Gall Bladder Sludge
Gall Bladder is an important organ which essentially stores the bile secreted by the liver before it could flow into the small intestine to aid in the digestive process. It is a small muscular sac placed below the liver and aids in the overall digestion process.
However, the gall bladder may function abnormally sometimes and not expel the bile into the duodenum when needed. The bile builds up in the said organ along with abnormal deposits known as
gall bladder sludge
. These deposits are made of bile, droplets of fats like cholesterol and calcium salts.
In a gall bladder having the said problem, an ultrasound would reveal two consistencies of the bile within it. The thinner and healthier bile would be on the top while the bile on the bottom would be thicker and with impurities such as cholesterol crystals, calcium bilirubinate, other calcium salts and mucous.
What is the mechanism behind Gall Bladder sludge?
When a very high calorie diet rich in fat, starches and sugars and with a low protein content is ingested, the bile production by the liver is seriously curtailed. The gallbladder too starts functioning abnormally and stops releasing its content into the duodenum. So the fat is not being metabolised with the help of the bile. The fat molecules in blood binds with the calcium and iron from food. This leads to the formation of salts and is left behind in the gall bladder as a bile residue.
Causes behind the condition
- Being on a very low calorie diet.
- High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Chronic drug or alcohol abuse.
- Certain therapeutic medications.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Complications from the formation of gall stones.
Symptoms of the condition
Symptoms are similar to that of gallstones. Some of the common ones are as follows:
- Abdominal Pain
- Bloating feeling
- Iron deficiency causing anemia
- Calcium deficiency causing osteoporosis
Steps to prevent Gall Bladder Sludge
- Eat a low fat and fibrous diet
- Drink 8 glasses or more water in a day. It helps to flush the liver and dilute the bile that leads to the discussed condition.
- Do not stay without food for longer periods. This inhibits bile production. Eat 5 small meals a day.
- Taking prescription drug Ursidiol (Ursodeoxycholic acid) to prevent the cholesterol from binding with the calcium and iron.