Overview: The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located underneath the liver; its job is to store bile, a substance produced by the liver that helps the body digest fats. Gallbladder disease can manifest as gallstones, small solid particles that form inside the bladder. Gallstone complications include cancer, inflammation (cholescystitis), infection (Cholangitis) and jaundice. In some cases, gallbladder disease can lead to surgical removal of the gallbladder, known as a cholecystectomy.
While the exact cause behind gallstones is not entirely certain, many physicians think that they form when there is an excess amount of cholesterol in the bile, too much for the digestive fluid to dissolves. High levels of bilirubin, a chemical formed during the breakdown of red blood cells, may also cause gallstones. Other risk factors include being female, being 60 years or older, pregnancy, obesity, history of gallstones, diabetes, and some cholesterol-lowering medications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, gallstones are also associated with medications that contain estrogen. Birth control pills containing drospirenone, such as Yaz and Yasmin, have been linked to gallbladder disease. According to study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), data showed “a small, statistically significant increase in the risk of gallbladder disease” associated with drospirenone.
Signs of gallbladder disease may include:
- pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- pain under the right shoulder
- nausea or vomiting
- abdominal bloating
- recurring intolerance of fatty foods
Source: About.com Women’s Health
If you experience unbearable pain in your abdomen, yellowing skin, or a high fever with chills, seek medical attention right away as this could be a serious complication of gallstones.
See your doctor if you think you are suffering from gallbladder disease or gallstones. If you are taking Yaz, Yasmin or its generic versions such as Beyaz and Safyral, be sure to mention this your physician. You may undergo CT scans and blood tests to diagnose your condition.