Gallbladder Symptoms: What Does A Sluggish Gallbladder Feel Like?
If you are suffering from gallbladder symptoms, they may stem from a sluggish gallbladder or gallstones. Since many gallbladder symptoms mimic those of common indigestion, people often find it difficult to diagnose themselves and seek treatment.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just below the lobes of the liver, which is responsible for the efficient production, storage and transportation of bile.
When the balance of cholesterol, bile salts and digestive enzymes is unbalanced, the gallbladder contents can thicken and form crystals or small stones. Bile is the greenish fluid, produced by our liver and stored in the gallbladder that is secreted into the small intestine in response to our consumption of meals containing fat.
When there is an obstruction, such as gallstones, the gallbladder becomes inflamed and bile is unable to flow normally. Even if gallstones are not yet present, when the liver is not healthy, bile may become overly thick. The gallbladder is unable to contract fully when sluggish with thickened bile, and this gallbladder sludge can eventually harden into gallstones.
To help determine if you are dealing with a sluggish gallbladder, it is important to understand what causes it.
Normally when you eat meals containing fat and fat-soluble vitamins, the gallbladder contracts to release an appropriate amount of bile to the small intestine to help break down lipids. However, when the gallbladder doesn’t release adequate bile, fat becomes more difficult and painful to digest and leads to gas, nausea, diarrhea and other gallbladder symptoms.
Unfortunately, when insufficient bile is present during digestion, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K are not as easily absorbed and toxin elimination through the bowel is also somewhat impaired.
Typical Gallbladder Symptoms
Typically, when the gallbladder becomes sluggish, people report feeling at least two or more of the following symptoms:
- Indigestion after eating – bloating, belching
- Stomach cramps after eating
- Acid reflux and/or heartburn after meals
- Discomfort over the right upper abdomen which may radiate to the back and shoulder blades
- Frequent, unexplained diarrhea
- Nausea, vomiting, fever and chills
- Light-coloured or chalky stools
- Dark urine
The most common sluggish gallbladder symptoms include pain and discomfort in the upper right area of the abdomen and/or the shoulder blades. This type of pain may be sharp and persistent, or dull and intermittent. Sometimes this type of pain also causes discomfort when trying to inhale deeply.
If you experience mild symptoms that come and go, you are likely to achieve significant improvements through safe, effective and natural gallbladder treatment.
Try to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, with a focus on making important dietary changes. Reducing the intake of fried, greasy foods containing unhealthy fats and replacing them with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, sprouted grains and healthy fats, is the first step to boosting digestion and promoting liver health.
If you have had a gallbladder removal surgery, don’t lose hope. Normal digestive function can be restored with the help of natural supplements such as ox bile. This helps to increase bile levels when enough is not being produced, so that you can get the most nutritional benefit from your food and ease digestive upset. Ox bile can also help thin out thick and sludgy bile, thereby reducing the risk of gallstones.