The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ of the body. It is located near the liver. It collects and stores the bile secreted by the liver and adds this accumulated bile to the food at the time of its entrance into the small intestine. The function of this bile is to help the body in digesting fats.
It is essential to keep the gallbladder healthy so that it keeps on performing its function. Conditions such as gallstones and cancer can hamper the performance of gallbladder. Other diseases such as cholecystitis and acalculous cholecystitis also adversely affect the organ. Let’s have an understanding of these common diseases that afflict the gallbladder.
Gallstones form when substances found in the bile, such as cholesterol, calcium, and bile salts, form hardened particles that block the passage to the bile ducts and gallbladder. Substances from the blood, such as bilirubin, can also harden to form the blocking particles in the gallbladder. Gallstones are also formed when the gallbladder is unable to empty the bile stored in it properly. The gallstones can be as large as a golf ball and as small as a grain of sand. Gallstones can cause a blockage in the connection of the small intestine to the gallbladder, making it difficult for the bile to get through. If gallstones cannot be removed, then gallbladder may have to be removed from the body. In case the gallbladder is removed, the liver still produces bile in a quantity which is adequate for normal digestion to take place. A low-fat diet is always recommended in such cases for the normal digestive process to take place.
Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder and is the most commonly reported disease of the organ. It can be both acute and chronic. Acute cholecystitis is usually due to the presence of gallstones but can also happen as a result of other illnesses such as a tumor. After several attacks of acute cholecystitis, the disease can turn chronic. The gallbladder shrinks, and its ability to collect and release bile is compromised in chronic cholecystitis.
Acalculous gallbladder disease is the inflammation of gallbladder due to reasons other than the gallstones. Having a serious medical condition can prove to be a predisposing factor to this disease.
Gallbladder cancer is usually a rare disease. There are varying types of gallbladder cancer and are generally diagnosed quite late and, therefore, are difficult to treat. Gallstones are commonly considered a risk factor for the development of gallbladder cancer.
The gallbladder is termed as healthy when it is free from all kinds of diseases and performing its functions in an optimum manner. Certain health conditions have the potential to increase the chances of inducing diseases in the gallbladder. Being obese and having diabetes increases the likelihood of a diseased gallbladder. It is essential to lose those extra pounds. Also, if you have diabetes, properly managing it is critical. Making physical activity a daily routine in your life is also crucial to lowering the risk of gallbladder diseases. Increased physical activity helps in reducing triglycerides, which is a type of fat present in the blood and causes the formation of gallstones. It is also recommended to exclude smoking and alcohol from your daily routine for a healthy gallbladder.
White rice, sugary cereals, pasta, bread, and sugary sweets are linked with a higher risk of gallbladder related ailments. Foods high in healthy fats and fiber prevent the formation of gallstones and should be included in the diet.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!