The gallbladder is an organ shaped like a pear. It’s found in the upper-right side of the abdomen below the rib cage and it’s an important organ used for storing bile. This yellow-brown colored enzyme is made by the liver and is important for digesting food and excreting toxins from the body. The gallbladder can be a bit difficult to locate, considering it’s so small and it’s located directly by or beneath a number of other organs. Before being certain that you have gallbladder pain, it’s important to consider that you may also be experiencing pain that has something to do with your heart, your liver, or other parts of your digestive tract.
If you are experiencing pain in the gallbladder, chances are that the pain will be more significant at different times. Gallbladder pain tends to be more serious a couple hours after you’ve eaten a heavy meal, and it’s also more prominent at night time—some people find that they are unable to get a good night’s rest because their gallbladder pain interrupts their sleep. Gallbladder pain has also been known to have a tendency of moving upward toward your shoulder. Gallbladder pain is often persistent and doesn’t respond well to adjustments that people make to ease other digestive discomfort, such as moving, passing gas, or adjusting their position.
If you think that you are struggling with gallbladder pain, then you might be wondering what is causing it. It’s important to seek help from a medical professional, but the ideas listed in this article can give you some insight as to what might be contributing to your pain.
Cause #1: Gallstones
Gallstones are the first and foremost cause of gallbladder pain. Gallstones are hard, rock-like substances that can build up in the gallbladder as a result of bile being improperly produced or processed. If the gallbladder doesn’t empty itself of bile and if the enzymatic reactions that create bile are imbalanced, gallstones can build up as a result.
Gallstones can be quite small, but in serious cases they can grow quite large. A person can have a single large gallstone or lots of smaller gallstones. Many people develop gallstones and are entirely unaware, whereas others experience gallstones with a significant degree of pain. The pain is usually a result of one of these stones actually blocking one of your bile ducts. If you suspect that you have gallstones, it’s a good idea to talk with a medical professional. Changes in your diet can help to break these stones down so they’re easier to pass.