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What are some causes of gallbladder pain?

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Quick Answer

Typical causes of gallbladder pain include gallstone sludge, inflammation of the surrounding tissues and blockage of the ducts by gallstones, according to MedicineNet. Conditions associated with gallbladder pain include gallstones, cholecystitis and biliary colic.

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Full Answer

The gallbladder is an organ located on the right side of the abdomen and holds bile, a digestive juice, notes Mayo Clinic. When the gallbladder is compressed, bile moves through the ducts to the alimentary canal. Gallstones are deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder, causing the surrounding tissue to block the ducts, causing gallbladder pain, explains MedicineNet.

Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder, says MedicineNet. Pain in the abdomen is the primary symptom, but some patients have no symptoms. Risk factors for this condition include obesity, multiple pregnancies and use of birth control pills.

Biliary colic is an intermittent pain or pressure in the upper abdomen and occurs when an object blocks the flow of the bile from the gallbladder, according to Drugs.com. This pain is common particularly after a fatty meal, since it is the digestive track’s need of the bile that triggers the symptoms of this condition. Doctors mainly use ultrasound to view the abdomen and look for gallstones. They also order blood tests, particularly if the patient has fever or persistent pain.

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