What does the Gallbladder do?
The gallbladder plays an important role in the digestive process. It stores bile, a sludgy material produced by the liver, and releases the bile into the small intestine, where it assists to break down food.
What problems can arise with the gallbladder?
Gallstones (small rocks or pebbles) can form inside the gallbladder. These are typically made of bile or cholesterol, and can cause pain or infection. Gallstones can cause pain and nausea, and when the gallbladder becomes inflamed (cholecystitis), these symptoms can be quire severe. Sometimes the blockage may also cause problems with the pancreas.
Other forms of gallbladder disease, such as polyps or cancerous growths, are less common. Overall, the majority of gallbladder problems are caused by gallstones.