The Symptoms Of Gallbladder Disease

What are the symptoms of Gallbladder disease? How would I know if I had it?

The function of the gallbladder is to store bile. Bile is produced in the liver and helps in the digestion of fats and fatty acids into the small intestines. The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that is nested between the liver and the stomach. With the gallbladder being in such proximity of other major organs, pain transference may occur. Transference is when one part of the body is inflamed but you may feel the pain above or below the affected area.

When gallbladder disease is present, the bile in the gallbladder thickens. It starts out as sludge and graduates to gallstones. These stones and sludge are from cholesterol and bile salts. The result of the disease is inflammation or stones. Gallbladder attacks happen because the sludge or stone has lodged itself in the common bile duct. As a result, the pain in the right upper side of the abdomen, or severe chest pain may be mistaken for a heart attack or severe indigestion may mimic the presence of gastric ulcers. If this duct becomes blocked for too long, a condition called jaundice, a yellowing of the skin caused by accumulation of bile in the blood, may occur.

Some factors that contribute to the development of gallbladder disease: 1. Heredity ( American Indians and Latinos are at a higher risk), 2. Age over 40, 3. Gender-females are more likely to develop gallbladder disease than men, 4. Poor diets that are high in fats, 5.Obese patients and 6. Persons with other intestinal problems that slow the intestinal tract such as constipation problems.

People who suffer from gallbladder attacks are urged not to eat certain foods, as they contribute to the pain and/or recurrence of attack. Food such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels spouts, nuts, or any food high in fats, can induce an attack. Alcohol consumption can also increase pain. These attacks can become more severe as time goes on. Eating will become painful, followed by vomiting and a weakness that mimics the flu. If left untreated, or medical help is not sought, the patient can suffer from liver disease, a ruptured gallbladder, or other potentially life-threatening illnesses this is not common but may occur if treatment is not sought out.

Be prepared if you are on an HMO insurance, you will first need to see a physician. Tests will be done, which will determine what is necessary. Your medications and other health problems play an important factor in treatment.

There are several ways to treat gallbladder disease. Surgical intervention may be necessary when the duct becomes permanently blocked, the stone is too large, or a great amount of pain is present. Surgery at one time used to take several weeks to recover from; a hospital stay of one week was usual. Today, the surgery may be done on an outpatient basis, through laparoscopy. An overnight observation stay, is recommended, to watch for bad reactions, infections, or post surgical complications. You also have the option of laser treatment where the stones are actually "blown up" within the gallbladder, allowing them to pass through the common bile duct into the intestine. The third option is medication that helps to dissolve the gallstones.

Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and not to be considered medical advice. If you feel, you have gallstones or gallbladder disease please seek out medical intervention.

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