Gallbladder Symptoms: Is My Pain Gallstone Related?
If you are experiencing body pain or discomfort, it is important to pinpoint the cause of it. Many people are not fully aware of what the gallbladder’s function in the body is, so they don’t know how to recognize gallbladder symptoms. As a result, many gallbladder problems are often dismissed as indigestion, stress or ulcers, especially since the onset of discomfort is often experienced after meals or at night.
The first step to gallbladder pain relief is gaining a little knowledge about how our digestive organs work. To determine if your body pain is gallbladder related, let’s look at what the gallbladder does in relation to the food we eat.
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ, located just below the liver, and it stores bile secreted by the liver before releasing it into the intestine. This greenish fluid contains important salts and enzymes used to break down dietary fats for digestion and vitamin absorption. When you consume fat, signals are sent to the gallbladder which cause it to contract.
Although there are other causes of gallbladder pain, one of the most common is gallstones (also known as gallstone disease, or cholelithiasis). Gallstones are formed when cholesterol and other elements found in bile, crystallize into stones. When the stone passes from the gallbladder into the small intestine it may get stuck in the biliary duct, sending sufferers searching for gallbladder pain relief. Another term for this severe pain is biliary colic, or a gallbladder attack. Gallbladder pain can also be caused by concentrated, backed up bile leading to inflammation and swelling. This pressure affects nearby nerves, so pain can radiate to other, seemingly unrelated areas of the body.
The Most Common Gallbladder Symptoms
Severe abdominal pain – Abdominal pain is the most common indicator of a gallbladder problem. If you are experiencing frequent abdominal pain and notice that it occurs mainly around mealtimes, especially after eating fatty or greasy foods, it may be the case that the intestines are having a difficult time digesting the fat from your meals. This pain may be dull or sharp and usually occurs on the right side and/or upper to middle abdomen.
Pain that extends between the shoulder blades or to the right shoulder blade.
Chest pain – because the gallbladder is located in the upper abdominal area, pain related to gallbladder issues commonly radiates to the chest. This type of pain often increases when you inhale deeply.
Heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, and chills – A fever related to the gallbladder usually indicates that there is an infection and/or inflammation.
Jaundice – if gallstones block the gallbladder, bile is unable to move through the body. As it builds up, excessive amounts of bilirubin are left in the blood.
Light or chalky coloured stools and/or dark urine are also related to the impaired flow of bile.
Gallbladder pain relief may require medical attention in severe cases, but it may not be too late to ease the discomfort of mild to moderate gallbladder dysfunction with safe, natural remedies.
Since gallbladder problems are often directly related to the type of diet you follow, making changes can help to boost digestive function and liver health.
It is recommended to avoid high-fat and greasy foods, as well as highly processed food, those high in refined sugars, carbohydrates and spices. When daily food choices include high fiber, plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and sprouted grains, the risk of developing gallstones and experiencing gallbladder symptoms are greatly reduced.