Think You Have Gallstones? Learn To Recognize These Gallbladder Symptoms!
If you’re like most people, you want to be as healthy as possible and get the most from the food you eat to be strong and feel great. If you’re experiencing gallbladder symptoms, you may not understand why or how to get back on track.
Learning about what your gallbladder does and how to recognise early symptoms of malfunction is an important part of maintaining digestive health.
Your gallbladder is a small pouch that sits beneath the liver and stores bile secretions. Your liver is a filter of blood toxins, and endocrine gland. These two organs, their function and health are closely linked, so lifestyle and dietary habits that support liver function will benefit the gallbladder too, and vice versa.
Bile contains pigments, cholesterol, salts and other ingredients designed to emulsify and aid in digestion of fats. The gallbladder has the unique ability to not only store but concentrate this greenish substance and then release it into the small intestine to meet up with the meals we eat.
Sometimes bile components like cholesterol or bilirubin can become overly concentrated or imbalanced and create crystals and stones. Gallstones may range in size from a grain of sand to large marbles. They may sit in the gallbladder silently for years and cause no issue, but when they begin to spill over and stick in bile ducts, the resulting blockages and pain can be severe.
This type of pain is what’s known as a gallbladder attack and the experience will range from 15 minutes of ache in the upper right abdomen, to several hours of pain and nausea when a stone is stuck. Gallbladder symptoms are also caused by the difficulty of this organ squeezing overly thick bile contents and by inflamed, irritated gallbladder walls.
There is a direct link between poor, processed, high fat diets and gallstone formation. Here are some ways you can determine the source of your discomfort.
Slow food transit time in the intestines and resulting constipation can be linked to gallstones and mean you need gallbladder treatment.
Also watch out for:
- Pain felt in the upper right abdomen or right shoulder a couple of hours after eating a high fat meal.
- Pain which is accompanied by nausea or vomiting
- Pain which comes on within a couple hours of eating fatty/fried foods.
- Pain worsens with coughing
Yellowing skin tone or darkening urine- a prolonged bile duct blockage can lead to a back up of bile pigment that causes these visible signs.
In western medicine it’s often suggested that the gallbladder is unnecessary and consequently, when gallbladder symptoms arise, many people are advised to have it surgically removed. One of the drawbacks from this approach is that without careful regulation and release of bile, fat digestion and fat-soluble vitamin absorption then depends on a weak, steady trickle of bile to accommodate all meals.
Gas, cramps, diarrhea and other symptoms can result. There are natural ways to improve gallbladder function and resolve symptoms before they become chronic.