April 6, 2009

Gall Bladder Pain

Posted in Category : Gall Bladder

Gall Bladder pain is usually caused by Gallstones present in the gall bladder. These stones are made up of cholesterol or calcium salts. This condition is most commonly seen in people suffering from obesity and weight related problems as well as people with gastro-intestinal disorders and/or high blood cholesterol levels. In these cases, the stones will cause inflammation that can spread to the surrounding tissue.

Chronic Gall Stone Disease can cause the Gall Bladder to become scarred and stiff. Patients often complain of nausea, gas and abdominal discomfort. These symptoms are most acute after meals. Chronic diarrhea which lasts for many months is another defining characteristic symptom. In almost all cases, the pain follows a set pattern according to the progression of the disease.

Primary Stages: In the earliest stages of gall stone disease, an individual will experience indigestion and abdominal bloating with discomfort but no pain. They also experience a

Secondary Stages: By the secondary stages, patients often have severe abdominal bloating along with vomiting and diarrhea. Patients also experience a radiating pain in the right upper abdomen region.

Tertiary Stages: In these stages, the pain is most acute. It moves from the right upper abdomen region to the lower back. The pain is often completely debilitating and is most common in patients over 50 years old. This type of pain is associated with the most advanced stages of gall stone disease and in extreme cases it can result in necrosis and rupture.

In some cases, the Gall stones may not actually be within the gall Bladder but rather lodged in the bile duct. This will result in similar symptoms along with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A sudden drop in blood pressure accompanied by a rapid heartbeat.
  • Fever and chills along with vomiting which would suggest a bile duct infection.
  • Jaundice in which the skin and/or eyes of the patient gets a slight or deep yellow tint.
  • Very dark colored urine or lighter stools or both.

Patients with these symptoms would need to seek immediate medical attention as emergency treatment may be required. Removal of the gall stones eliminates the cause of the inflammation and the pain. There are several treatment options depending on the size, number and placement of the stones as well as the patient’s medical history. Treatment options include medications to dissolve the stone, a lithotripsy to shatter the stones or in severe cases a surgery to remove the Gall bladder.