Sludge in the gallbladder is very serious, because sometimes it goes unnoticed. Often a person does not have symptoms that serve as a warning.
Bile is a bitter-tasting, dark green to yellowish-brown fluid produced in the liver, needed by the body for fat digestion. It consists of cholesterol and bile acids. The gallbladder is a tiny sac under the liver that stores bile until it is needed to emulsify fat and control cholesterol levels.
A problem occurs when the gallbladder does not empty the bile completely and cholesterol crystallizes to form tiny microscopic, sand-like stones, called sludge.
Unless the sludge is flushed from the body, it can become gallstones or become lodged in the bile duct.
Who is most at risk for forming sludge in the gallbladder?
1. Women more than men – especially pregnant women
3. Critically ill patients
4. Overweight people who have lost weight rapidly
5. Those who have had an organ transplant
When my husband developed gallstones, his surgeon told him he was pretty sure he could tell him two things about his lifestyle that were common to all his gallstone patients–that he didn’t eat breakfast and that he didn’t drink much water. He was right on both counts.
His doctor believed that gallbladder problems may be prevented by eating a healthy breakfast, limiting total food intake to 1200 to 1500 calories per day, and drinking plenty of water.
Many people may have this sludge and never have any problems. Pain occurs when the sludge becomes lodged in the bile duct.. If a patient complains of pain in the area of the gallbladder, an x-ray or ultrasound may expose the sludge. At that point, surgery to remove the gallbladder may be recommended.
Possible symptoms of gallbladder problems may be:
* Pain in upper abdomen, chest pain below the sternum or right shoulder pain.
* Nausea or vomiting
* Bowel movements with clay-like appearance
My mother refused surgery, though she had all the above symptoms of gallbladder problems and an x-ray revealed her gallbladder was full of stones. Believing that God had created the gallbladder for a specific purpose, she didn’t want to give hers up. She lived to be 90 years old with her gallbladder intact.
But surgery is not your only option if you are having gallbladder pain. Many have had great success using a pain-free method of removing sludge and even gallstones at home using simple ingredients found in most homes.
Of course, it is always wise to discuss your treatment options with your health care professional.