Gallbladder symptoms can creep up on you suddenly, leaving subtle hints that a problem is at bay. If you ignore the signs and do not make dietary changes, the result can be an all out gallbladder attack that can leave you writhing in pain. A fatty diet, obesity, alcohol abuse, high cholesterol and heredity are all factors that play a big role in the health and efficiency of your gallbladder.
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What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small, pod shaped organ that collects bile produced by the liver. MedlinePlus explains that the bile that is stored within the confines of the gallbladder helps the body digest any fatty foods that are eaten; later releasing it into the duodenum (upper small intestine). Sometimes, cholesterol forms solid deposits (gallstones) that can form obstruction between the gallbladder and the bile duct, or inflammation. The result is often a gallbladder attack.
Your Right Side
A symptom that your gallbladder could be giving you a problem is pain in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen. Not to be confused with acute appendicitis pain, which is located in the lower abdomen, MayoClinic reports that the pain of a gallbladder attack can also radiate to the shoulder blades, with pain lasting between 30 minutes and several hours.
Constipation, Gas, Bloating and Chalky Stools
Symptoms of impending gallbladder problems can begin with a continuous feeling of bloat along with recurring gas. Chalky, or light stools, can also develop with a noticeable change in consistency. According to gallbladderattack.com, the most overlooked symptom of a gallbladder problem is constipation --- this symptom can be related to so many other digestive disorders that if constipation exists as a sole symptom, a connection is not often made.
The Merck Manuals explains that fever accompanies gallbladder pain in approximately one-third of the diagnosed cases of a gallbladder attack. Fever usually begins as a low grade temperature, which spikes above 38 degrees Celsius. At this time it is imperative to contact your physician to prevent a dangerously high fever and possible complications that can result.
A bile duct obstruction that is caused by a build-up of gallstones that create a blockage can be a life threatening situation that should be treated promptly. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a bile duct obstruction can cause jaundice, drop in blood pressure, upset stomach and vomiting, and dark urine.
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