What is Gallbladder Inflammation?
Gallbladder inflammation, or cholecystitis, is a condition caused by irritation and swelling of the gallbladder- an organ located just beneath the liver that is responsible for storing and concentrating bile. Bile is a fluid made by the liver that helps the body digest fats. Gallbladder inflammation usually occurs when a gallstone becomes stuck in the opening of the gallbladder and blocks the release of bile. The obstruction causes the bile stored in the gallbladder to become trapped, resulting in inflammation and pain in the abdomen. Other possible causes of gallbladder inflammation include viral or bacterial infection, an autoimmune reaction, trauma, and tumors.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Inflammation
Pain is the most common symptom of gallbladder inflammation, and it may be felt anywhere between the navel and the right shoulder blade. It usually begins after eating a meal, especially one that is high in fat. Other common symptoms of gallbladder inflammation include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal bloating
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Dark urine
Treatment for gallbladder inflammation depends on the underlying cause, but typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve the symptoms of pain. Dietary changes, such as reducing fat intake, can also help reduce the risk of developing gallbladder inflammation. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the gallbladder or the gallstones.
The best way to prevent gallbladder inflammation is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting the amount of fat and processed foods can help reduce the risk of developing gallbladder inflammation. Regular physical activity is also important, as it can help the body process the nutrients it needs to maintain the gallbladder and other organs. In addition, quitting smoking, if applicable, can help reduce the risk of gallbladder inflammation.