Is there a difference between swelling inflammations

What is gallbladder infection

In Germany, cholecystitis is the most common complication caused by gallstones. The risk group includes people of advanced age and overweight people. Women are affected more often than men.

The gallbladder stores bile from the liver. It supports fat digestion by releasing the bile into the duodenum. If the gallbladder tries to release the fluid despite the blocked outlet, you suddenly feel severe upper abdominal pain. The pain usually occurs at intervals in the evening or at night. They can last five to six hours and radiate into the back and right shoulder. Nausea and vomiting are other symptoms. If the gallbladder becomes inflamed, you can develop a fever with chills. You may be in pain when you inhale or cough.

If the gallbladder ruptures, the peritoneum may become inflamed. In addition, a gallstone can then clog the biliary tract. Both can lead to blood poisoning (sepsis).

Doctors distinguish chronic cholecystitis from suddenly occurring, acute cholecystitis. This long-lasting inflammation develops slowly and is often symptom-free. You can feel dull, persistent or swelling and decongesting pain in the right upper abdomen.

If the gallbladder wall is scarred by chronic inflammation, scale can build up. This can harden the gall bladder (porcelain gall bladder). The risk of cancer is then increased.


Your family doctor will ask you about the nature and location of your pain. He will usually palpate your right upper abdomen. It determines whether you feel pain while you inhale (Murphy pain). If the blood test shows high levels of white blood cells (leukocytosis) and C-reactive protein, this indicates inflammation.

Sonography is the standard method. The ultrasound machine can show the family doctor or internist a thickened and layered wall of the gallbladder. It is just as characteristic of the inflammation as fluid retention.

Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) can be used as a supplement in cases of doubt. In an MRI, a computer uses a strong magnetic field to generate detailed cross-sectional images of the inside of your body. In CT, an X-ray tube rotates around the patient in order to take cross-sectional images of the body.


Usually, a surgeon removes the gallbladder to prevent complications from the inflammation. The minimally invasive procedure through a tube under the camera view is considered to be gentle (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). Experts recommend rapid surgery for acute gallbladder infections.

Your doctor can prescribe painkillers from the NSAID group, such as ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). He can also prescribe antispasmodic medication for biliary colic, and antibiotics for bacterial infections. Not eating for 24 hours can relieve the gallbladder.

Gallstones as a trigger

In more than 90 percent of cases, a gallstone causes bile to build up. Intestinal bacteria can settle more easily in the blocked secretion. They can trigger or worsen the inflammation.

75 percent of gallstones are made from cholesterol. With a high-calorie diet and increasing obesity, it increasingly enters the bile. Physical inactivity, a low-fiber diet and obesity are also risk factors for the formation of cholesterol stones. A genetic predisposition also plays a role in the formation of gallstones.

In rare cases, the gallbladder wall becomes inflamed due to major abdominal surgery or inflammation of other internal organs. Severe burns or injuries as a result of serious accidents can also trigger the inflammation.

Light food after the operation

Even without a gallbladder, the bile can get from the liver to the duodenum. Immediately after the operation, a large amount of bile cannot be given to digest high-fat meals. Digestive problems and diarrhea after eating high-fat foods can result. How much you should reduce your daily fat intake is best discussed with your specialist. Immediately after the operation, you should eat gently cooked, soft food in small portions.

For prevention: whole grain bread instead of fast food

Most gallbladder infections are caused by gallstones. Therefore, you can indirectly prevent gallbladder inflammation by lowering your risk of developing gallstones. To do this, change your diet to a low-fat, balanced diet with a high fiber content.

  • Maintain normal weight. Ask your family doctor and a nutritionist about a suitable diet to slowly reduce existing excess weight. Caution: Do not lose more than 1.5 kilograms per week. Because during a fast, the gallbladder lacks an incentive to release bile. If the bile builds up as a result, the risk of gallstones increases.
  • Prefer whole grain products, fruits and vegetables and rarely use fast food, sweets and animal fats.
  • Relieve your gallbladder by eating about five meals a day at regular intervals.

Current studies indicate that unsaturated fats can also help reduce the risk of gallstones. For example, use olive or rapeseed oils in the kitchen that are fortified with unsaturated and omega-6 fatty acids.