If you are experiencing pain within your abdomen, there is a chance it could be linked to a gallbladder issue. The most common cause of gallbladder pain is gallstones, though it can also point to several other underlying issues.
Pain is a common symptom that could link to all kinds of health issues. Below, you will discover everything you need to know about gallbladder pain and its varying causes.
What is gallbladder pain?
Pain is typically felt within the upper right part of the abdomen. In some cases, it may spread to the shoulder blade or upper back. The gallbladder is located just underneath the liver, responsible for signalling the release of bile when eating. When pain is experienced by the gallbladder, it is a sure sign that something is wrong.
You may also experience other symptoms which can help identify the problem. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Brown-coloured urine
- Light coloured stools
These are just some of the symptoms you may experience. But the question is, what causes it?
Conditions linked to gallbladder pain
Gallstones are a common cause of pain. They mostly develop when there is an excess of cholesterol. The additional cholesterol hardens, forming stones. They can vary greatly in size and can lead to persistent pain within the abdomen.
Gallstones aren’t the only condition that could link to pain in the gallbladder. It could also be an indicator of cholecystitis, or gallbladder inflammation. This can be triggered by several conditions such as serious illness, infections, tumours, or issues with the bile duct. If the pain is down to inflammation, you will usually experience symptoms more after eating. It is important to treat this condition as it can lead to potentially life-threatening complications.
Other conditions which can mimic gallbladder pain include:
- Heart attack
Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Moreover, it is important to get your symptoms checked by your doctor.
What are the best ways to alleviate the pain?
If your pain is caused by gallstones, a heated compress may help to alleviate the pain. Avoiding greasy, fatty foods will also help to ease the pain. Also, maintaining a healthy weight is key to preventing gallstones from occurring.
In some cases, the gallbladder may need to be removed entirely. However, prescription medications tend to be the first treatment option offered to patients. Antibiotics are effective at helping to treat gallbladder infections for example.
If you are experiencing gallbladder pain, your doctor will be able to assess your symptoms to determine the cause. If you are diagnosed with gallstones, book a consultation with Mr Alan Woodward to discuss which treatment option is right for you.