What is gallbladder disease?


There are a variety of gallbladder diseases. Most people have heard about gallstones, a common ailment in which small stones form inside the gallbladder and block the function of that organ. Gallstones can lead to pain during meals, and on occasion, the stones will get stuck severely, leading to inflammation and infection of the gallbladder.

Surgery to remove the gallbladder may be necessary when the gallbladder is inflamed, blocked, filled with gallstones or cancerous.

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Gallbladder disease is a general term used to describe many conditions of the gallbladder including inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage (obstruction) of the gallbladder.  Gall bladder disease is a common disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and it affects more women than men.

The gallbladder is a small sac located under the liver which stores and concentrates bile, which is produced in the liver. The gallbladder releases bile, which helps digest fat, into the upper small intestine after eating – especially fats.

Gallbladder disease is one of the most common and costly of all digestive diseases because treatment generally requires surgery and hospitalization. About one million Americans are diagnosed with gallbladder disease each year, and in total, about 20 million Americans are living with the disease – about 6.3 million men and 14.2 million women.Gallbladder Disease has two major conditions: Gallstones and Cholelithiasis (Inflammation of the Gallbladder).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.