How does gallbladder function affect hormone? Gallbladder function can affect hormones in the body. Your gallbladder works together with your liver. The main function of the gallbladder is to reduce and then store bile, which is made by the liver. Bile is a substance that the gallbladder releases into the small intestine to aid digestion, another important gallbladder function. Hormones that occur naturally in the body and gallbladder function are interrelated. Problems occur when certain hormones are found at increased levels within the body.
- Gallbladder function affects hormones when you eat. When you eat food and fill your stomach, your body naturally produces a hormone called cholecystokinin. This hormone triggers the gallbladder to release bile into the small intestine to help you digest the food you ate.
- Gallbladders contain hormone receptors. Inside the gallbladder are hormone receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These receptors make the tissue inside the gallbladder highly sensitive to increased presence of these two hormones.
- Increased estrogen levels affect function. People who receive estrogen therapy are at a higher risk of contracting gallbladder disease and developing gallstones. The estrogen receptors located in the gallbladder are more sensitive to the increased levels, and the result of this sensitivity can be decreased gallbladder function, gallstones and gallbladder disease.
- Pregnancy hormones are a factor. Women who are pregnant can experience increased levels of the hormone progesterone. Because the gallbladder contains progesterone receptors, the increased presence of this hormone can inhibit gallbladder function.
- Women are more affected. Because women are more likely to have increased estrogen and progesterone levels, they are more likely to be at risk for gallbladder disease, gallstones and decreased gallbladder function as a result of the presence of hormones.