Gallbladder infection is also known as cholecystitis. Gallbladder is a small organ located by the side of liver and plays vital role in the digestion of the food. It secretes yellowish fluid called bilirubin which is essential for the process of digestion. However if the flow of bile is blocked in the middle it gets accumulated in the gallbladder causing inflammation and pain.
GallBladder Infection Causes :
Gallbladder infection is caused due to the presence of gallstone. Cystic duct is a small tube that passes from the bile to the gallbladder. When small pieces of bile gather to become hard stones they got stuck in this tube, thus not allowing the bile to pass through it. This condition is called cholecystitis which is formed as the result of bulging of cystic duct. Gallstones are formed as a slow process when bile particles gets accumulated and become hard taking the shape of small stones.
For some people, gallbladder may get infected after surgery. Hence post surgery care is very important to prevent infection. Severe illness can also affect the function of bile duct causing cholecystitis. If the person suffers from burn injuries it may affect the gallbladder seriously. Even sepsis can cause gallbladder infection. In children, gall stones are formed over a period of time when viral infections are not treated properly.
If the body’s immunity is lowered or if the immune system is not functioning well, it can affect the gallbladder causing infection. The gallbladder becomes swollen and gets irritated on account of gallstones. This condition can happen due to accident or trauma caused to the region of stomach. Some medical conditions like chronic diabetes and HIV infection can also seriously affect gallbladder causing acute cholecystitis which is life-threatening condition. Acute condition demands immediate hospitalization and surgery for removing gallbladder.
Chronic chlectystitis is a slow process which gradually accumulates gall stones on the cystic duct causing inflammation and affecting the walls of the gallbladder which would become hard in the process.
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Symptoms Of GallBladder Infection :
Some of the common signs of gallbladder infection are mild to severe pain in the right abdomen region. The pain may radiate towards shoulder blade or back. It can be accompanied with fever, nausea, vomiting, tenderness and intense pain after taking food. There may be sharp pain while taking a deep breath. The pain may worsen after some time and it may lasts for several hours. Even after the pain subsides, you may feel discomfort on the abdomen area. Diarrhea and indigestion are common in people with gallbladder infection.
Stomach bloating or fullness is felt by many people with gallbladder infection. Vomiting sensation may be continuous even without taking food. Frequent discharge of gas or burping sensation is an indication of gallbladder infection. Generally gallstones formation does not require any treatment. But if the gallstones block the path of the bile thus blocking its flow, it can cause inflammation of the gallbladder. As time passes, the inflammation may rapidly spread to other parts affecting liver and pancreas. Fever with vomiting and pain on the right abdomen is a clear indication for gallstone.
Jaundice is another symptom that confirms the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. Your skin may become yellowish and even it may affect your eyes. If a person gets jaundice it signals that underlying bile ducts are affected and blocked.
Your doctor will look for the above symptoms. He will feel your right abdomen on careful physical examination. He may order for complete blood test and ultrasound scan for detecting the presence of gallstones. For some people, nuclear scanning test is done to find the extent of blockage in the bile duct.
The mode of treatment depends on the intensity of symptoms, age and general health condition of the person. If the person with small gallstones does not have any pain or other symptoms, he need not take any treatment. Some others are given antibiotics which give power to fight back the infection. It boosts the body’s immunity which will destroy infection in due course. The doctor will restrict the bowel flow to give complete rest for the intestine to facilitate healing.
For acute cholecystitis, emergency treatment is required. Surgery is done after making small incisions on the abdomen through laparoscopic procedure. But for some patients it may require open surgery for removing gallbladder if the infection is deeper. Endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreas tography ERCP is done for removing small gallstones on the bile duct. In most of the cases, gall stones can be removed by endoscopic method or laparoscopic surgery and only few of them will require extensive surgery for removing gallbladder. For mild to moderate size of gallstones, medications are given for dissolving it inside.
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Recommended Diet :
Bland diet is given for controlling the symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting sensation and pain on the abdomen. Bland diet includes foods that are easy to digest and you need to avoid spicy and fried items during this period.
You can include lots of weak tea, gelatin, plenty of fruits and juice. Cooked vegetables, soups, pudding, and custard, lean meat can also be taken as per the advice of your doctor.
Some people are prescribed to follow low fat diet which helps the bile duct to break down fatty molecules easily and improve digestion. You can also consider taking banana, rice and apple sauce and toast which is shortly called BRAT diet.