How to Survive a Gallbladder Attack? The Ultimate Guide.

Are you experiencing sudden, paroxysmal, acute, unusually strong pain located in the epigastric region, radiating to the right shoulder or intercostal area? It may be biliary colic, known also as a gallbladder attack.

Biliary Colic Symptoms

The primary reason for biliary colic is gallstone passage from the gallbladder to the common bile duct, or further to the duodenum. This can be triggered by eating a fatty or fried meal, raised cholesterol level, obesity, diabetes, significant physical exertion, and even severe stress. Sudden and severe abdominal pain is the gallbladder attack’s main symptom, with the possible occurrence of nausea and vomiting.

Several other diseases can be manifested by such symptoms, therefore differentiating gallstone attack pain from other causes of abdominal ache is difficult. Symptoms may overlap with a variety of other conditions, and often a certain diagnosis can only be achieved with laboratory test results. You can read more on gallstone diagnosis here.

However, biliary colic is a common presentation in general practice, and some recurrent indicative features are distinct. Is what you feel really the infamous biliary colic? Check out the handy infographic below to know what does a gallstone attack feels like.

Biliary Colic Pain Characteristic.

Biliary Colic Symptoms

Pain associated with a gallbladder attack can usually be relieved with painkillers, which is what differentiates it from a more serious condition. Other characteristics are:

  • Sudden, paroxysmal, acute, steady, unusually strong
  • Unaffected by movement, change of body position or defaecation.
  • Lasts from 30 minutes up to 6 hours
  • It originates in the right upper quadrant of the epigastric region, radiating to the right shoulder or intercostal area.

How to survive a gallbladder attack?

Important! Always consult any unusual abdominal pain and worrisome symptoms with health-care professionals.
Gallstone attack is usually a sign of cholelithiasis, that- when ignored can cause serious, even life-threatening health complications, such as cholecystitis, gallbladder hydro cell, empyema, or peritonitis.

In the case of presumptive gallstones attack, there are some things you can do to help yourself before seeing a doctor. Remember though not to ignore any symptoms and seek help immediately if:

  • You experience colic symptoms for the first time in your life. Tests and diagnosis are necessary to rule out other causes and evaluate the overall condition.
  • You’ve already had colic episodes but now experience symptoms that are more severe than in the past and cannot be relieved with painkillers.
  • You experience additional symptoms such as fever, chills and other disturbing ailments (eg persistent vomiting). It may be cholecystitis, and that condition requires immediate medical help.
  • You are advanced in age, have some other serious illnesses, are pregnant or if any of the symptoms refer to children.

In other cases, you can help yourself with non-prescription drugs or try some natural remedies before going to the doctor’s office.

Gallbladder Attack Home Treatment

If you are experiencing a gallbladder attack right now, you are most certainly asking yourself how to stop a gallbladder attack while it is happening. Check out these useful tips on how to survive a gallbladder attack at home.

How to Survive a Gallbladder Attack
  • Take NSAIDs and Diastolic medication Unless your condition requires immediate medical help you can achieve biliary colic symptoms relief at home with non-prescription analgesic drugs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) provide safe and effective pain control in gallstone attack treatment. The study also suggests that NSAIDs play an important role in reducing the complication risk following biliary colic episodes. Medication from diastolic class ( drotaverine and hyoscine) turned out to be helpful as well. Combined pills containing medications from both classes are also available.
  • Get some rest and wait for symptoms to subside. Lie down and put a warm hot water bottle or an electric pillow on your belly.
  • Wait for one hour. If by this time your condition doesn’t improve- seek medical help.
  • Get on a diet If the pain subsides and you feel better, stick to a strict semi-liquid diet for 1-2 days. And then, when your condition improves significantly go on a lightly digestible diet. Start eating gruel, small amounts of white bread and steamed vegetables. Gradually, after a few days, expand your menu with cooked lean meat (poultry, veal), rice, lightly digestible groats. Continue taking antispasmodic medicine for 1-2 weeks.
  • Make a doctor’s appointment and proceed with the diagnosis and treatment plan.

Gallstone Attack Pain Relief

A well-stocked first-aid kit might be crucial in the subject of how to survive a gallbladder attack. Be prepared and have these substances always by your side. If your pain is related to a gallbladder attack- they should bring you relief.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Medication from diastolic class ( drotaverine and hyoscine)
  • Combined NSAIDs with diastolic medications

Some biliary colic sufferers claim that there is also a 100% natural method that brings quick and safe symptoms relief.

  • Apple cider vinegar for gallstones. Try drinking 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup organic apple juice. The pain of the gall bladder should subside within 15 minutes.

Gallbladder Attack Prevention.

Biliary Colic is often referred to as “come and go” symptom of cholelithiasis (gallstone presence in the gallbladder). It is a common and recurring sign of gallbladder problems, that if left untreated may lead to serious complications: acute cholecystitis, empyema, perforation or peritonitis. For this reason, you should consult every episode of a gallbladder attack with a health-care professional and apply proper treatment.

Cholelithiasis healing plan depends on the severity and overall condition and in many cases, surgery will not be necessary. However, as you probably don’t want to wait out idly until the next episode of colic, you should consider other, non-invasive prevention methods such as proper diet, supplementation, or gallbladder flush.