Cholecystitis is a gallbladder condition that can lead to complications if it goes untreated. Learn about the causes and signs to look for.

You might not think much about your gallbladder until problems arise, but it can play an important role in your health and well-being. The pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen stores bile, a fluid that helps your body break down fatty foods.

Although you may not usually give your gallbladder much thought, cholecystitis is one problem that can bring the organ to your mind’s forefront after triggering numerous bothersome symptoms.

At our office in Manchester, Connecticut, Dr. Laureen Forgione-Rubino and her team diagnose and treat gallbladder conditions to help bring you worthy relief.

Take a few minutes to learn more about cholecystitis, including potential causes and common symptoms.

Cholecystitis symptoms

Cholecystitis is the medical term for an inflamed gallbladder. Once inflammation sets into the organ, you can experience a range of symptoms, such as:

  • Fever and sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain that radiates to your back or right shoulder
  • Severe pain in your upper right or central abdomen
  • Tenderness to the touch above your abdomen

You may notice that your symptoms flare up or get worse after you eat, especially after a fatty or large meal.

Cholecystitis causes

The biggest risk factor for developing cholecystitis is gallstones. These hard particles can block the tube through which bile leaves your gallbladder. The bile buildup that results triggers inflammation.

Other factors that may contribute to cholecystitis include:

  • A tumor that keeps your gallbladder from draining
  • Bile blockage from scarring
  • Blood vessel problems from a severe illness
  • An infection, such as HIV/AIDS
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Obesity

What to do about cholecystitis

If you’re dealing with severe or long-lasting cholecystitis or other issues related to gallbladder disease, Dr. Forgione-Rubino may recommend a cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal surgery. Or if more conservative treatment reduces your symptoms only for them to return, removal may be in order.

Other cholecystitis treatments that may help include:

  • Temporary fasting, to reduce the stress on your gallbladder
  • Antibiotics to treat any infection
  • Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Pain medication
  • Surgery to remove gallstones

You may also find dietary changes, such as reducing the amount of fat in your diet, helpful. If you decide to shed excess weight, be sure to do so gradually. Losing 1-2 pounds per week tends to be more effective and safer — for your gallbladder and overall health — than fad diets.

Lastly, don’t delay getting care for your gallbladder pain. Otherwise, you run the risk of complications, from an infection to bursting of the organ.

To learn more about cholecystitis or to get the treatment you need, call our office or schedule an appointment online today.

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