Cholecystitis

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Overview

Acute cholecystitis refers to inflammation of the gallbladder. The pathophysiologic mechanism of acute cholecystitis is blockage of the cystic duct. Cholecystitis is a condition best treated with surgery; however, it can be treated conservatively if necessary. This condition can be associated with or without the presence of gallstones and can also be classified as acute or chronic. It is found both in men and women but may have a propensity for certain populations. It may also present with certain classic signs and symptoms. Acute cholecystitis may also be confused with other illnesses such as peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel disease, and cardiac disease. Chronic and acute pancreatitis can also mimic gallbladder disease.

Symptoms

Severe pain in your upper right or center abdomen.

Pain that spreads to your right shoulder or back.

Tenderness over your abdomen when it's touched.

Nausea.

Vomiting.

Fever.

Causes

Gallstones. Most often, cholecystitis is the result of hard particles that develop in your gallbladder (gallstones). ...

Tumor. ...

Bile duct blockage. ...

Infection. ...

Blood vessel problems.

Risk factors

Being female.

Pregnancy.

Hormone therapy.

Older age.

Being Native American or Hispanic.

Obesity.

Losing or gaining weight rapidly.

Diabetes.

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Complications

Untreated cholecystitis can cause tissue in the gallbladder to die (gangrene). It's the most common complication, especially among older people, those who wait to get treatment, and those with diabetes. This can lead to a tear in the gallbladder, or it may cause your gallbladder to burst. Torn gallbladder.

Prevention

Maintain a healthy weight by continuing to eat well and exercise. Choose a healthy diet. Diets high in fat and low in fiber may increase the risk of gallstones. To lower your risk, choose a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

You can reduce your risk of developing cholecystitis by: Eating a healthy diet: Choose to eat a healthy diet – one high in fruits, vegetables whole grains and healthy fats – such as the Mediterranean diet. Stay away from foods high in fat and cholesterol.