Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) is an obstructive issue that disrupts natural bile secretion. The cystic duct gets blocked by gallstones, leading to frequent abdominal pain, among other symptoms. Cholecystitis causes prolonged complications unless removed surgically.
Cholecystitis happens upon prolonged congestion of bile secretion that leads to minuscule bile or gallstone formation. You may develop this condition from lifestyle issues (dietary anomalies) or pose a potential risk if having a liver-related illness.
While gallbladder inflammation isn’t a life-threatening condition, if left untreated, it can develop into severe infection and burst to damage the surrounding organs, even causing death.
Gall bladder inflammation: Overview
The gallbladder has no secretory function but stores the bile secretion. Cholecystitis or cyst formation in the gallbladder includes pathogenic infection of the congested bile or gallstones. It forms cyst-like obstruction, which causes serial inflammation.
Cholecystitis causes intense abdominal pain below the right ribs. It can trouble the bile secretion vital for fat emulsification in the small intestine. Besides, gallbladder inflammation risks severe infection in the liver and pancreas, affecting the largest gland in our body.
Next, we discuss the probable signs of cholecystitis and why you require immediate clinical attention.
Signs and symptoms of cholecystitis
Gallbladder inflammation is a gradual condition, unlike sudden fever. Seek prompt clinical care if you experience these cholecystitis symptoms:
- Sharp pain in the upper right abdominal region (may extend to the right shoulder and spread around the abdomen).
- Frequent discomfort after meals and when deep breathing.
- Experiencing nausea/vomiting.
- Suffering from high fever.
- Frequent digestive upset (indigestion, flatulence, or heartburn).
- Developing jaundice (yellowing of eyes, skin, nails).
- Releasing yellowed urine and stool (excess bile pigments).
How many types of cholecystitis exists?
Cholecystitis depends on the gallbladder stones and the quantitative value of bile pigments and cholesterol in your blood. There are two types of gallstones:
- Yellow-green pigmented large stones made of cholesterol (comprising 80%).
- Dark brown or black small stones made of bile pigments.
Again, types of cholecystitis depend on the possible choking in the bile duct, leading to further inflammation. It includes:
- Scarcity of bile secretion, leading to excess cholesterol buildup and gallstone formation.
- The presence of excess bilirubin and other bile pigments in blood from potential health anomalies leads to stone formation.
- The gallbladder cannot clear its stored bile secretion, leading to gallstones.
What causes gallbladder inflammation?
The gallbladder temporarily stores bile. Cholecystitis or gallbladder inflammation is a side effect of cystic duct obstruction. The remaining bile secretion that didn’t flow to the duodenum (when not eating and the hepatopancreatic valve stays closed) passes into the gallbladder temporarily.
While the bile duct can get blocked from prolonged gallstone deposition during bile reflux, anomalies in bile and cholesterol levels trigger it. An individual can develop cholecystitis:
- Deposition of gallstones obstructing the bile duct
- Bacterial/viral infection of the cystic duct and gallbladder
- Tumour formation blocking the bile flow
Cholecystitis risk factors: Who's vulnerable?
Cholecystitis diagnosis is prevalent in individuals matching one or more of the mentioned specifications. It includes:
- Overweight folks
- Excess alcohol and fatty diet consumption
- Poor immunity
- History of hepatopancreatic illness (liver and pancreatic issues).
- Individuals having high blood sugar (diabetic).
- Older folks (above 50) have a higher risk of cholecystitis.
- Having high blood cholesterol.
- Women are more prone to it than men.
Cholecystitis diagnosis: Detecting gallbladder inflammation
Having prolonged abdominal pain below the right ribs is among the positive signs of cholecystitis. Visit a gastroenterologist for further evaluation through:
- Bilirubin blood test (bile pigment concentration in blood).
- Lipid profile test (cholesterol in blood).
- USG abdominal examination (locating gallbladder issues).
- Hepatobiliary nuclear imaging (HIDA) provides imagery scans using radioactive isotope that checks for any potential blockage of the cystic duct (gallbladder ejection fraction lower than 30%).
- Performing MRI (cholangiopancreatography) provides thorough details about abdominal organs, including potential blockage or inflammation in the hepatopancreatic organs).
- CT scan is also a valuable option to develop a thorough X-ray of your gallbladder region, looking for potential obstruction.
Cholecystitis treatment: Surgical methods
Removing gallbladder inflammation requires prompt surgical intervention. Cholecystitis causes gallstones to obstruct the gall bladder duct. Removing it may require draining the cystic duct or its removal to prevent further infection.
Cholecystitis treatment includes:
- Laparoscopy is the preferred surgical method with minimal incision, significantly reducing hospital stay and postoperative pain.
- A gastroenterologist or a surgeon performs the surgery.
- Cholecystostomy (draining the gallbladder to clean the potential obstruction).
- Cholecystectomy (removing the gallbladder to prevent infection for individuals having an acute stage of cholecystitis).
- Performing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP removes obstructing gallstones and sludge buildup from the bile duct.
The gallbladder is temporary storage for bile secreted from the liver. Removing it will lead to direct secretion from the liver to the duodenum. Except for cholecystectomy, all cholecystitis treatment leaves the gallbladder intact.
Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) could also happen from lifestyle issues that include consuming a fat-rich diet and alcoholism. It’s also prevalent among overweight individuals.
You can do the following to prevent this:
- Maintaining healthy BMI
- Daily exercise
- Getting scanned for potential abdominal issues
- Abstaining alcohol
- Cutting down on consuming an excess fatty diet
Developing gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) is a prolonged complication from ignoring abdominal discomfort or not treating underlying complications. Cholecystitis treatment through laparoscopic surgery provides considerable relief. But the patient must lead a preventive lifestyle (no alcohol and minimal fat in diet) to prevent potential gallbladder anomalies.
If you are experiencing frequent abdominal pain, please consult a doctor or book an appointment with a specialist at the CK Birla hospital. You may book an appointment today to receive prompt healthcare support and state-of-the-art clinical facilities for cholecystitis treatment under our experienced team of gastroenterologists.