The gallbladder is an organ in the abdomen’s upper right, just below the liver. This pouch is responsible for storing bile, a greenish liquid that aids digestion. Common issues tend to occur when there’s a bile duct obstruction, like gallstones. These are the digestive fluids and other substances that have transformed into hardened deposits within the pear-shaped organ.
The first sign of gallstones is typically a pain localized in the stomach’s center or above the abdomen. It isn’t uncommon to experience occasional discomfort when eating food with high-fat content, but the ache can strike anytime. If any existing gallstones are unidentified or untreated, the chances are that symptoms will develop. These can include high temperature resulting from fever, chills, rapid heart rate, appetite loss, jaundice, itchy skin, diarrhea, and confusion, to name a few.
Any of the symptoms mentioned above can indicate inflammation or infection of the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. Because of their severity and the fact that these signs can mimic other severe conditions like pancreatitis or appendicitis, it’s highly recommended to get medical attention immediately from your doctor or the ER. Failure to do so can result in more pain and potentially life-threatening complications.
One of the most common risk factors for the development of gallstones is obesity, the excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat that presents health concerns. It isn’t merely a cosmetic issue but a medical concern that might make one more susceptible to conditions such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.
While poor lifestyle choices like an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity may lead to obesity, the condition usually comes about from the concurrence of various contributing factors. For example, family influence and inheritance can cause immoderate weight gain through genetics, shared activities, and eating habits. Inadequate sleep and chronic stress can also precipitate corpulence because they can change hormones and increase your appetite.
Environmental issues could also exacerbate the condition. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging without an accessible place to exercise. Or if there’s no fresh food available, you’ll likely be more inclined to opt for unhealthier alternatives. Left unchecked, it can lead to poor habits and severely impact physical and mental health. Thus, it’s best for those unable to manage their obesity to talk with a healthcare professional to evaluate weight-loss options and discuss health risks.