A gallbladder infection can result in severe complications in your body. It can lead to severe pain, fever, nausea, and other health problems. The infection occurs when the gallstones get struck at the gallbladder opening. The problem also referred to as cholecystitis can disrupt your daily life. So, you need to get treatment for the issue as quickly as possible. The failure to get medical help can lead to the following problems:
- Tissue death
- Gallbladder Perforation
- Fibrosis/Shrinkage of gallbladder
- Secondary bacterial infection
The gallstones are the main culprit of the infection. Therefore, if you have gallstones, seek advice from your doctor. Read ahead to know more about the problem. It will give you an idea about how to handle it properly. So, you can avoid unwanted pain and distress associated with the problem.
What Is GallBladder Infection?
Every organ in your body has a specific function to perform. It keeps the balance in the body. The main job of your gall bladder involves holding the bile (the digestive juice). Your gall bladder releases the bile into the small intestine as required. The bile can break down the fats for proper digestion. The gallstones can block the path to the small intestine. In such cases, the bile gets trapped. The trapped bile can cause irritation in your gallbladder. So, it can trigger inflammation resulting in the gall bladder infection.
Now you may think about how the gallstones develop in your body. It mostly occurs with high cholesterol levels. Sometimes the gallstones can also form from the bilirubin or the mix of bilirubin and cholesterol. The gallstones are responsible for 95% of the infection. It is due to the fact that the biliary sludge can result in irritation of the biliary ducts. In some cases, other issues that trigger the problem includes:
- Kidney Failure
- Certain Types Of Cancers
- Coronary Heart Disease
When you suffer from the problem, you can experience nausea and vomiting. The signs worsen after a big meal or a meal high in fats. But, the signs are common for other health problems. So, you can confuse it for other health issues. You can also experience pain in several body parts. Another indication of the issue is the intense pain in the shoulder blade, back or in your stomach. Therefore, you need to get treatment as early as possible. Ignoring the problem can lead to a dangerous infection
Symptoms Of Gall Bladder Infection
The infection can increase the white blood cells in your blood. It is to fight the presence of infection in your body. So, the issue can lead to distress in your body like:
Right Upper Quadrant Pain
The gall bladder infection can result in the pain. You mostly experience it in the upper quadrant of your abdomen. The pain can start suddenly and lasts for some time. The intense pain can spread to other areas like your back and shoulder. So, the pain that originates from the gall bladder can get worse with time. Without treatment, you can find it difficult to breathe properly. Therefore, you need to seek medical help.
Fever is another common sign associated with the infection. The fever may come and go. You may take medications to relieve the fever. But, unless you treat the underlying issue, the fever can affect you frequently.
You can also experience other problems that indicate you have the infection. So, check out for the following signs:
- Abdominal bloating
- Little or no appetite
- Feeling tenderness (especially on the upper-right hand side of the abdomen)
The symptoms can worsen when you eat food high in fat content. You may feel the discomfort after having a full meal. So, it is better to get tested for the problem. With medical assistance, you can overcome the problem.
Causes Of Gall Ball Gladder Infection
The small pear-shaped organ known as gallbladder helps with your digestion. It is connected to the liver and you can find it on the right side of the abdomen. The organ is vital for the proper digestion of complex food like fats. The gallbladder stores the bile that breaks the fats. So, it releases the bile into the small intestine as required for digestion. The normal process includes the bile traveling from the gall bladder to cystic duct. The cystic duct is the small tube leading from the common bile duct to your small intestine. So, when you eat heavy food with high-fat levels, the bile helps easy digestion. Several issues can lead to the bile getting trapped. The common causes include:
The majority of the gall bladder infection occurs due to the gallstones. When the gallstones block the bile duct, it can trigger infection.
Other causes can lead to the biliary sludge getting trapped in the gallbladder opening. The scenario is referred to as fake stone or pseudolith. The health issues that lead to the condition are:
An injury to the abdomen can result in the problem. The injury due to blunt force trauma, burns or sepsis can result in the inflammation. At times, surgery can also cause injury that triggers the infection.
It occurs when you lose weight within a short period of time or with pregnancy. The condition can cause the thick liquid to buildup in the gallbladder. So, it can trigger infection.
The occurrence of tumor in the areas like liver or pancreas can block the bile’s path. So, it can affect the bile from getting drained into the small intestine. The accumulation can lead to inflammation and ultimately infection.
