What is Gallbladder Disease?
Any issue that affects your gallbladder is generally considered gallbladder disease. The gallbladder is a relatively small, pear-shaped sac that is located just beneath the liver in the upper right corner of your abdomen. The gallbladder houses cholesterol, fat, and a combination of fluids, including bile. Bile is the fluid that helps break down fat from food in your intestine. The gallbladder transports bile into the small intestine, which then allows nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Any dysfunction, hindrance, or obstruction of the gallbladder, or its function, can lead to gallbladder issues.Common Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
There are various gallbladder issues, or diseases, including gallstones, bile duct stones, gallbladder polyps, gallbladder inflammation, an abscess on the gallbladder, gallstone ileus, a condition where a gallstone travels into the intestine and blocks it, porcelain gallbladder, and gallbladder cancer. Though gallbladder issues differ, they share similar symptoms. These symptoms may come and go and tend to appear more commonly in individuals who have previously experienced a gallbladder problem. Some of the most common gallbladder symptoms include:
Common Causes of Gallbladder Disease
- Pain in the mid-to-upper right corner of the abdomen
- Chills or fever
- Chronic diarrhea
- Unusual urine or stones
One common cause of gallbladder issues is gallstones. Gallstone pain is generally a result of a complete blockage of any of the ducts by gallstones. Gallstones are pieces of hard material that form in the gallbladder. Sludge or inflammation that accompanies inflammation or irritation in surrounding tissues, which causes pressure and insufficient blood supply to adjacent tissues or sporadic, can also cause gallbladder pain. There are two major types of gallbladder stones: pigment stones, which are small, dark stones that originate from bile, and cholesterol stones, the most common type of gallstones, which are yellowish, green stones. Your weight, genes, diet, and too much cholesterol in your bile all increase your risk of developing gallstones.
Gallstones can also occur as a result of your gallbladder not emptying properly. Certain illnesses, such as sickle cell anemia, diabetes
, and cirrhosis may also increase your risk of developing gallstones. Cholesterol-lowering medications can also increase your risk of developing gallstones because it increases the amount of cholesterol in the bile, which may contribute to cholesterol gallstones.
Another common cause of gallbladder issues is inflammation. Gallbladder inflammation can be a result of several underlying problems, including gallstones, excessive alcohol use, tumors, or infection. Nearly 20% of the time, the gallbladder becomes inflamed as a result of an invasion of intestinal bacteria and becomes infected.
Cholesterol build-up in the bladder can also increase your risk of developing gallbladder issues. Cholesterol build-up can lead to polyps on the gallbladder, which can cause abdominal pain coming from the gallbladder. Polyps are small, tumors, which are generally harmless; however, the larger the polyp, it increases the risk of becoming cancerous.