Cholecystitis – Symptoms, Causes and Complications

Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder, occurs usually from a low grade chronic infection. When mucosal changes occurs in cholecystitis, the gall bladder absorptive power may be altered, affecting the ratio of bile ingredients. Your gallbladder is a very small and pear-shaped organ situated on the right side of your abdomen, beneath your liver.

Cholecystitis normally happens when a gallstone gets stuck at the opening of the gallbladder. The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid that’s released into your small intestine (bile). Excess water or excess bile acid may be absorbed under the abnormal absorptive conditions, cholesterol may precipitate causing gall stones. It can lead to fever, pain, nausea, and severe complications.

In most cases, gallstones are formed when consumed high dietary fats over a long period. So that these gallstones block the tube of your gallbladder causing cholecystitis. This results in choolecystokinin mechanism which causes inflammation, pain and sometimes the pain is severe. Other causes of cholecystitis include bile duct problems, tumors, serious illness and certain infections. There is a fullness and difficulty after or while eating fatty foods.


There are some Signs and symptoms of cholecystitis as follow:

  • Severe pain in your upper right or center abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Pain that spreads to your right shoulder or back
  • Tenderness on your abdomen when it is touched
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Sweating

The bile juice is produced by the liver and stored in gallbladder which is useful for digestion, bile is a digestive juice or a fluid that is released after we eat, especially after taking a high fat meal.


  • Injury to the abdomen ( burns, trauma, or surgery)
  • Gall stones
  • Infections
  • Shock
  • Immune deficiency
  • Tumors
  • Bile duct blockage
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Problems in blood vessels
  • Vasculitis

A tumor may prevent bile from draining out of your gallbladder properly, causing bile buildup, Injuring of the bile ducts can cause blockages that lead to cholecystitis. certain viral infections like AIDS can target gallbladder inflammation. When there is a very severe illness, it can damage blood vessels and decrease blood flow to the gallbladder, leading to cholecystitis. All these symptoms futherly leading to a complications of cholecystitis.

We all know the, the main cause of cholecystitis is gallstones. This is sometimes called a pseudolith, or “fake stone.”

Risk factors

There are many risk factors that occurred by cholecystitis:

  • Chron’s disease
  • Coronary disease
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history of gallstones from mother’s family
  • Old age
  • Gallstones

During childbirth, if long time labor pains takes place then it can damage the gallbladder by raising the risk of cholecystitis during the following weeks.


If cholecystitis left untreated, it can lead to serious life-threatening complications, such as a gallbladder rupture and number of complications as follows: Treatment for cholecystitis often involves gallbladder removal.

  • Infection within the gallbladder. If bile fluid is build up within your gallbladder, it causes cholecystitis and the bile get infected.
  • Distention/ Tear of gallbladder. If there is a tear operforation in your gallbladder, it may result from gallbladder swelling, infection or death of tissue.
  • Death of gallbladder tissue. Untreated cholecystitis can cause death of gallbladder tissue. It’s the most common complicatio among older people, who are diabetic and those who didn’t get treatment. This can lead your gallbladder to burst.

Gallstones can sometimes also pass from the gallbladder into the biliary tract, which pass into pancreas and leading to an obstruction of the pancreatic duct. This may cause pancreatitis.