What is it?
- Cholecystitis is a condition that occurs when the gallbladder becomes inflamed.
- Cholecystitis most often occurs when gallstones block the tube leading out of the gallbladder. This results in a build-up of bile, which causes inflammation. It can also be caused by other problems with the bile duct, a tumour, problems with blood supply to the gallbladder, and other infections.
The condition may settle down on its own, but cholecystitis tends to come back. Most people eventually need surgery to remove the gallbladder. Sometimes, cholecystitis can lead to a serious infection, a torn gallbladder, or death of some of the tissue in the gallbladder.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of cholecystitis often appear after you’ve eaten a large, fatty meal. They include: * an intense pain in the middle or right side of your upper abdomen, or between your shoulders * indigestion, especially after fatty food * nausea and/or vomiting * fever Don’t ignore the pain because cholecystitis can lead to complications. An infection in your abdomen can be very serious.
- Regular physical activity can reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent gallstones from forming.
- Poor eating habits and foods high in sugars and fats can contribute to gallbladder disease and gallstones. A diet with less fat and more fiber can prevent gallstones and improve your health. Some foods you should consider incorporating into your diet are dark leafy greens, nuts, brown rice, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy, etc.
- Applying heat can be soothing and relieve pain. For gallbladder health, a heated compress can calm spasms and relieve pressure from bile build up.
- Peppermint contains menthol, a soothing compound that promotes pain relief. It can be used to ease stomach pain, improve digestion, and relieve nausea.
- Raw apple cider vinegar contains anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in relieving gallbladder pain.
- Turmeric is a spice used to treat many health conditions. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. For gallbladder health, turmeric can stimulate bile formation to ease gallbladder emptying
- Fried foods and hydrogenated oils — Fast foods, processed oils, and fatty packaged meats or cheese can be some of the hardest foods to properly digest.
- Sugar and simple carbohydrates — Sugar can increase the likelihood the gallstones due to weight gain and inflammation.
- Conventional dairy products — These foods are pro-inflammatory and can cause your body to produce more gallstones. This includes cheese, ice cream, pizza, etc.
- Foods you might be allergic to — Gallbladder problems are potentially related to food allergies. Potential allergens include dairy products, gluten, shellfish, peanuts or nightshade vegetables.
Things to watch out for
See your doctor if the pain lasts for more than 3 hours. If the pain is very bad, go straight to your nearest hospital emergency department. It’s important for acute cholecystitis to be diagnosed as soon as possible as there’s a risk serious complications could develop if it isn’t treated promptly.