6 Signs Your Gallbladder Hates You (And What To Do)

First things first, it’s time to answer the question you’ve all been wondering…what does your gallbladder really do? After all, if it can be removed, it can’t be thatimportant—right? Actually, your gallbladder does a fair amount of work to keep your body’s systems running smoothly.


Here’s what this pear-shaped organ does on a daily basis:

·         It supports healthy digestion
·         It breaks down fats
·         It stores bile made by the liver before it moves into your small intestine

So, even though it can technically be removed with little to know noticeable changes or complications, it’s important to keep your gallbladder healthy and happy while you have it. According to Rashmi Kulkarni, MD, a Primary Care provider with GMG’s Covenant Family Medicine, there may be subtle, everyday habits that are aggravating it and upping your chances for issues, like dreaded gallstonesor gallbladder inflammation.

If you spot these 6 symptoms, your gallbladder may be trying to tell you something:

   1. You have stomach pain. Of course this common symptom can be a result of many conditions, but if you notice it after eating fatty foods, your gallbladder may be the culprit. Some of the most notorious foods known to cause issues are egg yolks, baked goods, fried foods and full-fat dairy products.

   2. You’re frequently nauseous. If you’re not just experiencing pain, but you also have nausea and vomiting after eating, this may be a sign that you have a gallstone. Often times, if a gallstone gets stuck in a duct, it can cause inflammation, swelling and increasing pain.

   3. You have heartburn. Again, despite this being a very common condition, it all comes down to timing. If you find that after eating, you have heartburn-like symptoms that you can’t seem to shake (no matter how many antacids you take) it may be your gallbladder.

   4. You have discolored #1 and #2. When your digestive tract is running smoothly, substances like bilirubin, are processed and turned into bile. But, if the gallbladder becomes blocked by something like a gallstone, this increases the concentration of bilirubin—which is known for its yellowish color. Higher amounts of bilirubin can make your stools lightly colored and your pee especially yellow (even when you’re hydrated).

   5. Your skin is yellowing. Bilirubin is back—again. When bilirubin builds up in your bloodstream, it actually begins depositing in your skin, giving it a yellowish color. It can also make the whites of your eyes appear yellow.

   6. You have flu-like symptoms. Fever and chills are never a good thing, especially if they’re accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and abdominal pain. These symptoms could indicate that your gallbladder may have a blockage that caused an infection. Keep in mind that infections can escalate quickly and become life-threatening if left untreated; seek immediatemedical care if you have these symptoms.

Show your gallbladder some love. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is pretty much essential for every part of your body—the same rules apply to gallbladder health. To keep things running smoothly, make sure to limit unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fatty acids) and enjoy some coffee and vegetable-based protein instead.

And most importantly, work with your primary care provider—the expert that knows your complete health picture best. With an extensive range of services, nestled in the heart of your community, GMC Health Park-Hamilton Mill offers a one-of-a-kind health care experience. From primary care and gastroenterology to orthopedic and imaging services, you and your family will receive complete care for all of your health needs. 

You may also like...