Located in your gallbladder is an internal organ under the liver. It contains digestive juices created by the liver. These juices can become solid and form stones known as gallstones.
60% of patients with gallstones do not become sick, and they be unaware that they are affected. A gallstone can leave the gallbladder and move into the intestine through the passageway. If the stone blocks the passageway, severe pain in the upper right area of the belly can occur. Pain in the upper back may also be experienced, which can last for as long as 3 hours.
A gallbladder attack may also arise from a gallstone blockage. The blocked bile ducts create increased pressure on the bladder, which can lead to a sensation of pain in the upper abdomen.
Complete or partial blockage can cause irritation and inflammation of the gallbladder. If this occurs, you will experience pain for more than 3 hours. A fever or jaundice may also be a risk.
You have a higher chance of getting gallstones if:
- You are a woman
- You have a history of diabetes
- Your mother had gallstones
- You are experiencing pregnancy or are under the effects of birth control pills
- You have have high blood triglycerides or are overweight
Gallstones with pain can be treated and removed during surgery to prevent future “attacks” of pain. You should discuss your situation with the doctor and decide the right treatment option for you. If your gallbladder becomes irritated or inflamed, surgery may be the correct option. Delaying surgery may cause problems such as infection or having the liver burst open.
Actigall pills can also be used to dissolve the stones. It is an expensive option and works for an exclusive set of patients. Speak with your doctor to decide which option is right for you.
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