What Are Some Causes Of Gallbladder Pain In The Left Side
Gallbladder pain that radiates to the left side is a sign of gallbladder inflammation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Tumors, alcohol abuse, infections and gallstones can cause inflammation, states Everyday Health. In addition to pain, symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting and light-colored stools, claims Healthline.
In addition to pain on the left side, gallbladder inflammation features pain on the right, and can move to the shoulder blades and behind the breast bone, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This arises in around one to three percent of people with gallstones, and around a third of patients experience a fever. Individuals experiencing such symptoms should seek medical attention, as gallbladder perforation is a risk.
Factors that increase the risk of this condition include bile build up and gallstone irritation, notes Everyday Health. When gallstones irritate the gallbladder, intestinal bacteria invades the area and causes an infection. Other risk factors include excess cholesterol in the gallbladder during pregnancy or following weight loss, pancreatic or live tumors and decreased blood supply to the gallbladder due to diabetes, states Healthline. Additionally, being female, obese, over the age of 40, Native American or Hispanic increases a persons risk factor.
How Can Cholecystitis Be Prevented
You can reduce your risk of developing cholecystitis by:
- Eating a healthy diet: Choose to eat a healthy diet one high in fruits, vegetables whole grains and healthy fats such as the Mediterranean diet. Stay away from foods high in fat and cholesterol.
- Exercising: Exercise reduces cholesterol, and the lower the cholesterol level the lower the chance of getting gallstones.
- Losing weight slowly: If you are making efforts to lose weight, dont lose more than one to two pounds a week. Rapid weight loss increases your risk for developing gallstones.
Fullness After Eating/early Satiety
Being unable to complete your meal or feeling full after eating are unusual symptoms of gall stone disease. Most of us attribute early satiety and fullness to indigestion or functional dyspepsia. However, the two symptoms can be a presentation of gallbladder disease, especially if you have risk factors for gallstones such as:
- Positive family history of gallstones.
- The risk increases with age.
Asymptomatic gallstones are common. Asymptomatic gallstones are found in :
- 5% of females aged 20-29 years.
- 9% of females aged 30-39 years.
- 11% of females aged 40 years or more.
- Gallstones are rare in males aged less than 40 years. But its risk increases with age.
Early satiety and a sense of fullness can be unusual symptoms of silent gallstones.
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Gallbladder Attack: Symptoms & Signs
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019
The symptoms of gallbladder attack result most commonly due to the presence of gallstones. Less common causes include tumors of the bile duct or gallbladder or certain illnesses. With blockage to the flow of bile, the bile accumulates in the gallbladder, causing an increase in pressure that can sometimes lead to rupture. Symptoms of a gallbladder attack include pain in the upper right side or middle of the abdomen. The pain may be dull, sharp, or cramping. The pain typically starts suddenly. It is steady and may spread to the back or the area below the right shoulder blade. Having steady pain particularly after meals is a common symptom of gallbladder stones. Movement does not make the pain worsen.
Related Symptoms & Signs
Gallbladder Pain And Shoulder Pain
According to the NIH, when gallstones develop they can lead to inflammation of the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. When these organs develop inflammation they can produce pressure on a variety of nerves. One nerve, the right phrenic nerve travels upward towards the shoulder and upper back, and when pressure is applied to this nerve, it produces pain in the right shoulder. This is why many medical resources note that right shoulder pain one of the primary symptoms of a gallbladder attack.
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What Is A Cholecystectomy
A cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver. It is on the upper right side of your belly or abdomen. The gallbladder stores a digestive juice called bile which is made in the liver.
There are 2 types of surgery to remove the gallbladder:
Open method. In this method, 1 cut about 4 to 6 inches long is made in the upper right-hand side of your belly. The surgeon finds the gallbladder and takes it out through the incision.
Laparoscopic method. This method uses 3 to 4 very small incisions. It uses a long, thin tube called a laparoscope. The tube has a tiny video camera and surgical tools. The tube, camera and tools are put in through the incisions. The surgeon does the surgery while looking at a TV monitor. The gallbladder is removed through 1 of the incisions.
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive. That means it uses very small incisions in your belly. There is less bleeding. The recovery time is usually shorter than an open surgery.
In some cases the laparoscope may show that your gallbladder is very diseased. Or it may show other problems. Then the surgeon may have to use an open surgery method to remove your gallbladder safely.
