Gallbladder Symptoms Women
Why Gallbladder Symptoms in Women
Are More Prevalent Than in Men?
Gallstones are More common in Women
Gall bladder symptoms in women are not any different than those of men, but studies do show that gallstones are more common in women. In fact, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, women are twice as likely to develop gallstones than men.
Gallbladder Pain Solutions
Most articles on gallbladder symptoms give you a list of common symptoms and perhaps describe how they come about, but they never give you viable solutions beyond “seek medical advice.” In this article you will not only be shown why these symptoms come about but how you may minimize or eliminate them altogether.
This website is dedicated to helping you find solutions to gallbladder attacks and problems.
Slower Gallbladder Emptying
First, women normally have slower gall bladder emptying than men, an effect that may seem to be amplified during pregnancy and may very well be one reason why so many women suffer from gallstone formation after giving birth.
Second, gallstones affect more women than man because of the effects of estrogen and progesterone. Women secrete high levels of the hormone called progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. This hormone is associated with delaying muscle contractions. During pregnancy, estrogen is also present in high levels as it helps to maintain pregnancy and stimulates the process of fetal maturation.
High Estrogen and Progesterone Level
Both estrogen and progesterone affect the handling of cholesterol in women, a factor that often leads to abnormally high concentrations of cholesterol in the bile and decreased gallbladder movement.
The primary function of the gallbladder is to serve as a reservoir for bile used for the digestion of food, mainly fat in the intestines. But when there is an infrequent emptying of the gallbladder as it is with women, and that bile is saturated with excessive cholesterol during certain periods, it causes the cholesterol and other substances found in bile to crystallize or harden. The end result is cholesterol gallstones, which account for approximately 80% of all gallstones, or pigment gallstones which are 20%. Gallstones can vary in size from a grain of sand to larger sizes.
Another culprit why gallstones occur more frequently in women is hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), a medical procedure during which a woman is administered female hormones in order to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. However, the primary hormones used for this purpose is again, estrogen or a type of progestin, which does lead to gallstone formation as well as numerous other health complications and symptoms in women.
Several studies now show that the use of hormone replacement therapy doubles or triples the risk for gallstones, hospitalization for gallbladder disease, or gallbladder surgery. But there is more: the side effects associated with HRT are worst that the original symptom being originally prescribed to relieve. These may include increased risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, stroke, blood clots as well as other side effects such as headaches, nausea, sore breast tissue, mood changes and bloating. Some women experience irregular vaginal bleeding as well.
Birth Control Pills
Another reason why women suffer from various gall bladder symptoms and diseases more than men is the wide use of birth control pills. The number of women currently taking some form of birth control is in the millions. The use of contraceptives significantly increases the level of cholesterol produced by the liver. In addition to this, when in the presence of contraceptives, there is a marked reduction in the force and frequency of gallbladder’s contractions, which causes the gallbladder to fail to open properly. This allows bile and cholesterol to become more concentrated and grow stagnant. The suspended cholesterol in the bile then begins to crystallize. The concentrated bile combines with other waste materials to form biliary sludge. Both of these lead to gallstone formation.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Barr Laboratories, the manufacturers of the common contraceptives Yas®, Yasmin® and Ocella®, are currently the subjects of lawsuits by women throughout the US, who have suffered serious health problems and dangerous side effects, including gallstone formation and other gallbladder symptoms from the use of these birth control pills. 
Fad Diets / Rapid Weight Loss
One more reason why women suffer from more gall bladder symptoms and diseases more than men is because of the prevalence of fad diets/rapid weight loss or cycling in female populations. In general women diet more than men as well have greater body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness than males. This is probably due because everywhere women turn there’s a reminder that a woman needs to lose weight to be seductive and successful. It has to do with a complex of self-image; if a woman eats too much she feels bad about herself and becomes concerned because she knows she’s damaging her image and breaking the set of rules she has adopted as her own. Therefore, women are more prone to go on “crash” diets more than men. The prolonged fasting and rapid weight loss by these diets cause the liver to over-produce cholesterol and become supersaturated which results in an increased risk of gallstone formation.
Sharp Abdominal Pain Under the Rib Cage
Even Though, Gallstone Symptoms in Women Are Similar to Those of Men, Women Usually Tend to Experience More Abdominal Discomfort, Bloating, and Gas.
Symptoms include abdominal pain that may begin under the rib cage and migrate to between the shoulder blades or under the right shoulder blade. Women occasionally feel a dull ache that does not go away.
This pain is caused by gallstone congestion. In some instances, gallstones block the cystic duct, which is the channel through which bile travels from the gallbladder, where bile is temporarily stored, to the small intestine. Bile fluid is prevented from flowing to the common bile duct. As the bile becomes more concentrated, it begins to irritate the inner lining, which causes the gallbladder’s wall to eventually become inflamed. This triggers sharp abdominal pain and nausea, vomiting, as well as restlessness.
