Chronic cholecystitis is a disease that falls under the heading of being a biliary tract disease. A biliary tract disease is used to refer to a group of complications that result in a blockage within one or more of the bile ducts of your liver.
Chronic cholecystitis and your gallbladder
Chronic cholecystitis is inflammation of your gallbladder that takes place on an ongoing, long-term basis. When your gallbladder is working like it ought to, bile flows out of your gallbladder on the way to your small intestine. With chronic cholecystitis, however, the bile is kept from going out of your gallbladder. When this takes place, it leads to bile building up inside of your gallbladder. This, in turn, results in swelling and pain. Chronic cholecystitis may also cause infection.
There are estimates that somewhere around 10 to 20% of the population of the United States have gallstones. As high as one third of these people may go on to have chronic cholecystitis.
Chronic cholecystitis occurs most often during middle age. Women develop chronic cholecystitis 6 times more often than men do between the ages of 20 and 50. However, after the age of 50, the occurrence of chronic cholecystitis is equal between men and women.
Chronic Cholecystitis Causes
The most common cause of chronic cholecystitis is acute (short-term) cholecystitis that takes place over and over again. There are several other things that may result in chronic cholecystitis. Some of these include:
- An injury to your gallbladder, especially when it is the result of some form of trauma
- Gallstones that occur in your gallbladder
- Some kind of a tumor
- An infection that takes place inside of your bile.
Risk Factors of Chronic Cholecystitis
There are also some risk factor
s that may increase your likelihood of developing chronic cholecystitis. Some of these are:
- Having some type of traumatic injury
- Being a woman who goes through a long, extended labor
- Having gallstones
- Being over the age of 50
- Having diabetes.
There are several different signs and symptoms that you may experience, which may be an indication of chronic cholecystitis. You will usually have these signs and symptoms after you have eaten a meal. This is especially true if the meal that you have eaten is a large meal or high in fat. Possible signs and symptoms may include:
- Loss of your appetite
- Bloating of your abdomen
- Tenderness in your abdomen when it is touched
- Pain that moves (radiates) from your abdomen over to your right shoulder or your back
- Steady, severe pain in the upper right area of your abdomen that gets worse every time you take a deep breath