Gallbladder sludge, also known as biliary sludge, is made up of residual particles that remain in the gallbladder after it sends bile from the liver to the intestines to further break down food. If the gallbladder doesn't empty correctly, proteins can be left behind, resulting in sludge in the gallbladder. Gallbladder sludge can solidify, forming gallstones, so it is important to see a doctor if you think you are suffering from this condition.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Sludge
In order to determine if you have gallbladder sludge, monitor your symptoms, if any, closely before making a doctor's appointment. Not all cases of gallbladder sludge are accompanied by symptoms, but a general feeling of malaise may be a sign of gallbladder sludge. When symptoms do occur, they include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms arise when gallbladder sludge blocks the opening of the gallbladder as it tries to release bile into the intestines. The symptoms may come and go.
Home Remedies for Gallbladder Sludge
Home remedies for gallbladder sludge may temporarily reduce symptoms and cleanse the bladder, but they are no substitute for seeing a doctor. Always consult your doctor before trying any of these home remedies because they may exacerbate your condition. One home remedy involves eating breakfast every morning to prevent bile in the gallbladder from sitting and separating. Eating several small meals throughout the day rather than eating two large meals allows the gallbladder to work frequently and in small spurts, which prevents proteins from settling at the bottom of the gallbladder. Another home remedy is to eat fewer calories. People who eat high-calorie diets are more prone to developing gallbladder sludge; so changing your diet to 1,500 calories per day from 2,000 calories per day may prevent your symptoms and keep gallbladder sludge from accumulating.
Doctor's Treatment for Gallbladder Sludge
Going to your doctor is the best option if you think you have gallbladder sludge. Your doctor can perform an ultrasound of your gallbladder to determine the consistency of the bile, look for gallstones and to see if there is any biliary sludge. If your doctor detects gallbladder sludge, he may prescribe Ursodiol, which contains ursodeoxycholic acid. Ursodeoxycholic acid will help to break down the proteins present in your bile. If you have taken Ursodiol with no results, or you have suffered with frequent gallstones, your doctor may recommend having your gallbladder removed. A gallbladder is not necessary for survival, and the procedure to remove it is routine. After surgery, bile will filter directly from your liver into your intestine, which is not detrimental to health and will improve your condition.