Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I have my gallbladder removed?"
Sometimes after I eat certain foods, like greasy or fried foods, I get nauseous and have a burning pain in my stomach/abdomen. Is this a problem with my gallbladder? Should I have it removed?
I am sorry that you have been having recurrent burning pain in your abdomen. This could possibly be from your gallbladder as you suggest, but may also be due to other gastrointestinal problems, such as peptic ulcer disease. You should follow up with your primary care physician to evaluate your symptoms, perform an initial work up, and to determine if referral or treatment is necessary. Biliary colic is the term for intermittent abdominal pain from gallstones as they transiently obstruct or pass through a bile duct. Risk factors include being female, obesity, elderly populations, and certain ethnicities. This pain is characteristically in the upper abdomen and can be severe. It often starts shortly after having a meal, especially if you eat fatty (greasy or fried) foods. It can often take place at night and awaken you from sleep. Surgical removal of your gallbladder is a possibility if biliary colic seems to be the cause of your pain. However, you can also try other pain control methods and dietary changes to avoid excessive fat intake. It is important to note that these gallstones can cause acute infection of the gallbladder, known as cholecystitis, and requires urgent evaluation and likely surgery. There are other possible etiologies for these symptoms including peptic ulcer disease that should also be considered. You should follow up with your primary care physician to evaluate your symptoms, start an initial workup and consider referral to a gastrointestinal specialist.
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