What Is a Galbladder: Things You Need to Know

The galbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that concentrates the bile in your body. It also aids in digesting dietary fats. The galbladder often is prone to developing gallstones, pebble-like and hard deposits that can form inside of the organ. The size of these stones range from grains of sand to golf balls.

What you may not know is that many people suffer from gallstones. Just because the symptoms are not present, are minor, or resemble other gastrointestinal diseases does not mean that you don’t have gallstones. This causes many people to either ignore or misdiagnose their symptoms.

There are two main types of gallstones. The first and most common variety is composed of at least 80% cholesterol by weight. These are known as cholesterol gallstones. They range from 2 to 3 centimetres in length and may have a dark spot in the centre. These cholesterol gallstones are not always detected by ultrasound examination because it can blend in with the surrounding environment.

The second type of gallstone is known as a pigment stone. These stones are often darker, smaller, and composed of mainly 2 minerals: calcium and bilirubin. The high mineral content in these pigment stones makes it easy to detect by ultrasound examination.

Both these types of gallstones may be asymptomatic, and because you might not have any discomfort, it may be easily overlooked.

Unfortunately, gallstones can get stuck in the cystic duct. This may either slow or stop the flow of bile. This can result in inflammation, a condition known as cholecystitis and it may also lead to a galbladder attack.

It is not until a gallbladder attack occurs that people will seek treatment or the removal of their gallstones  or gallbladder. These attacks may range from 30 minutes to hours. Often, the peak of pain happens 15 minutes after the attack starts. You may feel pain on the right side of your body or your upper abdominal area that may either be short and painful or a dull ache. In addition, you might find it more painful to breathe in deeply or when you sit up straight or try to walk. Other symptoms you might want to look out for are diarrhea, excessive weight gain, headaches,  acid reflux, dizziness, and constipation.

If you notice your skin or the whites of your eyes yellowing, you may be experiencing jaundice. This condition occurs when the bile duct is blocked and bile is forced into your bloodstream. If you experience chills or a fever along with the symptoms above, you should see the doctor immediately.

To prevent the formation of gallstones, you should regularly detox your eliminating organs, including your galbladder. The regular detox of your organs will help clean the gallstones and other toxic deposits from your elimination pathway.

If you find you are experiencing the symptoms above, it is advisable to seek medical attention soon. Your doctor will be able to properly diagnose you, and if necessary, will recommend you remove your galbladder to prevent further complications.