Dull Abdominal Pain Under the Rib Cage
Some individuals may complaint from a constant dull pain under the V of the ribs as well as increased flatulence after eating a fatty meal. This condition is known as Chronic Cholecystitis (Billary Colic) or chronic inflammation (or infection) of the gallbladder.  (Chronic refers to continual symptoms)
Yellowing of the Skin, Clay Colored Stool, Inflammation
In more advanced cases, a more serious problem may occur when gallstones become lodged in the bile duct between the liver, where bile is manufactured, and the intestine. This channel is known as the common bile duct. This condition impedes the flow of bile from the liver or gallbladder to the small intestines and is forced to enter the bloodstream instead. Because bile is yellow-lime green in color, the sudden presence of bile in the blood leads to yellowing of the skin or yellowing of the whites of your eyes. Stool may also turn clay-colored. This is referred to as jaundice. The urine can also turn dark colored.
Pain in the Upper Abdomen and Under the Right Shoulder Blade
Although at first, abdominal discomfort may have been due to chemicals or waste materials in the bile that caused the inflammation, in fifty percent or more of cases bacterial infection then ensues. The resulting pain comes on quite suddenly and is severe with pain persisting more than five hours. It is felt across the right and central parts of the upper abdomen and under the right shoulder blade. The pain may be made worse by movement or coughing.
Vomiting and High Temperature
Vomiting can follow this, with fever or temperature lasting more than 12 hours and shaking chills following. The above symptoms are quite suggestive of infection traveling through the bile duct system. This condition is known as acute cholecystitis. Individuals with acute cholecystitis may not always have gallstones, but usually, do in the majority of cases. The reason is the flow of bile fluids can often be impeded by sludge that can sometimes have a heavy gelatinous consistency.
Gallstones can also obstruct the flow of digestive fluids secreted from the pancreas into the small intestine, a condition known as pancreatitis, or inflammation (infection) of the pancreas.
Diets and Lifestyles to Avoid
Minimizing or eliminating the above will help diminish or prevent gallstone formation and its symptoms because they cause excessive formation of fatty deposits and toxins in the liver.
- Eating too much food in one meal
- Eating too much food too frequently
- Eating too heavy meals too early or too late in the evenings
- Skipping Meals
- Not drinking enough water
- Overconsumption of Protein
- Environmental toxins such as: Fluoride, chlorine, monosodium-glutamate
- Overconsumption of dairy products
- Hydrogenated oils and the processed foods that contain them
- Refined carbohydrates: such as sweeteners (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc), beverages (sodas, highly sweetened fruit juices), Junk foods and other ‘noon foods’, white flour and other processed grains.
- Sugars: table sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners: Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure)
A method called Pulverexx Protocol™ is gaining an ever-wider audience involves undergoing a detoxification program that naturally pulverizes gallstones and purges them from gallbladder or bile ducts. This method is not intrusive, which means that it does not require surgery. It does not require used of high toxic chemicals either. Unlike traditional alternative gallbladder flushes, where gallstones can often cause discomfort during their elimination, the Pulverexx Protocol™ first reduces the size of the gallstones and then it expels them from the body via stool. This way the process becomes painless. The Pulverexx Protocol™dissolves both types of gallstones, cholesterol based as well as Calcified or Pigmented gallstones. It also helps purge any sludge accumulation in the gallbladder. The method can be done in 2 weeks time.
We have found the Pulverexx Protocol™ to be an effective means of getting rid of gallstones and therefore it is a viable alternative to gallbladder surgery.
- Robyn G. Karlstadt, M.D., FACG (2002) What Everyone Should Know About Gastrointestinal Disorders In Women.
- Hart AR et al. Hormone replacement therapy and symptomatic gallstones – a prospective population study in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Digestion. 2008;77(1):4-9. Epub 2008 Jan 21..
- Srinivas Kalala, MD, et al. Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Risks of Calculous Gallbladder Disease. Clinical Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, p 25-29.
- “Yaz Gallbladder Disease” (May 26, 2016) Drugwatch.com. Retrieved 2016-07-12
-  Rita Baron-Faust “Some Birth Control Pills Pose Gallstone Risk”MedPage Today (April 20 2011). Retrieved 2016-07-12
- Rosen, J.C. & Gross, J. (1987). Prevalence of weight reducing and weight gaining in adolescent girls and boys. Health Psychology, 6, 131-147.
- Dana Maude et al. Body Dissatisfaction, Weight Loss Behaviours, and Bulimic Tendencies in Australian Adolescents With an Estimate of Female Data Representativeness, Australian Psychologist, Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 128–132, July 1993