Shoulder Pain And Shortness Of Breath Shoulder Exam Is Normal Diagnosis
A 78 year old man with no significant past medical history presents to his primary care physician with 4 days of right shoulder pain. The pain is located over the acromioclavicular joint. The pain is worse at night with lying down and associated with shortness of breath. He states that the pain is better during the day. He is an avid ping pong player and does not have pain or shortness of breath with playing ping pong.
Except for abdominal bloating he denies any other symptoms. The shoulder exam is normal. Physical exam is significant for reduced breath sounds in the right lower lobe and mild abdominal distention. An X-ray of the shoulder shows mild osteoarthritis in the AC joint but is otherwise normal.
How can shoulder pain be not from the shoulder? Where is it from?
Hint: The patient got this chest x ray given the low breath sounds on the right lower lobe.
The X-ray shows a right elevated hemidiaphragm.
This case demonstrates referred pain.
The patient was diagnosed with polycystic liver disease with a dominant cyst pushing into the right chest. His shoulder pain was thought to be related to diaphragmatic irritation.
The figure below demonstrates many examples of referred pain from intra-abdominal causes. One common example is an inflamed gallbladder leading to pain in the mid-scapula or shoulder.
Same patients CT abdomen showing the large cyst in the liver cause referred pain in the shoulder.
What is the potential cause for liver cysts?
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What Is The Function Of The Gallbladder
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ found under the liver that stores bile, a fluid that helps the body break down the fat in foods you eat.
What Are Gallstones?
Gallstones are small stones that form inside the gallbladder that can range in size from tiny specks to up to 6 inches long, as large as the entire gallbladder. Most are smaller than 1-inch.
There are two types of gallstones:
How Do You Live Without A Gallbladder
It is absolutely possible to live a long and healthy life without a gallbladder.
Living without a gallbladder is rarely different than your normal lifestyle. After recovery, you can still be as active as you were prior to your surgery.
Most of your lifestyle changes will be diet-related. Since the gallbladder stores bile and helps digest fats, you may need to cut down on fatty food. You may also need to choose low-fat dairy, high fiber options, and limit foods which trigger side effects. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also be beneficial to limiting or avoiding side effects
You generally want to aim for a balanced, healthy diet following any type of gallbladder removal surgery.Gallbladder removal usually occurs when a patient has gallstones that cause pain, jaundice, and nausea among other symptoms.
The gallbladder is not an essential organ, and people who have their gallbladders removed can live happy, normal lives. Lifestyle changes after gallbladder removal are mostly diet-centric and should not affect any exercise routines you may have.
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Does Gallbladder Pain Present In The Left Shoulder
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Can Food Allergies Cause Arm Pain
Food allergy is an abnormal response of the immune system to certain nondangerous foods.
Common food allergens are tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, peanut, wheat, fish, etc. People can be allergic to a wide variety of foods.
Food allergies can cause joint pain anywhere in the body: back, chest, arms, neck, abdomen, leg. So food allergies might trigger arm pain.
Other common symptoms are:
Allergy symptoms usually occur right after eating or getting in contact with the allergen.
While most symptoms are mild, allergy can cause anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical help!
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What Does Gallbladder Pain Feel Like
Gallbladder pain can be sudden, intense, and severe.
The most common reason for the pain is gallstones hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form inside your gallbladder. Inflammation or infection of your gallbladder are other possible culprits.
The good news is there are treatments to effectively relieve gallbladder pain.
Read on to learn more about what gallbladder pain feels like and how to alleviate the discomfort.
Your gallbladder is a small sac thats located in your right upper abdomen, just below your liver. According to the Canadian Society for Intestinal Research, your gallbladder stores bile a digestive fluid thats made by your liver.
How Gallbladder Disorders & Diseases Are Diagnosed
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What Are The Symptoms Of Gallstones
At first, most gallstones do not cause symptoms. However, when gallstones become larger, or when they begin obstructing bile ducts, symptoms or attacks begin to occur. Attacks of gallstones usually occur after a fatty meal and at night. Symptoms may include:
- Steady, severe pain in the upper abdomen that increases rapidly and may last from 30 minutes to several hours
- Pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- Pain in the right shoulder
- Abdominal bloating
People who also experience the following symptoms should consult a doctor immediately:
- Yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes
- Clay-colored stools
Some people with gallstones do not have any symptoms. These stones are called silent stones, because they do not interfere with the function of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, and do not require treatment in most cases.
