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Pediatric Gallbladder Symptoms and Risk Factors

 Pediatric Gallbladder Symptoms and Risk Factors

Gallbladder disease is usually associated with adults, but it can affect children as well. Here is the most important information about gallbladder symptoms in children.

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The gallbladder is located in the right area of the abdomen below the liver and stores the bile and excreted it into the intestine to help the process of digesting food. In children, the gallbladder may become infected, infection, or the accumulation of stones. But what are the symptoms of gallbladder in children? Let's find out:

Symptoms of gallbladder in children

Sometimes, at the beginning of gallbladder disease, symptoms may not appear, but if they do appear, they appear suddenly. Here are the most prominent symptoms of gallbladder in children:

1. Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is one of the most prominent symptoms of gallbladder injury, and gallbladder pain is characterized by the following characteristics:
  • Pain begins in the upper or middle right side of the abdomen and then spreads to the back and shoulders.
  • The pain gets worse after 15 to 60 minutes, and the pain may last for 6 to 12 hours.
  • The pain is sharp and with abdominal cramps.
  • The pain goes back and forth constantly.
  • The pain increases immediately after eating, and the pain becomes worse when eating fatty and high-fat foods.

2. Other symptoms of gallbladder in children

If the gallbladder duct becomes blocked, your child may have the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.
  • High temperature.
  • Indigestion.
  • The accumulation of gases in the abdomen.
  • Flatulence
  • Excessive burping.
  • Jaundice is any yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

3. Symptoms that require emergency

Symptoms that require immediate emergency include:

  • Unlikely severe abdominal pain.
  • Jaundice.
  • High temperature with chills.

Child gallbladder risk factors

There are some factors that increase the risk of gallbladder disease in children, and they include the following:

  • Eat foods full of fat a lot.
  • Childhood obesity.
  • Infection with some blood diseases, such as: sickle cell disease, hereditary erythrocytosis or thalassemia.
  • Having cerebral palsy or Crohn's disease.
  • The need for intravenous food for a long time earlier.
  • Pancreatic diseases and infections.
  • Weak immune system.
  • Previous abdominal surgeries.
  • Chronic liver disease.
  • Acute kidney failure.
  • Refrain from eating for a long time.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Take some medications.

Diagnosis of gallbladder in children

When any symptoms related to gallbladder disease appear in your child, the doctor will resort to a set of medical tests. The tests include the following:

1. X-rays

Abdominal radiographs are performed, which help to detect the presence of stones and blockage of ducts and to confirm the functioning of the gallbladder.

X-rays include the following:

  • Ultrasound imaging.
  • X-ray imaging.
  • Computer tomography.
  • Choleroscopy and cholecystoscopy which helps in seeing and removing stones.
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiography, which gives comprehensive details about the gallbladder, liver and bile ducts.

2. Gallbladder scintigraphy

Scintigraphy of the gallbladder is one of the diagnostic methods of nuclear medicine, whereby a special substance is injected intravenously to the child, and then the doctor tracks the material through a special camera.

The camera shows the movement of matter in the blood to the liver, then the gallbladder, then the intestine. Scintigraphy, or the so-called ejection fraction of the gallbladder, helps in measuring the degree of gallbladder contractions and seeing them from the inside and assessing their function.

3. Blood tests

Blood tests are one of the important tests in the event of gallbladder disease, as they help to detect the presence of infections, gallbladder obstruction, jaundice or any other health problems related to the gallbladder.

Bilirubin is one of the required blood tests, because it measures the level of bilirubin in the blood, which rises above the normal level leads to the appearance of jaundice of the skin and the whites of the eyes.