Gallbladder Disease

What Is Gallbladder Disease?

If you have been diagnosed with a low-functioning gallbladder or with gallstones, this is technically a form of gallbladder disease. There are specific diagnoses for various problems, but the symptoms are common to them all. See each separate diagnosis or disease described below for more details.

Bile reflux, just as it sounds, is similar to acid reflux, but in this case, it is caused by the upward flow of bile from the duodenum of the small intestine into the stomach and the esophagus. The pyloric sphincter is a valve at the base of the stomach that opens to allow the passage of food into the small intestine. It is also supposed to keep food and bile acids from backflowing into the stomach. The symptoms of bile reflux are similar to the burning pain of heartburn and may include nausea and vomiting of bile. Weight loss may also be an accompanying symptom. Treatment often includes antacids, which are only partially helpful. The fact that antacids do not relieve symptoms is often diagnostic of bile reflux. Drugs that bind bile salts are generally more effective. Left untreated, bile reflux can cause gastritis, ulcers, and possibly stomach cancer.