What Does the Gallbladder Do? Everything You Should Know about It
We know that we all have a gallbladder inside each of us, but what exactly is it and how can it help your body function effective?
For starters, a gallbladder is basically one of the most important organs in the human’s body, yet not many of us actually understand it. Unless there is something wrong with the gallbladder and we have to go to see the doctor, we usually do not care.
We are going to show you everything you need to know about this crucial organ in order for you to know how to keep it healthy. Let’s take a look and find out!
What Is the Gallbladder?
Simply put, a gallbladder is a small organ that locates right under the liver. As you probably know, the liver produces bile, which will be stored in the gallbladder.
The gallbladder has the shape of a pear, which is quite flat. Usually, the gallbladder is 2.7 to 3.9 inches long.
The gallbladder contains lots of bile before a meal and becomes quite empty and flat after meals.
Here is an amazing fact!
The gallbladder is not essential to the body. Removing the gallbladder would not cause any significant dysfunctions to the body as a whole. Yet, the patients may experience some common diseases after a gallbladder removal such as fat malabsorption and diarrhea.
Enough about definition! Let’s switch to the next part to find out what this organ contributes to our physical health!
What Does the Gallbladder Do?
In general, the gallbladder’s purpose is to store bile that is produced by the liver. To those who may not know, bile is also known as gall, which is a necessary substance needed for fat digestion.
Specifically, bile will go from small vessels to hepatic ducts and move to the cystic duct into the gallbladder. Here it will be stored for the body’s need.
Whenever you eat food that contains fat, your body will stimulate the generation of CCK. The gallbladder will, in turn, release its content, which is known as bile. Here the bile will help with the process of consuming fat in food.
For those who may wonder, bile is made of water and bile salts, which is also responsible for removing bilirubin, a product of metabolism out of the body.
It is necessary to be aware that the gallbladder is not essential to digestion. When the gallbladder is removed, the bile acid pool continues its cycle and the products will be stored in small intestines. In adult human beings, the gallbladder can contain up to 50ml.
When discussing the functions of the gallbladder, it would be a mistake not to mention Epithelium. This is one of the most important functional layers of the gallbladder.
Epithelium participates in concentrating bile. The main function of this layer is to avoid the passive loss of bile acid molecules. Besides, it is also responsible for limiting the harmful effects of amphipathic acids.
Gallbladder Symptoms and Treatment
It is very important to know the common symptoms caused by gallbladder diseases. In most cases, the obvious symptoms of gallbladder diseases can be described as a dull pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
Sometimes eating a fatty meal can trigger this pain. Doctors call it biliary colic which means a gallstone is lodged in the bile duct.
Dull pain in the upper right side of the abdomen can also be symptoms of fatal diseases such as gallbladder cancer, biliary dyskinesia, and cholecystitis. Some people may experience high fever when having one of these diseases.
Some other symptoms include:
Of all gallbladder diseases, gallstones seem to be the most common. Simply put, crystals are formed inside the gallbladder. Gradually, it will cause abdominal discomfort that causes continuous pain. If not cured immediately, gallstones may cause several complications such as:
- Infection of bile duct
- Gallbladder cancer
- Inflammation of the gallbladder
So, how to tell if you have gallbladder diseases or not? Here are a few ways doctors use to confirm the diagnosis:
#1. Medical history
Based on your history, the doctor will determine the chance of you having gallbladder diseases. You may be asked basic questions about the symptoms, your daily habits and that sort of things.
#2. Physical examination
Physical examination is essential to look for clear signs of gallbladder diseases such as fever or jaundice.
The next thing you would do is a series of blood tests as well as liver function tests. In most cases, gallbladder diseases are associated with an elevated white blood cell and abnormal liver enzymes.
This is the last step your doctor orders you to do to confirm the diagnosis. Specifically, the gallbladder will be visualized using ultrasounds.
Depending on the type of the disease, your doctor may order different types of treatment. Usually, there are three common options to be considered:
- Watch and wait: this method is used in the early stages of the diseases.
- Gallbladder removal
In general, as mentioned above, the gallbladder is not essential to the digestion process. However, patients should be aware that they may develop some side effects after the surgery.
How to Keep the Gallbladder Healthy
Although gallbladder diseases are not as dangerous as other diseases, however, it would be wise to prevent the symptoms in the first place. Here are a few good ways to remember:
Stick to a healthy diet
Gallstones are formed when you digest an excessive amount of fat. For that reason, we highly recommend you adopt a healthy diet that includes healthy fruits and vegetable.
Avoid unhealthy fats and replace them with healthy ones. Some sources of healthy fats are salmon, avocado, canola, and olive oil.
You would not want to consume lots of fats that come from animal and butter anymore because it creates huge pressure on your gallbladder.
Lose weight slowly
Overweight causes lots of health problems that none of us can expect. For that reason, some people may force their bodies to lose weight as fast as possible. This is extremely dangerous for gallbladder health.
Doctors highly recommend taking a healthy diet plus a regular exercise schedule to burn fats gradually. You should spend 30 minutes about three to four times per week to improve strengths and prevent weight gain.
The Last Words,
The gallbladder is an amazing organ that contributes a lot to our health. As you can see, it is very simple to keep it healthy by maintaining a healthy diet and a moderate schedule of exercise.
Although gallbladder diseases are not as dangerous as other common diseases, they still cause lots of inconveniences if you do not pay attention to.
Besides, it is also important to understand its common diseases and take regular health checks to make sure you are completely healthy.
We hope this article helps you understand more about the gallbladder as well as how to prevent gallbladder diseases. Let us know if you have any question!