbed and eliminated from the body.
To make it down to the small intestines our liver produces bile. This helps us absorb vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. These vitamins can not be absorbed in the body without the presence of bile. When we lack bile we start to have nutrient deficiencies with those vitamins. This is a big problem for those with thyroid disease.
The bile is sent to the gallbladder and then to the small intestines. The small intestines is where the bile starts to break down. While this is happening, the pancreas releases a substance with digestive enzymes to help digestion.
After this process, bile is returned back to the liver to reuse. The liver does not have to make new bile. The bile is recycled 95 percent of the time.
When you suffer from gallbladder issues there is a high chance that you have a liver issue as well. If you had your gallbladder removed you are not going to have the amount of bile needed for proper digestion.
How Fat Malabsorption Affects The Body
People that have thyroid issues often suffer from fat malabsorption. They also tend to have an increased chance of having gallbladder problems as the thyroid can affect bile.
When the body is lacking T4 there is a decrease in liver cholesterol. This causes the bile to change leading to the thickening of bile and slower flow.
When bile is decreasing this can lead to constipation. This is why many thyroid patients complain about having fewer bowel movements. Also as digestion slows there can be the opposite effect, causing bacterial growth leading to diarrhea.
When there is a delayed flow of bile it causes cholesterol to crystalize in the liver. This leads to the formation of gallbladder stones or gallstones. These are solid substances that block the bile and pancreatic duct leading to inflammation in the gallbladder.
Symptoms Of Fat Malabsorption And Gallbladder Issues
- Greasy, smelly, floating, or light-colored stools
- Gas or belching after eating
- Stomach pain
- Gallbladder pain (located on the right side, under the ribs)
- Weight loss
- Dry hair
- Dry itchy/flaky skin or scalp
- Hormonal imbalances
To regulate the liver and gallbladder, first regulate your thyroid hormones. Check out the thyroid healing community to get started.