The gallbladder, located at the right part of our stomach, acts a storage area for bile. Bile is produced from the liver and then stored in the gallbladder functioning as an assistant in the digestion process. One of the complications related to this are gallbladder attacks. Some people who experienced gallbladder attacks most likely ignore what they feel typically because they don’t know what is the cause or they just think it is just some mild pain. Women are more prone to gallbladder attacks especially when they are undergoing estrogen replacement therapy because increased levels of estrogen help on the production of gallstones. Gallstones are solidified or should I say “hardened” cholesterol and small amounts of bile.
People can go for years with digestive symptoms and never realize that they may be related to a gallbladder problem. That’s because they are so inter-related with other digestive symptoms. Constipation is one of the most commonly missed ones.
The list provided here may be related to gallbladder but bear in mind that it could also be something else.
The first four mentioned I feel are most indicative of gallbladder issues. It is not necessary to have all or many symptoms to have gallbladder problems but the more you have from this list, the more confirmation you have that the gallbladder is involved. Please note that it is still adviseable to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Gallbladder attack symptoms are listed below and again with more detailed explanation when you answer the three-minute gall bladder symptom questionnaire at the top of this page. To get a clearer picture of the causes of gall bladder symptoms check out risk factors for gallbladder disease.
Pain or tenderness under the rib cage on the right side
Pain between shoulder blades
Stools light or chalky colored
Indigestion after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods
Burping or belching
Feeling of fullness or food not digesting
Diarrhea (or alternating from soft to watery)
Headache over eyes, especially right
Bitter fluid comes up after eating
Frequent use of laxatives
GALLBLADDER ATTACK SYMPTOMS specifically
Please note that if you are in severe pain and particularly if your attack symptoms are accompanied by fever DO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. The following symptoms are typical of a gallbladder attack.
Moderate to severe pain under the right side of the rib cage
Pain may radiate through to the back or to the right shoulder
Severe upper abdominal pain (biliary colic)
Burping or belching
Attacks are often at night
Attacks often occur after overeating
Pain will often but not always follow a meal with fats or grease
Pain may be worse with deep inhalation
Attacks can last from 15 minutes to 15 hours
Gallbladder attacks might be caused by gallstones heading towards the intestine. Over-storage of bile makes the gallbladder swell. And this swelling is most of the time the cause for gallbladder attacks. There are as well cases when the gallbladder itself is infected and as a result makes the gallbladder look sore. In most cases, gallbladder attacks may be contributed to the blockage of tubes leading to the gallbladder due to the build up of gallstones.
Symptoms of gallbladder attacks include:
i) Nausea and vomiting
ii) Chest pains especially on the right side of your body which may last for an hour or so and may disappear and appear again.
iii) Excessive burping.
iv) Severe pain when you touch your ribs.
v) Unable to walk due to body pains.
There are some risk factors related to gallbladder attacks and these include race. There have been reports when Mexicans and Americans are slightly more prone to develop gallstones. Improper diet also contributes to this kind of condition. Eating too much oily and fatty food helps on the production of gallstones. Just like obese people, they are always prone to many health disorders and gallbladder attacks are no exception. Older people are also more prone to develop gallbladder attacks. Then again, women have a somewhat added risk primarily because of the hormone estrogen. The more the estrogen, the more production of gallstones will occur and therefore there is an increased possibility of having gallbladder diseases. Frequent constipation may also signal that you have some kind of gallbladder disease.
Therefore, it is essential for us to watch carefully and properly our lifestyle especially on what we eat everyday. A balanced diet could slightly decrease the risk of having gallbladder attacks. After all, the gallbladder is a very important organ. It saves a lot of lives, most of the time.