Although gallbladder pain is usually caused by gallstones, such pain can possibly have many causes. While in some cases over-the-counter pain relievers may provide relief, in some cases the cause may be more serious and you may need various medical treatments. Find more information below.
What is gallbladder pain?
Gallbladder pain is an all-encompassing term used to describe pain associated with any disease related to the gallbladder. Major gallbladder problems that cause gallbladder pain include gallstones, biliary tract stones, perforation of the gallbladder, and gallbladder inflammation. In such problems, the pain sometimes goes away in a short time, and sometimes it can cause the problem of gallbladder pain that does not go away.
Gallbladder pain symptoms vary depending on the cause of the pain and can be triggered after consuming certain foods. Gallbladder-related pain can be defined as intermittent pain, constant pain, abdominal pain , pain radiating to the back , depending on the underlying cause, and the degree of pain can range from mild to severe.
What causes gallbladder pain?
Gallstones are a condition that occurs when fluids in the gallbladder harden and over time these substances harden. Many conditions can cause you to develop gallstones; Being a woman is a risk factor for gallstones. Other causes include advancing age, being overweight, rapid weight loss, pregnancy, various medications such as birth control pills, or Crohn’s disease .
Bile duct stones are stuck stones in the bile duct and are the most common cause of persistent gallbladder pain . You usually won’t notice these stones unless they’re blocking your biliary tract. If a gallstone has blocked your bile duct, you may even experience writhing abdominal pain as a sign of gallbladder obstruction . Also, your skin and eyes may turn yellow and you may feel like throwing up.
3. Gallbladder perforation
Perforated gallbladder is a condition that occurs when gallstones puncture your organ over time. Bile perforation is rare, but can be fatal. If your gallbladder is perforated, you may have a high fever, nausea, or vomiting. Gallbladder perforation needs immediate treatment and you may experience gallbladder pain that does not go away .
4. Gallbladder abscess
Gallbladder abscess is a type of infection caused by bile duct obstruction. This infection is treatable with various antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. However, a severe abscess can rupture the organ and spread to the abdomen. Therefore, it is important to check with a doctor in such a doubt.
5. Inflammation of the gallbladder
Inflammation of the gallbladder, also known as cholecystitis , can happen for a variety of reasons, including a blow to the area, certain diseases, certain infections, or a buildup of bile. Other possible triggers of gallbladder inflammation include certain tumors, certain bacteria, and various abdominal problems. When your gallbladder becomes inflamed and swollen, you may experience upper abdominal pain or right shoulder blade pain .
6. Sclerotic colitis
Sclerosing cholangitis is a progressive and worsening liver disease that damages your bile ducts. Many people with this disease also have inflammatory bowel disease . Sclerosing cholangitis is a serious disease that can even lead to liver failure, although it does not cause any symptoms in most people. People with this disease may experience right upper abdominal pain and also itching.
7. Gallbladder cancer
Gallbladder cancer is rare and is among the types of cancer that can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of gallbladder cancer include pain in the right side of the abdomen , weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal bloating. If you have this disease in your family health history or have conditions such as gallstones, advancing age, obesity or unhealthy diet, you are at risk for biliary cancer.
What are the symptoms of gallbladder pain?
Symptoms of gallbladder pain from gallstones may include:
- pain in the right side of the abdomen
- Pain in the right side of the back (sometimes like a stabbing)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion and heartburn
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- high fever or chills
Symptoms of gallbladder pain due to gallbladder perforation may include:
- right abdominal pain
- High fever
Gallbladder symptoms due to gallbladder inflammation may include:
- Abdominal pain felt in the upper region
- Shoulder pain (right side)
- Back pain
Symptoms of gallbladder pain due to gallbladder cancer may include:
- pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
- weight loss
- Abdominal bloating
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
How is the cause of gallbladder pain diagnosed?
Health history and physical examination can help you make a possible diagnosis of gallbladder pain. Several laboratory blood tests, such as liver function tests, complete blood count, and abdominal X-ray , are done to pinpoint the cause of gallbladder pain . Ultrasound can detect gallstones and a computed tomography scan can identify structural changes in the organ. Magnetic resonance imaging (matrix) is sometimes used to see organ structures (liver, gallbladder, and pancreas) in detail. Your doctor may consider other tests as well. The results of these tests will help detect a gallbladder problem.
Which pain reliever is good for gallbladder pain?
Over-the -counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and narcossen-containing drugs are helpful for gallbladder pain , which is usually caused by non-serious causes . However, it is best to consult your pharmacist or doctor about which drug is better for gallbladder pain.
How is gallbladder pain relieved?
If you have gallstones but do not have pain, you do not need treatment. This is because some patients who have had one or two gallstone attacks, unless chronic, may choose to avoid treatment. But for severe pain, you may need medical treatment. Gallbladder pain due to gallstones that comes on suddenly and severely is usually treated with morphine.
Other medical treatments include oral bile salt therapy, ursodiol, a drug, and shock waves. Sometimes, in severe cases, your doctor may recommend gallbladder removal surgery for treatment. Currently, the choice of surgical method is a type of surgery called laparoscopic surgery . In this surgical procedure, the gallbladder is removed with instruments using only small incisions in the abdomen.
However, some patients may require more extensive surgery. Generally, people do not feel pain after gallbladder removal unless there is an underlying cause that mimics gallbladder pain.
What is good for gallbladder pain?
- Among the things that are good for gallbladder pain are mint, clover and apple cider vinegar. However, you should consult your doctor before using them.
- Following a low-fat diet can reduce the frequency of biliary colic but has not been shown to dissolve gallstones.
- Regular exercise can reduce gallstone disease and associated gallbladder pain.
- Some health professionals recommend reducing dairy and grains in the diet after gallbladder removal. However, affected individuals should consult their physicians for any such changes.
Gallbladder pain complications
Possible complications of gallbladder-related pain include:
- discomfort while eating
- insufficient food intake
- weight loss
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Increased consumption of pain medications
- Disruption of daily activities
Other complications associated with gallbladder disease include:
- Bile duct obstruction
- serious infections
- Infrequent gallbladder cancer