What to do when your gallbladder starts playing up

You probably don’t give your gallbladder too much consideration, but when it starts causing you trouble… You certainly know about

You probably don’t give your gallbladder too much consideration, but when it starts causing you trouble… You certainly know about it! A gallbladder that’s acting up can cause you pain and often requires immediate action.

In case you weren’t aware, your gallbladder is about 4 inches long, pear-shaped and sits under your liver. It’s responsible for storing the bile your liver makes in order to digest fat.

If you’ve got a healthy gallbladder, the process between the liver and the gallbladder happens without any pain, but when it stops working or the bile ducts become blocked, you’ll have pain and discomfort on your hands.

Gallstones is the most comment gallbladder complaint. Gallstones occur when too much fat and bile cause crystals to form, which — over time — expand and turn into stones. You can have them as small as a grain of sand or as big as a golf ball.

Another common complaint is when your gallbladder becomes inflamed. This happens if a gallstone blocks the tube that the bile uses to travel in and out of the gallbladder. With bile backing up, it causes and irritation to the gallbladder that leads to swelling and infection.

If you are experiencing pain in your upper- or mid-right section of your abdomen it could be a sign you have a gallbladder issue. Other symptoms include:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • a fever or shaking chills
  • changes in your bowel movements
  • changes in your urine habits
  • a yellowing of the skin (jaundice).

You’ll be wanting to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you’re having a problem with your gallbladder. If you’re experiencing any mild, intermittent pain that goes away on its own though, the attention from a medical practitioner does not necessarily need to be immediate.

You need immediate medical assistance when:

  • the pain is in the upper-right quadrant and does not fade after 5 hours
  • you have a fever, nausea or are vomiting
  • there are changes in bowel movement and urine.

Doctors can easily treat your gallbladder problem, and treatment includes surgery, medication and/or antibiotics.

However, you can also take action to reduce the risk of developing a gallbladder problem. You don’t want to be indulging in a diet high in calories, but low in fibre for a start. Neither do you want to gain nor lose weight rapidly.

Do you have a history of gallbladder complaints? What other health issues concern you as you get older?

  1. Kelly  

    My first experience of gallbladder pain made me go to the hospital telling them I was having a heart attack. The pain was in the centre of my chest. Many tests later gallstones was the diagnosis.

    • Loueen  

      Yes, I was taken to hospital with an urgent possible heart attack, the pain was unbelievable, in my back through to my chest, I was feeling so sick and thought it may be “the end”. Numerous tests, MRI eventually showed blocked bile ducts and stones,had ‘op and have not looked back.

  2. Tanya  

    Yes I had so much pIn it was unbelievable, my husband ended up calling an ambulance where I was rushed to hospital, ended up in surgery and my gall bladder burst just as they were about to remove it.

    • Tanya  

      Sorry that should have been pain, not pln

  3. hans  

    In a fight-or-flight response, the hypothalamus activates two systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system. The sympathetic nervous system uses nerve pathways to initiate reactions in the body, and the adrenal-cortical system uses the bloodstream. The combined effects of these two systems are the fight-or-flight response. The sudden flood of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dozens of other hormones in an allergic reaction causes changes in the body that include: nonessential systems (like digestion and immune system) shut down to allow more energy for emergency functions. This includes the gallbladder and liver which stops the production of bile while the gallbladder stops secreting bile, heart rate and blood pressure increase, blood-glucose level increases, muscles tense up.
    When the brain stops the release of bile it concentrates, leading to gall stones.

    According to Dr Doris Rapp; It (allergic reactions) can affect any part of your body from an inability to concentrate and think clearly to fatigue, hyperactivity, an inability to sleep, joint and muscle pains, bedwetting, ear infections (check your dairy intake!), and asthma (try no milk, decrease dust mites and feathers).
    Any food can cause allergies, even healthy foods like apples and pears. Some of the biggest culprits are cow’s milk or any dairy, sugar, wheat, eggs, preservatives and artificial colorings.

    No dairy in all its forms and shapes need to be avoided. Dairy is in practically every food that is bagged, boxed, frozen, packaged, or formulated an it becomes essentia to read labels and discard any food containing dairy.
    It is food for baby cows.

    • Hans I think it is wrong to say to discard any food containing dairy, it is food for baby cows? We need dairy as we age for stronger bones, and there are alot of foods beside dairy that can cause allergy. I am not allergic to anything, and if i eat or drink something which causes me to have stomach pains hours later I do not blame the food I ate first. WE all Need dairy, young and old for growth in bones. To me we live in a too clean world, disinfecting anything and not letting our immune system work the way it is meant to.

    • Wow I can’t believe my doctors didn’t make this connection…I have Dysautonomia & POTS, causing chronic “fight or flight” response…and now Gastroparesis and gallstones.

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