It may seem odd that you would only develop pain on one side of your body after eating, but if you have gallstones, you may only feel pain on your right side. Gallstones are clusters of deposits that form in your gallbladder that can cause severe pain in your right side if a stone becomes lodged in the duct. If you develop pain in your right side, you need to make an appointment with your doctor or a general surgeon to determine whether or not you have gallstones.
Gallbladder disease symptoms typically develop suddenly because you may not expereince any discomfort leading up to a gallbladder attack. The gallbladder is a sac that's under the liver and is a reservoir for extra bile created by your digestive system. When you eat, bile is released into your stomach to help digest the fat content in the food you ingested. When you eat highly fatty foods, such as french fries, ice cream or chocolate, your digestive system needs more bile. The gallbladder contracts and releases extra bile to help the body digest the extra fat.
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Gallbladder disease occurs when your gallbladder develops gall sludge or gallstones or when the gallbladder becomes inflamed from infection. You can live without any symptoms until the stones become large enough that they either cause infection or pain when one is forced through the gallbladder duct. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, common symptoms of a gallbladder attack include nausea, vomiting, pain in your right side of your abdomen, loss of appetite and pain following meals.
The treatment of pain in your right side from gallbladder disease will be determined by your doctor. If your gallbladder is infected, your doctor will most likely refer you to a general surgeon to have the gallbladder removed. An infected gallbladder could lead to further infections and eventually death. If an ultrasound shows the evidence of gallstones, your doctor may prescribe certain medications that will help dissolve the gallstones. These medications can take a few years before the stones reduce in size, according to PubMed Health.
The University of Maryland recommends certain dietary adjustments to treat gallbladder disease. Avoid food allergens such as wheat, soy and dairy as well as refined foods; eat foods that are high in iron and vitamin B, low in fat, high in fiber and rich in antioxidants such as cherries and blueberries; and choose lean meats. Do not change your diet without first talking with your physician.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.