Do you know what signs to look for that could mean a possible gallbladder infection? Well, we’ll explain in this article.
The gallbladder is a very small organ. Many people don’t even know it exists, but it’s an indispensable part of our body: it stores bile and helps aid in digestion. Women tend to experience more problems with the gallbladder than men. We’ll tell you about 5 symptoms of a gallbladder infection to watch out below, so keep reading.
What is the purpose of the gallbladder?
- This small, pear-shaped organ sits to the right of the stomach, just below the liver. It is a small sack where bile is stored after passing through the liver, and leads to the small intestine within the digestive tract.
- The bile stored in the gallbladder is necessary for digestion, as it breaks down fat. This helps us to digest and burn the fat.
- Infections in the gallbladder are more common in women, who for instance may have a weight problem, or suffer from other gastrointestinal problems, as well as high cholesterol.
- Gallstones are the principal cause of infection to the gallbladder.
Symptoms of a gallbladder infection
1. Swelling and gas
As we know, the gallbladder is a part of digestion. When there is any type of problem and the bile cannot flow properly, it gets obstructed, or inflamed. It can also slow digestion, making us feel bloated and heavier.
Gas and belching is normal. To know if it is truly significant, these symptoms would appear with more frequency on a daily basis. It’s normal to feel bad for one or two days, but when your abdomen still has discomfort after 10 consecutive days, and is hardened and bloated, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor.
2. Nausea and dizziness
Think about how you feel mid-day, especially around 2 hours after you have breakfast. Around this time is when digestion should be completed. If you feel nausea or dizziness, place your hand on your abdomen. Is it hard? Do you belch easily when pressed?
If, in addition to poor digestion, you experience nausea and dizziness on a daily basis, it is likely you could be suffering from a gallbladder infection.
3. Sharp pains in the back, abdomen, and right arm
This is very characteristic of gallbladder infections. A heavy feeling in the abdomen, a pain on the right side of the back, as well as the right arm. Recall that the gallbladder is located on the right side of the abdomen, next to the liver. If it becomes inflamed, the whole region is affected, and the pain is noticeable.
Take into account that on occasion the sharp pain can start at the beginning of an attack, such as gallstones. Intense pains can last up to 15 minutes, then will cease and reappear; this could last for up to 15 hours. The pain can worsen when you inhale.
If the infection is advanced, and you have multiple gallstones, the pain can become unbearable, and radiate to your shoulders.
4. Pay attention to your urine and stool
We know, we know… it’s not fun to pay attention to things such as trips to the bathroom, but we assure you it’s important to observe the color of your urine to avoid possible illnesses. In the case that the urine is very white, and the stools are loose and grey in color, then you could have a gallbladder problem; more precisely, a low level of bile.
It is normal for people who experience gallbladder infections to also suffer from numerous bouts of diarrhea.
5. Fever and bad breath
If you notice a bad taste in your mouth, or a strange taste you just can’t pinpoint, take note of when and how long this occurs. Has it been just one or two days? If so, then it’s no big deal. But again, if it’s been 10 consecutive days, talk to your doctor; especially if you notice you may be running a fever in the morning. Keep track of all the symptoms, so you can report them to your doctor.
Have you noticed a yellowish tint to your skin? Perhaps the whites of your eyes are also yellowing? If so, don’t wait – see your doctor as soon as possible. This could be jaundice, which is due to gallstones. These can block the bile and on occasion can cause the bile to regress into the liver, which can cause internal bleeding. This is a serious issue, so make sure and take care of your body!