Most people do not even know what their gallbladder is until it starts to give trouble. The function of the gallbladder is produce bile which in turn aids in the digestion of fatty foods. Like any other body part, the gallbladder can become overworked and this will severely limit its effectiveness and create health problems.
Causes of Gallstones
The primary cause of gallstones is an unhealthy diet high in cholesterol. By eating too much fat, you create a problem for the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores some of the waste cholesterol and, if there is too much to be processed properly, this waste will solidify and form gallstones. Sometimes poor muscle tone can lead to gallstones because the gallbladder is not emptied properly.
Symptoms of Gallstones
You may not have any symptoms at all. Or the symptoms may not be recognised for what they are. One of the symptoms is a sharp pain between the shoulder blades and this is often mistaken for pain caused by poor posture. Gallstones can also cause nausea and abdominal pain. For the most part, these symptoms only present themselves after you have consumed a fatty meal and gallstones do not really cause any problems. It is really only of the gallstones are large and numerous that problems arise – they can also be problematic if they are able to move out of the gallbladder. In some instances, they can block the bile duct and this can be very dangerous. Watch for symptoms such as prolonged pain – i.e.: more than five hours; a high temperature or chills; skin that takes a yellowish tone and persistent nausea or vomiting.
Treatment of Gallstones
As far as diseases go, this one is not the worst out there. Gallstones can sometimes be broken up sonically and passed naturally. When there are numerous gallstones or the gallstones are too big, the doctor may advise removal of the gallbladder. This should be a last resort though. Treatment can often be effected at home, under the supervision of your doctor. By eating less fatty foods, you reduce the likelihood that symptoms will present themselves. If you are overweight, you should attempt to lose weight as this is one of major risk factors. Overall, it is a very manageable disease – it is simply often misdiagnosed.