Gallbladder pain – how to recognise problem?

Gallbladder pain

Gallbladder pain can make life very unpleasant. It comes on quickly and its intensity can surprise you. If you have never experienced gallbladder pain, this article is for you. You will learn how to distinguish the pain from other abdominal pains and how to treat it. 

Why do we have a gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ approximately 10×4 centimeters in size. It is located under the liver and is firmly connected to it by ligaments.

Most people think that the gallbladder makes bile, but it actually just stores and thickens it. Bile is produced in the liver and enters the gallbladder through the hepatic duct.

Bile in the body helps digest food and promotes digestion by neutralizing acidic digestion, which comes from the stomach. Bile has the ability to emulsify fats, but too much of it in the diet can lead to gallbladder damage. 

How does the gallbladder hurt?

Gallbladder problems are manifested by pain in the right lower ribcage. It can be both dull and sharp and shoot up the back to the right shoulder blade or stomach. It is sometimes associated with stinging, tightness, a feeling of a full abdomen, hiccups and vomiting. 

Gallbladder pain affects a large number of people, and the first attack will surprise you with its intensity. Although the pain may subside on its own, it is a manifestation of the disease and a consultation with a doctor is always necessary to establish a diagnosis and suggest further action. 

What does gallbladder pain mean?

Gallbladder pain is a symptom that alerts us that something is wrong and it’s time to see a doctor. Although the pain may go away on its own, don’t underestimate it and address your problems early. 

  1. Bladder Colic

Gallbladder colic, or also gallbladder attack, is the name given to a sudden onset of pain in the right subcostal region. The pain can last for different lengths of time and vary in intensity. 

It is most often caused by eating a fatty meal, when the body flushes out an increased amount of bile that washes away the gallbladder stone. The gallbladder cannot “travel” out and therefore pain is experienced. 

  1. Gallbladder Stones

Gallbladder stones are most common in women in their 40s, but they don’t avoid men either. They are formed by the crystallization of certain components of bile and may be located in the gallbladder or bile duct. 

  1. Gallbladder inflammation 

A gallbladder pain can also indicate inflammation that is accompanied by high fever and vomiting. Inflammation is most often caused by congestion of bile or introduction of infection through the bloodstream. 

What triggers gallbladder pain

Gallbladder pain usually occurs after a dietary mistake. A large amount of fatty and hard-to-digest food at a party or barbecue will give you pain in your right lower ribcage within a few hours. But there are other foods that irritate the gallbladder. These include:

  • chocolate and cocoa,
  • irritating foods (garlic, onions, spicy foods),
  • tomatoes,
  • legumes. 

Each person’s trigger may be different and the reaction to certain foods needs to be tracked. If you suffer from gallbladder pain, you can purposefully keep a diary and within a few weeks you will have a list of inappropriate foods.  

What helps with gallbladder pain? 

In connection with gallbladder pain, the low-fat, non-irritating diet is most often followed. The ideal preparation of meat is boiling or stewing. And potentially irritating ingredients are not used. Of course, the patient’s commitment to the regimen is important. 

If the pain is chronic or the colic returns, then surgical treatment is resorted to. Most commonly, laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder is performed. This is a common operation that is not risky and makes life much easier for patients. Nevertheless, after gallbladder removal, it is necessary to continue to follow a fat-restricted diet.

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