Gallbladder Ins & Outs
Many people who suffer gallbladder attacks don’t actually realize what is happening to them. This can cause a great deal of worry and pain, so knowing what to look for with gallbladder issues is important.
If you experience pain in the upper right side of your abdomen that works its way to your back and feels like a squeezing pain that just won’t let go, then it’s most likely a gallbladder attack. When this happens, it is important to have it looked at and treated. Patrick Moore MD, FACS specializes in gallbladder removal surgery, which will ease the discomfort that many men and women feel in their bodies.
Still, many people don’t really understand what a gallbladder is or what to look for when there is a problem with the gallbladder. Below is information to help you know a little more about gallbladders and answer any questions you might have.
What Is a Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ in the upper right portion of the abdomen. Its main function is to store bile, which helps us digest fat in the foods we eat. This bile is a mixture of cholesterol, bilirubin, and bile salts, and when there is a problem with the gallbladder (a blockage caused by gallstones), the bile builds up and causes the gallbladder to spasm, which causes us pain.
Do I Need a Gallbladder?
In truth, no. There are many men and women who live completely fine without their gallbladders. Missing your gallbladder does not shorten your lifespan (in fact, some people have argued that not having your gallbladder may increase your life because of the better and healthier diet that people stick to after their surgery). After your gallbladder is removed, your liver will still make enough bile to digest the food you eat, but rather than it being stored in the gallbladder, it will drip directly into the small intestine and work its way through your body naturally.
What Can Cause an Attack?
Anything that goes into your stomach makes your gallbladder contract, but some foods cause it to squeeze harder, resulting in an attack (especially if you have a blockage in your gallbladder due to gallstones). Many people experience gallbladder attacks after they eat:
- Foods high in fat
- Foods high in cholesterol
- Fried foods
- Greasy foods
So, What Can I Do?
If you think you suffer from gallbladder attacks, there are ways that you can help yourself feel better. Keeping a log of what you eat (or ate) during the day before your attack is beneficial in determining whether or not you are truly having a gallbladder attack. Informing Dr. Moore of these foods will help him determine a plan of action moving forward, including whether or not surgery will be necessary.
For more information about gallbladder surgery, please contact Patrick Moore MD, FACS by calling 951-477-5700.