Digestive system plays critical role in health and well-being of a person. Yet the small pear shaped gallbladder which hangs out along with pancreas and liver doesn’t attract much of attention. Gallbladder is responsible for the storage of bile and releasing it into the intestine on regular intervals for the purpose of fat digestion.
As long as the digestive system is working smoothly, there might be no reason why one should think about the bile and the bladder. But once there’s a problem in the functioning of gallbladder, it can upset the whole routine. Here are some alarms that the body rings to show you have a problem with your gall bladder, usually in the form of ‘gallstones’.
The key trigger to indicate that there is a problem with your gallbladder is severe pain in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, just below the rib cage. This pain may be temporary and may subside off quickly. Yet if there is frequent recurrence of such pain or few of the following symptoms, it’s time to consult a gastroenterologist and get examined for whether the surgery is required.
Abdominal Pain: The most prominent symptom, which indicates that you might be troubled because of gallstones accumulation, is the abdominal pain. This pain and discomfort is such that it does not continue to trouble you continuously. The pain so caused usually comes and disappears and this happens more so when the meal is of fatty foods. This pain appears as intense discomfort in the upper right quadrant of the belly where the gallbladder is located.
The size of the gallstone may vary from a small seed to the size of a golf ball. The pain arises during the contraction of the gallbladder which occurs as a response to eating or any other normal stimuli. During this contraction, the gallbladder tries to push the gallstone out which causes this peeving pain in the stomach. The pain may stay there from five minutes to few hours. In some cases the pain might also radiate to the back and right shoulder.
The inflammation in gallbladder due to gallstones deposition may even spread the inflammation into the pancreas. This can result in blocking of the duct from the pancreas as well as from the gallbladder.
Light colored stools and darker urine: The excess bilirubin content affects the urine and stool too. With the bile duct blockage, the stools are often of an unusual yellow color quite similar to clay and the urine becomes darker in color similar to tea.
Fever and Chills: The person with gallbladder disorder might feel shaky with chills, but this symptom alone may not be an indication of infection in gallbladder. But when the fever or chills are combined with abdominal pain which persists, the chances are that the gallbladder is completely blocked causing severe inflammation in the organ.
Increased Heartbeat: The gallbladder infection also has the potential to alter the heartbeat. The pain usually seems to increase while the person is breathing deeply.
Heartburn: Since it is closely related to indigestion of fats, the gallstone symptoms are quite identical to those of indigestion like heartburn, acidity, cramps in stomach etc. When these symptoms repeatedly trigger after meals, the cause of these indigestion symptoms could be the gallbladder inflammation or a gallstone blocking the exit of your gallbladder.
Jaundice: The gallbladder sends the bile to the small intestine for breaking the fat present in the ingested food. But when gallstone comes in the way and blocks the bile duct, the bile juices cannot flow into the small intestine. This results in rise in the bilirubin level present in the gallbladder. It is this bilirubin which is utilized in creating the bile juice. The rising concentration of bilirubin in the bloodstream results in its deposition on skin thereby turning it yellow. This condition is termed jaundice in which the whites of the eye also turn yellowish.
Nausea and Vomiting: The bile duct is responsible partially for the digestive process. In case the gallstone gets stuck in one of the ducts from where the digestive enzymes are flowing, there are increased chances of inflammation, swelling and excessive pain. These symptoms may also lead to nauseating feeling and vomiting, especially after having meals.
Other Symptoms: Symptoms other than gallstones like gallbladder inflammation, biliary colic, some chronic gallbladder disease or dysfunction may also be the reason for initiating a gallbladder removal process.
Whenever you feel that there are any of the symptoms visible along with sharp and crappy abdominal pain, it could be because of the gallstones causing trouble in the gallbladder or around it. Since these so-called infections and pain can be life-threatening, it’s best to seek immediate expert advice. It might require a minimally invasive surgery, including cholecystectomies to get over this pain.