The gallbladder is a digestive organ which works in close relation with the main biliary tract producing the gall and transferring the liver and the gall to intestines. Gallbladder diseases are more commonly seen in adults and women over the age of 40 years. There might be gallbladder problems behind the complaints which are ignored for long years by being considered as gastrointestinal problems.
The main problem is the dysfunction of the gallbladder in condensing and secreting the gall. As a result, gall sludge and gall stones are seen. Problems, arising increasingly from stones and sludge, may initiate dangerous diseases. Although the gallbladder is not an indispensable organ for maintaining life, it is an obligatory solution to remove the gallbladder by the operation when it starts to cause damages for the body more than providing benefits.
Gallstones occur when the components in the gall (cholesterol, bile salts, calcium, etc.) or components in the blood (bilirubin etc.) form hard particles to congest tracts to the gallbladder and biliary tracts.
Gallstones may also occur when the gallbladder is not discharged completely or at enough frequency. They may be as small as a sand particle or as big as a golf ball.
There are a lot of factors increasing gallstone risk. Some of these are:
1. Being excess weighed or obese
2. Being diabetes
3. Being 60 years old or older
4. Using medicines containing estrogen
5. Having gallstone cases in the medical history of family
6. Being a woman
7. Having Crohn disease or any other diseases affecting absorption of nutrients
8. Having cirrhosis or other liver diseases
How are Gallbladder Diseases Treated?
Since some living conditions increase the risk of gallstones, lifestyle changes can help to deal with gallbladder diseases in people who do not show symptoms. Losing weight and taking blood glucose under control may reduce the risk of gallstones. On the other hand, rapid weight loss may also trigger gallstone formation. You can consult your doctor about this issue.
Increasing physical activity can also reduce gallstones and reduce the number of triglycerides in your blood. It is also recommended to give up smoking and restrict alcohol consumption.
In general, painkillers are used in the first case of gallbladder inflammation. Many people have the difficulty of dealing with pain and other concomitant symptoms on their own at home. You should talk to your doctor in order to determine the best treatment method for you.
If you have had gallbladder inflammation more than once, surgical intervention may be recommended. Gallbladder operation is the most effective treatment method for active gallbladder diseases.
Surgery can be performed with an incision to be made on the abdomen or with the laparoscopic (closed) method. Laparoscopic surgery (operation is performed from small holes on the abdominal wall) accelerates the healing process.
Some patients may face with diarrhea after gall bladder surgery. For most patients, diarrhea only lasts a few weeks. But in rare cases, it may last for years. If diarrhea still continues two weeks after the operation, you should talk to your doctor.