by Orie Quinn, DC
The typical symptoms of a gallbladder problem are pains in the upper right abdominal
quadrant that will often get worse when you eat. In my office the biggest sign that I have seen, and what
usually helps me find a gallbladder problem early on, is rather sharp right shoulder pain. This is
especially true when people simple wake up with that pain. Any time that someone says “Doc, I didn’t
do anything. I just woke up with my neck and shoulder hurting and now I can’t hardly move it.” I’m
looking for a gallbladder problem.
What does the gallbladder do?
The gallbladder (gall bladder) is a sac that sits in the right upper abdomen, just below the liver, and stores bile
(gall) produced by the liver. Bile is made up of water, cholesterol, bile salts, fats, proteins and bilirubin (a
yellowish-brown pigment). If the liquid bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin, it can harden into
Most people with gallstones don’t even know that they have them. In some cases, a gallstone may cause the
gallbladder to become inflamed, causing pain, infection, or other serious complications.
Identifying a Gallbladder problem:
In office we use the combination of the patient’s symptomatology, physical analysis, muscle testing
analysis and when needed, blood work and other diagnostic tools. Gallbladder problems will correlate
with weak popliteus muscles (often correlating with knee pain), which responds to the gallbladder reflex
points. Using this type of analysis tool allows us to identify a gallbladder issue in office.
- There is a need to change the patients diet: eggs, dairy, all fried foods, and fatty foods must come out
for the duration of the treatment.
- In the office we will identify and release any fascia points, muscle points, and vertebral levels needed to
release tension in the gallbladder.
- Herbs like boldo, smilax, and Camu Camu, supplements like methyl-folate, molybdenum, and vit D3,
and oils like lemon, grapefruit, and orange are all nutrients that will be tested to identify what is right to
lower inflammation and decrease pain in the gallbladder.
Depending on the severity, but usually within 48 hours the symptoms are greatly reduced after
treatment and beginning of the herbs. 4 visits over a 2 week period is suggested to track the problem
and continue to reduce symptoms. Gallbladder issues need to be re-addressed over the next several
months in order to provide the right nutrition to continue improving gallbladder function otherwise a
return of the initial symptoms is very possible.
During my time in practice, gallbladder issues have been a common problem to walk in the door:
possible as often as 1-2 cases a week. Most people don’t come in with the typical gallbladder symptoms
of extreme upper right abdominal pain, which correlates with gallstones. The most common symptoms I
see are pain in the right shoulder or waking up with pain on the right side of the neck, similar to acute
torticollis. When someone comes in with this issue, I am looking and examining for a gallbladder
problem. Others though, do walk in already knowing or speculating that they have a gallbladder
problem because of pain in their side and pain when they eat food. By taking a good case history, good
physical exam techniques, and Applied Kinesiology, the problem in the gallbladder can be identified.
Let me run you through a case that came into my office just a few weeks back.
A man came in complaining of pain in his upper back, on the right side. He said the pain came on a week
or two back, but he was unsure why. There was no specific trauma that had occurred. He felt that it was
related to his workouts, as that was the only