How to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening?

Have you ever wondered what is a gallbladder attack? How to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? First, let us know the function of the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is a small sac located just below the liver. The gallbladder is a storage organ for bile made in the liver.

The sac is unoccupied and flat after eating, like one deflated balloon. It may be full of bile and the equivalent of a small pear just before a meal.

The gallbladder nudges the bile deposition into the small intestine in reaction to signals via a system of tunnels known as ducts. Although bile aids in fat digestion, the gallbladder is not required.

So, how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? In an otherwise healthy person, removing the gallbladder usually causes no noticeable adverse effects on health or digestion. Though, there is a slight possibility of diarrhea and fat malabsorption.

What Causes a Gallbladder Attack?

A gallbladder attack can signify a lot of things. It can be due to an underlying illness or the organ malfunctioning. When you have severe stomach pain, it’s quick to criticize it on that double vegetarian burrito you did eat an hour before. If the pain is unusually severe, your thoughts may turn to appendicitis.

On the other hand, a gallbladder attack is a health situation that can cause severe stomach pain and is likely not on your radar.

What is the fastest way to relieve gallbladder pain? Can gallbladder pain last for weeks? We will go through the important points in this article.

How to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening

Gallbladder Attack Symptoms to Look Out For

Gallbladder strikes can last from a few minutes to several hours. Many people are unaware that they have gallstones because there are no symptoms. Some patients often ask why do gallbladder attacks happen at night. Medically, you can have the pain almost any time of the day.

Gallstones raise your chance of gallbladder cancer even if you don’t have any symptoms. As per American Cancer Society 2020 statistics, it is an unusual form of the disease, with only about 4,792 new diagnoses in the United States this year.

If your gallstones are symptomatic rather than passive, the doctors recommend that you be aware of the following typical symptoms of a gallbladder attack:

  • A sharp, stabbing, gnawing, bruising pain in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen.
  • A similar pain in the middle of your stomach, under the chest, which may make you think you’re having a heart attack
  • ache between the shoulder blades
  • Radiating pain into your right shoulder
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

According to the NIDDK, if your gallbladder attack goes untreated, the symptoms can worsen and progress to:

  • Abdominal pain that lasts for hours and is so excruciating that you can’t sit still
  • Yellowness of the skin (when your skin and the whites of your eyes take on a yellow tinge)
  • Fever and chills
  • Poop that appears to be tea-colored Pee that appears to be tea-colored Poop that appears to be unusually light

What Are the Causes of Gallbladder Attacks and Gallstones?

Throughout digestion, bile aids in the breakdown of fat. It is composed of a variety of substances, such as cholesterol, bile salts, and water.

Most gallstones (80%) are made of cholesterol. Some of these substances, such as cholesterol, can combine to form gallstones varying in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Gallstones affect up to 15% of the population. However, they do not cause any problems for most people.

Can stress cause gallbladder attacks? Well, there is no connection yet found between those two.

How to Stop a Gallbladder Attack While it is Happening: Home Remedies

A physician frequently treats gallbladder pain with anti-inflammatory or pain medication. So, if you ask what is the fastest way to relieve gallbladder pain? I would say there is nothing so quick.

Natural ways for pain relief have emerged as a viable alternative to potentially harmful pharmaceuticals. Talk to your doctor about your alternatives and risks before actually pursuing natural treatments. The following are seven natural remedies for gallbladder pain.

Massaging gallbladder during attack

A tough mid-back kneading can be beneficial during a gallbladder attack.

Physical activity

Regular exercise can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of gallstones. Maintaining a healthy weight and increasing physical activity can help decrease gallbladder pain and the number of gallbladder pain attacks.

Diet

Gallbladder disease and gallstones can be exacerbated by ingesting foods with high sugar and fat. However, consuming a low-carb diet could be effective in the management. A low-fat, high-fiber diet can help you avoid gallstones and boost the immune system.

Hot compress

Heat can be comforting and pain-relieving. A hot compress can aid in gallbladder health by soothing spasms and easing pressure from bile buildup.

Tea with peppermint

Menthol, a pleasant compound found in peppermint, enhances pain relief. You can use it to alleviate stomach pain, boost metabolism, and alleviate nausea.

Consuming peppermint tea can help relieve gallbladder pain and improve gallbladder health.

ACV (apple cider vinegar)

Raw apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory features that may help relieve gallbladder pain.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that is used to treat a variety of health issues. Turmeric produces curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Turmeric activates the gallbladder to develop bile and aids in the emptying of the gallbladder. It can help with gallbladder health by stimulating bile formation and easing gallbladder emptying. You can add turmeric to the meal to reduce inflammation and gallbladder pain.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that can aid in emptying the gallbladder. It can also help to relieve gallbladder spasms and pain. Magnesium deficiency increases the likelihood of gallstone development.

Mix a teaspoon of magnesium powder into warm water and drink it every few hours to relieve pain.

