Cholecystitis: What Is Causing Your Gallbladder Pain?
If you know the pain of a gallbladder attack, then you know it can be downright scary. When the pain from gallstones blocking a duct- otherwise known as biliary colic- is severe, many people wind up in the ER, worried they are having a heart attack. Gallbladder pain will usually be felt in the upper abdomen and can radiate through to the mid or upper back, as well as the chest.
Often, gallstones can form and stay in the gallbladder for years without causing any symptoms at all. Usually, it is when one of these small stones has moved into a duct that carries bile- and blocked it- that the pain starts.
If this has begin troubling your sleep and causing discomfort after meals, you may be wondering what is causing your gallbladder pain.
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ found just below the liver in the upper right abdomen. It does the important work of storing and regulating the bile created by your liver to help digest your food. Bile is a greenish-yellow fluid that breaks down and dissolves fats and fat-soluble vitamins for absorption. Bile is made up of salts, cholesterol and bilirubin pigment. When the concentration of these elements is out of synch or too toxic, the bile can become thickened and sludgy, or form crystals that turn into small, hard stones.
When a gallstone moves into a bile duct and blocks it, the resultant pressure can press on nearby nerves, can cause a back up of bile and cause inflammation in the gallbladder. All of this is quite painful. In particular, after eating a meal, which is high in fat content or fried, the gallbladder is sent signals to release bile and suffers in trying to do so. Many people suffer from gallbladder attacks at night because they eat a heavy dinner or dessert before bed. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is also believed that each organ has a corresponding time of day and the liver is at peak energy between the hours of 11pm and 1 am. This is precisely the time that many people wake up in pain and wonder why.
A gallbladder attack may last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.
The good news is that mild to moderate gallbladder pain can often be eased with simple, at home remedies and dietary changes.
A few simple changes you can make related to the food you eat include reducing or eliminating high fat and fried food. Whole, healthy fats such as those in nuts and seeds, olive oil and coconut oil are good in small amounts. Reduce or eliminate saturated, hydrogenated and processed foods like packaged cookies, snacks and desserts.
A simple gallstone natural remedy can be prepared by taking raw apple cider vinegar daily in water along with liver and gallbladder friendly teas such as dandelion and ginger. Eating beets, artichokes and plenty of fresh, leafy greens will also help to keep your gallbladder healthy and pain-free.