Gall Bladder Pain

The gallbladder is a small organ located under the liver that functions to store and release bile, which helps in digesting fats and removing wastes. Sometimes, you may feel severe and sharp gallbladder pain which can be caused due to gallstone blockage.

Gallstones are stone-like objects that form in the gallbladder or common bile ducts. Gallstones can be as tiny as the size of a sand grain to as large as a golf ball. People with this gallbladder disease, also known as cholecystitis, may have one to several gallstones of different sizes in their gallbladder.

Gallstones are a very common gallbladder disorder affecting an estimated 20.5 million adults in the United States based on the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It is common for people to have gallstones and don’t know about it until discovered accidentally by some medical test or they block the bile duct, causing inflammation of the gallbladder.

If you experience symptoms from your gallstones, learn their types and identify what causes this gallbladder disease to get the right treatment from your family care doctor.

Types of Gallstones

The gallbladder is a small organ located under the liver that functions to store and release bile, which helps in digesting fats and removing wastes. Sometimes, you may feel severe and sharp gallbladder pain which can be caused due to gallstone blockage.

Gallstones are stone-like objects that form in the gallbladder or common bile ducts. Gallstones can be as tiny as the size of a sand grain to as large as a golf ball. People with this gallbladder disease, also known as cholecystitis, may have one to several gallstones of different sizes in their gallbladder.

Gallstones are a very common gallbladder disorder affecting an estimated 20.5 million adults in the United States based on the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It is common for people to have gallstones and don’t know about it until discovered accidentally by some medical test or they block the bile duct, causing inflammation of the gallbladder.

If you experience symptoms from your gallstones, learn their types and identify what causes this gallbladder disease to get the right treatment from your family care doctor.

Types of Gallstones

Different types of gallstones form in the gallbladder. The two most common types are cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones.

Besides, there are brown or dark green mixed stones that mostly contain calcium carbonate and cholesterol, and radio-opaque gallstones with calcium content.

What Causes Gallstones?

There are multiple factors that prompt the development of gallstones. Some common causes are:

Cholesterol Imbalances – Higher concentration of cholesterol in bile causes crystallization, which can eventually form gallstones.

Excessive Bilirubin Exertion – Certain blood disorders cause the liver to produce excessive bilirubin, which may lead to pigment stones as it contributes to the formation of biliary sludge. This sludge may lead to bile stagnation within the gallbladder which thickens and precipitate particles forming gallstones.

Pharmaceutical Drugs – Medications containing octreotide, estrogen, and some cholesterol-lowering medications increase the presence of cholesterol in the bile, causing the formation of gallstones.

Certain Diseases – Cirrhosis, diabetes, low thyroid, gallbladder infection, and hemolytic anemia are some of the diseases that cause gallstones.

Weight Issues – Obesity is linked to a gallstone. Obese people are at high risk of having this gallbladder disorder. Problems with rapid weight loss like dehydration and malnutrition can cause storage of thick concentration bile.

Unhealthy Diet – Consumption of a high-cholesterol, high-fat, or low-fiber diet increases the concentration level of cholesterol, causing gallstone formation.

Gastrointestinal Issues – Pre-existence of issues like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, or leaky gut can lead to forming gallstones.

Unavoidable Risk Factors – There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing gallstones. They include family history, age (60 years or more), gender (especially females), and hormonal changes during pregnancy that can lead to developing gallstones.

Symptoms of Gallstones

The duration and severity of gallstones vary among individuals. The symptoms of gallstones are mostly absent and can be diagnosed by the family medicine doctor following routine blood and other tests. If you do get symptoms, they may generally include the following:

Diagnosis & Treatment for Gallstones

The chronic symptoms of gallstones often feel similar to irritable bowel syndrome. That’s why it is important to get it diagnosed accurately by your family practice doctor to prevent any complications. Your family physician will gather and analyze your health history, diet, and other related details.

Based on your physical exam, you may be advised for one or a few of the examinations, such as the complete blood test, CT scan, ultrasonography, endoscopic ultrasound, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan), and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

There are various invasive and non-invasive ways of treating this gallbladder disease. However, the most common highly recommended measure by experienced family care doctors is surgery.

Surgical Procedure – The different types of surgeries available for gallstones removal include laparoscopic cholecystectomy, open cholecystectomy, percutaneous cholecystostomy, endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES).

Non-invasive Treatment – Shock wave lithotripsy, antibiotic treatment for infections, and medications to control severe pain are some non-surgical procedures that doctors of family medicine in Brooklyn prescribe to treat this digestive disorder.

If you develop any signs or symptoms of gallstones, don’t leave it untreated. Seek professional medical care immediately from the best family practice clinic like Artisans of Medicine. Call us today to plan a visit.