What is the fastest way to relieve gallbladder pain?

Meanwhile, let us explore treatment options and understand how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening and also how to stop an oncoming gallbladder attack.

At first, what causes gallbladder pain? One of the causes of gallbladder pain is having gallstones. Gallstone disease affects 5 to 25% of people worldwide. Gallstones do not produce symptoms in many. However, approximately 20% of people with gallstones feel discomfort and complications.

Gallstones can prevent bile from being released from the gallbladder. Eventually, the bile begins to back up in the gallbladder when stones obstruct its secretion.

Gallbladder bulging and inflammation result from this buildup, which can lead to infection and decreased blood flow. This is known as cholecystitis, and it is the cause of gallbladder pain. Do you know how does gallbladder pain feels? It’s like stinging inside your abdomen.

If a person has symptomatic gallbladder pain, the pain will likely reoccur. As per the National Organization for Rare Disorders, if a patient does not have their gallbladder removed after experiencing acute cholecystitis, they have a 29 percent chance of experiencing another occurrence within a year.

Pharmacological approach

Patients who cannot go through surgery may benefit from prescribed drugs that reduce gallbladder pain and risk for infection. To treat a possibly infected gallbladder, a doctor may recommend antibiotics.

So, how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? Ursodiol is yet another medication that practitioners may dispense with treating gallbladder pain. This drug is classified as a “bile acid sequestrant,” which means it can aid in the dissolution of gallstones.

Surgical procedure

When a person has serious gallbladder issues, the physician may decide to remove the gallbladder over pharmacologically handling the symptoms. This is because an afflicted gallbladder can perforate or tear, allowing infected contents to slip into the abdomen.

how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening

Gallbladder removal procedure, also known as cholecystectomy, can be performed as a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) or open surgery procedure.

If a person is improbable to endure surgery, treatment may involve percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainage.

What can I do about gallbladder pain during pregnancy?

Gallstones are twice as common in women as they are in men. The chances are somewhat greater during pregnancy. This is since the estrogen you generate during pregnancy can induce higher cholesterol levels in the bile. As a result, approximately 5% to 8% of pregnant women will experience gallbladder sludge or gallstones.

Gallstones can also form immediately after pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes and weight loss.

The physician may advise you to have surgery to expel the gallstones or wait it out based on your symptoms and lab results.

Can Gallstones lead to Gallbladder Cancer?

Certain variables can make you more likely than another individual to develop gallbladder cancer. However, having one or more risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop gallbladder cancer. You can have all of the clinical manifestations and still not develop gallbladder cancer, or you can have none and develop it.

These are a few of the risk factors for gallbladder cancer: Gallstones, Women, Age, Ethnicity, Carcinogens, Obesity, Polyps in the gallbladder, Infection with typhoid, and paratyphoid on a long-term basis.

Types of Gallbladder Removal Surgery

There are two types of gallbladder removal surgery:

The traditional (open) technique

Using this method, one cut (incision) about 4 to 6 inches long is made on the upper right-hand side of your belly.

The laparoscopic technique

Three to four tiny incisions are used in this method. It employs a long, thin tube known as a laparoscope. The tube contains a tiny video camera as well as surgical tools. Through the slits, the tube, camera, and tools are inserted.

While having to look at a Monitor screen, the surgeon performs the treatment. One of the incisions is used to remove the gallbladder.

Recovery Tips After Gallbladder Removal Surgery

The majority of people who have keyhole surgical procedures can depart the hospital the same day. It usually takes about two weeks to get back to your normal routine.

Dissolvable sutures will be utilized to shut your wounds in many instances. Within a week or two, these should begin to disappear on their own.

If non-dissolvable sutures were used, they must usually be removed by a nurse at the Doctor’s office after 7 to 10 days. Before you leave the hospital, The doctor will provide you an appointment for this.

You’ll be instructed on how to care for your wound and stitches, along with how long any dressings should be left on, when you should change them, and when you can begin taking showers or baths.

In general, following keyhole surgery, you can:

  • Eat a regular diet right away
  • Strolling – a good example of a gentle exercise.
  • Drive within a week or so
  • Resuming back to work after 10 to 14 days

Lifestyle Changes After Gallbladder Removal

Your physician will most likely advise you to eat a mostly low-fat diet for the first few weeks after the surgical procedure as your body adjusts to life without a gallbladder.

A few of the dietary changes that can help alleviate gastrointestinal issues when you don’t have a gallbladder are as follows:

  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • Eat fewer fatty foods, such as fried foods.
  • Consume small, frequent meals.
  • Upon fasting all day, prevent eating a large dinner.

FAQ

What is the fastest way to relieve gallbladder pain?

The following methods may help in answers the most common question that how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? And, most importantly quick pain resolution.

