Gallbladder Pain Relief
Gallbladder pain (not “gallbladder”) pain refers to any pain experienced due to an illness or injury affecting the gallbladder. The most common medical conditions that cause pain in the gallbladder include biliary colic, cholecystitis, gallstones, pancreatitis, and ascending cholangitis. Gallbladder pain can be dull or sharp, painful or cramped, sharp or sudden, and differ from mild to acute depending on the root cause. Gallbladder pain usually affects the abdomen and middle and lower back.
It is important to fully understand the anatomy and function of the gallbladder to better understand how certain conditions and diseases contribute to gallbladder pain. The gallbladder is a liver-connected storage organ that stores bile used for digestion. The bile ducts connected to the gallbladder are called the liver duct.
The cystic duct of the gallbladder connects with the liver duct to form the common bile duct that contains the bile to the small intestine for digestion. The pancreatic duct also opens into the common bile duct before entering the duodenum. Bile breaks down the fats and amino acids in the small intestine during digestion. The gallbladder receives certain biological signals to release bile once fats and amino acids enter the duodenum shortly after consuming a meal. Interestingly, women experience twice as much pain from gallstones as men.
Causes of gallbladder pain
There are huge conditions and diseases that can cause pain in the gallbladder of our bodies. One of the primary causes of pain that directly affects the gallbladder is the blockage of one of the gallbladder ducts due to gallstones. The blockage can be partial or complete stopping the flow of bile through the ducts of the gallbladder. Gallstones can also cause inflammation due to severe irritation or infection of the tissues surrounding the gallbladder. Blocked ducts lead to increased pressure and ischemia (insufficient blood supply due to blockage of blood vessels), which affects the tissues badly surrounding the ducts.
Gallstones form in the gallbladder but could develop in one of the bile ducts. The gallbladder normally pushes bile through the ducts, squeezing the surrounding muscles to create compression. However, if there are gallstones or persistent bile matter, this compression can result in partial or complete obstruction of the bile ducts that presses against surrounding tissue and can be severe enough to prevent sufficient blood supply.
Blunt trauma can also be responsible for gallbladder pain, for example, after an accident or during intense contact sports. Infections of the biliary tract and also the gallbladder itself can certainly cause pain too.
Symptoms of gallbladder pain
Gallbladder pain varies depending on the underlying cause, but the following explains the symptoms of common gallbladder pain:
- Biliary colic (intermittent duct blockage): sudden, sharp pain that gets worse over time in the upper right abdomen. The pain sometimes reaches the right shoulder of the back, and nausea or vomiting is frequently experienced. The pain usually goes away within 5 hours, but a mild, dull ache may linger for about 24 hours after the incident.
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder tissue due to blockage of the ducts): Causes constant and severe pain in the upper right abdomen, often moving to the right shoulder or upper back. Other symptoms include tenderness in the abdomen, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and discomfort that persist longer than biliary colic.
- Acalculous cholecystitis: inflammation of the gallbladder that is not due to gallstones and is instead caused by trauma or injury. Severe pain and flu-like symptoms are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and body aches.
- Pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas is mainly caused by gallstones that block the pancreatic duct. Symptoms include severe pain in the upper abdomen that may shift to the back or shoulder, tenderness in the abdomen, pain after eating, nausea or vomiting, chills, and body aches.
- Ascending cholangitis: inflammation caused by an infection of the bile ducts. Symptoms usually include fever, abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), delirium, and low blood pressure (hypotension). Cholangitis requires immediate medical attention.
To prevent irreversible damage to the gallbladder, pancreas, and other surrounding organs and tissues, seek medical warning right away if any of the above symptoms occur.
Treatment for gallbladder pain relief
If you’ve had an episode of severe bladder pain, your doctor will likely run several diagnostic tests and checkups to determine the underlying cause of the pain. These tests include:
- abdominal x-ray
- CT scan
- a blood test for liver function
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help reduce pain and inflammation in the gallbladder. These drugs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen (Alleve).
If your doctor has diagnosed you with gallstones, you may be prescribed ursodiol (Actigall, Urso). Ursodiol can help dissolve the gallstones, allowing them to pass through the bile ducts. However, it is more effective against gallstones that are smaller and range from 2 to 3 millimeters. In addition, it takes several months for the drug to become effective. You may need to take ursodiol for several years as gallstones may come back if you stop the medicine.
Surgery may be important in cases where pain persists even after conservative treatments.
