The gallbladder is a small sac located under the liver. It serves the purpose of storing bile that the liver produces. During the digestion process, the gallbladder releases bile to aid in digestion. It’s especially necessary for fat digestion.
In some cases, the gallbladder can have issues, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and serious health problems. Fortunately, a gastroenterologist has the knowledge and expertise to diagnose gallbladder problems.
So, how do you know when you should visit a gastroenterologist? Let’s discuss!
Pain in Upper Right Abdomen
If you have pain in the abdomen’s upper right side, it is a good idea to see a gastroenterologist. It could be continuous pain or symptoms that come and go now and then. The pain symptoms may be a stabbing sensation, throbbing, or cramping. You may have a gallbladder problem that needs to be diagnosed and treated.
When patients have severe symptoms, it is common for them to seek medical care immediately. However, most patients ignore mild to moderate symptoms until it becomes chronic or worsens. If you experience pain in the upper right abdomen for more than a few days, it is best to see a doctor.
Lump in The Upper Right Abdomen
If you lump the upper right abdomen, you should visit a gastroenterologist right away. The mass could be a tumor that formed in the gallbladder. Keep in mind that early detection leads to the best prognosis of malignant tumors, so you must get it checked immediately.
Jaundice is a term that describes the yellowing of the skin and eyes. It occurs when you have an excessive accumulation of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that releases as red blood cells break down. Your liver typically aids in ridding your body of bilirubin, so it doesn’t accumulate and become visible on your skin.
Bilirubin passes through the gallbladder. However, when you have a blockage in the gallbladder from a gallstone, this substance builds up and causes jaundice. Additionally, it’s a symptom that can arise if you have gallbladder cancer.
Gallbladder issues can cause tenderness in the upper right region of your abdomen. You may notice this area become sensitive when you touch or press on it. This could arise if you have gallbladder blockage or gallbladder cancer. Any symptoms that seem abnormal should be checked by a doctor immediately.
Trouble Digesting Fats
Your gallbladder plays an important role in fat digestion. Therefore, you could experience problems digesting fat if your gallbladder isn’t functioning normally. If you notice discomfort or unpleasant symptoms after eating fatty foods, you should contact a gastroenterologist to get your gallbladder checked.
The color of your stool can be an indication of gallbladder problems. Specifically, when you have a gallbladder issue, your bowel movements may be clay-colored.
Your liver produces bile salts that give stool its brown color. While occasional changes in your stool are normal and don’t signify a major problem, when this problem occurs recurrently, it could mean you have a blockage in your gallbladder that’s prohibiting the bile salts from flowing normally.
Experienced Gastroenterologist in Brooklyn and Westlake, Ohio
The board-certified and highly experienced gastroenterologists at North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers understand how important it is to quickly get you an accurate diagnosis and treatment so you have peace of mind and can maintain good health. If you suspect you may have a gallbladder problem, we would love to help by giving you a thorough examination.
Contact North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers, serving Brooklyn, Westlake, and the surrounding regions, for an appointment. Calling us at (440) 808-1212, or use our convenient online booking request form.