Gallbladder pain refers to the pain that originates from the areas in or close to the gallbladder that interfere with its functioning. Such conditions include gallstones, ascending cholangitis, biliary colic, and pancreatitis.
The gallbladder is attached to the liver, and it supplies bile, a fluid that’s yellowish brown in color that helps in fat digestion in the small intestine.
• Gallstones -The stones form because of an imbalanced cholesterol level in the body. They can also form if the gallbladder doesn’t empty efficiently. Their size varies from one to several millimeters. They don’t usually cause problems until they grow big and block the bile ducts, which cause pain. Their symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), severe abdominal pain, and fever.
• Cholecystitis –Often, the gallbladder can get inflamed because gallstones block the ducts that exit the gallbladder. The other causes of cholecystitis are tumors and bile duct problems that obstruct bile flaw.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Pain
• Biliary colic – This is where one experiences sudden pain in the upper-right abdomen, although it may move to other abdominal area parts. Consuming fatty food can trigger biliary colic; it’s typically accompanied by vomiting and nausea. The pain can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to five hours.
• Acute pancreatitis – The condition results from the inflammation of one’s pancreas – an organ responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. The common bile duct connects the pancreas to the gallbladder. Acute pancreatitis can cause severe abdominal pain usually felt in the back and below the ribs. It’s associated with vomiting and nausea.
• Cholangitis –It’s caused by a bacterial infection in the bile duct. The infection originates from the small intestine. Jaundice, pain in the right upper quadrant, and fever are the main symptoms of this condition.
• Other symptoms – They include weakness, heartburn, chest pain, sweating, increased pain when breathing deeply, acute abdominal pain, and pain between the shoulder blades.
If you experience intense abdominal pain, it’s recommended that you seek medical attention right away to rule out any life-threatening condition.