8 Signs That Your Gallbladder is Failing 

Signs That Your Gallbladder is Failing 

Millions of people suffer from gallbladder problems, but many don’t even know it.

That’s because the signs and symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms listed below, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Gallbladder problems can lead to other health complications if left untreated.

But before we jump into the signs, let’s first take a look at what the gallbladder does.

What is the Gallbladder?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen.

Its primary function is to store and release bile, which helps with digestion.

Bile is made in the liver, and it contains cholesterol, bilirubin, and other substances that help break down food.

When you eat, the gallbladder contracts and squeezes bile into the small intestine through a duct.

If the gallbladder doesn’t function properly, it can’t release bile effectively.

This can lead to problems digesting food and cause other health complications.

Now that you know what the gallbladder does let’s take a look at the signs that it might be failing.

Signs that your gallbladder is failing 

1. Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen

One of the most common signs of a failing gallbladder is a pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.

This pain can vary in intensity and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In most cases, the pain will start suddenly and last for several hours.

Additionally, the pain may get worse after eating fatty or greasy foods.

2. Pain in the right shoulder or back

Another common sign of a gallbladder problem is a pain in the right shoulder or back.

Why?

When your gallbladder gets inflamed and swollen, it affects your phrenic nerve.

This nerve travels from the neck to the shoulder and back and is responsible for controlling the muscles used for breathing.

So, when it’s compressed by the inflamed gallbladder, it can cause pain in those areas.

This pain is usually dull and achy and gets worse after eating a heavy meal, especially fatty meals.

3. Fever or chill

If you have a gallbladder infection, you may experience a fever or chills.

In some cases, the fever may be accompanied by sweats and an overall feeling of fatigue.

This may be a sign of infection cholecystitis, which is a serious complication of gallbladder disease.

4. Bloating and gas

Another common sign of a failing gallbladder is bloating and excessive gas.

This happens because the gallbladder isn’t releasing bile effectively, which can cause food to digest slowly.

The result is excess gas and bloating, which can be quite uncomfortable.

Learn more about 15 Quick and Easy Ways to Relieve Bloating.

5. Nausea and vomiting

If you’re feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting regularly, it could be a sign that your gallbladder is failing.

Nausea and vomiting are often caused by the accumulation of bile in the stomach.

This can happen when the gallbladder doesn’t release bile properly.

6. Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow.

It’s caused by a build-up of bilirubin, which is a substance found in bile.

If your body can’t get rid of bilirubin effectively, it can build up in the bloodstream and cause jaundice.

7. Clay-colored stools

Another sign of a failing gallbladder is clay-colored or pale stools.

This occurs because bile isn’t being released properly, so it can’t break down food properly.

As a result, stools may appear light or clay-colored.

8. Chronic diarrhea

If you’re experiencing chronic diarrhea, it could be a sign that your gallbladder is failing.

Chronic diarrhea is defined as having three or more loose stools per day.

It’s often caused by the accumulation of bile in the intestines.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Gallbladder problems can lead to other health complications if left untreated.

Your doctor will be able to confirm whether or not your gallbladder is failing and recommend treatment options.

  Signs That Your Gallbladder is Failing 

What can be mistaken for gallbladder problems?

Many of the signs and symptoms of gallbladder problems can also be caused by other conditions.

So it’s important to get a diagnosis from a doctor before assuming that your gallbladder is the problem.

Some of the conditions that can mimic gallbladder problems include:

Does gallbladder pain come and go?

Some people experience pain that comes and goes in the upper right side of the abdomen.

This is known as intermittent pain, and it can be a sign of gallbladder problems.

However, pain from a bad gallbladder ranges from mild to severe and is usually constant.

If you’re experiencing intermittent pain, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out other causes.

Should I worry about gallbladder pain?

Gallbladder pain is often nothing to worry about.

Many people experience pain in the upper right side of the abdomen at some point in their lives.

However, if you’re experiencing severe or constant pain, it’s important to see a doctor.

Gallbladder problems can lead to other health complications if left untreated.

Your doctor will be able to confirm whether or not your gallbladder is the problem and recommend treatment options.

When should I go to the doctor for my gallbladder?

You should see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms of a failing gallbladder:

  • Pain in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen that radiates to your back
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • High fever with chills