Bad Blood Supply
Diabetes can trigger several problems in the body. One among them is the irregular blood supply to the gallbladder. It can result in the infection.
It is the bacterial infection affecting the gallbladder. It can damage the system affecting the draining of the bile. Hence, it causes the bile to back up resulting in cholecystitis. The problem can first trigger an inflammation then result in the gall bladder infection.
Prolong fasting affects the digestion as it can trigger the cholecystitis issue in your body.
Risk Factors Associated With Gall Bladder Infection
Are all people susceptible to getting the infection? No, only some people are prone to the problem compared to others. The following factors play an important role in deciding the risk associated with the problem.
Your genetics plays an important role in determining the risk associated with getting the infection. If you have a family history of gallstone, then you need to maintain caution. It is particularly an issue if one or more family member from your mother’s side suffers from the issue. So, take the necessary precaution to avoid the problem escalating to a gall bladder infection.
The disease results in the inflammation of the small intestine. So, it affects the ability of your small intestine to absorb the bile salts. In normal cases, the bile salts combine with our cholesterol and transform it into water-soluble. But, the absence or low amounts of bile salts can lead to excess cholesterol accumulation. So, it forms gallstones in your gallbladder.
Diabetes can lead to neuropathy. It can affect the function of the organs like the gallbladder. So, it can cause inefficient secretion of bile. The accumulation of bile can lead to infection.
Pregnancy and labor can change your body. At the time, it can damage your gallbladder. So, you at risk of gall bladder infection during the following weeks after giving birth.
People who have the following health problems can also get affected by a gall bladder infection. Therefore, if you have one the below problems, then maintain caution:
- Kidney Disease
- Older Age
- Coronary Artery Disease
- End-Stage Kidney Disease
- Rapid Weight Loss
Complication Of Gall Bladder Infection
A gall bladder infection can have serious complication if left untreated. So, you need to see a doctor immediately. Ignoring it completely can result in a dangerous infection. At times, the problem can lead to long-term, irreversible issues. In chronic cases, you need to consider surgery to completely remove the organ. Therefore, take the necessary precaution at the right time. Else, you can face issues like:
The infection can develop a channel or tube due to the erosion of large stone on the gallbladder walls. It is known as a fistula. So, it can result in linking of the gallbladder and the duodenum.
The infection can cause inflammation. The bile accumulation can cause stretching, swelling, and pain. So, you are at risk of tear or perforation in the gallbladder. It can lead to tissue death.
The gall bladder infection can affect the tissue of the organ resulting in its death. It can trigger gangrene development. Therefore, you are at risk of bursting the bladder or perforation. If you do not seek treatment, it can lead to localized perforation. At times, the problem can result in the development of free perforation. You can also develop peritonitis.
In some rare cases, the gall bladder infection can lead to the formation of a pericholecystic abscess. In such cases, you can experience signs like abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea.
Therefore, seek medical help as swiftly as possible to avoid such complication. At times, the consequences become irreversible. So, you may have to suffer adverse effects for a long time.
Diagnosis Of Gall Bladder Infection
Once you suspect the problem, you need to see a doctor. The doctor can perform some tests to confirm the problem. Therefore, the diagnostic methods involved in detecting the issue are:
The doctor can perform the physical examination. It detects the tenderness of the gallbladder. So, a physical test reveals the issue. You also need to convey the medical history to your doctor. Hence, your doctor orders other tests to confirm the issue.
The ultrasound can provide clear pictures of your gallbladder. So, it can detect the presence of the stone or infection along with the condition of the organ.
A blood test can detect the presence of infection. High levels of white blood cells indicate the presence of gall bladder infection. The high levels of alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, and serum aminotransferase also indicate something is wrong in your body.
Computerized tomography can provide clear images of the gallbladder. It can reveal the presence of infection.
HIDA Scan (Hepatobiliary Iminodiacetic Acid)
The scan can create pictures of your digestive system. So, your doctor gets clear visuals of the small intestine, biliary tract, gallbladder, and liver. It can also provide an idea of bile production and bile flow. So, it can reveal the presence of a block and its location.
The test requires injecting of a dye into the liver. So, it can track the bile movement. It is helpful to detect the obstruction of the bile movement and subsequent infection.
