The gallbladder is one of the vital organs in the body involved in digestive processes such as emulsification of bile.
According to a report, gallbladder disease affects about 20 million Americans with a growth of 0.5% annually.
Gallbladder issues ranges from gallbladder infections, gallbladder stones, gallbladder inflammation (also known as cholecystitis), gallbladder pancreatitis, gallbladder infection, gallbladder polyps, and gallbladder sludge, gallbladder attack (gallbladder disease complications). All these presents different peculiar gallbladder disease symptoms.
Most symptoms of gallbladder diseases are very similar during the first stage of development, this can be seen in gallbladder infection and gallbladder inflammation and gallstones.
Commonest signs of gallbladder problems includes jaundice, clay-colored stool occasioned by the presence of bilirubin in the stool and weight loss.
Symptoms of gallbladder problems
Gallbladder symptoms presented depends on what issue emanates from the gallbladder.
The following are symptoms of gallbladder problems:
1. Yellowish skin
This can be traced to the presence of bilirubin in the blood and adipose tissue. This may extends to the sclerotic layer of the eyes. This is common to most gallbladder problems.
2. Dark urine
This is also a sign of bilirubin in the body fluids which are not processed by the kidney before excretion. Persistent dark urine is often a thing of concern as several other issues might going on in the body such as kidney failure and severe dehydration.
3. Gallbladder attack pain
Gallbladder attack is a term used to describe blockage of the bile by pebble-like deposits (gallstones) in the bile duct. Bile acid prevents stones from forming but when there is an imbalance of bile components. It is a symptom on its own, experienced at advance stage of gallbladder disease development. Few of gallbladder attack symptoms includes extreme sporadic pain at the upper right-side of the abdomen or center of the abdomen (referred to as biliary colic) which may spread to the back. This may last for 15minutes to hours depending on the severity of complications; nausea and vomiting are other symptoms of gallbladder attack. Gallbladder attack also present gallbladder symptoms such as queasiness, belching or burping, profuse sweating especially in the night and chest pain.
4. Rapid heart rate coupled with hypotension
This can be traced to the impact the inflammed liver/gallbladder has on the heart due to its anatomical position as well as the blood products found in circulation.
5. Fainting spells
This is noticeable in complicated gallbladder problems. This may occur as a result of increase in cerebral blood pressure.
6. Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain experienced after meals could be a sign of gallbladder problem. This may be accompanied by bloating and tenderness in the upper left-side of the stomach area. Abdominal pain felt in the upper right-side of the abdomen is often a symptom of gallbladder infection. It is one of the symptoms of gallbladder attack.
7. Heart palpitations and rapid pulse
This may extend to mental confusion with advance symptoms of cerebral shock. This happens when gallbladder infection spreads into the bloodstream.
8. Cholecystitic attack
This is inflammation of the gallbladder which may result in severe pain. This happens after the gallbladder has lost its biliary functions. It may be accompanied by abdominal pain and vomiting after heavy fatty foods. Inflammation of the gallbladder can only be detected by ultrasounds and blood test. Endoscopy may also be indicated for accurate and precise diagnosis.
9. Itching (cholestatic pruritus)
Itching a symptom that accompanies elevated bilirubin in the blood.
10. Constipation and diarrhea
Complicated gallbladder problems presents constipation and diarrhea accompanied with watery, whitish stool. This may also be seen for several weeks after cholecystomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder in complicated irredeemable cases).