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What is a Gold Bladder?

The gallbladder is a small sac attached to the liver.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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The term gold bladder is an incorrect way of saying gall bladder. This may also be spelled as gallbladder or called a cholecyst. It is an organ in the human body located below the liver. It may be called nonessential because it is not necessary for people to have this organ, and many people have their gall bladders removed because of some problems they can develop.

The gall bladder’s main function is to aid in digestion of fats. It does this by accumulating bile. The liver initially produces bile which helps to break down foods, and then the cholecyst receives some of this and turns it into a concentrated bile that when released, is even more effective in breaking down fats.

Many people may never be much aware of the gall bladder or its function unless they begin to have some problems associated with it. Sometimes pieces of bile can crystallize and cause gallstones. These can make people acutely aware of this nonessential organ because they can be extremely painful, especially if the stones cause the cholecyst to became inflamed or if the stones pass into the bile duct.

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Some people may also have cholecyst attacks from time to time, where the organ becomes inflamed and results in significant pain. Not all causes of these attacks are known, and they may go away after a time or worsen. If they worsen, or when gallstones occur frequently, surgeons may opt to remove the organ in a procedure called a cholecystectomy.

Cholecystectomies are most common in certain populations. Women over forty who may be overweight tend to be the most likely group requiring gall bladder removal. A common medical slang abbreviation for such women, which is not particularly flattering, is 4F. This stands for forty, fat, female and freaked, or even less flattering or appropriate terms. However, the 4F designation can greatly simplify the description of who might need a cholecystectomy. Many women under this age might require one, and obesity doesn’t have to be present; moreover some men have gall bladder problems too.

Though the body can function without a cholecyst, some people do find they have greater difficulty with digestion of fats after a cholecystectomy. Others don’t have this trouble but a few people may be more comfortable if they reduce fat intake. Fortunately, this procedure is a common one with few side effects afterwards, and many are greatly relieved from painful symptoms through the removal of this nonessential organ.

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Discuss this Article

orangey03
Post 5

@seag47 – Following the gall bladder diet has made my pain go away. Since you and I both still have our gall bladders, we are not as limited in the foods we can eat as someone without the organ. However, there are a few rules to follow.

As the article mentioned, low-fat foods are best. I eat only low-fat milk and yogurt, and I don't eat red meat anymore. Fish and chicken are my only sources of meat.

I eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Also, I have switched from white bread to whole grain bread. My cereal is also whole grain.

All that fiber helps the gall bladder out. Not bombarding it with a load of fat gives it a much needed break.

seag47
Post 4

My gall bladder pain is more of a pervasive soreness. I get the pain on my right side under my ribs, and it hurts to move around much. It's especially tender to the touch.

Is there any way to reduce the pain and the inflammation without having surgery? I would really love to do something about it now in order to avoid surgery down the road.

Are there certain foods I can eat or ones that I should avoid? I'm willing to change my lifestyle if it means getting rid of the pain.

Perdido
Post 3

Three of my aunts are over forty and overweight, and they all have had gall bladder surgery. I suppose this is no surprise.

It really motivates me to stay in shape, though. I know that this gets more difficult with age, especially if you give birth, but all the problems that being overweight can cause really scare me.

I saw the pain that several of my aunts endured before going to the hospital, and I want no part of that. I had never seen them cry before, and it scared me. I don't want my kids to have to see me like that.

kylee07drg
Post 2

The only person I've ever known who had a gall bladder attack is a man in his sixties. I didn't know that females were more prone to this.

This man was not overweight and didn't have any other health problems. I don't know why his gall bladder became so inflamed, but the pain had him on the floor screaming.

His wife helped him to the car and took him to the emergency room. The doctor found that his gall bladder was in very bad shape. It had gangrene!

They had to remove it. The only complication came while he was coming out of anesthesia. His blood pressure dropped so low that they nearly called a code.

He recovered surprisingly quickly after his surgery, though. They cut into him with lasers instead of making a huge incision, so it took less time to heal.

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