Signs Your Parent is Having Gallbladder Problems

The gallbladder is a little organ that is shaped like a pear. It’s about 4 inches long and sits just under the liver in the upper part of the right side of the abdomen. Its purpose is to help the body digest fat. It’s likely you never think about your aging relative’s gallbladder. That’s okay. They probably don’t either. However, when a problem occurs, it can be really painful and may even be a medical emergency. So, even though you may not think about it much, it’s important to know the signs of a gallbladder problem.


Caregiver in Fairfield CT: Gallbladder Tips
Caregiver in Fairfield CT: Gallbladder Tips


Abdominal Pain

Pain caused by the gallbladder usually happens in the mid or upper abdomen. It ranges from mild to severe. Sometimes it comes and goes, but it can be persistent. Occasionally, gallbladder pain can be radiating, spreading into the back and chest.


Nausea and/or Vomiting

Having a gallbladder problem may cause your aging relative to feel nauseated. If the problem is chronic, they may also vomit. Chronic gallbladder issues can also lead to gastric reflux and cause gas.


Chills and Fever

Chills and fever are both signs of infection. If your aging relative is experiencing fever and chills along with other symptoms of gallbladder issues, they should see a doctor.


Dark Urine

When a bile duct is blocked, it can cause urine to change colors. An older adult who has a blocked bile duct may have darkly colored urine.


Different Bowel Habits

Someone with a gallbladder condition may have diarrhea often. Or, their stool may change colors, turning light-colored or looking chalky.


Yellow Skin

Blocked bile ducts can cause jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes. This happens because the bile created in the liver isn’t able to reach the intestines.


If your aging relative has signs of a gallbladder problem, it’s important that they see a doctor. Mild symptoms don’t signal a need for emergency attention, but you should still schedule an appointment. If symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room or call 9-1-1. Signs of an emergency include:

  • Pain that lasts for 5 or more hours.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Bowel movement and urination changes.


Gallbladder problems are sometimes treated by surgically removing the gallbladder. If your aging relative has gallbladder surgery, elderly care can help them during recovery. An elderly care provider can allow them to rest while they handle things around the house, such as cooking and cleaning. Elderly care providers can also make sure the senior gets enough fluids, so they do not become dehydrated. An elderly care provider can also remind the older adult to take medications prescribed by the doctor.


If you are considering hiring a Caregiver in Fairfield, CT, for a senior loved one, please contact the caring staff at Executive Home Care in Stratford CT. Executive Care is operated by individuals who have dedicated their lives to providing quality in-home care services. Call today: 203-690-1963.