The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits under your liver in the upper right hand side of your abdomen. It stores bile, a combination of fluids, cholesterol, bile salts and pigments. The main job of the gallbladder is to deliver bile into the small intestine when eating, which helps break down fat from your food. Here are some of the major symptoms you may be experiencing if you have gallbladder problems, such as stones (also known as cholelithiasis). In this situation, you may require your gallbladder to be surgically removed by a keyhole procedure.
Pain is the most common and obvious symptom of gallbladder problems. You may experience pain or discomfort in the upper right region of your abdomen. It is often sharp, intermittent or continuous, triggered by heavy meals or fatty food intake, lasting between few minutes and several hours, described by women as labour-type pain, generally starting in the evening or at night, and often radiating into your back.
- Nausea & vomiting
Some people may experience nausea and episodes of vomiting if they have some type of gallbladder issue. Long-term gallbladder diseases can cause frequent bouts of vomiting. If you are experiencing pain in the area coupled with frequent nausea, vomiting and fever, take a trip to your doctor.
- Change in bowel movements
The gallbladder can affect bowel movements so another common symptom of gallbladder disease is frequent and unexplained diarrhoea or light-coloured, chalky or irregular stools.
- Changes in urine
Similarly, with changes in bowel movements, a change in your urine can also point to an issue with the gallbladder. These changes may include dark urine, which may be caused by a blocked bile duct from a stone.
When liver bile doesn’t make it to the intestines, this can cause yellowing of the skin or ‘jaundice’, which can be a symptom of liver problems due to gallstones (blocked bile duct). In this situation, some people might also feel itchy.
For further information regarding gallbladder surgery or to make an appointment to see our surgeon Prof. Chris Berney, contact us today.