The Difference Between an Acid Reflux and a Gallbladder Attack

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Acid reflux and gallbladder disease are common causes of upper abdominal pain. While they are common, they also share some of the symptoms, which makes differentiating them quite difficult. Understanding the distinctions will help you communicate with your doctor and get the pain relief you require. Read on to discover the difference between them!

Gallbladder

The gallbladder, where bile is produced by your liver, is positioned in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. In general, the gallbladder works normally. Although, infection or blockage can cause serious pain and medical consequences.

The most prevalent cause of gallbladder attacks is gallstones. They have the potential to block the bile ducts and cause gallbladder pain. If you suffer from regular attacks, your gallbladder may need to be removed.

The following risk factors have been linked to gallbladder attacks:

  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal inconsistency

While a gallbladder attack can be triggered by a fatty, large meal, it can actually happen to anyone, regardless of risk factors. Excess cholesterol in the bile can form little stones that must be passed via the tiny ducts, causing terrible pain.

The pain is usually intense and centered in the upper right abdomen, but it might move to the upper center abdomen or even the chest on occasion. It has the potential to expand to your right shoulder or back. Common symptoms include fever, chills, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually last a few hours and go away on their own.

Acidic Reflux

Acid reflux is characterized by heartburn. Chronic acid reflux causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Acid reflux affects around two out of every five people. Food, inherited factors, advanced age, and obesity are all linked to acid reflux.

Symptoms include heartburn, sleeplessness, chest pain, changes in voice tone, food intolerance, bloating, coughing, and even asthma. Sometimes, a weakening muscular valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach is to blame. As a result, some stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus and causes heartburn.

Limiting your meal intake and raising your torso can be effective treatments for mild acid reflux that occurs on a regular basis. If you get acid reflux at least once a week, you should try an over-the-counter acid reflux medicine. If you’ve tried over-the-counter drugs and lifestyle changes and are still experiencing symptoms, see your doctor. Routine procedures performed now can greatly reduce the symptoms of chronic heartburn (GERD).

Investigate the Cause of Your Abdominal Pain

Keep a diary of your symptoms to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Remember the following:

  • Is your stomach aching every time you eat or after you eat? Lately?
  • What did you eat before you felt pain?
  • What is the source of the ache?
  • How long do you feel apprehensive after eating?
  • Is the ailment alleviated? What is the average length of time?
  • What did you eat or drink in the hour or two before the discomfort started?

Acid reflux is frequently accompanied by pain shortly after eating or consuming certain meals. It can be exacerbated by lying down quickly after eating and may cause sleep deprivation. Meanwhile, patients with gallbladder disease generally report pain shortly after eating. Consuming fatty meals may aggravate it, however, this is not always the case.

Because the symptoms of acid reflux and gallbladder attacks are similar, you can tell the two apart if you know what to look for. Nonspecific symptoms such as a dull aching around the base of the stomach, on the other hand, are conceivable. Take note of that as well.

To identify the severity of your problem, your doctor may perform diagnostic and assessment tests. Ultrasound, endoscopy, gallbladder HIDA scan, ph probe, and manometry can also be used to diagnose stomach pain.

Conclusion

When it comes to acid reflux, GERD, or gallbladder issues, you want to get rid of your symptoms by addressing the source of your pain. Thus, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may have to live with your symptoms for months, if not years. If you do not address the condition, you run the danger of acquiring other health issues or organ damage. In general, the earlier a condition is treated, the easier it is to control.
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