What are the symptoms of a gallbladder attack?
You probably haven’t thought much about this tiny organ – unless you have experienced the extreme pain of a gallbladder attack, otherwise known as inflamed gallstones. But the gallbladder can be a source of big problems.
This article will help you understand the signs of gallbladder pain and when you should seek a surgeon’s advice.
What Is the Gallbladder? What are Gallstones?
The gallbladder (gall bladder) is a sac that sits in the upper right part of your abdomen (belly), which collects and stores bile produced by the liver. Think of the gallbladder like a liquid soap dispenser and bile is the soap that helps the digestive tract absorb fatty foods.
With normal function, the gallbladder does this painlessly and automatically. All liquid soap dispensers form soap scum with dehydration. Essentially, gallstones are dehydrated soap scum largely composed of cholesterol. They are originally soft and mushy, like Play-Doh, but harden with time.
Signs Your Gallbladder May Need To Be Removed
Most people with gallstones don’t know that they have them – but in some cases, a gallstone may cause the gallbladder to become inflamed, causing pain, infection, or other serious complications.
You may need gallbladder surgery if you have pain or other symptoms caused by gallstones.
Common symptoms of gallbladder problems include:
- Abdominal Pain. Sudden but steady pain in the upper right side or middle of your belly which can be dull, sharp or cramping.
- Nausea. Queasiness or vomiting are common symptoms.
- Jaundice. Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
- Indigestion. Gastrointestinal disturbances like bloating, heartburn, and gas.
- Fever. An elevated temp can be a sign of gallbladder infection.
If your gallbladder is causing severe problems, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove it. The good news is that you can live without it.
Atypical Gallbladder Problems – Can Surgery Help?
What are atypical reasons that a gallbladder may need to be removed? Expand each condition to learn more.