Gallbladder Health: 9 Surprising Signs Something Is Wrong

Gallbladder Health: 9 Surprising Signs Something Is Wrong

9 Symptoms That Something is Terribly Wrong

( – Most of us don’t spend our days worrying about our gallbladder health. How many people have even a vague idea of what a gallbladder does, let alone when to suspect there’s a problem? Up to 20% of the US population will develop gallstones at least once, and although most won’t ever notice them, some people suffer painful complications. Here are nine signs that can indicate something is wrong.

What Is Gallbladder Disease?

The gallbladder is a small organ that rests between the liver and small intestine. It stores bile, which the liver creates to break down fats as they enter the small intestine. Most people never have any problems with this function, but complications do arise. A few issues can interfere with bile consistency, sometimes leading to gallstones.

According to Mayo Clinic, gallstones typically form as the result of one of three issues:

  • High cholesterol levels in the bile can contribute to the formation of yellow cholesterol stones in the gallbladder.
  • Too much bilirubin from the liver can lead to pigment gallstones, which are usually brown or black.
  • Inefficient emptying of the gallbladder can cause bile to concentrate and form stones.

Bile normally travels from the liver to the gallbladder, and from there to the small intestine. Gallstones can cause inflammation in the organ itself, or they can become trapped in the duct between the gallbladder and the small intestine. Either issue can cause painful and sometimes serious complications.

9 Signs to Be Aware Of

Gallbladder inflammation in itself is often painful, but issues with getting bile to the small intestine can cause several additional symptoms. HealthWise writes that many people with gallstones suffer from:

    1. Bloating or burping after meals, which can be a sign of gallbladder inflammation and indigestion.
    2. Worsened symptoms after eating fatty foods. 
    3. Floating stools, which means fats aren’t getting broken down properly.
    4. Chronic constipation or diarrhea from poor digestion and GI irritation.
    5. Pain in the upper-right stomach, where the gallbladder sits.
    6. Jaundice caused by bile backing up into the liver, where it spills back into the bloodstream.
  • Concentrated urine. 
  • Nausea and vomiting. 
  • Fever. 

Many of these symptoms can occur alongside several other conditions, so it’s important to get them checked out by a doctor who may order blood tests or diagnostic imaging. Don’t ignore the symptoms; failing to address gallstones can be serious, especially when ducts become blocked. Cases can even become fatal if they go too long.

Gallbladder issues aren’t terribly common, but everyone should be aware of the symptoms. Women, especially those who are obese or have lost large amounts of weight, need to be especially mindful of the signs. Early intervention might help some people avoid surgery or other complications.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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