In the human body, pancreas, liver and bile can be figuratively related in a good or a very bad way. In a healthy situation, they can work together, but in an unhealthy situation, they can harm each other and cause disease. For example, both the bile and the pancreas (pancreatic lipase) are responsible for proper fat digestion. For example, gallstones or pancreatic cancer can cause bile buildup, which causes major problems for the liver and pancreas.
To truly understand the relationship between the liver, bile ducts, and pancreas, one must understand the structure and function of these organs.
The liver is our body’s main chemical factory and performs many very important jobs. Everything we eat and digest goes to the liver, and the liver uses the food stores to produce essential nutrients for our entire body.
The main functions of the liver are the production and release of bile and the removal of toxins from our body. Bile ensures the elimination of a variety of toxic substances from the body. These substances include the body’s metabolites such as cholesterol and bile pigments, as well as some toxic chemicals, drugs, and heavy metals.
The cells of the liver secrete bile into a network of ducts. These ducts meet to form the common bile duct, which carries bile from the gallbladder and liver. The choledochus merges into the pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct carries the pancreatic juice with digestive enzymes from the pancreas into a small cavity (paternal ampulla) that opens into the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine.
It is very important that the pressure in the pancreatic duct is always higher than the pressure in the bile duct; Therefore, the bile cannot reach the pancreatic cells. The mixture of bile and pancreatic juice passes through the ampoule of Vater into the duodenum.
Around the common bile duct, pancreatic duct, and wall of the duodenum is a muscular valve called the sphincter of Oddi. Oddi’s sphincter controls secretions from the liver, pancreas and gallbladder into the duodenum. A spasm or blockage of this muscle valve can cause pancreatic juice to back up in the pancreatic duct. Digestive enzymes trapped in the pancreas begin to digest their own pancreatic cells, causing congestion, inflammation, pain, cysts, and eventual death of pancreatic tissue.
Hepatitis, fatty liver, candida yeast overgrowth, parasites, constipation, inflammation, infection, high body acidity, and poor eating habits can cause bile to be thick and acidic, making it difficult to move through ducts and valves .
When the bile becomes thick and acidic, it also becomes very aggressive. This means that aggressive bile irritates and attacks the walls of the ducts, leading to bile reflux – wrong traffic for bile. This causes spasms of Oddi’s sphincter and pancreatic and common bile ducts. This is very dangerous because instead of the toxic acidic bile entering the duodenum, the toxic thick and acidic bile enters the pancreas, which activates the pancreatic digestive enzymes in the pancreas. This is how pancreatitis begins.
In addition, when the acidic, aggressive, toxic bile is pushed into the duodenum, it erodes and irritates the intestinal walls, causing duodenal ulcers. This aggressive bile causes the duodenal walls to contract in a jerky motion that pushes the bile up into the stomach or even the esophagus. This bile/pancreatic reflux can cause stomach and esophagitis, ulcers and possibly cancer.
Good digestion in the gastrointestinal tract largely depends on the right quality and sufficient amount of bile and pancreatic juice filled with good digestive enzymes. In contrast, digestive symptoms such as belching, heartburn, nausea, constipation/diarrhea, abdominal cramps or pain, gas, bloating are signs of indigestion and may indicate impaired liver, gallbladder and pancreas function.
So, the health of the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder involves a few important things. Bile and pancreatic juices must be liquid and alkaline.
All factors that cause dehydration negatively affect the fluidity of the pancreatic juice and bile.
The damaging effect of the body’s own acid is now becoming more and more apparent to scientists and doctors. Aging and many diseases cause over-acidification of the entire body or are the result of chronic acidosis – accumulation of acidic substances in the tissues. Alkaline digestive glands such as the liver and pancreas suffer most from total body acidosis.
Acid is becoming epidemic in today’s modern society due to the abundance of processed, acid-forming foods: meat, sugar, white flour, white rice, sodas, etc. Alcohol is highly acidic and toxic, so it’s no wonder people who drink alcohol suffer more common in liver, gallbladder and pancreas diseases.
