The gallbladder is a pouch-like organ found just beneath the liver. Its function is to store bile, a thick, yellowish liquid that helps to break down fats. Many people have gallbladders that don’t work the way they should but don’t know it because their symptoms are silent. Other people experience enough pain and discomfort to send them to their doctor. Here are five of the more common gallbladder problems:
Ascending Cholangitis. This disorder, also called cholangitis, happens when the bile duct is inflamed. This inflammation is most often caused when bacteria enter the duct from the duodenum, which is either the lower part of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. The condition gets its name because the bacteria have to travel upwards, or ascend from the duodenum. It is made worse if there are already gallstones in the bile duct. The symptoms of ascending cholangitis include jaundice, pain in the abdomen, tremors and fever. Sometimes the blood pressure crashes, and the patient becomes confused. The condition must be considered a medical emergency. Once in the hospital, the patient is given fluids and antibiotics intravenously. If gallstones are part of the problem, they will need to be removed.