There is no doubt that labor contractions are the worst of all pains in the entire cosmos. The number one rule is to never ask a mother how painful her birthing experience was.
Yet, people claim that kidney and gall stone pain could leave you wrenching and crying. A mother’s worst nightmare comes alive when she has to undergo both of these troubles together. Having a gallstone during pregnancy is like undergoing a punishment.
Gallstones can be extremely painful and disconcerting. And, what more, women are twice likely to develop gall stones than men.
Pregnancy can only increase the risk of gall bladder problems. In case of serious issues, either the gall bladder is removed during pregnancy or after the mother has recovered from the delivery.
As fascinating is its name, so is its function. It is small sac-like organ present beneath the liver that stores bile juice, which is secreted by the liver. Bile helps in digestion of fats. As soon as the food reaches the small intestine, the gallbladder contracts and secretes bile juice—which is made of water, cholesterol, and bile salts
What Causes Problems With The Organ?
If the bile juice contains high amounts of cholesterol and less quantity of bile salts, it starts depositing in the gall bladder, leading to the formation of stones. Bile stones could block the ducts of the gall bladder and further increase the risk of inflammation and infection. This is called bile colic.
The patient experiences a jabbing pain in the upper abdomen after having a meal that is high. It could occur for few minutes or could bother the person for hours at a stretch depending on the severity. Other symptoms include gas, bloating, sweating and even fever.
How Are Gall Bladder And Pregnancy Related?
Women who have had gall bladder problems before are at a higher risk of developing them again during pregnancy. Why so? You may ask.
Blame the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which causes the muscles in the mother’s body to relax—the muscles in the gall bladder are also influenced. This causes the bile secretion to slow down and the leftover bile could lead to the formation of bile stones. You see, a little bit off the track and a body system could go haywire.
How Is The Gall Bladder Problem Diagnosed?
It is difficult to identify the problem just by symptoms since they are similar to the pregnancy symptoms that the woman may be experiencing. However, the latter symptoms subside by the end of the first trimester. If your doctor suspects gall bladder issues or you experience sharp pain, which is nowhere related to pregnancy, your doctor will confirm it using an ultrasound test.
Will Gall Bladder Issues Affect My Baby?
The problem would have no direct effect on your baby. However, if you develop symptoms of infection, inflammation, vomiting, and fever, your baby might face the consequences. Make sure you eat well and eat right during pregnancy. Your doctors will suggest you avoid certain kinds of foods—follow it religiously.
How Is The Treatment Done?
At first, your doctor will try to reduce the symptoms associated with gall bladder disease. You will have to change your diet to eat less fatty foods. Exercising is also advised.
The doctor will provide you with drugs to reduce inflammation and reduce the need for a surgery as much as possible—in all cases, a surgery is avoided during pregnancy until after delivery. Only in extreme conditions when the infection is severe and the other treatment options are not effective, the doctors opt for a surgery to remove the organ.
The surgery is a smaller one and requires only two small incisions to be made in the abdomen, to remove the organ. The method is less painful and allows a faster recovery.
however, if there is no need for the surgery, the mother still requires a checkup to ensure that the problem is under control and the surgery isn’t required even after the mother has given birth.
Mothers who are overweight, have diabetes or eat a high cholesterol or high-fat diet are at a higher risk of developing gall bladder issues. If the disease runs in the family, the mother must take care to eat less fatty foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially when they are planning to get pregnant.