You may not give much thought to bile production. Bile doesn’t get a lot of limelight, but it is just as crucial to your digestive system as your saliva, stomach acid, and gut bacteria. And it needs to be discussed as it’s very important!
Bile is a digestive juice made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is made up of mostly water, bile salts, phospholipids, cholesterol, and electrolytes.
Because water and oil (fat) don’t mix, bile’s job is that of an emulsifier. It helps to break down the fats from food so they become water-soluble and can be used in the body’s cells.
Bile allows you to:
- Digest fat
- Absorb fat into your cells
- Absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K
- Removal of toxins and metabolic waste, including excess cholesterol
- Encourage detoxification of heavy metals
- Helps keep the gut bacteria in balance
- Lubricates the colon, allowing the food to go through the digestive tract easier
Your body depends on bile for nutrition, detoxification, hormone health, mineral balance, and much more.
If you have digestive symptoms, you might not be producing sufficient bile.
I’ve found that many of my clients are not producing enough bile – and we’ll talk about what symptoms are associated with that and what you can do about it in a few.
Before we get into that, let’s just talk about what the gallbladder is.
This is a sack that stores the bile that is created in the liver. While many do get it removed (about 500,000 in the US annually), it is useful and is worth keeping it healthy.
If yours has already been removed, you do still create bile – it just drips into the digestive tract. It’s just as important for you to maintain healthy bile production.
In a future post, we’ll explore signs your gallbladder function may be decreased and what to do if yours has already been removed.
Here’s a quick look at a diagram of this area:
There are many signs that you might not be producing enough bile, and these include:
- Trapped gas
- Stomach cramps
- Pain under the rib cage, on the right side
- Nausea after eating fatty foods
- Floating stools
- Vitamin deficiencies (especially A, D, E, and K)
- Bad-smelling gas
- Pale-colored stool
- Trouble digesting fat
- Unexpected weight gain
If some or all of the above resonate with you, there’s a chance that your body is under-producing bile.
Poor bile production can point to poor liver health or gallbladder problems. If you go long-term with little to no bile production, you will end up with more than just poor digestion. You might also experience a myriad of symptoms.
The reasons why someone is creating less-than-ideal amounts of bile can range. These include:
If you feel like you could use a boost in bile production, I’ve got 7 simple strategies to try to help boost it, including:
- Drink your water: Bile is 85% water. Aim for 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces daily
- Eat bitter foods: Examples include dark leafy greens, beets, artichokes, and pickles
- Drink specific drinks: Like lemon tea, dandelion root tea, and coffee – all can stimulate bile
- Apple cider vinegar: Add 1 tsp in a glass of water and drink 20 minutes before meals. Swish with clean water
- Eat meals on a schedule: Eating on a regular schedule helps keep bile production up and be sure to include a serving of healthy fat
- Use spices: Cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are all great to add in regularly
- Wear castor oil packs: You wear this over your liver and it will help liver and bile production. My favorite brand is Queen of Thrones – less messy and you can multitask when wearing it
Keep in mind that diet is only a piece of the puzzle. Other factors affect your bile production & digestive health, including:
- Gut permeability
- Mineral deficiencies
- Poor liver function
- And yes, stress
If you’ve been trying the things above & they haven’t been working as well as you’d like, then you need to uncover other contributing factors to your low bile production.
Remember that the body is a beautiful system that works together & we can’t spot treat one thing, as much as supplement companies like to make us think we can.
Thankfully with proper testing, we can get to the bottom of what’s causing low bile creation & create a customized protocol to bring your body back into balance.
If you’re tired of feeling the way you do and want to get to the bottom of things – the root cause – let’s chat.
On this call, we’ll get clear on:
- what health issues you’re currently dealing with
- what your journey has been to address these issues
- and your health goals – where you’d ultimately like to end up
I can share with you what I think are the missing links in your journey up until this point and what I recommend to do to address them. If I feel like it’s something I can help with, then I can share what that process would look like in the Root Cause Method 1-1 coaching & lab testing program.
And if you’d rather just chat over email first – feel free to reply to this message! I read and respond to every message that comes into my inbox.
Rooting for you!