Pancreas and Gallbladder Doctor in North Houston
What are gallbladder & pancreatic diseases?
Gallbladder or pancreatic diseases are a group of conditions that affect the gallbladder and pancreas, which are the two small sacs found below your liver. The gallbladder and pancreas each play important roles in your body’s digestion, helping your body to process and store important materials. Gallbladder and pancreatic diseases disrupt your body’s ability to digest normally and can result in uncomfortable and sometimes serious health problems.
Some of the most common digestive diseases that affect the pancreas or gallbladder include:
Cholecystitis is the most common kind of disease affecting the gallbladder, characterized by inflammation in the area and causing severe abdominal pain. Cholecystitis that occurs more than once in a person could lead to shrinking of the gallbladder, preventing it from functioning normally. This typically causes nausea, fever, vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice).
Gallstones can form in the gallbladder when certain substances, like cholesterol, bile, or salts, harden and block the normal passage of materials through the gallbladder. Gallstones can vary in size, making some easier to treat than others. They often affect people who suffer from Crohn’s disease, diabetes, or other digestive diseases.
When a gallstone becomes stuck as it is trying to pass, it is known as choledocholithiasis. This leads to inflammation of the gallbladder and other complications. Normally, choledocholithiasis causes yellowing of the skin (jaundice), abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, nausea, changes in stool color, and chills.
Acalculous Gallbladder Disease
When inflammation of the gallbladder occurs without gallstones present, it’s known as acalculous gallbladder disease. Its symptoms include nausea, fever, vomiting, and yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice). In some cases, the condition might be triggered by certain surgeries, immune diseases, trauma, or infections.
Polyps are growths or lesions that are usually non-cancerous and typically do not show any symptoms. When polyps on the gallbladder are larger than one centimeter, it is more likely that they are cancerous. In these cases, your digestive doctor may recommend having the gallbladder removed or another gallbladder treatment option.
Gallbladder cancer is a relatively rare condition that can be difficult to treat since patients often do not experience symptoms until the disease has already progressed significantly. One of the most common risk factors for gallbladder cancer is gallstones.
Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which occurs suddenly and causes sharp, radiating pain that often goes from your abdomen all the way to your back. It can be the result of gallstones, immune system problems, trauma, or excessive triglycerides in the blood.
When someone suffers from acute pancreatitis that does not go away over time or keeps coming back, it is known as chronic pancreatitis. When the pancreas is inflamed over a long period of time, it can cause permanent damage and scarring. You could develop more severe consequences, such as blockages and disruptions to your normal digestion, without proper pancreatitis treatment.
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome & Pancreatic Tumors
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare health problem that involves tumor formation in the pancreas and small intestine. The tumors are usually non-cancerous but often cause an overproduction of gastric acid which can lead to ulcers. The main symptoms of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome & pancreatic tumors is a loss of appetite, bloating, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
When cancer occurs in the pancreas, it can affect your ability to digest certain substances, like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is often difficult to detect pancreatic cancer until late stages of the illness. For this reason, it is often serious and even life-threatening at this point.
A cyst is a small pocket of fluid that can form many places in your body, including the pancreas. When this happens, it can cause complications, like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting. In more serious cases when a cyst ruptures, it can cause you to faint or vomit blood.
How are gallbladder/pancreatic diseases diagnosed by a digestive disease doctor in Houston?
We use a number of diagnostic tests to confirm your condition, no matter what kind of digestive problem you are experiencing. Our team is trained to spot gallbladder and pancreatic diseases at their earliest possible stages. Some of the diagnostic tests we may use to evaluate your digestion include:
- Upper GI endoscopy
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- HALO ablation for Barrett’s esophagus
- Abdominal ultrasound
How are gallbladder or pancreatic diseases treated in Houston, TX?
At Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston, we provide a full range of treatment options for your gallbladder or pancreatic condition that is tailored to meet all of your specific needs. Speak with one of our team members today to discuss your symptoms and concerns and to learn more about the treatment options we provide. Depending on your condition, we might recommend one of the following as part of your personalized treatment plan:
- Prescription medication
- Digestive health education
- Dietary counseling
If you are experiencing symptoms of gallbladder disease, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Our team strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition services for patients in North Houston and the surrounding areas. We believe quality care begins with a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating both minor and chronic GI conditions. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.