Acute Cholecystitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Acute cholecystitis refers to inflammation of the gallbladder caused by gall stones abstract of the cystic duct. Gall bladder is pear shaped organ located below your liver and assists your body to digest fat. (1)

Cholecystitis can become very serious and, in the majority of cases, requires immediate medical care. Consult your physician as soon as possible if you believe you are suffering from acute cholecystitis.

This condition may become chronic if it continues for an extended period of time, or if you have recurrent symptoms of inflammation.

What are the causes and risks factors of cholecystitis?

Gallstones are by far the main reason for acute cholecystitis. Bile may accumulate in the gallbladder if gallstones interfere with the bile ducts. It causes inflammation.

Acute cholecystitis may also be due to a serious disease or tumor. However, there are few such cases.

The condition is referred to as chronic when cholecystitis occurs repeatedly or prolonged.

Females are more likely to have gallstones than males. They are also at greater risk for developing acute cholecystitis.

The risk increases with age among males and females, although the reason is not clear. People of Scandinavian, Indian or Hispanic descent are also at higher risk.

What are the symptoms of acute cholecystitis?

The most commonly occurring sign of acute cholecystitis is abdominal pain continues for several hours. Abdominal pain is usually in between middle or right side of the upper abdominal. It may extend to your right shoulder or back as well.

The pain caused by acute cholecystitis can be similar to acute pain or dull cramps. It is commonly described as excruciating.

Some of the other symptoms are:

  • chills
  • abdominal bloating
  • clay-colored stool
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • fever
  • pain, generally after eating
  • yellowing skin
  • whites eyes

How is acute cholecystitis diagnosed?

Symptoms of acute cholecystitis may be similar to many other conditions. Your physician will be interested in knowing more about your medical history and symptoms. They will verify if your abdomen is swollen or tender. They can order additional tests, for example:

  • Abdominal ultrasound uses soundwaves to create a picture of your organs. This is the most commonly prescribed diagnostic imaging test for cholecystitis.
  • Hepatobiliary scan is a procedure that creates a picture of the upper part of the small intestine, liver, gall bladder and bile ducts.
  • Cholangiography uses dye injected into your bile ducts to Display the gallbladder and biliary tract on an X-ray.
  • CT scans are computer-generated images that create images of your internal organs of our body.

Your physician may need to make more tests if you have received a diagnosis of acute cholecystitis. Such tests may include liver function test and (CBC) complete blood count test.

How is cholecystitis treated?

Serious abdominal pain may have to be treated immediately. You should always consult your physician if you start to suffer from serious and unexplained abdominal pain. (2)

Your physician may recommend hospitalisation to allow you to be monitored. We can ask you for fasting, because your gallbladder belongs to your digestive system, and Fasting enables the gall bladder to rest. You may receive intravenous (IV) fluids for the prevention of dehydration. Your physician will probably prescribe analgesics and antibiotics to minimise your abdominal pain and the infection.

Your physician may recommend a surgical procedure to remove your gall bladder if cholecystitis continues. This is known as a cholecystectomy, which can be done by laparoscopic or open surgery.

Even so, you can digest food normally without gallbladder. The bile that usually drains into your gallbladder will be redirected to your small intestinal tract.

How can cholecystitis be prevented?

You may have the ability to reduce your development risk of acute or chronic cholecystitis by losing weight and eating a healthy diet. Cholesterol is believed to contribute to the development of bile stones. You need to avoid products that are rich in fat and cholesterol.

Being overweight leads to higher cholesterol levels in your bile. It increases your probability of developing gallstones. If you decide to lose weight to reduce the chance of gallstones, it should be done gradually. Losing weight quickly can disturb the delicate chemistry of bile in your body. It may increase your chances of getting gallstones.

Speak with your physician if you are worried about your weight. They will help you develop a weight loss plan that works.

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