The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located right beneath the liver. It is responsible for storing bile, an enzyme that helps in digestion of fatty food items which are high in cholesterol. However, there are many factors that can lead to gallbladder problems. As per statistics, almost 20% of people over 40 years of age, suffer from some or the other gallbladder issue in the United States. Also, women are two times more vulnerable to suffer from these as compared to men―the most common of these problems being the occurrence of gallstones!
The gallbladder is located on the right hand side of the abdomen, right below the liver. When you experience discomfort or pain in that area, it is known as a gallbladder attack. The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person. While some may experience immense pain and discomfort, others may feel nothing. Because the symptoms are so common in nature, most patients tend to ignore them, taking them as a temporary discomfort. For example, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc., are something we experience during food poisoning, as well.
As mentioned earlier, the most common problem associated with this pear-shaped organ, is the formation of gallstones. The exact cause why these stones form in some people and not the others, is not known. Mentioned below are the most common causes for the same.
- High-cholesterol diet causes the crystallization of fats in the gallbladder causing gallstones.
- Discomfort can also occur due to the backup of the bile present in the gallbladder, which may or may not contain stones.
- Cholecystitis, a medical term for inflammation of the gallbladder.
- Hypothyroidism can slow down the metabolism of the person, which can in turn, affect the rate of digestion of fatty foods. The debris then accumulate and crystallize, forming stones in the gallbladder.
- Certain food allergies can result in the production of histamine, which can result in excessive fluid accumulation in the bile duct. This can result in bile backup and can cause swelling and pain in the gallbladder.
- Being overweight and obese
- Consuming high-fat and high-cholesterol foods
- Losing weight suddenly
- Consuming an extremely low-calorie diet
- Age being more than 40 years
- Consuming too many contraceptive pills
- Being pregnant, causing increased estrogen levels in the body
- Taking drugs that help lower cholesterol levels
- Family history
- Having a low-fiber diet
- Insufficient physical activities and exercises
- Consuming foods that contain saturated fats
Whenever one experiences pain, be it in the abdomen or anywhere else in the body, a painkiller is all it takes for one to get a temporary relief from the suffering. Most of us don't even give medical attention a serious thought! However, it is strictly advised to seek medical assistance and get yourself thoroughly checked to prevent further complications. Especially, when the signs are uncalled-for.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.