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Pizza & Gallbladder Pain

By Diane Marks

If you suffer from gallbladder disease, eating pizza can trigger painful symptoms in your chest and even your back. Pizza contains a lot of fat, which is what triggers most gallbladder pain. If you have not been clinically diagnosed with gallbladder disease, you may confuse indigestion or heartburn for gallbladder pain. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain and avoid eating pizza and other high-fat foods.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease is the general term used to describe infection, inflammation, obstruction or stones in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a sac located by your liver that stores extra digestive fluid, called bile. Bile is a yellow substance that’s used to help your body digest fat so that it can be absorbed by the body and used for energy. The gallbladder can develop cholesterol deposits that form into pebble-like stones. Many people have gallstones and never develop symptoms. If your condition doesn’t pose any discomfort, your doctor may recommend keeping your gallbladder.

Pizza and Pain

According to PizzaHut.com, one slice of cheese pizza contains around 10 g of fat. Add the fat content of any meat toppings to that and the number can double or even triple. Consuming fat causes the gallbladder to contract and release extra bile into your stomach. If you have gallbladder disease and you consume pizza, the fat content can irritate your gallbladder or provide an opportunity for a gallstone to become lodged in the duct. Gallbladder pain is felt under your right ribcage and can feel tender to touch. The pain may be felt in your lower neck, your shoulders and upper-back. Call your doctor right away if you develop this type of pain.

Indigestion and Heartburn

If you haven’t been diagnosed with gallbladder disease, it’s possible that you may be confusing gallbladder pain with indigestion or heartburn. Pizza is a common trigger food for indigestion and heartburn because it is high in fat and is acidic from the tomato sauce. Indigestion is the feeling of fullness, bloating and the burning feeling in your upper-abdomen. Heartburn is a painful burning sensation that develops in the center of breast bone from stomach acid entering your esophagus, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Treatment

If you develop consistent pain from your gallbladder, the most effective treatment is having it surgically removed. If the pain is controllable by a modified diet, your doctor may leave the gallbladder in and prescribe certain medications that help dissolve gallstones over time.

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