Gallbladder Disease

The gallbladder is a small, sac-like organ just under your liver in the upper right side of your abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile produced in the liver. Bile is used in the intestines to help digest fatty foods.

Problems with the gallbladder are often caused by gallstones. Gallstones are small, hard stones of cholesterol that build up over time in the gallbladder. Sometimes, inflammation or infection of the gallbladder occurs.

Go to an Emergency Department immediately if any of the following happens:

  • pain in the abdomen on the right side.
  • nausea and belching.
  • indigestion and heartburn.
  • difficulty with usually fatty foods.

The treatmentsof a gallbladder problem are:

  • pain-killers to help with the pain
  • a change to a low-fat diet – Avoid foods with high amounts of fat and oils (ie. fried food, bacon, pork and dairy products)
  • losing weight if you are overweight
  • often surgery to remove the gallbladder

Return to the OUCC or to an Emergency Department if any of the following problems occur:

  • There is severe pain in the abdomen
  • You have a fever
  • You develop jaundice (your skin or the whites of your eyes will look yellow, or your urine will turn a dark brown colour)
  • You are vomiting and cannot keep down any liquids
  • You are short of breath or have chest pain