Top Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Gallbladder
Like all the other organs of your body, the gallbladder also has a purpose: it helps you digest your food. That being said, not everyone knows how the gallbladder works or what makes it go bad. As a result, gallbladder problems end up affecting up to 15 percent of the people in the United States.
The more you know about your gallbladder, the easier it will be to take care of it. Read this blog and find out what the gallbladder does exactly, along with a few things you probably did not know about it.
What Is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that hangs right below the right lobe of your liver. Its purpose is to store bile that will later be gradually released to digest your food. When the gallbladder is full, it can grow up to three inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
Your bile will stay in your gallbladder up until the moment you start eating. Once you ingest food, the gallbladder will approximate the amount of bile needed to digest that food. After that, the gallbladder will squeeze the bile through your common bile duct into your small intestine.
Top Things You Didn’t Know
The gallbladder helps you digest your food, but it’s still a mystery to many. Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the gallbladder:
1. You Don’t Really Need Your Gallbladder
As useful as it may be, you don’t need your gallbladder to survive. Your body will still produce bile – only instead of getting stored, it goes directly into your small intestine. You may need to make some diet changes, but other than that, you can live a comfortable life even after gallbladder surgery.
2. Gallstones Are Usually Caused by Cholesterol
Most of the time, gallstones are caused by high amounts of cholesterol sent in your bile. When bilirubin and cholesterol mix, they crystalize as a result of supersaturation. Think about the way sugar crystalizes when you make rock candy – the process is similar here. Bilirubin stones can also occur, but they are less frequent and are usually caused by underlying health conditions.
3. Fast Weight Loss Can Cause Gallstones
A healthy weight is a good thing for your gallbladder, and most doctors recommend losing weight to prevent gallbladder problems. However, if you lose weight too fast, this can cause your bladder to empty incorrectly. Your liver will send even more cholesterol in your bile if you don’t eat, which can put you at risk of gallstones.
4. Gallstones Don’t Always Need Treatment
There may be times when gallstones are discovered due to a routine check. These gallstones are often not troublesome, and depending on their size, may be eventually flushed out without any treatment. The “watchful waiting” policy may be used in this case, meaning that your symptoms will be monitored over time.
5. Gallbladder Surgery Is Minimally Invasive
Many people avoid gallbladder removal simply because they fear the recovery from the incision. However, gallbladder surgery usually takes less than an hour to perform, and you need only about one to two weeks to recover. If a minimally invasive technique such as a laparoscopy is used, the recovery will be much smoother.
The Bottom Line
Gallbladders have their well-defined purpose, but they are organs that we could easily live without. If your gallbladder is acting up, you can have it removed with surgery if that’s what is determined during your consultation with Dr. Moore. Contact Dr. Patrick Moore for an appointment if you notice any concerns.
For more information about your gallbladder, you can contact Dr. Patrick Moore, MD, at 951-477-5700. He can offer all the help that you need at his practice in Murrieta.