Symptoms of Gallbladder Problems in Women

Gallstones are solid lumps of cholesterol and bile salts that form on the gallbladder. Gallbladder is an organ, which stores the bile juice produced in liver. Bile juice helps in the digestion and assimilation of fats within the first part of small intestines known as the duodenum. Although gallstones are made up of cholesterol and bile salts, studies show that the stones consist largely cholesterol deposits.

As food enters the stomach, the gallbladder is signaled to contract and release bile to aid in digestion and absorption of fats. The bile juice is made up of bile, water, salts and cholesterol among other substances. When the gallbladder receives too much of cholesterol and less bile salts, this may cause the formation of deposits referred to as gallstones. Similarly, if the gallbladder does not empty efficiently, deposits of crystallized substances can form on the organ resulting to gallstones.

Sponsored link.

Causes of gallstones in pregnant women

During pregnancy, women go through hormonal changes such as the progesterone, which cause the muscle tissue to relax. This relaxation also affects the gallbladder tissue. This means that the gallbladder may not constrict as required. Owing to such relaxation of muscles, the release of bile slows down meaning that the fluid is retained in the gallbladder. This can cause the development of gallstones.

In addition, if a pregnant woman has gallstones already, this also can cause problems in release of bile. The stones block the ducts where the bile passes to the intestines. Gallstones are more common in women than in men and they are prevalent in the third trimester or following delivery. However, those whose family history shows a tendency to develop gallbladder disease can get the gallstones at an earlier age.

Moreover, overweight, high fat cholesterol diet, and diabetes can result to early development of gallstones in women. However, there is problem in detection of gallstones in pregnancy since the symptoms could be confused with morning sickness. If you have higher risks of developing gallstones such as family history, you need to tell your doctor so that the condition can be detected and monitored to avert serious complications.

Sponsored link.

Symptoms of gallstones in women

The deposit of cholesterol or salts and the subsequent formation of gallstones may not have a direct effect on your baby. Nevertheless, the consequences of the stones to the general health of a pregnant woman can result to indirect effects on a baby. For example, if the gallstones cause an infection, vomiting, nausea, inflammation, and other symptoms, they can prevent your ability to nourish your body, something that can impair the nourishment of the baby in womb.

In women, gallstones may not be easily detected because the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. The stones can cause severe pain, which is typically located in upper abdomen, at times extending to the top part of the back somewhere between the shoulder blades. Since this pain is also associated with other conditions like stress, viruses, and pulled muscles, this is one reason why the pain from gallstones may often be overlooked.

Another symptom of gallstones is the feeling of nausea. However, because pregnant women also feel like vomiting, this also may be confused with other symptoms witnessed during pregnancy or the morning sickness. Feeling nauseated occurs because the gallstones block the flow of bile through the ducts. Nausea feeling may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.

Other common symptoms include fever, bloating, belching, and indigestion. Intolerance for greasy or fatty foods is also another symptom. Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes are other symptoms, which may manifest. Such changes in skin and eyes are known as jaundice.

Treatment of gallstones in pregnant women

Gallstones can effectively be diagnosed with ultrasound examination. During pregnancy, treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms and preventing complications arising from gallstones. After pregnancy, the disease itself can be treatment. An inflamed gallbladder may be treated by change of diet. Taking fewer fatty foods can help manage the inflammation. This is because fatty foods trigger the body to release more bile but because of the gallstones, sufficient bile may not be released to the upper part of the stomach or duodenum.

Due to this reduced release of bile juice, the gallbladder is strained to meet the deficit. When you take less of fatty foods, it means the gallbladder is not constrained or overworked. Regular exercise may also help women manage the condition. Medication may be used to treat the complications and when it fails, a doctor may consider surgery to remove the stones.

Conversely, because of the risks associated with surgery during pregnancy, this procedure is avoided in most of the cases. If the inflammation is severe, there is acute colic, or an infection has occurred, then operation may be performed to prevent further complications. A surgery may be done with use of a laparoscope fitted with a tiny camera that transmits images of the organs to enable easy viewing in a monitor during the operation.

Sponsored link.

Filed in: Women's Health | Tags: , , ,

About the Author (Author Profile)

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry