Many people don’t usually think too much of their gallbladder until they start experiencing problems. The gallbladder is the small organ located beneath the liver. Its main function is for storing and concentrating bile, the yellowish/brownish enzyme produced by the liver. Bile aids in the digestive process by breaking down fats.
Gallbladder problems (an umbrella term that includes gallstones, cholecystitis, and gallbladder cancer) can occur as a result of blockage to the tube that leads out of the gallbladder, overgrowth of cells in the gallbladder, or excessive cholesterol.
Are you at risk?
While anyone can develop gallbladder disease, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of having it. These factors include:
The tendency to develop a gallbladder disease usually runs in families. Gene mutation that affects the movement of cholesterol from the liver to the bile duct as well as defects in certain proteins may also increase your risk of developing a gallbladder disease.
Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones. This is especially true for pregnant women and those who are taking hormone replacement therapy. Too much estrogen can increase cholesterol in the bile and slow down the movement of the gallbladder.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of having gallbladder disease. Excessive weight usually cause the liver to overproduce cholesterol. This can be a problem as it can overload the bile duct and eventually lead to gallstones.
A diet low in fiber, high in fat, and heme iron (iron found in meat and seafood) can significantly increase your risk of having a gallbladder disease.
- Medical conditions
Conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and Chron’s disease can put you at risk of developing a gallbladder disease. This has something to do with having high levels of fatty acids (in case of those with diabetes) and inability to absorb bile salts (in case of Chron’s disease).
Surgery is a common treatment option for gallbladder disease. Premier Surgical has years of experience in performing gallbladder surgery. With our experienced surgical staff, you are in good hands.