The gallbladder is a small pouch like organ that is a part of the bile production and secretion mechanism. The liver produces bile which is essential for the digestion of fatty foods. Bile is produced in the liver and passed to the gallbladder. This process occurs throughout the day which is why bile is collected and stored in the gallbladder. When the digestion of food is taking place, the bile is released into the intestines to help with the process of breaking down fatty foods.
Food consumption usually takes place three or four times a day. During these times, the quantity of food is more than the bile available to break it down. This is why the liver continues to produce bile as the gallbladder also releases bile. The combination of these two sources of bile helps with the digestion of food. Another important factor in this equation is the fact that bile tends to get more concentrated as it waits in the gallbladder. This increases the potency of the fluid as well.
Gallbladder stones are small solid masses that form within the bladder. The commonly accepted theory is that these pellet sized masses are made of cholesterol that tends to solidify and block the smooth passage of bile. Gallbladder stones are related to the bladder itself but it is possible for stones to be present in the ducts leading out of the liver or in the common bile duct which combines bile flow from the liver and the gallbladder. The most common gallbladder stones symptoms include pain in the chest or abdomen and indigestion because of the reduction in the quantity of bile available for digestion. Gallbladder stones require treatment of some sort to help relieve the condition.
The diagnosis of gallbladder stones is done using imaging tests or using an endoscopy test. The endoscopy test may be conducted as a diagnostic and therapeutic solution. If a stone or stones are found in the gallbladder, then the endoscope itself may be used to remove or dislodge the stones. It is perfectly alright for the stones to be dislodged so that they are passed into the digestive system from where they will be disposed of during defecation.
Gallbladder stones can cause infection and inflammation to develop within the gallbladder. These complications can damage the gall bladder. If this happens, it may become necessary to remove the gallbladder itself. While this is an invasive surgery that requires hospitalization, it can be done with minimal effects on the patient’s life.
A patient can live comfortably and with no complications without a gallbladder. The only change to the life of an individual in such a situation is the reduction in the quantity of fatty food from the diet. This is a necessary step to ensure that the body does not have too much food that needs to be processed using bile. The bile available during digestion will be limited to the bile that can be produced in the liver at any given time.