Gallbladder Symptoms – What To Look For
The gallbladder is not an organ that most people give any thought to. When it starts to give a person problems though, it can be very painful and very serious if left untreated.
The gallbladder itself is a four-inch pear shaped organ located just under the liver in the upper right region of the abdomen. The gallbladder is used to store bile, which is produced by the liver to assist the body in digesting fat, helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Bile is released by the gallbladder into the digestive system after a food is eaten. A healthy gallbladder does this painlessly and automatically, however when there are issues present, the ducts through which the bile is supposed to travel is potentially blocked or it stops working properly.
If you are prone to gallbladder symptoms or gallstones, you need to watch out for some of the warning signs. There are many symptoms of gallbladder that can be difficult to read. For example, the pain can be so severe that it may feel like you are having a heart attack or it may be confused with heartburn. Pain in the mid-right or upper-right section of the abdomen is highly common. The majority of the time, this pain should come and go however there are more severe cases where the pain is frequent. This pain can spread in to the chest and back as well. It is not uncommon for this pain to cause nausea or vomiting and, when left untreated, long-term gallbladder diseases can lead to somewhat permanent changes in the digestive system that can cause nausea semi-regularly.
Fever or chills when dealing with gallstones or gallbladder problems can mean an infection in the body. If this is the case, seek medical attention immediately. Changes in bowel movements is another symptom for gallbladder problems. Diarrhea that is frequent and unexplained or light-colored stools can point to a wide range of issues associated with the gallbladder. There may also be changes in urine present such as darker urine signifying a bile duct block. Jaundice is another symptom that occurs when the liver is not able to move the bile to the intestines. This is most often the result of a bile duct blockage due to the gallstones.
That said, as you deal with these symptoms, if the pain is intermittent and mild in nature, there is no reason to seek immediate attention but should still be addressed to rule out any serious conditions. This kind of pain can be handled through alternative, healthy and natural therapies. If your pain does not go away in five hours’ time; if there is fever, nausea or vomiting; or if there are changes in bowel movement and urine; or a combination of these, a trip to the emergency room might be best for immediate relief.