Beaufort Memorial’s Living Well Blog brings health and wellness to Lowcountry living.

What is Gallbladder Disease?

Posted by Surgical Services Team on Nov 2, 2016 2:38:42 PM

Gallbladder disease is one of the most common problems surgeons across America see and treat. Did you know 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men have gallstones by the age of 60? As the weather changes, remember: Fall is the season of deep-fried turkeys, pumpkin pies, wings, fatty dips and gallbladder pain.

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  Deanna Mansker, M.D.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease include:

  • Cramping or sharp pain in the upper right or upper middle portion of the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms generally begin 30 to 60 minutes after eating, come and go and are more pronounced after consuming fatty foods.

Gallbladder pain happens for two reasons. One is cholelithiasis, more commonly known as gallstones. Gallstones develop when there is more cholesterol in the bile secreted by your liver than it can dissolve. This cholesterol comes from the many fatty foods in our Western diet. 

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Another cause is choleycystitus, which is inflammation or irritation of the gallbladder. This occurs due to gallbladder dysmotility or to gallstones getting stuck in the bile duct. Gallbladder dysmotility occurs when the gallbladder doesn’t squeeze as well it should. This is most commonly seen in diabetic patients.

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While 30 percent of gallstones are hereditary, most of them are due to what we eat, so the best thing you can do to prevent gallbladder disease is adjust your diet by eating foods with less fat.

You can learn more about common gallbladder problems and conditions here.

Dr. Deanna Mansker is a general surgeon at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. 

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