What is and where is the gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a sac-like organ located below the liver. It is in the upper right region of the abdomen. It is connected to a tube that carries bile from the liver to the intestine. Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until it is used for the digestion of fats.
What are gallstones?
Gallstones are stones formed in the gallbladder by the sedimentation of the components of bile. The components are cholesterol, bile salts, and calcium. However, its size and consistency are variable; it can even be “biliary mud.”
According to some specialists in digestive pathologies, the causes of gallstones are still unknown. Although the alteration of the bile, a failure in the correct process of elimination of the content of the gallbladder or an infection can be considered detonating causes. Also, this pathology occurs in adults of both sexes, but it is more common in women and can also affect adolescents.
One of its problems is that in about 40% of the cases there are no symptoms. When they exist, the most common are cramps (pain that comes and goes) in the upper right part of the abdomen. Also, it might be between the shoulder blades; intolerance to fatty foods (indigestion, pain, swelling and belching). Also include nausea and vomiting; flatulence and inflammation of the abdomen; jaundice (yellowing of the mucous membranes and skin); whitish or frankly white colouration of stool. They also have a greasy or oily appearance; and finally, a dark colouration of the urine.
Treatment: Natural vs. surgery
There are several options to ease the pain and discomfort caused by this condition. Diting is one of them; it is considered the most common gallstone natural treatment. It is based on a special food selection, which will avoid the undesirable consequences that gallbladder stones can produce. The pieces of advice one must follow are:
- Eat slowly, take your time to do it, meals are more enjoyable when they are part of a pleasant evening.
2. Do not binge on food, eat small portions, it is preferable that you eat small amount several times a day, instead of a few meals and lots of it.
3. Avoid fatty foods.
4. Avoid spicy foods, sauces, sodas or sodas, alcohol.
Besides this advice, there are also specific food items you can consume.
- Skim milk.
- Cheese: spreadable. Avoid spicy or very ripe cheese.
- Egg: eat only the whites.
- Meat: Fish, skinless chicken, fat-free veal.
- Vegetables: Cooked, pumpkin, carrot, spinach, zucchini without skin, or seeds, tomato without skin, or seeds, potatoes little quantity to avoid gases.
- Fruits: cooked apples, cooked pears. Peach, damask, apple, banana puree.
- Avoid grapes, cherries, strawberries.
- Dried or dried fruits: Avoid them.
- Cereals: white rice, semolina pasta, not egg.
- Legumes: Avoid them.
- Oil: to season purees or cooked vegetables. Do not use it as a cooking medium. No butter, no margarine.
- Drinks: Do not drink coffee, just chamomile tea, among others. Do not drink sodas, only mineral water. Avoid natural fruit juices such as orange, grapefruit.
The treatment will vary depending on the seriousness of the symptoms. In those stones that do not hurt, they can be treated using periodic echographic controls. In some cases, where the pain is frequent, and the gallbladder is currently irritated doctors recommend a stronger solution: the removal of the gallbladder as well.
Surgical treatment of gallstones
Removing the gallbladder with its gallstones is called cholecystectomy. It requires general anaesthesia. Currently, more than 90% of these interventions are performed by laparoscopy. Though some with conventional open surgery remaining only for cases of special difficulty (acute evolved cholecystitis, perforation of the gallbladder or abscess of pus, previous intervention on the upper abdomen).
If you know you have gallstones and notice some pain in the upper right part of your abdomen. Apply heat to the affected area, or even enter the bathtub with the hottest water possible. In case the pain does not disappear, or it worsens continuously for more than 3 hours, seek medical help.
Hospitalization may be necessary for patients whose pain persists for more than 6 hours. Surgery to remove the gallbladder and stones in the bile duct may be necessary for those who suffer from severe symptoms.