Gastrointestinal diseases basically refer to various medical conditions involving the gastrointestinal tract. This tract comprises of the esophagus, large intestine, stomach, small intestine, rectum, and various accessory organs of the digestive system like the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Gastrointestinal diseases can include a variety of ailments, ranging from hepatitis C, irritable bowel movement syndrome, and perianal infections to liver tumors, esophageal cancer, and diverticular diseases. Dr Mark Swaim points out that ailment involving the gallbladder are one of the key types of gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Swaim is a Tennessee based gastroenterology doctor. He is 59 years old and has been practicing for 22 years.
The gallbladder basically is a small pear-shaped sac located beneath the liver, and its main function is to store the bile produced by the liver and to pass it along through a duct that drains into the small intestine. This bile assists in digesting fats in the small intestine. Dr Mark Swaim says that the majority of the gallbladder related diseases are caused to the irritation and inflammation the gallbladder walls, also known as cholecystitis.
While there are several of types of gallbladder diseases, here are the two major ones:
- Gallstones: Gallstones are generally developed when distinct elements found in the bile [like cholesterol, calcium, and bile salts], or even some constituents of food particles [such as bilirubin] forms strong particles that obstruct the passageways to the gallbladder and the bile ducts. In case the gallbladder does not empty entirely or regularly enough, then also it might lead to the formation of gallstones. The gallstones may develop in a variety of sizes. They can be as small as a sand grain or even as big as a tennis ball. Dr Mark Swaim says that the risk factors of developing gallstones include obesity, diabetes, undertaking medication that contains estrogen, a family history of gallstone, and certain liver diseases like cirrhosis. Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion or the center of the abdomen is the key symptom of gallstones.
- Cholangiocarcinoma: Cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer comprises of mutated epithelial cells or the cells that show characteristics of epithelial differentiation. It is of the most common tumors of the bile duct, and Hilar, in particular, is the most common types of cholnagiocarcinoma. This medical condition might involve the bile duct at lower CBD, intrahepatic biliary system or liver hilum. The main risk factors of Cholangiocarcinoma are choledochal cyst, biliary-enteric drainage procedures, primary sclerosing cholangitis , hepatolithiasis, and clonorchis sinensis. Yellowing of skin and the whites of eyes (jaundice), intensely itchy skin, white-colored stools, fatigue, abdominal pain, and unintended weight loss are additionally some of the common symptoms of this condition.
People facing any of the symptoms of these major gallbladder diseases should visit experts like Dr Mark Swaim as soon as possible. Timely diagnosis and treatment of these conditions are vital to ensure the well-being of the patients.