Health Care and Your Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a 4-inch, pear-shaped organ. It’s
positioned under your liver in the upper right section of your abdomen. The
gallbladder stores bile, a combination of fluids, fat, and cholesterol. Bile
helps break down fat from food in your intestine. The gallbladder delivers bile
into the small intestine. This allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be
more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. If you have problems with your
gallbladder, you can feel very sick and not know exactly what’s going on until
you get medical attention.
According to Every Day Health.com, the gallbladder
releases bile, via the cystic duct, into the small intestine to help break down
the foods you eat — particularly fatty foods. Typically the gallbladder doesn’t
cause too many problems or much concern, but if something slows or blocks the
flow of bile from the gallbladder, a number of problems can result. Most gallbladder symptoms start with pain in the upper
abdominal area, either in the upper right or middle.
Below are common symptoms of gallbladder
conditions:
·        
Severe
abdominal pain
·        
Pain
that may extend beneath the right shoulder blade or to the back
·        
Pain
that worsens after eating a meal, particularly fatty or greasy foods
·        
Pain
that feels dull, sharp, or like cramps
·        
Pain
that increases when you breathe in deeply
·        
Chest
pain (angina)
·        
Heartburn,
indigestion, and excessive gas
·        
A
feeling of fullness in the abdomen
·        
Vomiting,
nausea, fever
·        
Shaking
with chills
·        
Tenderness
in the abdomen, particularly the right upper quadrant
·        
Jaundice
(yellowing of the skin and eyes)
·        
Stools
of an unusual color (often lighter, like clay)
Some gallbladder problems, like simple gallstones that
are not blocking the cystic duct, often cause no symptoms at all. They’re most
often discovered during an x-ray or CT scan that’s performed to diagnose a
different condition, or even during an abdominal surgery. More detailed info is
located at this website: http://www.everydayhealth.com/gallbladder/symptoms/
.
Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Rarely,
you can also get cancer in your gallbladder, according to the National
Institutes for Health (NIH). Many gallbladder problems get better with removal
of the gallbladder. Fortunately, you can live without a gallbladder. Bile has
other ways of reaching your small intestine. More details are found at this
site: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/gallbladderdiseases.html
.
According to HealthLine.com, any disease that affects
your gallbladder is considered a gallbladder disease.
Symptoms of a
gallbladder problem may come and go. However, you’re more likely to develop a
gallbladder problem if you’ve previously had one. While gallbladder problems
are rarely deadly, they should still be treated. You can prevent gallbladder
problems from worsening if you take action and see a doctor. More info is found
at this website: http://www.healthline.com/health/gallbladder-problems-symptoms#3
.

Some problems associated with the gallbladder are
gallstones, gallbladder attack and gallbladder disease. Gallbladder pain is
usually caused by biliary colic, gallstones, cholecystitis, pancreatitis and
cholangitis, according to LiveScience.com. Gallstones in particular are
troublesome, and they are solidified particles of substances in the bile. They
are made of a combination of bile salts, cholesterol and bilirubin. 

Gallstones
can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Gallstones can
block the gallbladder ducts so that bile cannot reach the small intestine as
effectively, which may prevent the gallbladder from doing its job and can lead
to other gallbladder diseases.
And, while most gallstones pass on their own, some require a minor
procedure or even surgery.
According to the Mayo Clinic, factors that
contribute to the risk of gallstones include obesity, high-fat or
high-cholesterol diets, diabetes and taking medicines with estrogen. Women,
people over 60, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans are also at a higher
level of risk. Symptoms of a gallbladder attack may be similar to those of a
heart attack and other conditions, so it is important to consult a doctor for a
correct diagnosis. More info about the gallbladder is located at this
site: http://www.livescience.com/42965-gallbladder.html
.
Gallbladder
problems are more common than you may think. Gallstones affect more than 25
million Americans with 1 million new cases diagnosed annually, according to the
American Gastroenterological Association. And there are other things that go
wrong with the gallbladder besides just gallstones, according to
GallbladderAttack.com. People can go for years with digestive symptoms and
never realize that they may be related to a gallbladder problem.
That’s
because they are so interwoven with other digestive symptoms such as
indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and nausea. Much more
detailed material is located at this website, including some naturopathic
options for treatment: http://www.gallbladderattack.com/gallbladdersymptoms.shtml
.
Because gallstones are related to diet, particularly fat
intake, the incidence of gallstones varies widely among nations and regions.
For example, Hispanics and Northern Europeans have a higher risk for gallstones
than do people of Asian and African descent. People of Asian descent who
develop gallstones are most likely to have the brown pigment type, according to
the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).
Also, having a family member or close relative with
gallstones may increase the risk. Up to one-third of cases of painful
gallstones may be related to genetic factors.
Studies indicate that the disease is complex and may
result from the interaction between genetics and environment. Some studies
suggest immune and inflammatory mediators may play key roles.
The UMMC reports as well that people with diabetes are at
higher risk for gallstones and have a higher-than-average risk for acalculous
gallbladder disease (without stones). Gallbladder disease may progress more
rapidly in patients with diabetes, who tend to have worse infections. As well,
being obese or overweight is a significant risk factor for gallstones. In such
cases, the liver over-produces cholesterol, which is delivered into the bile
and causes it to become supersaturated.
If you
have gallbladder disease, your gastroenterologist may recommend removing your
gallbladder, according to the Florida Medical Clinic. You may need a referral
from your family doctor if you don’t already have a specialist in this area of
treatment. The surgical removal of the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy.
Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the
esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder,
bile ducts and liver. More details are found at this site: https://www.floridamedicalclinic.com/recognizing-the-symptoms-of-a-gallbladder-attack/
.
If you
feel you may be experiencing symptoms of a gallbladder attack, get to your doctor
or a medical facility as soon as possible to rule out other possible health
issues. Get an action plan to deal with your pain and for any treatment that is
recommended. The short and long term effects of getting a proper diagnosis and follow
through is critical to reduce pain and suffering.

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