Gallbladder Disease

What Is Gallbladder Disease?

The gallbladder is an organ that stores and releases bile to aid in digestion. The term gallbladder disease is used to describe various issues and diseases that negatively affect your gallbladder. These conditions include:

  • Gallstones-hard particles that block the passageway to the gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Cholecystitis- an inflammation of the gallbladder which is typically caused by gallstones. Over time the gallbladder can shrink and lose its ability to release bile.
  • Choledocholithiasis- when a gallstone is lodged in the exit way of the gallbladder, the gallbladder can become inflamed.
  • Acalculous gallbladder disease- when your gallbladder becomes inflamed without the presence of gallstones.
  • Biliary dyskinesia-lower than normal gallbladder function
  • Sclerosing cholangitis- ongoing inflammation and damage to the bile duct system that leads to scarring.

What Causes Gallbladder Disease?

A majority of the issues of the gallbladder come from the formation of gallstones.

Gallstones are formed when cholesterol and other substances found in liver bile clot and form stones.

You also might have tumors that prevent the bile from draining correctly, an infection or blood vessel issues.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gallbladder Disease?

Symptoms of Gallbladder disease include:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Abdomen tender to the touch
  • Vomiting
  • Pain that spreads to your back or right shoulder
  • Severe abdomen pain, especially in your upper right or center abdomen

What Are The Treatments For Gallbladder Disease?

The best way to prevent the risk of gallstones is to maintain a healthy weight, lose weight slowly, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Many gallbladder diseases can be diagnosed by a simple ultrasound. Sometimes your doctor may suggest further imaging such as a CT or MRI scan. If treatment is necessary, possible treatments include:

  • Fasting- this can give your inflamed gallbladder a rest and decrease inflammation.
  • Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
  • Medications to dissolve gallstones
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain relief medication