The most common cause of pain is gallstones-hardened deposits of digestive juices in the gallbladder. Inflammation or infection of the gallbladder are other possible culprits.
Your gallbladder is a small sac, located in your upper right abdomen, just below your liver. According to the Canadian Gastrointestinal Research Association, your liver stores bile-a digestive juice made by the liver.
Your liver will continue to produce bile until you eat. When you eat, your stomach releases a hormone that causes the muscles around the gallbladder to release bile.
When gallstones cause one of the ducts that transports bile to block, they cause sudden and escalating pain, which is sometimes called a “gallstone attack.”
The pain is usually felt in your upper right abdomen, but it can spread to your upper back or shoulder blades.
Some people also feel pain in the center of the abdomen, just below the breastbone. This discomfort can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
A review of a 2012 study showed that as many as 15% of adults in the United States have or will suffer from gallstones.
Gallstones do not always cause pain. According to data from the Canadian Bowel Research Association, studies have shown that approximately 50% of gallstone patients are asymptomatic.
Inflammation of the gallbladder, called cholecystitis, usually occurs when gallstones block the duct that leads to the gallbladder. This can cause bile to accumulate, which can lead to inflammation.
These symptoms usually occur after eating, especially after eating a large meal or greasy food. If left untreated, cholecystitis can cause serious and even life-threatening complications, such as:
Gallbladder infection is another condition that can occur when gallstones cause obstruction. When bile accumulates, it can become infected and cause a rupture or abscess.
According to the Johns Hopkins Medical Association and the Canadian Bowel Research Association, if you have gallstones, you may also experience other symptoms, such as:
According to the National Organization for Rare Diseases, other conditions may cause symptoms similar to gallbladder pain. Some of these include:
Some complications of gallstone attacks can be serious or life-threatening. If you experience the following conditions, you should seek medical attention immediately:
According to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, there is nothing you can do when a gallbladder attack occurs.
You may need to apply heat to the area to relieve discomfort. Usually, once the gallstones are discharged, the pain is lessened.
Traditional treatment options for gallbladder attacks include surgical removal of the gallbladder or drugs to help dissolve gallstones.
You can prevent gallstone attacks by reducing your intake of fatty foods and maintaining a healthy weight.
Gallbladder pain is usually caused by gallstones that block the bile ducts. This common condition can cause severe pain.
For some people, the discomfort will go away on its own. Others may need treatment or surgery to remove the gallbladder. You can work normally without a gallbladder and live a fulfilling life.
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Post time: Nov-18-2021