It uses a long tube that is flexible with light as well as a camera at one end. The camera is passed through the throat to reach the stomach and small intestine. It can check for the gall bladder infection and the precise location.
Treatment For Gall Bladder Infection
You need immediate treatment when you get affected by a gall bladder infection. The treatment option varies with the severity of the issue. The invasive and non-invasive method can provide relief from a gall bladder infection.
You need to get hospitalized to get adequate treatment for the infection. You have a restriction to consume solid or liquid food for some time. So, the hospital provides you with intravenously liquid while restricting food consumption. The doctor may give antibiotics for the pain associated with the inflammation.
Surgery is the preferred option for the recurrent occurrence of gall bladder infection. In such cases, the inflammation occurs after getting treatment. Depending on the complication, your doctor opts for the surgery. Immediate surgery is suggested if you have a severe complication like perforation of gallbladder or gangrene. In such cases, the doctor inserts the tubes into the gallbladder to drain the infection.
Open Abdominal Excision
In complicated cases, the complete removal of the gallbladder becomes a necessity. So, open surgery can remove the organ. But, you need to spend more time in the hospital due to the large incisions. It also takes time to get back to normal.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy offers quick healing. It has several small incisions on your skin to remove the organ. The procedure involves using a camera to see the inside of your abdomen. So, your doctors locate the organs and use the tools to remove the gallbladder with the small incisions. It reduces the pain and the after-care involved after the surgery.
Risks Of Complete Gallbladder Removal
You need to understand that removal of the organ can result in the bile directly flowing into your small intestine. As the gallbladder is not available to control the secretion from the liver to the intestine, it can cause some issue. Though it is not normal, in some cases, some people may suffer diarrhea. In others, it does not affect overall health.
Diet Restriction To Avoid Gall Bladder Infection
Once you get treatment for the condition, you need to make sure it does not return. So, you need to make some dietary adjustments to make the bile production normal. You can follow the pointers provided below to recover from the condition quickly and prevent it in the future:
You need to eat small meals at frequent intervals. The large portions or servings can upset your digestive system. Therefore, the large portions can result in bile duct spasm. Small portions can relax your digestive system.
Avoid Certain Foods
Some food items can put pressure on your digestive system. So, you need to avoid processed and high-fat foods. It can increase cholesterol levels and result in gallstone production. You need to stick to lean proteins to avoid the gall bladder infection from affecting you again. Also include whole milk products, fruits, and vegetables in your diet.
A healthy diet will always avoid gallstone formation. So, you can ensure the infection does not affect your health adversely.
Preventing Gall Bladder Infection
Is it possible to prevent the infection? Yes, you can reduce the risk of developing the problem. One of the major issues triggering the infection is gallstones. So, you need to take enough steps to reduce the chance of developing gallstones. It will reduce the risk of triggering the gall bladder infection.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide you with good nutrients. It can strengthen the immunity system. So, a good diet can prevent problems like gallstones. You need to have food three times a day. Having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the right time can maintain your health. Skipping meals is not good for your digestive system. It increases the chance of getting gallstones.
Avoid Certain Food Items
Some food can increase cholesterol levels in our blood. The excess cholesterol levels can result in gallstones development. Therefore, avoid food rich in saturated fats. Not eating processed or fast foods can reduce your risk of gallstone and associated infection.
Including physical exercise for five days, a week can do wonders to your body. Just spending thirty minutes daily can reduce cholesterol, sugar, and pressure levels. So, include the physical activity to keep yourself fit and healthy.
Obesity puts you at risk of developing gallstones. So, you need to lose weight to decrease the risk. But, you need to understand that rapid weight loss can increase your risk of gallstone infection. So, practicing healthy weight loss can avoid the issue. Try to lose around one to two pounds (around 0.5 kilograms to 1 kg) per week. When you maintain a body weight closer to your ideal weight, you lower the risk of developing the problem considerably. So, try to maintain a healthy weight closer to the BMI (body mass index) appropriate for your age, height, and body frame.
Getting medical help at the right time can prevent any complication associated with a gall bladder infection. You can adopt a good lifestyle and a healthy diet to prevent the issue completely. It also avoids the recurrence of the problem.View Article Sources
Well written in simple, understandable language. Answers questions I had as someone who had a sudden gall bladder attack, subsequent sepsis, pancreatitis & kidney failure. I am looking to learn to eat how & what will prevent me from ever having these problems.