You might not think much about your gallbladder until problems arise, but it can play an important role in your health and well-being. The pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen stores bile, a fluid that helps your body break down fatty foods.
Although you may not usually give your gallbladder much thought, cholecystitis is one problem that can bring the organ to your mind’s forefront after triggering numerous bothersome symptoms.
Take a few minutes to learn more about cholecystitis, including potential causes and common symptoms.
Cholecystitis is the medical term for an inflamed gallbladder. Once inflammation sets into the organ, you can experience a range of symptoms, such as:
You may notice that your symptoms flare up or get worse after you eat, especially after a fatty or large meal.
The biggest risk factor for developing cholecystitis is gallstones. These hard particles can block the tube through which bile leaves your gallbladder. The bile buildup that results triggers inflammation.
Other factors that may contribute to cholecystitis include:
If you’re dealing with severe or long-lasting cholecystitis or other issues related to gallbladder disease, Dr. Forgione-Rubino may recommend a cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal surgery. Or if more conservative treatment reduces your symptoms only for them to return, removal may be in order.
Other cholecystitis treatments that may help include:
You may also find dietary changes, such as reducing the amount of fat in your diet, helpful. If you decide to shed excess weight, be sure to do so gradually. Losing 1-2 pounds per week tends to be more effective and safer — for your gallbladder and overall health — than fad diets.
Lastly, don’t delay getting care for your gallbladder pain. Otherwise, you run the risk of complications, from an infection to bursting of the organ.