Gallbladder disease Symptoms and signs

Published At: 03 January 2020 , 07:45 AM

The gall bladder is an organ of a rather small size, which is a pear-shaped reservoir with a capacity of 60-80 ml. The location of the gallbladder is on the lower surface of the right lobe of the liver, with which the bile ducts connect this organ. The primary function of the gallbladder is the accumulation of bile produced by liver cells and its excretion into the intestine to process incoming food. Through the shell of the gallbladder, the absorption process of transporting salts, proteins, amino acids carried out, the organ itself produces mucus and produces the hormone anticholecystokinin.

Various diseases and dysfunctions, pathological processes developing in the gallbladder can negatively affect not only the digestion process but also the health of the whole organism. Certain diseases and pathologies of the gallbladder without appropriate therapy result in death.

What is a gall bladder?

In the structure of this organ, the bottom, body, and neck are distinguished, passing into the cystic duct with a diameter of 1 to 3 mm and a length of 1 to 3 cm. In most people, the cystic duct flows into the common bile duct under a slight slope, contributing to the outflow of bile. But every fifth person has some deviations: from a change in the angle and place of flow to spiral twists around the common hepatic duct, which often contributes to the development of dyskinesia and functional stagnation of bile in the bladder. The length of the common bile duct can also vary and affect the functioning of the organ.

The main diseases and pathologies of the gallbladder

Among diseases of the biliary system, most are associated with impaired organ function due to improper diet or non-observance of nutritional time.


Cholelithiasis or cholelithiasis accompanied by the formation of calculus stones in the cavity of the gallbladder or biliary tract. Among the main reasons for the development of cholelithiasis, there is an oversaturation of the composition of bile with cholesterol, organ dyskinesia leading to congestion, bile hypertension due to impaired bile output and infectious processes.

Statistically, this disease of the biliary system is most susceptible to women older than 40 years, with blond hair and skin, a history of pregnancy and overweight. In men, cholelithiasis often develops at an older age or with a tendency to alcohol and an excess of high cholesterol foods in the diet.

A long asymptomatic period of cholelithiasis, ignoring the first signs of the disease, can lead to the development of the disease to the stage of an acute attack and the need for urgent hospitalization for conservative or surgical treatment.

Biliary duct dyskinesia

Dyskinesia or dysfunction of the contraction of the gallbladder and biliary tract develops against the background of malnutrition with long breaks between meals, as well as with increased stress on the nervous system and psyche, stress.

The disease manifests itself in periodic pain in the right hypochondrium and dyspepsia: alternating lack of bowel movement with loose stools, which occurs due to insufficient supply of bile into the intestine.


In 90% of patients with cholecystitis, the disease develops against the background of cholelithiasis, in which stones irritate the gallbladder membrane, contribute to increased pressure inside the organ, penetration of pathogenic organisms into the body, which causes inflammatory and necrotic processes.

10% of people with acute cholecystitis diagnosed with a chronic, stoneless form of cholecystitis, in which the inflammatory process of the inner lining of the gallbladder proceeds without the formation of calculi. The main causes of this disease include:

bacterial infection (reproduction of Escherichia coli, enterococci, streptococci, staphylococci, protea, as well as anaerobic species of pathogenic microorganisms);

intestinal parasitoses;

allergic reactions of the body, both food allergy, and aerogenic;

inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular, pancreatitis, hepatitis;

difficulties in the outflow of bile, hypertension.


In the acute and chronic form, it is characterized by inflammation of the biliary tract. As a rule, cholangitis occurs as a complication of the underlying disease, when infection or mechanical trauma during the movement of stones, surgical intervention cause narrowing, scarring, replacement of the main tissue of the ducts with fibrous.

Obstructive, recurrent, secondary sclerosing, bacterial forms of the disease are distinguished. With a purulent or bacterial variety, the attack develops within a few days, and in the absence of timely treatment, mortality reaches 40%.

Malignant tumors in the gallbladder

Cancer of this organ in 80-100% of cases occurs as a complication of chronic inflammatory processes that affect the gallbladder membrane and its ducts. The disease is characterized by early and rapid metastasis of surrounding tissues and organs.

Symptoms of major diseases of the gallbladder

The clinical picture and symptoms of diseases vary not only depending on the disease but also on its stage and form. Acute attacks of most diseases of the gallbladder are characterized by pain in the right side and region of the right hypochondrium with radiation (spreading) to the back on the right up to the shoulder and collarbone. Dyspeptic symptoms are expressed in nausea, periodic, or repeated vomiting. The muscles of the abdomen on the right are strained under the right ribs or in general on the right side of the peritoneum.

Differences in disease symptoms:

In the elderly and senile, there is a painless course of cholecystitis, which is associated with a change in the threshold of pain sensitivity, are reactivity in old age.

In patients with chronic diseases of the biliary tract, the stomach may be involved in the process, with belching, a bitter taste in the mouth, heartburn, nausea, and acidity. Possible stool disorders (diarrhea, constipation). All these disorders affect the state of the central nervous system; patients become nervous, irritable, suffer from insomnia. And, conversely, people suffering from chronic diseases of the internal organs may develop gallbladder dyskinesia.

Hypotonic (atonic) dyskinesia is usually characterized by mild, dull pain (a feeling of heaviness) in the right hypochondrium. Pain, as a rule, is accompanied by nausea when eating, an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth, and poor tolerance to food odors.