Don’t Underestimate An Angry Gallbladder

The gallbladder is such a small organ, you’d probably never notice it…until it starts causing you problems.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease refers to several problems that involve the gallbladder. One of the most common problems is gallstones, which can become trapped in the cystic duct (biliary colic) or cause inflammation of the gallbladder walls (cholecystitis). Although not as likely, gallstones can move all the way through the ducts and cause infection or other serious problems in the pancreas. In extreme cases, the gallbladder can rupture, which is a surgical emergency.

Gallbladder symptoms frequently mimic feelings of gas, acid reflux, or indigestion. Vomiting and fever are not uncommon when suffering from gallstone issues described above. Many people experience a loss of appetite because of the fear of experiencing an attack or nausea from indigestion. In some cases, severe pain can occur lasting from 1-2 hours up to several days.

When To See A Doctor

Typically “no news is good news” when it comes to the gallbladder. Even gallstones frequently cause no symptoms and, on their own, are not usually cause for concern. In fact, many people with gallstones find they can minimize the chances or frequency of attacks simply by closely managing their diets—low-fat and fiber-rich foods help to decrease the amount of bile needed to aid digestion, which makes it less likely that gallstones will be pushed into and through ducts and cause a painful attack.

If you start to regularly feel pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen or chest, or you find yourself worrying about or avoiding eating, it is a good idea to consult a doctor. Certainly see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you experience any episodes of extreme pain.

Why A Gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist specializes in issues of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the gallbladder and liver. Their goal is to increase the overall gastrointestinal health of patients through education in diet, prevention, and relief of digestive symptoms. Research shows that gastroenterologists provide more comprehensive care for patients suffering from gastrointestinal (GI) problems than general practitioners. Statistically, gastroenterologists are also more accurate when detecting potentially serious issues like polyps and cancer, and have fewer complications from medical procedures related to GI illnesses.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of the gastroenterologists at Vanguard Gastro, you can do so today at any of our convenient locations.