What Is a Gallbladder Attack?

Abdominal pain may be a symptom of a gallbladder attack.
The formation of large gallstones in the gallbladder are responsible for gallbladder attacks.
A healthy gallbladder and one with gallstones.
A gallbladder attack may mimics symptoms of a heart attack.
Orange juice should be avoided by those experiencing gallbladder issues.
Practitioners of alternative medicines often point to the use of alfalfa to help ease the pain and discomfort of a gallbladder attack.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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A gallbladder attack is defined as an episode in which an improperly functioning gallbladder creates a great deal of pain, nausea, and dizziness. In many cases, a gallbladder attack will evidence symptoms that are very similar to those of a heart attack. Because of this similarity, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately, so a health professional can determine if the pain and discomfort is the result of an issue with the heart or points toward some type of gallbladder problem.

A gallbladder attack may be associated with the presence of gallstones. A gallstone may be composed of elements such as excess cholesterol, calcium, or other bile elements that pass through the gallbladder. The stones are not unlike kidney stones in that they are usually small, sharp and can cause a great deal of discomfort if not treated.

There are a number of symptoms associated with gallbladder problems. Attacks may be relatively mild or extremely painful. An attack often takes place after consuming a meal and can cause a great deal of pain in the abdomen. There may be pain or a sense of tenderness just under the rib cage, a pronounced sense of fullness accompanied by indigestion, and even a great deal of burping that does not seem to offer any relief.

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In severe situations, the gallbladder attack may also involve regurgitation to the point of dry heaving, an overall feeling of pain moving along the right side of the body and up to the shoulder blades, and even trouble breathing. Depending on the circumstances, the attack may last for no more than fifteen minutes, although it is possible for an attack to last as long as several hours if left untreated.

There are some ways to minimize the potential for an attack when the individual has a history of gallbladder problems. Ridding the diet of foods with a high acid content, such as orange juice, will often help ease the abdominal pain and other symptoms associated with gallbladder disease. Choosing to consume less bread has been helpful for some people, while limiting portions at meals can also make a difference. Avoiding dairy products is sometimes helpful when seeking to prevent an attack.

Fortunately, there are ways to effectively treat a gallbladder attack. Prescription medication can help ease the pain quickly as well as minimize the symptoms. Practitioners of alternative medicines often point to the use of herbs such as alfalfa to help ease pain and discomfort. In situations where the attacks are severe, it may be necessary to surgically remove any gallstones and possibly the gallbladder itself. Removal of the gallbladder is normally only an option when other methods are no longer effective.

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anon975083
Post 4

There has been one tried and true thing that helps me when I first feel the pinching coming on, or whenever I can get to it, or I used it as a preventative: 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp. real raw honey in 1 cup of warm water - relief! And it kept any more from coming! Magic!

Also, apple cider vinegar -- the real stuff, like Bragg's -- also helps, but I think not as well as the above does. Plus the lemon/honey/warm water tastes far better!

anon187185
Post 3

I, in fact, just had a gallbladder attack last night and I am only 16! It was very horrible, yet my mother (who has had her gallbladder removed) told me that it would go away, or help rather, if I drank a can of coke. Specifically, a can. I drank a can and a half which helped me belch a lot. After that, I no longer felt nauseated/ was vomiting and the pain in my back/rib cage subsided to the point where I could finally go to sleep. I don't know if the can of coke works for all people, but I know it worked for me.

anon84686
Post 2

Could the person who wrote about Liptons tea say if it is normal tea or is a special blend like lemon tea?

anon37322
Post 1

I had three gallbladder attacks that were most painful. I then read the Internet and found that Lipton's tea stopped gallbladder attacks. I began drinking one cup of hot Lipton's Tea each morning and it has now been two years since I had an attack.

Do not believe the quacks when they tell you to have your gallbladder removed and there will be no side effects. Those who have had their gallbladder removed complain of upset stomach, and diarrhea for months if not years following the surgery.

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