The symptoms of gallstones may resemble other conditions or medical problems, such as heart attack, appendicitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, or hepatitis. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Can Gallstones Lead To Gallbladder Cancer
The gallbladder produces a substance called bile which helps our small intestine break down fats in the foods we eat. Sometimes, gallstones develop in the gallbladder and prevent the normal flow of bile. Gallstones can cause blockages in the gallbladder, causing pain, discomfort, and complications such as cholecystitis. But can gallstones lead to gallbladder cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, gallbladder cancer is estimated to affect approximately 11,000 people in the United States this year. Gallbladder cancer is a rare condition which can either start in the gallbladder or start in another area of the body and spread to the organ.
It is uncommon for people who develop gallbladder cancer to have gallstones. Gallbladder cancer occurs when malignant cells develop in the tissue or membrane of the gallbladder, while gallstones affect the normal flow of bile into and out of the gallbladder.
Gallbladder cancer can be hard to detect, as there are generally no signs or symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms can also mimic other diseases, leading to a delayed diagnosis. The gallbladder is located behind the liver, which can further make detection difficult.
When gallbladder cancer is detected, it is often in a later stage of progression. The early stages are limited to the gallbladder itself, and are easier to treat. Later stages can spread to surrounding muscles, organs, and tissue, and are more difficult to treat.
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Does My Gallbladder Need To Be Removed
If you have gallbladder issues that are causing uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms, your doctor may recommend gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones tend to recur in people who have attacks, so removal is sometimes the most effective way of preventing future attacks. You can live a normal lifestyle without a gallbladder, since bile has other paths to reach the small intestine.
When functioning normally, the gallbladder controls the distribution of bile, a fluid which helps the digestive system process fats. Bile is stored in the gallbladder when the body is not actively digesting, such as between meals or overnight, and released into the small intestine during mealtimes.
There are several conditions which can interrupt the normal flow of bile. When bile cant flow normally, a person may feel symptoms such as pain, discomfort, nausea, and more.
Treatment For Pain Due To Gallbladder Stones
Once the symptoms are diagnosed due to gallstones, your healthcare expert will suggest a treatment protocol:
* Antibiotics and pain killers * Other symptomatic treatments in the form of IV fluids, antacids, antiemetics
If the patient has gallbladder stones with pain in the upper abdomen and deranged liver function test values, the patient will be subjected to MRCP first to rule out common bile duct stones . In the case of common bile duct stone, first, the patient is subjected to endoscopic removal of CBD stones followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy .
If the patient has gallbladder stones with pain in the upper abdomen, with no evidence of CBD stone, the patient will be subjected to laparoscopic cholecystectomy .
When asymptomatic gallbladder stones are detected, the patient is usually advised surgical intervention electively to avoid any complications later like mucocele, pyocele, perforation of gallbladder, obstructive jaundice, and acute pancreatitis.
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How To Avoid Arm Pain After Eating
If you can make it easy for your body to digest the food you eat, arm pain and other eating-related problems are less likely to occur.
- Eat less, more often. If your stomach is not 100% full, itâs going to be easier to digest the food.
- Avoid hard-to-digest and inflammatory foods. Fat and added sugar are the two most important ingredients that should be limited. Fiber and enough water will make digestion easier.
- Digestion starts in the mouth, chew your food well, eat slowly.
What Is The Purpose Of The Gallbladder
While the stomach does a wonderful job of starting the digestion process, it doesnt work alone. The small intestine, colon, and many other organs participate in turning food into nutrients the body can use. The gallbladder is one of the many organs that plays a part in the digestion process, but what exactly is the purpose of the gallbladder?
As mentioned above, the liver produces bile to help the small intestine break down fats from food, as well as fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Bile also carries waste out of the body. The gallbladder releases bile during mealtimes to help the body digest fats. When the body is not actively digesting, such as overnight or between meals, the gallbladder stores bile.
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How Is Acute Cholecystitis Diagnosed
The symptoms of acute cholecystitis can resemble many other illnesses. Your doctor will want to know about your medical history as well as your symptoms. Theyll probably check your abdomen for swelling or tender areas. They may order additional tests, such as the following:
- Abdominal ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your organs. This is the most commonly ordered imaging test thats used to diagnose cholecystitis.
- Hepatobiliary scintigraphy is a procedure that creates an image of the upper portion of your small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts.
- Cholangiography uses dye injected into your bile ducts to show the gallbladder and bile ducts on an X-ray.
- CT scans are computerized images used to create images of your internal organs.