Mild Gallbladder Pain: Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It
Mild gallbladder pain usually occurs after meals and at night, and this is one reason why it is usually dismissed as a simple case of indigestion.
Even mild gallbladder pain may be indicative of a bigger problem. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify gallbladder pain and understand why gallbladder pain relief should ultimately come from eliminating the cause.
The most common cause of gallbladder inflammation and pain is the development of gallstones. Gallstones are crystalline masses that form in the gallbladder and vary in size from small grains of sand, to large marbles.
Whether gallstones cause symptoms, depends partly on their size and their number. A majority of those who have gallstones, don’t actually experience any pain at all, but they may have clues that a problem is slowly developing.
When many gallstones have formed, or if they are large, they can cause pain, and gastrointestinal problems, especially after a fatty or greasy meal. The gallbladder must be able to efficiently contract and release bile which aids in fat digestion and will be triggered to contract with each meal you eat. When the gallbladder is inflamed or filled with stones, it cannot properly contract, and the contents thicken.
Depending on their size, gallstones may shift and move into a duct, blocking bile from leaving the gallbladder. If gallstones create a blockage of the ducts connecting the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas with the intestine, serious complications may result. As bile builds up in the duct, excessive amounts of bilirubin are left in the blood, which can also lead to jaundice.
A gallbladder attack may last between 15-30 minutes, or for many hours. Often, severe pain will prompt sufferers to seek medical attention for gallbladder pain relief, however brief or infrequent attacks are sometimes ignored, allowing them to become progressively worse over time.
There is a common misconception that gallstones always cause sharp and intense pain, however, pain related to a gallstone may dull and could be combines with nausea or gas and bloating after a meal. The pain is most commonly felt in the upper right of the abdominal area. However, due to the location of the gallbladder, the pain often radiates to the shoulder blades as well.
Biliary dyskinesia is another problem that may present as a mild and dull, or sharp and intense pain in the right upper abdominal quadrant due to incomplete emptying of the gallbladder after eating.
Given the fact that even mild gallbladder pain may be trying to warn you of gallbladder disease, it is important to think about causes when seeking gallbladder pain relief. The good news is that if symptoms are mild, making conscious lifestyle changes often helps to keep pain and discomfort at bay, while preventing gallstones from developing.
Since gallbladder problems and gallstones are formed as a direct result of the type of diet you follow, introducing healthy changes can help to boost digestive functions and liver health.
If you need gallbladder pain relief, try reducing fried and greasy foods, as well as highly processed foods, refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. When an unhealthy diet is replaced by a diet high in fibre, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats and sprouted grains, the risk of developing gallstones and experiencing gallbladder pain is greatly reduced.