Find out about causes, symptoms and signs of a gallbladder attack
What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located just behind the liver, on the right side of the rib cage. The gallbladder acts as storage for bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats.
What are Gallstones?
Diseases of the gallbladder are commonly associated with the formation of gallstones, and they are more likely to appear in women than in men. Overweight or obese women, between 20 to 60 years of age and who are using birth control pills or hormonal replacement therapies are more predisposed to developing gallbladder disease. A high fat or high sugar diet, sedentary lifestyle, fasting, rapid weight loss, and use of certain cholesterol-lowering agents may pose risks to developing gallstones.
Though gallstones may be formed by bilirubin and other particles, they are typically made up of cholesterol. Presence of gallstones may not manifest any symptoms in the beginning, until it causes a blockage in the bile duct which tends to trap bile and cause accumulation that leads to irritation and pressure. A condition known as acute cholecystitis, which is the inflammation of the bladder, may also result from bile accumulation, causing a sharp, sudden pain known as Gallbladder Attack.
Gallbladder Attack Signs and Symptoms
A gallbladder attack may last from 15 minutes to 15 hours, which typically occurs at night and is triggered by ingestion of fatty food. These are the signs and symptoms that may indicate a gallbladder attack: