Gallbladder Disease

Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Health | 0 comments

People do not usually talk about their gallbladder unless they are suffering from gallbladder pain. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped sac that is found just below the liver; it is primarily responsible for storing (and then releasing) bile into your small intestine to help in the digestive process (specifically in digesting fats).

Gallbladder pain is caused by conditions that can affect the gallbladder, conditions that are mostly due to irritation of the cholecystitis (gallbladder wall). These conditions refer to diseases, such as:

  • a. Gallstones – these develop when cholesterol, bile salts, calcium or other substances in the bile form into hard particles (which can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball) and block the passageway to the gallbladder.
    • A number of factors that contribute to the development of gallstones include:
      • Being overweight or obese;
      • Eating a high-fat or high-cholesterol diet;
      • Having diabetes;
      • Being age 60 or older;
      • Taking medications that contain estrogen;
      • and,Having a family history of gallstones
  • b. Cholecystitis – this most common type of gallbladder disease presents itself either as a chronic or acute inflammation of the gallbladder.
    • Acute cholecystitis can be caused by gallstones, tumors, or other forms of illnesses and the pain it causes, usually in the upper right side or upper middle part of the abdomen, ordinarily occurs right after a meal. Besides pain, acute cholecystitis can also cause    fever, nausea, vomiting, jaundice and different colored stools.
    • Chronic Cholecystitis, on the other hand, occurs when the gallbladder shrinks and loses its ability to store and release bile (this results from the several attacks of acute cholecystitis). Chronic Cholecystitis causes nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • c. Choledocholithiasis
  • d. Acalculous Gallbladder Disease or Biliary Dyskinesia
  • e. Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • f. Gallbladder Cancer
  • g. Gallbladder Polyps
  • h. Gangrene of the Gallbladder
  • i. Abscess of the Gallbladder
    • The most common symptoms of a gallbladder disease include:
      • Abdominal pain that radiates into the back and right shoulder blade
      • Pain that increases in severity after eating or breathing deeply
      • Chronic heartburn, indigestion or a feeling of fullness in the stomach
      • Cramps including dull or sharp pains
      • Stools that are a clay color

According to the GastroCare LI center, treatment of gallbladder diseases can either be gallstone removal or removal of the entire gallbladder. As long as complications (primarily infection) are avoided, the prognosis for those who undergo any form of gallstones or gallbladder removal is quite good.

 

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