Before understanding gallbladder sludge it is important to know what the gallbladder does. The gallbladder is an organ, which has the responsibility of being the container for bile. It holds on to the bile until it is needed in the intestines. In the intestines it helps breakdown fatty foods and neutralizes any digested acids. However, a problem can occur if the bile backs up in the gallbladder when this happens it often gets connected to calcium, cholesterol crystals, and salts. Gallbladder sludge is basically when the backed up bile is combined with the cholesterol, salts, fats, and calcium in the gallbladder. There are a few major causes that lead to the formation of gallbladder sludge. Some of the causes for gallbladder sludge to build up is during pregnancy, unhealthy weight loss, fasting, or if you are taking specific prescriptions. However, gallbladder sludge can occur for no reason at all.
Gallbladder sludge does not actually cause any symptoms or problems itself. However, it can lead to the formation of gallstones, which can also have no effects initially. But there are also gallstones that can cause extreme pain in the abdomen and may even need to be surgically removed if they are severe. The gallstones from the sludge could be large or very small sized and may either cause pain and nausea or could not even be noticed. Gallbladder sludge can also lead to an inflamed pancreas also to an inflammation of gallstones. The problem with inflamed gallstones is that it could block the ducts that lead to the intestines, which means you could get very sick feeling and will need to pass the gallstones.
Often times there are no symptoms from sludge and it will most likely not even be noticeable to you. If you do have any symptoms they are usually not severe and just result in feeling sick to your stomach. There is really no reason to worry about sludge build up unless you are frequently having stomach pains and gallstones. The only way to even check for sludge is to do an ultrasound but if you are not having any symptoms there is no reason for this procedure. Now if you begin having frequent pain and gallstones you should visit your doctor. Most likely he or she will recommend you getting surgery done to have the gallbladder removed, but this only if it is causing a problem.