Common sense suggests that if you have any symptoms of indigestion, you should stop consuming acidic foods and substances. Simple chemistry requires supplying the body with minerals and bicarbonates, which are collected in large quantities in fresh vegetables and fruits, to neutralize acidity.
There is another way of supplying the organism with minerals and bicarbonates. Europeans have known this for centuries. There are many healthy mineral spas across Europe where healthy and sick people spend a healthy holiday. Most North Americans tend to think of bottled water as something to drink either as a snack or with meals. However, for more than 500 years, European doctors have been using mineral water for health and well-being.
The Czech town of Karlovy Vary has been a legendary European spa town since the 17th century.
According to legend, one of the first patients was the Roman emperor and Czech king Charles IV (Karl IV), whose name the city of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) bears in 1370.
European doctors were interested in the sources and many medical books, articles and dissertations confirmed the beneficial effects of drinking cures.
Karlovy Vary mineral water was so popular for healing indigestion that since 1764 natural Karlovy Vary salt has been produced by evaporating mineral water from the famous Vridlo hot spring.
By dissolving the Genuine Karlovy Vary Mineral Salt in warm water, anyone can get healing mineral water with the same healing properties as the water from the Karlovy Vary thermal springs.
By measuring the pH of saliva and urine with litmus paper, after drinking Karlovy Vary medicinal mineral water at home, it is possible to detect a shift towards a normal, slightly alkaline level of these liquids.
Bile and pancreatic juice are basic mineral solutions. Dietary supplementation with special forms of magnesium and potassium natural to our body, Krebs organic acid salts can also neutralize the acidity of the whole body and promote good quality bile and pancreatic juice.
Dietary fat is a normal trigger to open the valve and push bile and pancreatic juice into the small intestine. Following the slogan “No Fat, No Cholesterol,” Americans avoid oily foods, mistakenly mixing good fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts with bad fats like animal fats and artificial trans fats. A lack of good fats can lead to clogging of bile and pancreatic juice with gallbladder stones, a lack of fat-soluble vitamins, and indigestion.
For millennia, people have used the herbs anise, chamomile, fennel, ginger, oregano, peppermint, sage, thyme, turmeric and so on for better digestion. These herbs can promote the production and excretion of bile and pancreatic juice and can therefore be useful for indigestion.
Many Americans are aware of the use of acupuncture for back pain, but are unaware that this ancient method is very beneficial for many diseases of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Acupuncture in experienced hands can relieve abdominal cramps and pain, stop diarrhea, improve peristalsis, decrease appetite, and even promote the elimination of small gallbladder stones.
Mother Nature placed most of the digestive organs in the abdomen.
There is a large crowd there. If an organ moves too slowly or even stops, everything goes wrong and the entire digestive system suffers. Every organ needs its space to function. The most “difficult” position holds the pancreas. The pancreas is sandwiched between the stomach, duodenum, liver, spleen, left part of the colon, aorta, inferior vena cava, and spine. There really is no space in this area.
When a person suffers from gas or constipation, the pressure in the abdomen increases, similar to a tight cloth or belt. Squeezing internal abdominal organs causes them to stick together and cause adhesions. This, in turn, leads to further restrictions on movement and congestion.
For thousands of years, healers have used massage techniques to “move” and stimulate the proper work of all digestive organs to relieve pain and discomfort.
Unlike Europe, the American words “diet” and “diet” mostly refer to the conscious choice of foods to control body weight, but not to cure various diseases. Dietary changes are crucial in all digestive disorders. Food is cheap, safe and effective medicine.
In summary, not all liver, gallbladder, and pancreas diseases appear out of the blue. They often took 5-15 years to develop. We need to listen to our bodies because even small symptoms of indigestion can be a small alarming bell for serious problems in the future.
In many liver, gallbladder, and pancreas diseases, non-drug, non-knife approaches can halt the process and delay pone deterioration. Don’t prove it to yourself, self-treatment is a risky business. The goal is to find the knowledgeable healthcare provider or even a team of professionals.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified, licensed professional.
Thanks to Peter Melamed Ph.D.