Typically you don’t hear people talking about their gallbladder unless something is wrong. The gallbladder is located just below the liver and is primarily responsible for storing (and then releasing) bile into your small intestine to help in the digestive process.
Normally, when someone is suffering from gallbladder pain, the culprit is one of the following:
- Gallstones (stones that develop within the gallbladder causing serious pain and discomfort)
- Biliary colic (pain that comes and goes due to blockage of the cystic duct)
- Inflamed gallbladder
- Chronic gallbladder disease
What are the typical symptoms of a dysfunctioning gallbladder?
Here are a few of the most common symptoms associated with a problem gallbladder:
- Abdominal pain that radiates into the back and right shoulder blade
- Pain that increases in severity after eating or breathing deeply
- Chronic heartburn, indigestion or a feeling of fullness in the stomach
- Cramps including dull or sharp pains
- Stools that are a clay color
What about treatment?
Depending on the specific problem (which can be diagnosed by visiting our team of gastroenterologists), either gallstone removal or removal of the entire gallbladder are common procedures.
As long as complications (primarily infection) are avoided, the prognosis for those who undergo any form of gallstones or gallbladder removal is quite good. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to contact our gastroenterology office in order to schedule your appointment today.