If you experience sudden pain in the middle or upper right section of your abdomen, you may be having a gallbladder attack. The pain may last a few minutes to a few hours, and it may lessen or disappear, only to recur. Or, the pain may be located in your
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped, pouch-like organ that sits just under the liver. Its job is to produce and store bile, a substance that aids in digestion. Bile is made up of water, acid, cholesterol, bilirubin, and lecithin. The gallbladder sends bile through a series of ducts to the intestines, where it helps break up fat.
When bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin, these substances can form clumps, called gallstones. If gallstones get caught inside a duct and block the flow of bile, you can develop a condition called cholecystitis. You?re more likely to get gallstones if you?re overweight, you?ve gained or lost weight rapidly, you have diabetes, or you have a family history of gallstones.
Gallstones can produce symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, gas belching, or feeling unusually full after a meal. If a gallstone is blocking a bile duct, bile can back up and cause yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, which is called jaundice.
To determine whether you have gallstones, the doctor may do blood tests to detect high levels of bilirubin or other substances that are elevated in this condition. You may have an ultrasound of the gallbladder to look for gallstones, or an endoscopic ultrasound, in which a thin scope is threaded down the esophagus and stomach into the intestine to view the stones. A test called cholescintigraphy traces the flow of an injected radioactive dye into and out of the gallbladder to look for a blockage or infection.
Gallstones that don?t cause symptoms are often watched without treatment. Avoiding fatty foods may be enough to prevent symptoms from occurring. If gallstones do cause symptoms, a technique called lithotripsy can break them up. Or, you may need surgery to remove the gallbladder. Gallbladder surgery is a common procedure, and is often done laparoscopically through small incisions.
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Q. Are corn tortillas considered whole grain?
A. Nicola McKeown, PhD, an associate professor at Tufts’ Friedman School, responds: “As a reminder, a whole grain is defined as one that has all three original parts—bran, germ and endosperm—in the same relative proportions as the original grain. For a corn tortilla to
After kicking cancer, you might worry it will return. That’s understandable. Cancer survivors are at significantly higher risk for cancer recurrence and for developing new cancers. But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Although many factors affect cancer risk and survival, following a healthy diet and
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Color Your Plate
The quickest way to an appetizing, nutritious, and satisfying meal is including plenty of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables (produce). Both the government’s MyPlate guide and Tufts’ MyPlate for Older Adults advise filling half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. These plant foods provide fiber and an