The gall bladder is an organ that is associated with liver function, specifically with the function of bile production, storage and release during digestion. Bile is one of the products of the liver organ which itself produces many different substances. The liver produces bile continuously and this is stored in the gall bladder. During digestion, the liver releases more bile and the bladder releases its bile as well. The combination of these two sources of bile helps to provide enough bile in the digestive system.
Bile is used to process fatty foods and is essential for the breakdown of such foods. It is possible for the body to digest food normally without a working gall bladder present. This happens only when the diet is moderated to include less fatty foods. Gallbladder stones are hard particles that form within the bladder and block its normal functioning.
A gall stone may block the bladder from releasing bile and may completely block the flow of bile out from the bile ducts. This condition will cause pain to the individual as the duct and bladder become swollen because of the bile collecting within them. There may also be an infection in the organ which is related to the blockage and this can cause other symptoms such as fever or general malaise.
It should be noted that the term gallbladder stones applies to blockages that occur within the bladder, in the area between the liver and the bladder and in the ducts that lead into the digestive system. A blockage in the bladder itself may not be that bad for the patient because bile will still be partially available for digestion. Gall stones are generally associated with high levels of cholesterol. As the cholesterol tends to separate from the bile fluid it forms into pebble like hard substances. If the stones are large enough, they form into groups and become a large mass which blocks the bile from being released.
The diagnosis of gallbladder stones is usually done using an imaging test which is useful for visibly identifying the blockage or the abnormality within the gall bladder. Often, blood tests are conducted to corroborate these findings.
The treatment for gallbladder problems and gall stones is usually surgical. Surgical treatment involves either an incision based surgery or a surgery conducted using an endoscope which accesses the gall bladder through the opening of the bile ducts as they enter the digestive system. This procedure for gall stones is preferred over gall stone surgery as it is not invasive and can be conducted even on an outpatient basis. This endoscopy procedure is often used during diagnosis itself. The scope will be used to diagnose the presence of gallbladder stones following which the stones will be removed by the scope itself. The endoscopy procedure is therefore the most obvious choice when one is seeking a solution for gall stones and gallbladder problems.
If the blockage has caused too much damage to the gallbladder, then it may be necessary to have the gallbladder removed completely. A gallstones diet is often suggested as a complementary treatment method or as part of post gallbladder surgery care. This diet plan will consists of juices and gallstone diet foods like beets, cucumbers, shallots, lemon juice, grapes, and dandelion greens.