Gallbladder Disease and Liver Health

What Causes Gallbladder Disease?

Types and causes of gallbladder disease include:

  • Gallstones (cholelithiasis) – the most common type of gallbladder disease. Hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in the gallbladder which vary in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Two types of gallstones are cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones.
  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) – caused by a gallstone getting stuck in the cystic duct, the tube that carries bile from the gallbladder. Infection, injury and tumors can also cause cholecystitis.
  • Polyps (growths of tissue in the gallbladder).
  • Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease – when the natural movements needed to empty the gallbladder do not work well.
  • Gangrene (death of tissue) or abscesses (pockets of pus).
  • Sclerosing cholangitis – swelling (inflammation), scarring, and destruction of the bile ducts inside and outside of the liver.
  • Congenital defects of the gallbladder (defects that are present at birth).
  • Tumors of the gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Gallbladder cancer – a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the gallbladder.
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