Though it may be small in size, your gall bladder plays a big role in your overall health and well being. Its main function is to aid in the process of digestion.
This pear-shaped organ is situated underneath the liver, on the right of the abdomen. It stores and concentrates bile, a digestive enzyme that is produced by the liver. The gall bladder is a part of the biliary tract and it serves as a holding place for bile when it is not being used for digestion. The absorbent lining of this organ concentrates the bile that is stored inside of it.
When you eat, food enters into the small intestine. When this happens, cholecystokinin, a hormone, is released. This hormone triggers the gall bladder, telling it to contract and secrete the bile that it has stored, moving it into the small intestine via the common bile duct.
The bile secreted by the gall bladder aids in digestion by helping to break up fats that you have consumed. It also helps to drain waste products out of the liver and into the duodenum, a portion of the small intestine.
There are several things that can impact the function of the gall bladder. Excess amounts of bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin, for example, can cause the formation of gall stones. These crystallized stones harden and deposit into the lining of the gall bladder.
How can you tell if you have gall stones? Here is a look at 13 common symptoms that are associated with a gall bladder attack.
1. Feeling sick to your stomach
When your gall bladder is under attack, it is not uncommon to feel nauseous. At first, you might feel mild nausea, but as the attack worsens, so will nausea. This happens as a result of the disruption to the digestive process and the excess buildup of bile. You might notice that this symptom becomes worse after eating. It will continue, too, until the problem with the gall bladder is diagnosed and treated.