Right rib pain: biliary dyskinesia

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What is bile?

Bile or gall is a greenish-yellow fluid produced by the liver. It will help with digestion breaking down fats into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract.  The gallbladder serves to concentrate and store that secretion. When required, it will transport the bile to the first region of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum. Bile consists of cholesterol, bile acids (or salts), bilirubin, water, body salts, copper, and other metals. 

What is biliary dyskinesia?

Biliary dyskinesia is a motility disorder that affects the gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi. When some component of the biliary system does not function properly the bile stops to or does not move in the right direction.It may cause biliary-type pain, sometimes very similar to cholecystitis. But unlike cholecystitis that pain is caused by the not-mechanically-obstructed gallbladder and there is no evidence of gallstones. That is why biliary dyskinesia is a dynamic (functional) pain-producing disorder. 

What are the most common symptoms?

What are the symptoms? Symptoms are almost identical to those for gallstones:

  • Episodes of sudden, sharp pain in the upper-right side of your abdomen, spreading to your back or side,
  • Severe pain that lasts for more than 30 minutes,
  • Vomiting, bloating, nausea.

Eating fatty meals may trigger these symptoms. 

Get the right diagnosis 

To diagnose the condition, you will need to pass a physical exam, a laboratory test, an ultrasound. If ultrasound does not show gallstones the next step is to have a test to monitor how your body processes foods. Your bile might not flow properly. 

Biliary diseases are diagnosed with the help of cholescintigraphic scanning, a nuclear medicine procedure that helps to measure the health and function of the gallbladder and biliary system. This type of scanning produces medical imaging that is called cholescintigram, that shows the “itinerary” of the radioactive tracer in the liver and gallbladder.  If the gallbladder can only release 35 to 40 percent of its contents or less, then the person is most likely diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia.

What are the causes?

The motility disorder of the biliary system is always a consequence of another condition. However, its exact etiology is unknown. Its possible cause could be an underlying metabolic disorder (such as a hormone or enzyme deficiency) as it may impact the movement of the gastrointestinal tract.

It may also be associated with long-lasting gallbladder inflammation, the so-called cholecystitis. The risk groups for biliary dyskinesia are older children and adults.

How to treat it?

To treat the malfunction of the biliary system, the specialist starts to look for the exact cause of the problem. As a part of the treatment you may be advised to do:

  • Dieting. Frequent fractional meals (at least 5 times per day) with specific products, depending on your diagnosis,
  • Medication. Organic or synthetic choleretic drugs, analgesics. 

Low-level Laser therapy is one of the alternative treatments of biliary dyskinesia. It must be applied only under medical control. RANKEL Smart Life is an LLLT device manufactured in Russia and used in the treatment and prevention of numerous diseases of the digestive system, including dyskinesia biliary, cholecystitis, etc. The healing effects are achieved through low-intensity pulsed infrared laser radiation, pulsating broadband infrared LED radiation, pulsating red and blue lights, constant magnetic field, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Combining laser therapy with electric stimulation of the gallbladder, homeopathy, plant choleretics, etc. reinforces treatment efficiency.

In some cases the extraction of the gallbladder may be the only treatment. It depends on the symptoms, severity and duration of the disease. 

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