  1. As directed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, are usually the most effective and immediate way to control pain. You should only take an NSAID, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, if your physician has prescribed it.
  2. If over-the-counter medications do not work, your doctor may prescribe an antispasmodic.
  3. Warm compresses should be applied to the affected area. Apply it to your upper right stomach and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Apply a heated compress of castor oil.
  5. Make a cup of turmeric tea. Turmeric is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including gallbladder problems.
  6. Betaine hydrochloride can help with digestion problems.

How do you stop an oncoming gallbladder attack?

You may be able to avoid a gallstone attack by limiting your intake of fatty foods and maintain healthy body weight. Other actions that may reduce your chances of experiencing gallbladder pain involve: Eating on a regular basis.

How long does a gallbladder attack last?

A gallbladder attack can last between 15 minutes to several hours. The duration of a flare-up is primarily determined by the size of the gallstone.

Does drinking water help gallbladder attack?

Water aids in the emptying of the organ and prevents bile buildup. This guard against gallstones and other issues.

What foods trigger gallbladder attacks?

The following foods may cause gallbladder attacks

Food high in fat, sugar, fried, acidic, milk and egg products, carbonated drinks, or sodas.

How do you stop a gallbladder attack fast?

The following methods may help answer the most common question: how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? And, most importantly, quick pain resolution.

  1. As directed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, are usually the most effective and immediate way to control pain. You should only take an NSAID, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, if your physician has prescribed it.
  2. If over-the-counter medications do not work, your doctor may prescribe an antispasmodic.
  3. Warm compresses should be applied to the affected area. Apply it to your upper right stomach and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Apply a heated compress of castor oil.
  5. Make a cup of turmeric tea. Turmeric is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including gallbladder problems.
  6. Betaine hydrochloride can help with digestion problems.

How do you keep a gallbladder attack under control?

You may be able to avoid a gallstone attack by limiting your intake of fatty foods and maintain healthy body weight. Other actions that may reduce your chances of experiencing gallbladder pain involve: Eating regularly.

How long does a gallbladder attack last?

A gallbladder attack can last between 15 minutes to several hours. The size of the gallstone primarily determines the duration of a flare-up. And when to go to hospital for gallbladder attack also depends on the pain duration.

What to do to stop a gallbladder attack?

A doctor will prescribe pain medication to alleviate your discomfort. You may also be offered anti-nausea medication to help alleviate symptoms. If the doctor decides that you can go home, you may want to experiment with natural pain relievers as well.

Your gallbladder attack may resolve itself on its own. This is possible if the gallstones pass without causing complications. You’ll still need to see your physician for a check-up.

Scanners and tests may be required to confirm that the pain is caused by a gallbladder attack.

What side do you lay on for gallbladder pain?

The liver and gallbladder are located on the right side of the body. Laying on the left side makes it possible for them to hang freely and excretes precious bile into the digestive system with the force of gravity to help break down fats and neutralize digestive acids.

When should you go to the ER for gallbladder pain?

The most prevalent gallstone manifestation is severe abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant of the stomach that can propagate to the shoulder or upper back. You could also feel nauseous and vomit. If this condition persists for more than two hours or you have a fever, actively pursue emergency medical attention.

Does drinking water help gallbladder attack?

Water aids in the emptying of the organ and prevents bile buildup. This guard against gallstones and other issues.

What foods trigger gallbladder attacks?

The following foods may cause gallbladder attacks.

Food high in fat, sugar, fried, acidic, milk and egg products, carbonated drinks, or sodas.

How do you calm down from a bile attack?

A doctor will prescribe pain medication to alleviate your discomfort. You may also be offered anti-nausea medication to help alleviate symptoms. If the doctor decides that you can go home, you may want to experiment with natural pain relievers.

Your gallbladder attack may resolve itself on its own. This is possible if the gallstones pass without causing complications. You’ll still need to see your physician for a check-up.

Scanners and tests may be required to confirm that a gallbladder attack causes the pain.

Conclusion

If you have had a gallbladder attack and trying to find out how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening? Visit your physician about ways to stop having it again. You might require gallbladder removal surgery. You can have normal, healthy digestion even if you don’t have a gallbladder.

Even though you eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly, you can develop gallstones. An ultrasound may be used to determine whether you have gallstones. Make sure to see your physician for all follow-up consultations, even if you don’t need treatment.

Dr. Omair Ansar, MBBS, MSc

Dr. Omair is a skilled medical doctor with a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Baqai Medical University. In 2018, he completed a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Management with distinction from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. With 9 years of clinical and non-clinical experience, Dr. Omair has gained hands-on experience and extensive knowledge in the medical field. He is currently working in a multinational healthcare organization in Saudi Arabia where his primary responsibility is to train doctors, pharmacists, and nurses about the most updated clinical guidelines as well as conduct case discussions with various specialties to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. Dr. Omair is also an exceptional medical reviewer with expertise in the field of healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and nutrition as well as medical insurance. He has years of experience in writing and reviewing medical articles.

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