Gallbladder Diseases

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through a tube called the common bile duct. The duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.

Your gallbladder is most likely to give you trouble if something blocks the flow of bile through the bile ducts. That is usually a gallstone. Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Rarely, you can also get cancer in your gallbladder.

Many gallbladder problems get better with removal of the gallbladder. Fortunately, you can live without a gallbladder. Bile has other ways of reaching your small intestine.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Diseases

The following features are indicative of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • sudden and rapidly severe pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen
  • sudden and rapidly severe pain in the center of the abdomen
  • back pain between the shoulder blades
  • pain in the right shoulder
  • nausea or vomiting
  • jaundice
  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • itchiness
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
It is possible that Gallbladder Diseases shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Gallbladder Diseases

The following are the most common causes of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • bile contains high amount of cholesterol
  • bile contains high amount of bilirubin
  • gallbladder does not empty correctly
  • DNA mutations

Risk Factors for Gallbladder Diseases

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • being female
  • being age 40 or older
  • being a Native American
  • being a Mexican-American
  • being overweight or obese
  • being sedentary
  • being pregnant
  • eating a high-fat diet
  • eating a high-cholesterol diet
  • eating a low-fiber diet
  • having a family history of gallstones
  • having diabetes
  • losing weight very quickly
  • taking medications that contain estrogen
  • having liver disease
  • history of gallstones
  • other gallbladder conditions and diseases

Prevention of Gallbladder Diseases

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Gallbladder Diseases. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not skip meals
  • lose weight slowly
  • maintain a healthy weight

Occurrence of Gallbladder Diseases

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Gallbladder Diseases cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Gallbladder Diseases can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Gallbladder Diseases can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Gallbladder Diseases

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Gallbladder Diseases:
  • Ultrasound and Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To get picture of gallbladder to detect signs of gallstones
  • Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): To detect whether a gallstone is causing a blockage
  • Blood tests: To detect infections, pancreatitis, jaundice or other complications
  • Biopsy: To view the signs of cancer
  • X-ray: To view the picture of the structures inside of the body
  • Percutaneous cholangiography: To view the images of the bile ducts
  • Laparoscopy: To view the gallbladder and other internal organs
  • Blood tests: To check for abnormal levels of bilirubin and other substances
  • Computed tomography scan: To measure the tumor’s size
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To view the detailed images of the body
  • Ultrasound: To diagnose gallbladder cancer
  • Endoscopic ultrasonography: To diagnose the tumor
  • Positron emission tomography scan: To view the pictures of organs and tissues inside the body

Doctor for Diagnosis of Gallbladder Diseases

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Gallbladder Diseases if untreated

Yes, Gallbladder Diseases causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Gallbladder Diseases is left untreated:
  • gallbladder inflammation
  • blockage of the common bile duct
  • blockage of the pancreatic duct
  • acute cholecystitis

Procedures for Treatment of Gallbladder Diseases

The following procedures are used to treat Gallbladder Diseases:
  • Surgery: Removal of gallbladder
  • Chemotherapy: To kill cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy:To kill cancer cells

Self-care for Gallbladder Diseases

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • Make healthier choices: Cutting down on alcohol and tobacco keep your stress level under control
  • Eat better: Eat small portions every 2 to 3 hours until you feel better
  • Maintain a healthy routine: Helps in recovering from disease
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Lowers the risk of gallstones

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Gallbladder Diseases

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Gallbladder Diseases:
  • Cleanse gallbladder by combination of olive oil, herbs and some type of fruit juice: Helps in breaking up gallstones and stimulates the gallbladder to release them in stool

Patient Support for Treatment of Gallbladder Diseases

The following actions may help Gallbladder Diseases patients:
  • Ask questions about gallbladder cancer: Helps in making decisions about your care
  • Stay connected to friends and family: Helps in dealing with the disease
  • Support groups: Join support groups with the individual's facing the same problem
  • Talk with your doctor: Helps in making decisions and coping with the disease

Time for Treatment of Gallbladder Diseases

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Gallbladder Diseases to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Gallbladder Diseases.
Bile Duct Diseases
Gallbladder Cancer

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