Your gallbladder is a sac-like organ located below your liver. It collects and concentrates the bile your liver produces. That bile helps your body digest fat.
If you develop gallbladder disease, its symptoms can wreak havoc on your daily life. Knowing your risk factors for the disease may prompt you to shift your lifestyle to prevent those symptoms. And if you develop gallbladder disease, effective treatment can go a long way.
Dr. Sreelatha Reddy and the team at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, provide compassionate care for gallbladder disease, with treatments that ease your symptoms for a more comfortable life.
Here, we explore gallbladder disease, including signs you’re at risk and steps to take if you are.
Gallbladder disease is a common digestive system condition, affecting 15% of American adults. Used as an umbrella term for a range of issues affecting your gallbladder, such as inflammation, infection, and blockages, it can cause symptoms that worsen over time.
Common gallbladder disease symptoms include:
Blockages in your gallbladder are typically caused by gallstones, the most common type of gallbladder disease.
While most anyone with a gallbladder can develop gallbladder disease, certain factors increase your risk. Women, for example, are twice as likely to experience gallbladder problems.
Other gallbladder disease risk factors include:
You may be at even greater risk of gallbladder disease if you have multiple risk factors. If you lead an inactive lifestyle, for example, your risk of gallbladder issues after age 40 may be high.
You can’t control all gallbladder disease risk factors, but you can adjust your lifestyle to lower your odds. If you wish to lose excess weight, for example, do so slowly. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, versus larger amounts more rapidly.
In addition, don’t skip meals, don’t engage in fasts, and do get plenty of fiber. Fiber-rich foods, such as beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, may help lower your risk of gallstones and make weight control easier too.
Do your best to stay physically fit through routine exercise. And if you notice any signs of gallbladder disease, come into our office for an exam. It’s always better to address milder gallbladder issues early on than to wait until challenging complications arise.
To learn more about gallbladder disease risk factors or to get the care you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. or request your appointment online today.