Digestive issues are never fun to deal with, and they can be caused by a number of different things. If you recently starting feeling pain in your abdomen, chest, or right shoulder blade and are experiencing vomiting, fever, heartburn, or nausea, you may have a problem with your gallbladder. These are all common symptoms of gallbladder issues, and you should probably visit a medical clinic soon to find out what is causing these issues.
What Is Your Gallbladder For?
Your gallbladder is one of numerous important organs in your body, and it is located just under your liver. This location is on the right side of your body in your abdomen area. Its primary function is to store bile. When you eat, your body produces a hormone that signals the gallbladder to start working. As this happens, your gallbladder releases some of the bile into your small intestine. This process is necessary for your body to break down the foods you eat.
When your gallbladder is not working properly, it can disrupt this process, which will lead to the symptoms described above. If you believe you may have gallbladder issues, it is important to seek medical help from a doctor.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Problems With The Gallbladder?
The first step in diagnosing gallbladder problems is discussing the symptoms you have with your doctor. If the symptoms indicate that your gallbladder might have issues, your doctor might begin testing you for this by taking a blood sample. This blood sample is used to test the functions of your liver, and it will often reveal if there is a problem with the way a gallbladder is functioning. Your doctor might also suggest testing your blood to view the functions of your pancreas and to see your red and white blood cell counts.
If your levels are off at all, your doctor might decide to look further into the problems you are having by ordering an ultrasound. This is a test that allows the doctor to see your actual gallbladder, and this will allow him or her to tell if there are any physical problems with it. In addition, doctors sometimes also use -rays and CT scans to diagnose gallbladder issues.
The most common issues people experience with their gallbladders are:
- Stones – When the bile in your gallbladder hardens (often from cholesterol), small stones can form in this organ.
- Inflammation – If your gallbladder is inflamed, it can cause extreme pain. A doctor can often diagnose this when a person's gallbladder is swollen and larger than it should be.
- Biliary colic – If your gallbladder is contracting too much, it can lead to spasms which are very painful.
When your doctor determines what the problem is, he or she will discuss the treatment options with you.
How Are Gallbladder Problems Treated?
In some cases, no treatment is needed for gallbladder problems. For example, if you have small gallstones, your body may naturally be able to pass these stones. Doctors can also treat the stones with medication that is often capable of making the stones dissolve.
Gallstones are a likely cause of the problems you are experiencing, and they are typically the cause for other gallbladder problems. If you have experienced a lot of gallstones over the years or if your gallbladder is not functioning like it should be, your doctor may suggest removing it.
You can live without a gallbladder; however, it may take some time to adjust to this. Your digestive system may change after you have it removed, and you may need to begin eating healthier, such as foods that are low in fat. Over time, your body will adjust though, and you may not even be able to tell the difference.
If you are experiencing pain in your abdomen or digestive issues, you might have problems with your gallbladder. To find out, make an appointment with a medical clinic today.