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Definition of Cholecystitis

Cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder most commonly caused by gallstones. The gallbladder is an organ that lies on the right side of the upper abdomen under the liver. The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver and pass into the duodenum, first part of the small intestine. When cystic duct, which carries bile from the gallbladder, gets blocked due to a gallstone, bile accumulates in the gallbladder and causes inflammation of the organ. This condition is known as cholecystitis. Apart from that, cholecystitis may result from infection, injury and tumor.  Complications of cholecystitis may occur if the condition is not adequately treated on time and may include tissue damage, perforation of the gallbladder and severe infection, even gangrene. People diagnosed with cholecystitis typically have to be hospitalized and their gallbladder has to be removed.

Signs and Symptoms of Cholecystitis

Signs and symptoms of cholecystitis and those of gallstones are pretty much alike but former are more severe and last longer. Symptoms are commonly triggered by heavy meals, high in fat and commonly occur after a meal. The most common symptom of cholecystitis is severe, constant pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. The pain is worsening during a deep breath. This pain usually extends to the right shoulder blade or back. The pain is commonly accompanied with nausea and vomiting. The fever above 100.4 Fahrenheit frequently occurs due to cholecystitis and it can be followed by chills. Person with the condition may also experience sweating, loss of appetite, weakness and abdominal bloating. Tenderness in the right abdomen is a symptom of cholecystitis too. You should seek medical help if you experience any of these signs and symptoms. Although, the condition is not an emergency it should be treated to prevent severe complications that may result in fatal outcome.

Causes of Cholecystitis

Cholecystitis is classified as acute or chronic. Acute cholecystitis begins suddenly while chronic cholecystitis slowly develops over time. Cholecystitis can be most often caused by gallstones that block the cystic duct. This results in inflammation of the gallbladder due to accumulated bile. Injury to the gallbladder may also cause cholecystitis. It can be major surgery or trauma to the abdomen. Another cause for cholecystitis is an infection within bile that results in inflammation of the gallbladder. Finally, tumor can cause cholecystitis since it may cause bile to build up inside the gallbladder.

Prevention

To prevent development of cholecystitis, at least caused by gallstones, try to eat regularly since fasting and skipping meals increases the risk of gallstones. Regularly exercise because lack of physical activity contributes formation of gallstones. Never lose your weight rapidly and maintain healthy weight to reduce the risk of gallstones and thus cholecystitis.

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