Main Gallbladder Symptoms?
So, you think you may have gallbladder symptoms? Because people don’t always experience the effects of a bad gallbladder in the same way, it can be confusing to determine whether your symptoms mean that you have gallstones or other gallbladder problems.
You may have heard a gallbladder attack described as a downright scary experience involving sudden, severe abdominal, back or shoulder pain. It is often frightening, primarily because a person experiencing it doesn’t know why it is happening. The symptoms of a gallbladder attack can feel like a heart attack with strong cramping and aching felt in the chest, upper back and shoulder. Because pain radiates to other areas of the body, this may not seem like gallbladder pain at first. A gallbladder attack may last from 15 minutes to several hours.
Other gallbladder symptoms can be less painful but just as uncomfortable. Severe bloating and gas after a meal, especially one that is high in fat, may mean that your gallbladder isn’t functioning well. Belching, nausea or vomiting are also signs of a dysfunctional gallbladder. When people eat a heavy meal for dinner, or snack on foods that are high in fat, they may awaken late at night with stomach cramps and signs of indigestion.
The gallbladder is a small organ that sits under the liver and helps regulate the bile released into the digestive system. Because bile is so important for healthy fat digestion and the absorption fat-soluble vitamins, it is important to know if you have a problem preventing you from feeling well.
When a gallstone blocks the bile duct, the pain will typically be severe but temporary as the gallbladder works to flush the stone out. If it is not successful, that prolonged irritation and build up of pressure can cause bilirubin, the pigment in bile, to back up into the blood stream. This causes yellow skin and eyes, known as jaundice.
As well, the urine takes on a dark brownish color as it contains high amounts of bilirubin, and the stool may appear very light because no bilirubin is making it to the bowels. Jaundice and other color changes are serious and should be assessed by a doctor for gallstone treatment.
Other gallbladder symptoms related to inadequate digestion of fat and impaired fat-soluble vitamin absorption include:
- A frequently runny nose
- Seeing flashes of light across the vision field
- Tasting bitterness in the mouth at all times
- Gas and intestinal bloating that develops 15-3o minutes after a meal
- Chronic right shoulder pain or upper, mid back pain.
- Sore tongue
- Sore or itchy feet
- Peeling skin on palms of hands or the fingers
- Rectal itching
If you have prolonged, severe pain that is becoming worse, accompanied by a fever, vomiting or yellow skin, seek medical attention. Gallbladder symptoms which represent and infection should be treated as a medical emergency.