The most common surgery for gallbladder pain is cholecystectomy. This effectively removes the whole gallbladder from the body. You will be under heavy anesthesia throughout the procedure. Most people recover within a few months.
Most procedures involve keyhole laparoscopic surgery or open surgery.
CBD for Gallbladder Pain Relief?
The abbreviation for cannabidiol, a natural cannabis sativa plant compound, is CBD. Usually, cannabidiol is derived from hemp (cannabis that is cultivated without the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) psychoactive compound). It is then made into oil and a variety of products ranging from foot creams to sports drinks.
THC is the popular compound known to produce the high and euphoria associated with smoking or using marijuana. However, CBD does not share the psychoactivity of THC and produces effects that do not cause intoxication or euphoria. This can be very attractive to people with gallbladder pain, but it cannot be under the influence of any substance, be it due to work, social circles, safety concerns, or personal beliefs. But still want pain relief.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only considers CBD as a possible treatment option for seizures caused by two rare forms of epilepsy while taking the medicine name “Epidiolex.” However, clinical studies demonstrate the potential of CBD and other cannabinoids in the treatment of various conditions that cause pain and inflammation. As of now, cannabidiol appears to be a promising treatment option for those seeking relief from gallbladder pain.
Why is CBD so popular?
CBD is growing in high popularity, and there are several reasons. The first is that in the midst of the devastating opioid crisis, Americans are looking for alternatives to traditional pain relievers. Drugs like highly addictive opioids have a variety of side effects and concerns. People want relief from gallbladder pain without worrying about long-term unwanted side effects. Over-the-counter pain relievers are not always effective, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to produce unwanted side effects when used long-term.
Research grants are awarded to study the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of various diseases that cause pain and inflammation. Studies also show that CBD has tremendous potential, given its wide range of effects on the body indirectly due to the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a very critical and complex bio-system that is directly responsible for maintaining homeostasis in addition to various other physiological functions such as pain sensation, mood, appetite, sleep, memory, function. The immune system, and many others.
CBD also has notable antipsychotic and anxiolytic properties; studies are already examining the role of CBD in the medication of some psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression.
The recent Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the sale and cultivation of hemp and hemp extracts. This blew up CBD products in quantity as CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be sold legally. Hemp is Sativa cannabis grown without the psychoactive element THC. If a hemp plant forms more than 0.3% THC, then it becomes illegal and reclassified as marijuana.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to list cannabis or marijuana as a List 1 substance, making growing, buying, selling, or possessing cannabis illegal. However, several states have already legalized the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, and many are on the way. In these states, cannabis use is allowed even if it is prohibited by the federal government. We know this is very confusing.
Hopefully, the federal government will be on the same page as everyone else and recognize that cannabis has medicinal properties (Schedule 1 substances are considered highly addictive and are not meant to have any medicinal benefits). Always remember to check your state and local laws regarding the purchase and use of CBD as they vary by state.
How to Consume CBD For Gallbladder Pain Relief?
The most popular and useful way to take CBD for gallbladder pain is to take CBD oil and place drops under the tongue where it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Since there are no established clinical guidelines for the dosage of CBD, let alone for the specific relief of gallbladder pain, the dosage will mostly be titrated slowly until pain relief is achieved. Got. To do this, place the smaller amount of CBD oil under the tongue, wait a short time, then slowly enhance the number of drops. Always read the bottle information as there are likely dosing instructions and additional information on how much amount and how often to take CBD oil.
The second most popular way to consume CBD for gallbladder pain is to topically apply a CBD-infused topical to the affected area. CBD topicals are typically creams, ointments, or balms and often include additional beneficial ingredients to help increase its effectiveness in relieving pain. Always check your storage container to make sure the product does not contain any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction. You can start by applying a little amount of topical CBD to your upper abdomen or back, then reapply after 30 to 60 minutes until the pain subsides.
There is no such thing as the best dose of CBD for gallbladder pain as it depends heavily on various factors, including weight, pain severity, metabolism, genetics, and possibly more. What works for your friend can’t do anything for you. That’s why it is vital to be mindful and attentive to how CBD is affecting you and to progress slowly until you find the dose that works best for your pain symptoms. Fortunately, CBD is well tolerated by most people, and studies have determined that CBD appears to produce little to no toxicity.
CBD does not normally produce noticeable side effects, let alone side effects. However, the side effects of CBD tend to be mild and can be dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, or a headache. There have been no confirmed deaths from CBD, and most people can take CBD without experiencing life-threatening side effects.