With some health conditions, you may not know things are amiss until something is critical. But with gallbladder disease, residents of Burbank and elsewhere receiving 24-hour homecare often feel strong pain almost instantly – and it sometimes gets worse from there.
It’s not just seniors who can suffer from gallbladder diseases and related pains. Just about any age can be susceptible, and they can range from occasional irritation when eating certain foods to disabling chronic pain that may require surgery. In fact, Everyday Health said as many as 25 million American men and women may have some sort of gallbladder disease.
The team at Accredited Home Care is familiar with the variety of problems that can be caused by a gallbladder that isn’t functioning like it’s supposed to, and some of the warning signs that people can watch for. There are also some behaviors that can be avoided or minimized that can also reduce one’s risk of developing certain gallbladder problems in the future.
The staff also will be happy to connect clients with appropriate providers to properly diagnose and figure out how to relieve pain. This could be especially exciting for someone who has been dealing with occasional or constant aches and burning for a long time.
With the upcoming Gallbladder Good Health Day, it’s the perfect opportunity to gather all the info you need.
Learn about the organ
While the abdominal pain from gallbladder diseases can be easy to detect, people are often surprised that it comes from such as a small organ that lives right under the liver. Actually, most people don’t pay it any attention until something goes wrong.
The organ’s function, if you’ve never learned it in school or have forgotten, is to hold the bile that the liver generates. Then the bile moves into the small intestine which breaks up food, especially more complex items.
Problems can take place if the regular flow of bile is reduced or even blocked for various reasons.
One of the more common problems is gallstones. These are small, hard deposits that sometimes form naturally in the gallbladder and are known to block the ducts and other passages out of the organ or move out entirely into the bloodstream or intestine, which can cause even more severe pain.
Gallstones are often made out of cholesterol, digestive fluid or calcium bilirubinate, a chemical compound created when the body breaks down red blood cells.
In many cases, gallstones may start out tiny, less than a few millimeters. But they also can grow larger, and in extreme cases, can be the size of a golf ball. Sometimes one can grow at a time, sometimes several could grow.
Besides potentially blocking passages out of the gallbladder, gallstones also can cause inflammation in the lining of the organ, infection and a good deal of pain.
There are a variety of treatment methods for gallstones, but in some cases, people are encouraged to try to pass it themselves through urine as a first resort, a painful process. But it’s often a safer and less invasive alternative than receiving abdominal surgery, especially for something small.
Blockages to the bile ducts or other passages can cause the tissue of the gallbladder to become dangerously inflamed and sometimes narrowed. Known as cholecystitis, inflammation can be caused by gallstones, by tumors, scarring other types of infections. Excessive alcohol use is also believed to contribute to this type of inflammation.
Cholecystitis is known to cause swelling and pain, and untreated can be dangerous.
Cells within the gallbladder can start growing on their own, which can disrupt the entire system. This could cause tumors or make the body defense’s attack it, triggering further inflammation and pain.
Although people are more familiar with infant colic, the adult version is caused by the gallbladder contracting against a blockage. The spasms may take place once or several times until the stone or obstruction is removed and the pathway to the intestine is free. The spasms may take place several hours after eating an especially rich and large meal, and pain may linger for another 24 hours.
Acalculous Biliary Pain
This type of condition includes severe pain but no noticeable gallstones or related obstructions. It’s believed to be caused by the gallbladder not emptying properly. Or, in some cases, a gallstone may have passed right through right before the examination. While it may spare someone from longer periods of pain, it also can baffle physicians.
Physical injury to the gallbladder itself can cause a variety of malfunctions, such as damage from an automobile crash.
Signs of problems
Although “a lot of pain” can be vague and general, it’s often a good indicator that something isn’t working. Medical providers also know to look at the gallbladder early on since it has a reputation of causing certain types of abdominal pain.
He or she also might ask if there are accompanied by symptoms, including chest pain, a feeling of fullness or nausea. A fever or chills can also indicate infection.
Accredited Home Care is happy to assist clients or caregivers who want to know more about gallbladder pains.