Being aware of the symptoms of gallbladder problems helps hasten your treatment. More often than not, it’s the formation of stones that are complicating your bile pouch. Take note. Although a lot of people mistake one for the other, kidney stones and gallbladder stones are entirely different. In one sense, they’re similar as they are both the buildup of materials in each respective organ. What is confusing though is both conditions harbor similar symptoms. Surprising, right? Going through their differences can be timely so you may be able to proceed accordingly. As in many cases when it comes to body complications, only fools rush in.
One thing to remember is gallstones can be asymptomatic. Meaning, you won’t know you have one until it’s too late. You see, the pain comes only when the duct to the gallbladder is blocked with the stones. So if it’s not, you may not even realize gallstone formation. And that you’re already accumulating stones inside your body. The good news about gallstone problems is it’s treatable. You can even have your bladder removed should it be warranted. Another surprise. Still, it’s not without risk. Many people who had their gallbladder removed lived a normal life with minor complications; a few had chronic problems. Again, ignorance is no virtue. Read on.
Nature of Gallbladder
You could say it’s not that important an organ. Yes, gallbladder seems so. The fact is some medical practitioners would confide to some patients you can actually do away with it. But the truth of the matter is it serves a function which is key to the proper function of the body. In that sense, it’s important.
The gallbladder is just a small organ, a pear-shaped minor entity sitting under the liver. Compared to the huge liver, it’s but a punctuation. And its placement speaks of its function. The gall bladder may be thought of as a sack – a container. Its function is indeed that. It’s storage for bile, bile that is manufactured by the liver. It receives precious bile via the common hepatic duct. When triggered and when needed, bile gets released via the bile duct into the body’s duodenum.
The big question is what is bile?
Simply put, without bile, you may have digestion problems. Bile is one complex fluid that contains a lot of active ingredients to break down fats. We’re talking about a host of organic molecules which includes among other things bile acids. One, bile acts as a digestive juice to make fats available for the body to use. Two, bile carries waste products that are done away with via feces.
Gallstones can vary in sizes. Surprising, right? But it’s true. It can as minute as a grain of sand or in extreme cases it can assume the size of a golf ball. As the cases vary from person to person, some patients have but one gallstone. Others have many lodged in their gallbladder.
Many people have gallstones but don’t realize it. Only when the gallstones are blocking the entrance to the gallbladder do things come to ahead.
As storage of bile, the gallbladder can be done away with. You may still live without one. Most species in the animal kingdom, in fact, don’t have one. But it could have complications – and to a degree, it can bring about a person’s demise. Rarely.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Problems
The problem starts when the gallbladder gets overwhelmed by gallstones. This happens when material that just can’t be easily dissolved sticks to it. Cholesterol is one example of such. Below are some of the more prominent symptoms of bladder problems.
- Sudden stabbing pain coming from the abdomen’s upper right section which increases dramatically over time
- Same sudden pain but this time coming from the center of the abdomen – the section just inches below that breastbone
- You may feel like vomiting.
- You feel back pains in between the shoulder blades.
- Added pain in your shoulders.
Worse, all this can last some time, with the duration varying from person to person. It could be for some minutes or some hours.
When the pain becomes recurrent and debilitating, you should seek a medical opinion. Note that serious complications can even exhibit worse symptoms. Among these are:
- Discoloration of your skin (yellow)
- Discoloration of your eyes (white portion)
- High fever accompanied by chills
- Abdominal pain that’s so intense you won’t be able to sit still
Risk Factors of Gallbladder Issues
Over time, the demographics of those affected by the disease show that certain people are prone to develop the disease more than others. Among these people are who:
- Are drastically losing weight
- With diabetes
- With gallstone family history
- Engage in various diets (i.e., high cholesterol / high fat / low fiber)
- Are pregnant
- Are female
- In their 40s or beyond
- Are Native American
- Are Mexican American
Come to think of it, it all has to do much with eating. So if you have to lose weight, do it slowly. Also not eating at the intended time can be risky.
Treatment for Gallbladder Problems
Luckily, treatment is available for gallbladder problems. You can have medications that could break down the gallstones in the system. And if worst comes to worst you can have your gallbladder removed – kill the problem at its root so to speak.
It’s not so hard to do too. Medical circle concludes gallbladder removal is one of the most common surgeries in town. That’s telling you getting one isn’t that scary.
Removing the gall bladder is called cholecystectomy. And there are two ways to do that, depending on the severity of the problem and the condition of the patient.
There is laparoscopic gallbladder removal, also termed as keyhole surgery. This incidentally is the most common. And is done using a minute video camera with a small incision attached to it. The operation is easy-peasy and you could be walking out of the hospital in no time as it’s out-patient.
The more dangerous way to do it is by open surgery. The surgeon cuts a 4-6-inch incision in your abdomen to operate. Usually, this is done when the gallbladder problem is largely serious. Telling you knowing the symptoms of a gallbladder problem is a must.